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168 comments

Nice summary... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41608937)

.... if you like summaries without much information.

Surprise (2)

ledow (319597) | about a year and a half ago | (#41608943)

Surprise? There is none.

Re:Surprise (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41609023)

No surprise.

But I did learn the Price is Right gameshow just got their first male model.

I guess it wasn't totally unexpected. About the gameshow I mean....err, or are we talking about OnLive again?

Re:Surprise (2)

Wrexs0ul (515885) | about a year and a half ago | (#41609503)

Surprise? There is none.

Only as long as I'd misread that as OnStar.

Unless your name is Akamai, what purely streaming company is valued at $1.8bn?

-Matt

No surprise to us: Thats the real story (5, Interesting)

CdBee (742846) | about a year and a half ago | (#41610313)

A lot of people (particularly I'm discussing western political leaders, but not just them) state as a matter of blind faith that markets are effective allocators of capital

OnLive to me is another DotCom Crash Co, it just happened rather later: We all know the basic story, they said they could deliver high fidelity gaming as a service, thus freeing users from the capital investment of the console and turning a sales market into a services market

Most of us scoffed, pointing out things we understand about residential internet connecticvity, the devastating efffect of lag upon gaming, and the implausibility of the system in general. Institutional investors looked at what the company said, thought ' turning a sales market into a services / rental market is a good thing, it means higher long-run revenues' and poured money into it.

I have limited sympathy - they invested badly. Only real benefit was to the coders who had jobs there for a few years. But I do think the idea that investors will run to invest in markets they patently dont understand doesnt speak well for the efficiency of the capital markets.

Re:No surprise to us: Thats the real story (1, Insightful)

_Sharp'r_ (649297) | about a year and a half ago | (#41610515)

[...] the idea that investors will run to invest in markets they patently dont understand doesnt speak well for the efficiency of the capital markets.

No, this speaks very well for the efficiency of the capital markets. The investors risked their own money, not my money. It was a bad idea and people who invest in bad ideas lose their money. As a result of companies they invest in losing their money, ultimately, they don't have money anymore to invest. The people who end up with money to keep investing are the ones who are better at it.

Posit a theoretical public/government technological investment equiv. What makes you think the members of that board wouldn't have invested just as poorly? All the evidence points to them making worse investment choices, not better ones. After all, it's not their money, it's your money, so they have a different incentive in their investing. A much more political incentive with goals other than simply finding the most useful technology that people will want to pay for. And after this government equiv.'s investment failed? They'd either keep pumping in money to prop it up, or at the very least, the people making the bad investment decisions would just keep making them. After all, the government has more of your money to spend, right?

Please go learn some Public Choice economics. You'll understand the world a lot better.

Re:No surprise to us: Thats the real story (0)

CdBee (742846) | about a year and a half ago | (#41610741)

Oh don't get me wrong, I know public spending is as bad if not worse in terms of efficiency, I wasnt attempting to make an argument in favour of nationalisation or socialisation. Just that capital efficiency in private markets also sucks when people don't know what it is that they don't know.

Re:No surprise to us: Thats the real story (1)

badpool (1721056) | about a year and a half ago | (#41611031)

He wasn't arguing in favor of public investment. Don't know why you're in such a huff.

This single event doesn't indicate a failure of "capital markets" (as an idea). It does, however, indicate that the analysts and investors involved made a [huge] mistake. When taken into context of the last 10-15 years, I think it points to the general inability of analysts to provide accurate, or even remotely rational, valuation of tech firms. But hey, that's just me.

OMG! (4, Insightful)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year and a half ago | (#41608991)

OMG you know what this means?! They FINALLY realized that you can't stream 60FPS video streams of 1920x1080 over the internet!

They may have even discovered that gamers don't tolerate an internet connection level of input delay in their games! And that serious gamers want to own their own gear! And that gamers do other things than games on their computer so they own a faster computer anyway! And that rendering a 1920x1080 video stream locally also takes a fast computer!

Re:OMG! (2)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#41609101)

OMG you know what this means?! They FINALLY realized that you can't stream 60FPS video streams of 1920x1080 over the internet!

And with low enough latency for it to be worth a damn.

Re:OMG! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41611131)

High latency is just bonding time.

Re:OMG! (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | about a year and a half ago | (#41609157)

the input lag was a pain.

They realized that no one would pay the prices they were charging to rent a game.

Re:OMG! (5, Informative)

Necroman (61604) | about a year and a half ago | (#41609179)

From the employee comments that were posted when OnLive went belly up, that doesn't sound like it was the case at all. I don't have links for any of this (it was either on /., reddit, or some other site), but the basic idea was:

* The tech seemed to work pretty well. I think it was best if a customer was within 50 miles of a data center.
* The cost of games through the service was near the same price as retal box versions (difficulty #1, as customers didn't feel like they had ownership of the games).
* OnLive had a hell of a time getting titles available on their systems when they hit the streets. So not having AAA games available when they launched made it difficult to attract people.
* The CEO was bull-headed. From one story I read, he was trying to get an exclusive contract with EA for being the only streaming gaming service EA used, but EA was also partnering with another company that had similar tech to OnLive. The CEO of OnLive flipped out and told his staff to pull all the EA games from their system 2 weeks before launch.

Re:OMG! (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | about a year and a half ago | (#41609511)

Don't forget they were paying for a lot of servers that were just idling because they overestimated demand.

Re:OMG! (1)

0123456 (636235) | about a year and a half ago | (#41610265)

They were paying for a lot of servers that were just idling because, per the GP, "it was best if a customer was within 50 miles of a data center."

If you need your servers to be within fifty miles of your customers for the service to be viable, you need a metric fsck-ton of servers installed all over the world, which completely defeats the point of a 'cloud' service.

Re:OMG! (2)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year and a half ago | (#41609255)

I'm trying to think of a game that requires high quality graphics but that doesn't need a low input delay. Card games, chess, turn based strategy games could work on this, but you really don't need graphics for this. Something like Final Fantasy (old ones anyway, don't know if the new ones have changed). Some tower defense games would probably work out fine. However, even the really visually stunning games like these don't require fast computers to play. The games that required fast computers are the ones that have a bunch of stuff moving on the screen at the same time, and have to respond to a lot of inputs, and therefore, can't be played on a remote server because the input delay is too big. Any games that would work on a remote server could be easily run on even a very low power client computer.

Re:OMG! (2)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#41609389)

I'm trying to think of a game that requires high quality graphics but that doesn't need a low input delay.

Those virtual woman pr0n "games". If you're only going to last 2 minutes then a few ms of latency here or there are not a big deal. Pr0n supposedly defines all new/growing technologies anyway. The real ones are always saying slow down, so as long as the virtual ones keep latency below the 30 minutes or so that real ones demand, it'll be OK. Relatively short gameplay helps with bandwidth caps too.

Any games that would work on a remote server could be easily run on even a very low power client computer.

Yeah well now you add even more constraints. Its not a game, but I'd think some sorta "mythtv" virtual remote DVR would pretty much fit your definition.

Re:OMG! (2)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about a year and a half ago | (#41609811)

adventure games always worked well for me. assassin's creed, deus x, saints row, just cause.

Re:OMG! (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41610093)

You do know that none of those are adventure games, right? An adventure game is something like Space Quest or Dreamfall.

Eh (5, Interesting)

oGMo (379) | about a year and a half ago | (#41609285)

They may have even discovered that gamers don't tolerate an internet connection level of input delay in their games!

Eh. I tried OnLive to see how well they accomplished what they did. Latency wasn't the main concern, but then I have a reasonable connection (~25Mbps) and may be geographically near one of their data centers. The main problems are more the following:

  • The rendering quality was often crap; this may be a function of the encoding, but it doesn't matter. Washed-out colors, blurry video, and heavy artifacting don't make a great experience.
  • Price model. This was too good to be true. Pay for the game or like $10/mo for their PlayPack stuff. Let's give them the benefit of the doubt and say that they can provide sufficient rendering at $700 a box on average for any given game. They need one rendering unit for every player. They need to pay for bandwidth and energy to run all these units, plus people to maintain them. They need to stay upgraded, generously, every year or two, to play the latest stuff. That's quite a bit of money to support a single user paying $120/year.
  • Casual/hardcore disconnect. Is this for casual gamers who don't want to pay for a gaming PC? Or hardcore gamers who want to play all the latest stuff? A casual gamer can likely find plenty to play on their phone or the web; a hardcore gamer isn't going to be satisfied with the limitations. There may be a niche, but it doesn't seem big enough to support the model.

In the end this always seems to fail at a financial level: if it's cheap enough per-player that a $10/mo fee can cover licensing, hardware, and utility, then it's probably cheap enough the user is going to have his or her own device (e.g., a smartphone). If not, then it's not going to work anyway.

And it's not a matter of volume. Nintendo, Sony, and MS have volume on their consoles, and they still sell for $200+, often at a loss, and the only maintenance cost is warranty support. Making up for this on licensing isn't an option for OnLive, since they don't make any games. There are no exclusives.

The only way this might work (financially, at least) is a subsidized hardware console with a reasonable contracted subscription fee, and first-party game support as well as third-party exclusives. Gamestop might be trying this [joystiq.com], but it's unclear if they're actually funding games or just providing a similar service.

Re:Eh (1)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#41609481)

The only way this might work (financially, at least)

Demo mode? Get the publishers to foot all the cost and players get to try the new WWII FPS sequel number 25235 for only two minutes at a time without having to install or download anything except the service client?

Then again, since sequel number 25235 is all about selling the sizzle not the steak, the publishers might not like that very much if they're trying to ship an absolute dog and don't want anyone to hear about it for the first week or so.

Re:Eh (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41609839)

They need one rendering unit for every player. They need to pay for bandwidth and energy to run all these units, plus people to maintain them. They need to stay upgraded, generously, every year or two, to play the latest stuff. That's quite a bit of money to support a single user paying $120/year.

They only need on renderer per player at any given time. So if most of their players play for, say, 2 hours a day, they can theoretically get ($120/year)*12, or $1,440 a year/render unit, which is... possibly economical. The problem, obviously, is that they need extra capacity for peak hours, plus bandwidth costs, plus tons of data centers to minimize latency, all of which results in massive overhead. Plus it only works if users have moderately beefy connections, and anyone who does is likely to have their own gaming machine of some kind. Maybe if they had partnered with a game studio to produce some smash-hit exclusive, they could have pulled it off, but the Internet and computers aren't quite fast enough for what they wanted to do, not yet anyways.

Re:Eh (1)

oGMo (379) | about a year and a half ago | (#41610517)

The problem, obviously, is that they need extra capacity for peak hours, plus bandwidth costs, plus tons of data centers to minimize latency, all of which results in massive overhead.

That's the point. You can't get away with paying for minimum capacity, so you have to always pay for maximum capacity. I've heard they cut corners and not all games got premium hardware, but that just brings down the average price. What happens when the majority of your player base wants to play the latest new thing?

Someone with existing cloud services might be able to pull this off, as well, if they charged hourly for usage and bandwidth. At least then they could repurpose the capacity when it's not in use. That said the pricing might not be so attractive, and without lots of specialized hardware it's probably not possible to achieve sufficiently-low latency.

Re:OMG! (5, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#41609401)

OMG you know what this means?! They FINALLY realized that you can't stream 60FPS video streams of 1920x1080 over the internet!
They may have even discovered that gamers don't tolerate an internet connection level of input delay in their games! And that serious gamers want to own their own gear! And that gamers do other things than games on their computer so they own a faster computer anyway! And that rendering a 1920x1080 video stream locally also takes a fast computer!

they didn't realize that yet. they realized that they can transfer the valuable assets for pennies on the dollar to an entity they control while screwing the other investors and employees out of their shares.

the ceo(and most of the board) were assholes and still are, simple as that.

Re:OMG! (1)

icebraining (1313345) | about a year and a half ago | (#41610461)

Wasn't the alternative bankruptcy? Did they purposely sabotage the company? Didn't they lose the invested money too? Then why is it paying something being an asshole?

Re:OMG! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41609991)

OMG you know what this means?! They FINALLY realized that you can't stream 60FPS video streams of 1920x1080 over the internet!

They may have even discovered that gamers don't tolerate an internet connection level of input delay in their games! And that serious gamers want to own their own gear! And that gamers do other things than games on their computer so they own a faster computer anyway! And that rendering a 1920x1080 video stream locally also takes a fast computer!

This always sounded like something that was dreamed up in Marketing without running it through anyone deeply technical.

The Bell Tolling? (0)

A10Mechanic (1056868) | about a year and a half ago | (#41609021)

Perhaps subby was trying to make a comparison to another over-valued corp. Aka, Facebook?

Re:The Bell Tolling? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41609873)

Herp! I hatez da fasebooks cos i don't have no frieeeeendddsssss.
 
Is this going to be like the endless flood of stories I read ten years ago about how every move by Linux/Apple was another nail Microsoft's coffin and there would be some wild wave where apple/Linux would take over the entire PC market in just a year or two? Keep me laughing, let me here your ideas.

Re:The Bell Tolling? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41610661)

Herp! I hatez da fasebooks cos i don't have no frieeeeendddsssss.

Is this going to be like the endless flood of stories I read ten years ago about how every move by Linux/Apple was another nail Microsoft's coffin and there would be some wild wave where apple/Linux would take over the entire PC market in just a year or two? Keep me laughing, let me here your ideas.

Oh, I'm sorry, I keep forgetting how much of a major player in the current technology market Microsoft is. Please, remind me again how many hot-selling phones they've sold since two companies in the San Francisco Bay Area released mobile phone OSes a while ago. I'll accept tablet computers as a response, too. I'm dyin' to hear how well that's working out for MS.

Yeah, that's what I thought, coming from someone with the lack of mental development required to defend Facebook.

Network conectivity (1)

firex726 (1188453) | about a year and a half ago | (#41609029)

I wonder how much the state of our network connectivity had with their failure.

More and more providers roll out BW caps, over sell their network BW, and raise their prices for the higher tiers.

Re:Network conectivity (1)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#41609113)

so?

almost anything you can do in the cloud you can do locally for the same price

Re:Network conectivity (5, Insightful)

firex726 (1188453) | about a year and a half ago | (#41609205)

Sure, but their whole basis was that they were streaming it from the Cloud.

Why if I have a 20gb BW cap would I stream HD content when I could go buy the game on DVD and play it locally?

Re:Network conectivity (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | about a year and a half ago | (#41609221)

the point is, you could try out a new game through onlive without spending a cent.

But if your provider has a cap, you can only play for so long each day.

I have a certain ISP who now delays my netflix streams by over a minute. They used to start within 6 seconds, now they start after 2 apparent minutes of buffering or such.

They say they have abandoned data caps and have now moved on to extreme filtering. Traffic gets delayed while going through the *IAA machines.

my bandwidth isn't slower, but sometimes the delays are annoying.

Re:Network conectivity (1)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#41609325)

are you pointing to google dns or something similar?

netflix has their data inside the ISP's networks. unless you live way out in the boonies the data is already close to you and its not like you have to go to the internet to get it

google and some of the other dynamic DNS's will cause crazy routing issues for content if they route your DNS queries far away

Re:Network conectivity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41609955)

I have a certain ISP who now delays my netflix streams by over a minute.

Let me guess.... Comcast?

Re:Network conectivity (1)

tuffy (10202) | about a year and a half ago | (#41609137)

So long as the companies providing you internet are also in the business of providing content, there's always going to be a limit to how much competing content they'll allow over that internet connection. This manifests as bandwidth caps that only cap services other than the internet provider's.

Re:Network conectivity (1)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#41609459)

i know google play is into this always streaming thing but with itunes when i buy media i have a local copy and can play them without going to the internet

even if i had a 250GB cap like comcast is testing i'm sure i can be well within it and let the heavy users pay up

Valuation (4, Insightful)

Lieutenant_Dan (583843) | about a year and a half ago | (#41609033)

I once valued my microwave at $1,100,000 but ended selling it for $20 on Craigslist. There was disappointment all around.

As well, I once had an idea for a jetpack that I valued at $20 billion AUS dollars ("billion" with a "b"). Unfortunately I sold that idea for a pint of Fosters to work colleague.

Re:Valuation (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about a year and a half ago | (#41609189)

I can do better. I once sold 1/10 billionth of my remote controlled shower head idea to my younger brother for $1.00. Therefore its worth 10 billion dollars, and I am a billionaire. My accountant advises me to keep it in paper to prevent paying capital gains tax.

Re:Valuation (4, Funny)

Jawnn (445279) | about a year and a half ago | (#41609213)

I once valued my microwave at $1,100,000 but ended selling it for $20 on Craigslist. There was disappointment all around.

As well, I once had an idea for a jetpack that I valued at $20 billion AUS dollars ("billion" with a "b"). Unfortunately I sold that idea for a pint of Fosters to work colleague.

Yeah, but you didn't sell shares to clueless investors. Loser.

Re:Valuation (1)

Lieutenant_Dan (583843) | about a year and a half ago | (#41609265)

Ahhh, step 2. You're right. I'll do better next time. I'll sell shares of my clock radio on Craigslist next. Your cut, because it was your idea, will be 10%. What title do you want in "Lieutenant Dan's Clockradio Company GMBH"? I have dibs on Chief Privacy Officer.

Re:Valuation (1, Troll)

firex726 (1188453) | about a year and a half ago | (#41609215)

> $20 billion AUS dollars

And how much is that in real money?

Re:Valuation (1)

jburroug (45317) | about a year and a half ago | (#41611025)

>> $20 billion AUS dollars

>And how much is that in real money?

About $20,484,000,000 USD.

Re:Valuation (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41611121)

>> $20 billion AUS dollars

>And how much is that in real money?

About $20,484,000,000 USD.

Not USD, GP asked for real money!

Re:Valuation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41609307)

Crap, you should've told us sooner. Here on Slashdot, we're a bunch of capitalists who would've been interested in short handed sales...

Re:Valuation (1)

jd2112 (1535857) | about a year and a half ago | (#41609447)

You could have just given the jet pack idea to your work colleague and not have to suffer through a Foster's.

*Yawn*. (-1, Offtopic)

DerekLyons (302214) | about a year and a half ago | (#41609641)

Obvious and ignorant comment is obvious and ignorant.

Re:*Yawn*. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41610487)

Obvious and ignorant comment is obvious and ignorant.

Yes, yours was. But normally I'd be a little nicer and just point out that yours is self-contradicting.

Re:Valuation (1)

91degrees (207121) | about a year and a half ago | (#41610501)

The thing is, apparently sane people valued OnLive at $1.8 billion.

Re:Valuation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41610933)

Are these the same "sane" people that valued facebook? You get two industries that don't understand one another when you have the tech companies being valued by the financial industry. The financial industry wants everything to be another giant like google. They don't really understand what the actual technology is or how it will supposedly fit into the big picture. Then you get tech companies that all believe they are going to be the next big thing to revolutionize an industry, even when it defies common sense to think that most of the time.

Streaming video games was/is NEVER going to be the next big thing in the gaming industry. We have consoles, phones, desktops, laptops, we have gaming centric peripheral devices like mice, keyboards, monitors with low input lag and 120hz. There isn't a niche of people that "wants to play games but cant afford hardware." Games are available on pretty much every piece of computer hardware. If we are talking about the AAA big titles, people will buy hardware specifically to run them the best, to make their hobby more enjoyable. If they aren't that serious about it, they'll just play it on slower hardware. Either way it'll have less lag running locally.

Really bad business idea flops miserably.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41609049)

... news at 11.

Bet we'll be seeing this with Facebook one day too (4, Funny)

crazyjj (2598719) | about a year and a half ago | (#41609057)

Once over-hyped at $28 billion, Facebook sold today for $523 and a case of beer.

Re:Bet we'll be seeing this with Facebook one day (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41609161)

They'd only get a case of beer from me. Really cheep beer at that.
Ew, PHP.

Re:Bet we'll be seeing this with Facebook one day (1)

azadrozny (576352) | about a year and a half ago | (#41609235)

Depends on the brand of beer. I am not sure I would bid anything over Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Re:Bet we'll be seeing this with Facebook one day (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41609361)

I'd go as high as Old Style, maybe Schlitz .

Re:Bet we'll be seeing this with Facebook one day (1)

pla (258480) | about a year and a half ago | (#41609533)

Depends on the brand of beer. I am not sure I would bid anything over Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Pffft, that would only appeal to hipsters - And everyone knows they all still use MySpace for the irony-cred.

Re:Bet we'll be seeing this with Facebook one day (1)

gman003 (1693318) | about a year and a half ago | (#41611173)

Pfffft, Myspace? That HTTP-using sellout?

Real hipsters switched back to personal gopher sites a while ago. Soooooo vintage.

Re:Bet we'll be seeing this with Facebook one day (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41609521)

Laugh it up, slashtard. The bottom line is that Facebook's name alone is worth more than you'll ever make in your life.
 
But you know, you're the cool one for making fun of people who put their ideas to action. You just keep thinking that.

Re:Bet we'll be seeing this with Facebook one day (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41610003)

Wow, Zuckerberg's getting bitter.

Sad (1)

roninmagus (721889) | about a year and a half ago | (#41609081)

Sad, I didn't even know they had sold. I used OnLive's service for a few months and enjoyed it. Only quit due to changes in my personal budget. I wonder if the "spectate" mode is what took them down, where people could watch others play for free? Looks like Twitch has filled that spot.

but its the cloud (4, Funny)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#41609097)

i remember when onlive first came out i dumped my xbox and all my games in the garbage to join up. i mean gaming in the cloud is so much better than doing from a hard drive

i know you end up paying more than owning physical games, but its da cloud. its the future and so much cooler

who is onlive (1)

fermion (181285) | about a year and a half ago | (#41609143)

Even as someone who is not a gamer, I would think that I might have heard about a 2 billion dollar company.

So where did the value come from. Facebook was worth gagillion dollars, but was offered for less than 100 billion and is now worth around 40 billion. Like so many people on this site, who believe a product is worth what it cost of what the seller believes it is worh, market realities are a harsh mistress.

Re:who is onlive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41609327)

Even as someone who is not a gamer, I would think that I might have heard about a 2 billion dollar company.

Right, but as evidenced, they WEREN'T a $2B company, hence you never heard of them.

Activision (1)

Andrio (2580551) | about a year and a half ago | (#41609333)

I remember once seeing Activision's CEO praising OnLive and its concept.

Figures that HE would love the notion of games being completely out of control of the player. That's the first step in turning games into a pay-per-view service where you play the first hour for 10 dollars--I mean 9.99--and then 4.99 for each additional hour.

Unless you want the bonus content. Then it goes up by 1 dollar per hour. Oh, and if you want to play with double the health, that's just an extra 50 cents per hour! Ammo clips are 25 cents each, too.

Where's the Beef? (2)

TPS Report (632684) | about a year and a half ago | (#41609335)

I beta-tested OnLive a long time ago, and by the third day it was back in the box, ready to be shipped back. It took a long time to pre-buffer a game. The game prices were too high. The resolution wasn't that great, and it didn't have most of the games I actually wanted to play. A company with an existing revenue stream could get into this market and support the initial losses with their other products. Valve/Steam could do this. Valve already has an existing profitable business model (digital distribution of games on PC/Mac). They're branching out into distribution of apps. They already offer Steam on TV. But I just don't see the draw yet. A decent, $500 PC can run most games on acceptable settings. A gaming console is only $300 and there are tons of games available.

I can see something like a hardware add-on that does game streaming, but both Sony and Microsoft (XBLA) offer game and video downloads. So I'm not quite sure where a dedicated game-streaming device will fit in (and be profitable). If I wanted to spend $50 on a game, I'd get it for PC or a console and have a much better experience.

I don't think the market for something like this will happen until most of the US has affordable, reliable, and reasonably fast (10 mbit+) internet. And when it does happen, I think it's going to be a side-market by an already-profitable company.

Re:Where's the Beef? (1)

JK_the_Slacker (1175625) | about a year and a half ago | (#41609789)

The main interesting draw of this for me was its inherent upgradeability. Yes, $500 will buy me a PC that will run most games... today. What about two years out? What about four years out? Five? If OnLive had been handling that on their side, that could have been a very, very interesting proposal if I could keep that $500 pc for five or ten years without missing out on the latest games.

Re:Where's the Beef? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41610527)

What about six? What about twelve years? Thirteen?

Re:Where's the Beef? (1)

rk (6314) | about a year and a half ago | (#41610529)

I finally upgraded my gaming system this year from a system I built in 2006. Even the old system could play most of today's games acceptably well if the settings aren't set very high (a notable exception was Fallout: New Vegas for some strange reason... took forever to load). The old system was fairly buff but by no means cutting edge for 2006. The same is true for my new system except for it's 2012, and I expect to get 5-6 years out of it, too. My total cost was about 550, and that included a decent 22" monitor. I reused my case and PS. Everything else was new (Mobo, CPU, memory, GPU, HD, optical drive). For sure, the new system plays those same games much better now; my FO:NV load times went from 5 minutes to about 10-15 seconds. I think some people think you have keep upgrading every one to two years to play PC games. Certainly if you want to see them with every bit of eye-candy turned on full blast that's likely true, but to actually just play the games? It's really not necessary.

Re:Where's the Beef? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41610657)

The main interesting draw of this for me was its inherent upgradeability. Yes, $500 will buy me a PC that will run most games... today. What about two years out? What about four years out? Five

Dunno, but I paid $750 for a PC from Dell 6 years ago and it still plays games just fine. Ya, I have to turn down some of the advanced graphics options on the newer games, and can't run most of them at much more than full 1080p resolution (most TV's are still only 1080i), but that's without any compression or artifacting and I don't have any network latency either. For a hardcore gamer my machine "sucks", but for almost anybody else it's more than adequate and still has a few years of life left in it.
This isn't the early 90's anymore, you don't have to buy another computer every six months just to be able to load a game.

Re:Where's the Beef? (1)

Splat (9175) | about a year and a half ago | (#41609893)

Well said. If Ouya succeeds, it will also be a nail in the coffin of this business model. When you can do a gaming console for $99, or you've got stuff like Roku's for $79 with gaming baked in you no longer need a dedicated "gaming box"

What this actually was about (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41609337)

OnLive had a pile of debt and a pile of employees with a pile of stock options.

The "bankruptcy" invalidates all those stock options and means that half the employees can be sacked. Many of those may not be needed because they worked on things like early stage development which is no longer needed.

But guess what? The new company that "buys" the assets of the old company then basically becomes identical to the old company, except that you have suddenly sacked a lot of people, and the remaining employees including the CEO gets 2X the stock options they used to have.

What's interesting is that the creditors and investors of the old company were happy with it being sold at only $5m. It wouldn't surprise me if the investors in the new company are identical to the investors in the old company.

Re:What this actually was about (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41609489)

...And a bunch of patents.

    The SCO model isn't dead yet. Expect a bunch of patent lawsuits to follow.

Re:What this actually was about (2)

symbolset (646467) | about a year and a half ago | (#41609749)

This wasn't about gaming. It was about putting a permanent end to their very dangerous cloud desktop tech. That was a disruptive threat.

Re:What this actually was about (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41611117)

That was a ... threat

If you were in their target market and had even used it for a few minutes, you'd understand that it was no such thing.

Are people acutally surprised? (3, Insightful)

Githaron (2462596) | about a year and a half ago | (#41609395)

With Onlive's ridiculous pricing, are people actually surprised? The last time I took a look at Onlive they were "selling" games at about the same price as retail. Why would I want to pay retail price for something I am essentially renting from a new and untested company while having no recourse when they go under?

first 4ost (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41609431)

though I have never megs of ram runs hear you. Also, if develop3rs today. It's about code.' Don't

No surprise (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about a year and a half ago | (#41609561)

Their service won't be viable for at least 10 more years. So it's not worth anything.

Re:No surprise (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | about a year and a half ago | (#41610777)

You expect the speed of light to be different 10 years hence?

The business model of this company is flawed for many reasons. It's never going to work.

From what I saw it was interesting but... (2)

Control-Z (321144) | about a year and a half ago | (#41609623)

It refused to run on my ~1.5 megabit connection. So the only place I tried it was on my tablet at a restaurant for a few minutes.

I could see it being ok for casual games, but anything requring precise timing would be very annoying.

Easy Turn Around (1)

NinjaTekNeeks (817385) | about a year and a half ago | (#41609645)

I'm certain the company that bought them will be able to easily turn them around, like Myspace, AOL, Prodigy and that search engine named after chocolate milk.

Re:Easy Turn Around (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41610559)

There was a search engine called YooHoo? Please do tell.

100% Surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41609799)

It took this long for them to go belly up. I was also surprised that the "pay to play LAN games by the hour" store by me took two years to go out of business.

Re:100% Surprised (1)

Jeng (926980) | about a year and a half ago | (#41609957)

Yes, companies pushing out new technology often get bank-rolled long enough to sink or swim.

This one sank after sinking a lot of money.

Is it real this time? (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about a year and a half ago | (#41609929)

About a month ago we had a similar article, and it turned out that they were just going bankrupt so that they could start anew with less stockholders.
Is this for real this time? or is this just a duplicate article?

OnLive? That telephone-like service for old folks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41609965)

OnLive? That telephone-like service for old folks? Good riddance, in times of digital Sat-Navs.

Could be worse. Digg just sold for $500K. (2)

Animats (122034) | about a year and a half ago | (#41610329)

Digg just sold for $500K. Also tanked or tanking: Tribe, Salon, Myspace... Tribe and Digg started to tank after they did a "Web 2.0" site redesign which users hated.

With "social", just because you have "clicks" doesn't mean you make money.

Goes to show you (1)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about a year and a half ago | (#41610385)

that the value of a company is bullshit compared to the reality of what a company is actually worth. This is why the world's economy is in the tank, because there is a huge disconnect from the fantasy numbers that get thrown around and the stocks traded on compared to the real value of a company.

Now if we can just get rid of all digital gaming. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41610491)

I miss the days. The days when...

When you purchased a game it actually belonged to you. You could trade it, sell it, put it in the closet and play it again 20 years later, you let a friend borrow it, you could throw it away and you could do whatever you wanted with it because it actually belonged to you. I miss actually owning what I pay for instead of still paying for it but essentially just leasing it for a undetermined amount of time.

When you could play a game without a internet connection. Or you could just put in any game you owned and play it without having to download it.

When DRM wasnt fucking causing the real paying customers more hassle than the people who stole the games. I remember when the customer was considered important and treated like they were via the products they purchased. Customers didnt get nearly as many buggy, incomplete and cookie cutter type of games awhile back as they do now. Now its easier to play your games if youre a thief, you dont have to pay outrageous prices for a game that is probablly going to be another "me too" game or just complete garbage and you dont have devs/pubs telling you that you should buy their games and follow their ever restricting rules while they give you headaches and bad customer service.

When you didnt have a code to activate in your game online so you could play the damn thing.

When developers started pimping DLC for their games announcing new content to be purchased and downloaded before the actual game came out the DLC is for. Or when developers didnt carve out pieces of their games to sell you later or hold back ideas for DLC. When developers released a game and putting as much effort into making it a good experince as possible and instead of DLC you got a real expansion with enough content to qualify as a whole new game.

Those were the days but atleast onlives failure is a definite win for the gamers. One less restrictive, expensive digital avenue down the drain and we have one less figurehead on the side of a pure digital access for our games.

So, am I the only one who liked it? (4, Interesting)

Kiyyik (954108) | about a year and a half ago | (#41610535)

I am primarily a mac user, and this was the way I was able to play certain games that didn't get ported over, like Arkham Asylum and such. And they looked a heck of a lot ebtter than if I'd just run them in a VM or something like that. I had occasional bandwidth issues, but that was generally down to my ISP in any case. Frankly, I thought they were the bee's knees, and I'm sorry to see they seem to be going the way of the dodo. It's still a good idea, to my mind. Maybe just needs a little tweaking to make it a viable proposition.

Principle investor screwing all other investors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41610601)

Principle investor somehow manages to buy all pooled assets of the company to brush everyone who invested anything in the company thus far and runs off with their work at a mere additional cost to itself of pennies on the T-bill.

I want to own my games or I want to pay less $. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41610685)

I know most of us have given up on the idea of a game that we own that we can actually resell or lend to a friend, but I try to only buy games that have physical discs and aren't locked to my account. I *do* make exceptions for games that I feel are priced appropriately for me to give that up. Indie and steam sales do often bring the cost to the point where I can be okay with a play it and throw it away mentality.

I am usually a very patient gamer player titles that are years old, but I did make an exception to all of my rules for Borderlands 2. I felt the sheer enjoyment and entertainment from the first one was worth paying the GMG pre-order amount ($40) for the 2nd game. So far it's met my expectations.

Not a sustainable buisness model (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41610879)

I have a big feeling the whole "cloud" bubble is about to burst. It's just not a sustainable business model, similar to the DotCom burst in the early 2000's

Personally, if I can't own my games, as in having a physical media to install the game from (and DRM free), then it's not worth my money. Less cloud, more down to earth.

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