OnLive Changing the Game?

CNET, VentureBeat, CNBC.com, and FT (and likely others) have articles on a new cloud computing gaming service called OnLive after Variety posted a story in advance of the unveiling of the service today. The service is the brainchild of entrepreneur Steve Perlman (QuickTime, WebTV) and has the backing of Warner Bros' WBIE. All the stories on the topic portray this as a potentially serious competitor in the home gaming scene, offering the ability to stream AAA quality games to any system without wait times, and if it works as planned, it does sound like it could significantly change the games market. Here's a summary from CNBC:
OnLive includes a tiny set-top box Perlman calls the "MicroConsole" that links the internet and the company's service to your TV, as long as your part of the country (that's the 70 percent part) has a broadband connection. Any laptop with a wi-fi, other wireless or network connection won't need the box.

Once you're linked to the subscription based service, you'll have access to game titles from Warner Bros., Ubisoft, Take-Two Interactive, Electronic Arts, Eidos, Atari and a host of other top publishers who will all be announcing partnerships with the new service. Games can be accessed through the web, either bought or rented, and played by just a few participants, or players can play against thousands. There are no downloads, the games will live on OnLive's servers. It's an application of so-called "cloud computing" that the industry really hasn't seen before.

But here's the rub, and why Perlman tells me the days of the traditional console might be dwindling: Because the games live on servers and aren't downloaded, it won't matter what console you need, or what platform the games were developed for. They'll simply work on any TV, PC or Mac.

"When you watch a movie on TV, you don't think about what it was developed for, it just works," Perlman tells me. The same will be said of video games. And players will be able to access the games at a fraction of the cost of today's experience. Says Perlman, "Some consoles cost $300 or $400 or $500. Even more in some cases. So now, instead of spending all that money on a console, they can spend it on the games instead. Doesn't that sound more fun?"

He might have something here. While only a couple of dozen titles will be available when the service officially launches later this year, Perlman easily envisions entire libraries of titles available instantly with a simple click.

The games, their graphics -- no matter how complex -- will go directly to TV or computer through compression technology Perlman and his team have been slaving over for the past seven years. Publishers love the idea because there's virtually no chance of pirating the games on the service they're stored on the company's secure servers.
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57.
 
Re: OnLive a Game Changer?
Mar 24, 2009, 23:50
57.
Re: OnLive a Game Changer? Mar 24, 2009, 23:50
Mar 24, 2009, 23:50
 
Remote control play over the internet? Fail. It took current wireless controllers five years to finally come up with a system that has no noticeable lag in the controller, and those things need to transfer data between points that are 2 to 10 feet apart. Now add your ISP, routers, packet prioritizing (raise your hands everyone who thinks it won't happen, and those of you who think that ISPs will prioritize gaming packets. Anyone?), congestion and data caps into the mix.

If I used this service to check any of 20 demo's before the usual process of downloading, then purchase and patch the 5 I liked, I'd quite frankly use -less- data allocation (yes I am on a cap). 400MB of texture and 300MB of model data is only good for me if I actually go to all the places in the game, and see all the textures and models.

Besides the world (and ISPs) are coming to the inevitable relevation that the internet is required to be scaled to full-screen video to every-desktop size. Even backwaters like Australia are seriously planning a post-adsl internet.

You are also mistaking lag issues that affect FIRST PERSON SHOOTERS mostly, and possibly accurately simulated car driving games, with the entire rest of the game market place. WoW/Warhammer/EVE and hundreds of other games would work just fine through this service.


100ms delay is acceptable when you're playing a current online shooter, because they have client side prediction. There won't be any client side prediction, so... huzzah? All of you who are thrilled to see players blipping around the screen again, raise your hands. Still nobody?

The player movements will be rock steady, because there is only 1 in-memory representation of a player object, not 17 like a 16 player game. The only issue will be frame-rate inconsistencies due to transmission, and they will only affect the guy with the shitty connection, not everybody trying to shoot at that fucker, like in current implementations.

Players won't blip around, because there is NO need for client side prediction. If I was riding on someones BF2 M1 commander seat, I'd find using the machine gun easier on this service than on BF2 as it stands, because the movement packets aren't retransmitted, which multiplies x2 lag spikes when they involve the servers connection.


Finally, is this the most draconian form of DRM ever invented? Now you'd be able to buy a game and not even have a physical copy of it installed on your machine? So you'd basically have to pray really fucking hard they never go under, or never lose your account etc?

Piracies efficiency improved with the rise of P2P, its not suprising that lowering the profitability of other channels, makes these very expensive channels feasible.

If you want it to go away, you'll have to suck it up and buy from regular channels instead of pirating everything.

Vaporware and money stealing is what it is

I think you've posted enough drivel in this thread for me to say that you remain rather uninformed.

The actual difficulties these guys will face are

1 - utilisation spiking will cause them to spend a lot more money on hardware than they'd like, that will sit idle until they have hundreds of shipped games live to even it out.

2 - for -stable- games that have low or no connectivity requirements, they will waste a lot of bandwidth (which they probably have to pay half and then pass along to the consumer), which would probably be reflected in a monthly service rental that may make the overall service uneconomic for the number of games they need on the service to keep the hardware utilisation reasonable.
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