Ars reviews the OnLive microconsole, service
offers Ars Technica's impressions of the cloud gaming service and hardware. They discuss the good news of the service's convenience, quibbles with frequent software updates and lack of social tools, but of course the real question is how does it all play? Here's a bit on that:
FiOS is great with OnLive, but I did have the chance to test it on other, slower connections as well. Even then, I can still say that OnLive is entirely playable, but there are some issues. Latency, bandwidth and caps, distance from the nearest server, and even whether you use a gamepad versus a keyboard and mouse makes an impact. Latency is by far the most prevalent factor, and unless you're playing next door to one of OnLive's servers, you'll feel it. Even with my 20Mbps down and 4Mbps up, I could tell that the game was not running natively.
Three main indicators give away the fact that this isn't a native game: framerate bumps, sudden resolution drops and gameplay blips. The framerate is supposed to be 60fps, and it often is, but there are hiccups, most likely due to packet loss or someone else in the house using the internet. The 60fps doesn't look or feel steady; it acts more like a spiky 45fps, with sudden drops that occur randomly, but not when the action gets hot or the graphics explode onscreen. The resolution is also variable, and the image is compressed to help with latency. One second you might see the pores in someone's face, and the next their head will look like an angular peach. It doesn't happen often, and this problem is much worse when on Wi-Fi.