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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65 Replies. 4 pages. Viewing page 1.
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1.
 
Re: OnLive Changing the Game?
Mar 24, 2009, 09:13
1.
Re: OnLive Changing the Game? Mar 24, 2009, 09:13
Mar 24, 2009, 09:13
 
So, if I'm reading this right, you press a button at your house, your command is transmitted to the server - with the 50-250ms delay that entails... then the action is played out on their server, recorded, compressed, and sent back to you, again with the delays?

Yeah, I can't see that working, ever, for anything more complex than... say... Bejeweled.

Maybe I'll be wrong!

But I doubt it.
2.
 
No subject
Mar 24, 2009, 09:16
nin
2.
No subject Mar 24, 2009, 09:16
Mar 24, 2009, 09:16
nin
 

"Good Luck With That."

3.
 
Re: OnLive Changing the Game?
Mar 24, 2009, 09:18
3.
Re: OnLive Changing the Game? Mar 24, 2009, 09:18
Mar 24, 2009, 09:18
 
The upside here is publishers will no longer be able to blame piracy for their failures.

I am pretty skeptical because playing off of a server farm halfway across the country will produce a noticeable lag time. There's simply no getting around the physical limitation of the speed of light (or, in this case, the signal/info).
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"Both the “left” and the “right” pretend they have the answer, but they are mere flippers on the same thalidomide baby, and the truth is that neither side has a clue."

- Jim Goad
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4.
 
Re: OnLive Changing the Game?
Mar 24, 2009, 09:27
Enahs
 
4.
Re: OnLive Changing the Game? Mar 24, 2009, 09:27
Mar 24, 2009, 09:27
 Enahs
 
It is essentially going to try and be streaming HD video with input. I doubt most connections are good enough for that.

Who would want to play a modern game with amazing visuals through a youtube display?
I am free of all prejudice. I hate everyone equally.
- W. C. Fields
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5.
 
Re: OnLive Changing the Game?
Mar 24, 2009, 09:29
5.
Re: OnLive Changing the Game? Mar 24, 2009, 09:29
Mar 24, 2009, 09:29
 
I figured we'd see services like this but I really don't see that they'll ever get around the latency issue. Online gaming is unreliable enough as it is and people already complain about mouse / monitor lag on the PC.
"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."
Avatar 22891
6.
 
Re: OnLive Changing the Game?
Mar 24, 2009, 09:38
6.
Re: OnLive Changing the Game? Mar 24, 2009, 09:38
Mar 24, 2009, 09:38
 
Given the current U.S. broadband layout this will probably only work in very small areas with high speed cable (DOCIS 3.0) or Verizon Fiber. He should try this in Korea or Japan first since they have the fastest broadband in the world. Good luck though I hope it works.
Avatar 25373
7.
 
Re: OnLive Changing the Game?
Mar 24, 2009, 10:12
7.
Re: OnLive Changing the Game? Mar 24, 2009, 10:12
Mar 24, 2009, 10:12
 
hmmm. Phantom, anyone?
8.
 
Re: OnLive Changing the Game?
Mar 24, 2009, 10:24
8.
Re: OnLive Changing the Game? Mar 24, 2009, 10:24
Mar 24, 2009, 10:24
 
hmmm. Phantom, anyone?
Nah. This looks like it will be on the market very soon and be relatively cheap to get working - it's basically a gloried set-top box with a cloud backend.

NEway, even YouTube and Gametrailers can be temperamental for no particular reason (on 6MBit), let alone streaming higher quality video.
"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."
Avatar 22891
9.
 
Re: OnLive Changing the Game?
Mar 24, 2009, 10:29
9.
Re: OnLive Changing the Game? Mar 24, 2009, 10:29
Mar 24, 2009, 10:29
 
Console Wars: The Phantom Menace.

Wonder if it will actually show up this time hehe
10.
 
Re: OnLive Changing the Game?
Mar 24, 2009, 10:32
10.
Re: OnLive Changing the Game? Mar 24, 2009, 10:32
Mar 24, 2009, 10:32
 
I forsee this making an impact in perhaps 10 years from now, or however many years it takes to get rid of noticable lag. And only in limited markets(i.e. well developed countries)

I have a nifty blue line!
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11.
 
Re: OnLive Changing the Game?
Mar 24, 2009, 10:42
11.
Re: OnLive Changing the Game? Mar 24, 2009, 10:42
Mar 24, 2009, 10:42
 
If only I could be so lucky to have the bandwidth to make this work. Not that I'm interested, I just want that bandwidth.
12.
 
Re: OnLive Changing the Game?
Mar 24, 2009, 10:47
12.
Re: OnLive Changing the Game? Mar 24, 2009, 10:47
Mar 24, 2009, 10:47
 
Crazy tech debut week? Yes, it must GDC, E3 or CES.

This has all the makings of the Dreamcast. Good awesome concept that nobody actually wants.

Apart from the fact that I don't see this working for mainstream - twitch action games at all.

First there was Phantom. Then DISCover (both failed btw). Now this.

This comment was edited on Mar 24, 2009, 10:47.
Game developers are just human beings who happen to make games for a living. If you want to hold us up to higher standards of conduct, then go ahead
...but don't be surprised if we don't uphold them
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13.
 
Re: OnLive Changing the Game?
Mar 24, 2009, 10:47
13.
Re: OnLive Changing the Game? Mar 24, 2009, 10:47
Mar 24, 2009, 10:47
 
I am not even interested in this. I much prefer that big hunking computer sitting on my desk, and play on my monitor, regardless of my internet speed, or connectivity. But that is just me.
Steam: SpectralMeat
Avatar 14225
14.
 
Re: OnLive Changing the Game?
Mar 24, 2009, 10:48
14.
Re: OnLive Changing the Game? Mar 24, 2009, 10:48
Mar 24, 2009, 10:48
 
This is going to eat a horrible chunk of bandwidth, it sounds as though it will max out a 5mb connection just to display your game at a low resolution of 720 lines. Multiplayer gaming will be just too laggy to be playable and single player games will feel a bit sluggish at best, and that's if everything is working properly!

So, to use this service I have to pay them, use a ton of extra bandwidth (a lot more than I would have to use to simply download the game in the first place) and all for a much diminished gaming experience.

I think I'll pass.
15.
 
Re: OnLive Changing the Game?
Mar 24, 2009, 10:58
15.
Re: OnLive Changing the Game? Mar 24, 2009, 10:58
Mar 24, 2009, 10:58
 
Bandwidth is not there... fail.

Sounds like Enron where they will lease unused bandwidth to other companies when you don't need it. And we all know what happened to them.

"It's called, mark to market!"

This comment was edited on Mar 24, 2009, 10:59.
16.
 
Re: OnLive Changing the Game?
Mar 24, 2009, 11:03
nin
16.
Re: OnLive Changing the Game? Mar 24, 2009, 11:03
Mar 24, 2009, 11:03
nin
 
It is essentially going to try and be streaming HD video with input. I doubt most connections are good enough for that.

Who would want to play a modern game with amazing visuals through a youtube display?

Exactly. At least as far as here in the US, the broadband crunch is only going to get worse in the coming years. And they want to try this?

Maybe in 10-20 years...
17.
 
Re: OnLive Changing the Game?
Mar 24, 2009, 11:10
17.
Re: OnLive Changing the Game? Mar 24, 2009, 11:10
Mar 24, 2009, 11:10
 
Irrespective of the bandwidth that's involved (at a time when US net access seems to be shifting to a metered model) how exactly can they get round the issue of lag without actually changing the laws of physics ?
18.
 
Re: OnLive Changing the Game?
Mar 24, 2009, 11:15
18.
Re: OnLive Changing the Game? Mar 24, 2009, 11:15
Mar 24, 2009, 11:15
 
Irrespective of the bandwidth that's involved (at a time when US net access seems to be shifting to a metered model) how exactly can they get round the issue of lag without actually changing the laws of physics?
They don't. The term "Cloud Computing" suggests, that they are only interested in investors, who will jump at every hype. And now the hype is "Cloud Computing".
19.
 
Re: OnLive Changing the Game?
Mar 24, 2009, 11:15
19.
Re: OnLive Changing the Game? Mar 24, 2009, 11:15
Mar 24, 2009, 11:15
 
how exactly can they get round the issue of lag without actually changing the laws of physics ?

That is the secret of this device. If they would give away all their secrets everyone in their garage would make these things.
Steam: SpectralMeat
Avatar 14225
20.
 
Re: OnLive Changing the Game?
Mar 24, 2009, 11:16
Nox
20.
Re: OnLive Changing the Game? Mar 24, 2009, 11:16
Mar 24, 2009, 11:16
Nox
 
Amazing how stupid some of these so-called "innovators" are.

Sure you may be able to play a stupidly-simple game that doesn't require real-time performance, but who would ever buy a console to do that? You can already do that with a flash player in your browser.

Idiots.
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