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OnLive CEO Provides Details On Cloud Gaming

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the attack-of-the-jittering-packets dept.

Cloud 136

eldavojohn writes "OnLive is a new cloud gaming service that is in beta testing. While it might sound like nothing more than corporate buzzwords creeping over into the gaming world, a new video reveals how the CEO claims his service will work. Perlman explains OnLive's solution to the video game compression problem and talks about the '80 ms latency budget.' It's pretty interesting to listen to him figure out this budget and where the 'costs' come from. (Video only.) Now, this all hinges on the 'microconsole,' which — as he reveals at the beginning of the video — is so cheap they plan to give it away. We may also see it incorporated with TVs and other electronic devices. He goes on to talk about perceptual science and dealing with packet irregularities on the internet."

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Oh! (0, Flamebait)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#29589791)

There will be PC/Mac clients? Browser plugins even? Why didn't you say so, all of a sudden I give a shit.

Word of advice: don't get blinded by the US market. They don't spend nearly as much on games as other parts of the world.. and they don't have the greatest broadband. Other than the fact that you're white, is there a reason why you're not rolling out in Korea first?

Re:Oh! (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#29589835)

Word of advice: don't get blinded by the US market. They don't spend nearly as much on games as other parts of the world..

[citation needed]

Re:Oh! (2, Interesting)

crossmr (957846) | more than 4 years ago | (#29589845)

probably because gaming is saturated in Korea. There are PC-rooms everywhere. I can walk to about a dozen in less than 10 minutes. They're very cheap, and people in Korea are social gamers. They don't stay home and game. They go out and do it with their friends. Also Korean PC games are free. Only microtransactions for vanity things, and the system requirements are often quite low on most of them which means you don't need an expensive PC even if you wanted to game at home. A lot of home users use wireless laptops as well since they don't game at home. This pushes up the latency and packet issues.

Not exactly an inviting market for this service.

Re:Oh! (1)

incognito84 (903401) | more than 4 years ago | (#29590133)

You're on Dave's, right? Small world. (I also agree with what you said)

Re:Oh! (1)

crossmr (957846) | more than 4 years ago | (#29590241)

Yup.

Even a lot of western games don't get big here, because they cost money. Koreans are all too happy to enjoy their free games.

Re:Oh! (1)

incognito84 (903401) | more than 4 years ago | (#29590715)

...and their free games kinda suck. They're either WoW clones or CS clones. I wouldn't pay for them anyway.

I was IncognitoHFX on Dave's. I am banned for the rest of my life for god knows what.

Re:Oh! (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591083)

...and their free games kinda suck. They're either WoW clones or CS clones. I wouldn't pay for them anyway.

Mostly, yes, but as a counterpoint: Navy Field [navyfield.com] a WWII naval combat game. The technology is stone age - bitmaps, DirectX6, TCP - and it's poorly supported and run, but it just won't lie down and die.

Re:Oh! (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 4 years ago | (#29592821)

TCP

Hell yea, ICMP is the wave of the future

Re:Oh! (2, Informative)

crossmr (957846) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591613)

Not all. I don't play the MMOs, my Korean isn't good enough, but I have a very infrequently updated blog where I walk people through how to sign up and play various games that don't require much Korean. There are some there that I enjoy. FPS, and MMOs lend themselves best to the whole vanity stuff. You can't break into the RTS market with a bomb because of Star Craft. I've found 1 or 2 Korean made RTS out there, but they're not currently running, they seem to be down for revamping. There is a decent scorched clone called Taan. Its cutesy, but interesting. Raycity is a decent MMO, interesting concept, also interesting to see a good portion of seoul mapped, with actual building fronts being used (circa 2006)

Not all of the shooters are boom-headshot like counter strike.
Bubble Fighter and Metal rage are two that I played which aren't that style.

Re:Oh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29590049)

I live in South Korea. Bootlegging is so rampant only MMO's make money since they have a way to get money out of the players. Cloud gaming has potential since it's more of a service than an object, and thus harder to bootleg. Of course, Korea's protectionist policies might hamstring your efforts to bring anything over here.

AT&T invests (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29590091)

No it doesn't hinge on a microconsole. There are windows and mac clients too.

The big news of the day is AT&T investing in Onlive. http://us.mobile.reuters.com/m/FullArticle/p.rdt/CTECH/ntechnologyNews_uUSTRE58T0PV20090930 With AT&T backing there is no caps and perhaps that is how they are solving the lag as well.

Re:Oh! (1)

incognito84 (903401) | more than 4 years ago | (#29590155)

Because it would work in Korea. It would work excellently and nobody would play it (they already have PC Bangs and the like).

For Korean broadband standards, this isn't revolutionary.

They should be testing it on the lowest common denominator first. I doubt this system is going to work in the US, Canada or most Western countries. There simply isn't enough bandwidth for it yet (or most people are going to play with such a low resolution that its not even worth it).

Re:Oh! (1)

omni123 (1622083) | more than 4 years ago | (#29590513)

There will be PC/Mac clients? Browser plugins even? Why didn't you say so, all of a sudden I give a shit.

Word of advice: don't get blinded by the US market. They don't spend nearly as much on games as other parts of the world.. and they don't have the greatest broadband. Other than the fact that you're white, is there a reason why you're not rolling out in Korea first?

The simple answer is publicity. Aion has been out for close to a year with 7 million users outside the western world then while approaching a western release it hits the front page of Slashdot a handful of times. That's all it is.

Re:Oh! (1)

RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647) | more than 4 years ago | (#29590587)

They don't spend nearly as much on games as other parts of the world.. and they don't have the greatest broadband. Other than the fact that you're white, is there a reason why you're not rolling out in Korea first?

Because once you look at the contention ratio on Korean superbroadband you realize how utterly screwed you are if you attempt to push 50Mbps to a large number of subscribers.

Here's a hint: A 10Gbps connection (OC-192 or 10G Ethernet) can only feed 200 subscribers if each of them is using 50Mbps. The last mile may be faster in Korea, but the backbone isn't substantially different.

Re:Oh! (1)

DMiax (915735) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591705)

1. e4 f5 2. Nc3 g5 3. Qh5++ shit!

1. f4 e6 2. g4 Qh4++ shit!

Re:Oh! (4, Insightful)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591763)

You want to roll out in a market you're familiar with first (your home market), and during that time, you can have people do research on other markets and line up all your local people and resources.

You don't want to just jump into an unfamiliar market right away, that leads to problems.

Re:Oh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29592213)

I believe this is what happened when an American car manufacturer sold a certain brand of their car in South America only later to find out the name they gave it meant death or destruction. Forgot the car name though.

Re:Oh! (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 4 years ago | (#29592451)

Urban Myth. The car generally sited is the Nova, and it is said that No Va means doesn't go, Spanish language would not consider nova=no va, they are two different things.

Re:Oh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29592673)

you're right, when other places in the world pay american dollars to receive american games, and their currency is worth less than american dollars, they do indeed pay more for videogames.

whether or not they purchase more games on average is a matter for CITATIONS.

Re:Oh! (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29593021)

There will be PC/Mac clients? Browser plugins even? Why didn't you say so, all of a sudden I give a shit.

They did say so, right from their first announcement.

A transcript, please (0, Troll)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#29589863)

The first page doesn't even load for me, and I'm not interested in watching the video in the second link.

Surely we can demand that this type of summary without textual links should not be written, altogether.

Re:A transcript, please (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29589881)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009
How to Deliver Online Gaming, Minus the Lag
OnLive CEO Steve Perlman explains how his cloud videogame service deals with real network conditions.
By Erica Naone

This March, a company called OnLive promised a gaming technology that seemed almost too good to be true. The company said it could deliver graphics-heavy video games over the Internet to any computer or to a miniconsole hooked to a television. This includes games such as the first-person shooter Crysis, which is normally beyond the capabilities of anything short of a multi-thousand-dollar gaming machine.

Today at Technology Review's EmTech@MIT conference, OnLive founder and CEO Steve Perlman presented a live demo of the system in action.
Video

OnLive has met with skepticism from hardcore gamers. The big question is whether the system can transmit high-end games over the Internet without serious lag, and many have said it can't be done. OnLive is currently in an open beta, which involves testing its technology on a variety of real networks and computers.

Though OnLive has developed its own compression technology, Perlman says that this is "just one piece of a complex problem."

The main issue, he suggests, is dealing with real-world network conditions. The company has spent the last seven years in stealth mode learning to do just this. Years ago, Perlman says, OnLive's technology worked perfectly under ideal network conditions. Since then, a lot of work has gone into addressing less-than-perfect conditions.

When streaming something like a video, a computer builds up a buffer to protect against network problems. The buffer buys some time to check whether the stream is flowing smoothly and to ask the server to resend any information that gets lost or corrupted along the way. In the case of a video game, which is inherently unpredictable, Perlman says that such a technique is out of the question.

Instead, OnLive's system uses perceptual science to keep the gaming experience smooth. The company's algorithms adapt what's shown so that it seems to be a complete image while the screen is moving, even if it wouldn't look that way if the picture were still. This allows some leeway for network hiccups. "Each frame may not look good, but we always deliver the data," Perlman says.

The company plans to launch to the public this winter.

Re:A transcript, please (2, Insightful)

GradiusCVK (1017360) | more than 4 years ago | (#29590027)

You can make any demand you want. I won't join you on this issue, however; the video was interesting (the guy is a good speaker) and I'm glad to have seen it. Also, the text loaded perfectly fine for me... is "this type of summary" any summary which your particular machine and connection has a problem with? Are you suggesting that Slashdot send a tech to your house to make sure every submission works on your machine? Are we all to make this demand on your behalf?

Re:A transcript, please (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#29590093)

WinXP with Firefox 3.0 without NoScript. Yes, I'd expect that Slashdot editors would vet submissions to at least work on this very very common platform.

Wait, no, I don't expect the /. editors to do much of anything, now that you mention it.

Re:A transcript, please (1)

norpy (1277318) | more than 4 years ago | (#29590623)

The issue with the page wasn't noscript but that the page loads and then performs a meta-redirect.

due to annoying sites like news.com.au that auto refresh (to increase ad impressions) a lot of people disable this "feature"

Linux? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29589871)

Does it run on Linux? I mean I know this question is often used in jest, but I'm serious.

Re:Linux? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29589953)

Does it run on Linux? I mean I know this question is often used in jest, but I'm serious.

Yes. Did you RTFA?

Re:Linux? (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 4 years ago | (#29589979)

Yes. Did you RTFA?

New here? No-one reads articles on slashdot. Welcome to the "summary crowd".

Re:Linux? (1)

tonycheese (921278) | more than 4 years ago | (#29590457)

Did YOU RTFA? I don't see Linux mentioned anywhere in any of the articles.

Re:Linux? (1)

Yacoby (1295064) | more than 4 years ago | (#29590635)

Does it run on Linux? I mean I know this question is often used in jest, but I'm serious.

If it does then next year will truly be the year of Linux on the desktop

Re:Linux? (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#29590783)

Linux gaming is all I've wanted to make me switch.

Having to swap between Linux and Windows between getting games working and playing games just made me resent Linux for being too much like my day job. I don't come home to fix my OS; I come home to use it, and that's where Windows has the upper hand (at least as a gaming OS).

This service, if it runs on Linux, will make Ballmer quite literally shit himself.

Re:Linux? (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591125)

Oh noes, Have you tried WINE lately? I haven't tried it with anything cutting edge, but it surprised me by Just Working for the older (~San Andreas era) Windows games that I've tried it with.

Re:Linux? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#29592339)

The CEO claims it will run on about everything (further indication, IMHO, that this is vaporware). The CEO probably would claim Commodore 64 compatibility if it got him some more venture capital.

Oh yes (4, Insightful)

Zouden (232738) | more than 4 years ago | (#29589899)

"is so cheap they plan to give it away"

Hey Perlman (if that is your real name): the dot-com bubble called. They want their failed business strategy back. Subsidise the hardware, sure, but don't give it away. That's just asking for financial disaster. Your business is risky enough as it is.

Re:Oh yes (4, Interesting)

psergiu (67614) | more than 4 years ago | (#29590015)

Shhh ... shut up. They might hear you.

I DO want a free box with Ethernet, wireless, HDMI, surround audio, USB (for wired controllers) and maybe Bluetooth (for the wireless ones) and with a CPU wih enough oomph to decode HD streamed video. If we manage to port XBMC on this ... :)

Re:Oh yes (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591439)

a CPU wih enough oomph to decode HD streamed video

If they decode video in the CPU, they're doing it wrong.

Re:Oh yes (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591839)

If they decode video in the CPU, they're doing it wrong.

Using hardware decoders is non-trivial. You can't just call one library and have access to accelerated video on old nvidia, new nvidia, old ati, new ati, and intel at the same time. By targeting the CPU itself they reach the maximum number of subscribers, including those with shitty integrated video which can't really accelerate anything.

Re:Oh yes (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591921)

Using hardware decoders is non-trivial.

It's pretty trivial if you have control over the hardware. This particular thread is about the 'free' hardware they intend to distribute.

The microconsole is bound to contain a cheap, low powered CPU, and a mass market decoder chip.

Re:Oh yes (5, Funny)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29590157)

the dot-com bubble called. They want their failed business strategy back. Subsidise the hardware, sure, but don't give it away.

My mobile phone company must be crying into their balance sheet.

Re:Oh yes (1)

Zouden (232738) | more than 4 years ago | (#29590441)

Phone companies don't give away phones. You buy them as part of a contract. If that's what OnLive is doing, fine, but then they shouldn't say that the hardware is so cheap they can "give it away".

The razor-and-razorblades model doesn't work if you give away the razors for free.

Re:Oh yes (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29590767)

Phone companies don't give away phones. You buy them as part of a contract. If that's what OnLive is doing, fine, but then they shouldn't say that the hardware is so cheap they can "give it away".

Semantics. Plenty of marketing will express it as an airtime contract with a "free phone".

OnLive is the razor. The games are the razorblades, and you won't get those for free.

Not semantics (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#29593037)

The difference is that with a mobile phone, they have some gaurentee of income because of the contract. The contract says "You agree to pay us this much a month for X months, or a single lump fee of Y should you cancel the contract." Ok well that means that if you keep your contract, they make money since you pay them for service each month. If you cancel, the fee is sufficient to cover the cost of the phone.

However if this is a situation of "Here's free hardware, you pay for games," that only works if I have any intention of paying for the games. What happens if I take their free hardware, and then don't use their service? They are now out the cost of the hardware.

Re:Oh yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29591475)

It does with a Mac 3. I bought my Mac 3 in 2000 for a modest amount and have spent a small fortune on razor blades over the years. More than the razor itself cost.

Re:Oh yes (4, Funny)

Diabolus Advocatus (1067604) | more than 4 years ago | (#29590277)

Sshhhh. If they give it away I'll collect a few thousand and build a free beowulf cluster.

Re:Oh yes (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#29590543)

Why not give it away? It's probably cheaper than the average cable TV box. Their real expenses are server-side, and need to be paid by gathering a large customer base. There's little to be gained by deterring potential customers by overcharging for a piece-of-crap streaming box.

Re:Oh yes (1)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 4 years ago | (#29590989)

"is so cheap they plan to give it away"

Hey Perlman (if that is your real name): the dot-com bubble called. They want their failed business strategy back. Subsidise the hardware, sure, but don't give it away. That's just asking for financial disaster. Your business is risky enough as it is.

They're not really giving anything away. The hardware will be 'free', but you'll be paying a hefty subscription.

This isn't like the dot-com bubble's business model. This is like the cellphone business model.

Anyhow this isn't the problem with the concept. The problem is they think games at 80ms lag are fun. That's 80ms of input lag, that is, between moving the mouse and seeing it move, or clicking a button and seeing a shot - not just for other player's actions. 80ms sounds horrible to me.

Re:Oh yes (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#29592263)

Don't be so cynical. I predict this system will be the biggest thing in consoles since the Phantom [wikipedia.org] .

Wait... (2, Insightful)

Sl4shd0t0rg (810273) | more than 4 years ago | (#29589939)

Where I have I heard this before? Oh yeah, from a company that now makes lapboards and keyboards, Phantom is it?

Re:Wait... (3, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#29590565)

Your memory's faulty. The Phantom was essentially Steam or Xbox 360's version of Live before the infrastructure existed to support such a thing. It was still supposed to be a client-side games console. Server-side rendering is a different animal. A ridiculous animal, mind you, but a different animal none the less.

annoying speaker is annoying (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29589945)

and uhhhhmx1000 is all i heard in his speach.

Funding (1)

Sl4shd0t0rg (810273) | more than 4 years ago | (#29589999)

Well looks like they are getting funding from some serious players:
http://blog.seattlepi.com/techchron/archives/180603.asp [seattlepi.com]
http://blog.onlive.com/2009/09/29/onlive-closes-major-investment/ [onlive.com]
AT&T Media Holdings, Inc., Lauder Partners, Warner Bros., Autodesk and Maverick Capital.

Re:Funding (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 4 years ago | (#29590245)

Warner Brothers are probably getting in there so that they can keep getting a cut of the money, even if people aren't playing their franchise games.

AT&T are probably in there because they can make a killing through the extra bandwidth people will need!

Other than that I've not heard of them (perhaps they're big in the US and not outside, or maybe they're some "behind the scenes" names who are big really but most people have just heard of the sub-companies).

Re:Funding (1)

Sl4shd0t0rg (810273) | more than 4 years ago | (#29590585)

I think Lauder Partners and Maverick Capital are venture capital companies. Autodesk, if it is THE Autodesk, is a big 2D and 3D design software company in the US. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autodesk [wikipedia.org]

What's the problem? (4, Insightful)

iCantSpell (1162581) | more than 4 years ago | (#29590009)

I live in Japan, and it only cost $60-80 USD a month to have a 100MB up & down fiber optic connection in every room of my house. I know Japan is only the size of California, but come on. Seriously, the US spends millions on beach sand [sundancevacations.com] and damn near nothing on real connections.

Re:What's the problem? (1)

crossmr (957846) | more than 4 years ago | (#29590191)

$29 in South Korea..

Re:What's the problem? (1)

RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647) | more than 4 years ago | (#29590719)

I live in Japan, and it only cost $60-80 USD a month to have a 100MB up & down fiber optic connection in every room of my house.

Cablevision offers 100Mbps for $99/mo in the US. Comcast offers 50Mbps for $99/mo as well.

Comcast has more customers than there are people in Korea. They will achieve 80% DOCSIS 3 coverage by the end of 2009. Delivering "100Mbps" is as simple as updating a configuration file. The problem is that the contention ratio would be horrible.

Guess what, though? The contention ratio is horrible with ANY 100Mbps service. Fiber doesn't change that because you still need to backhaul the data through something. 5000 100Mbps subscribers with a contention ratio of 20:1 is 25Gbps, and I can bet you that they aren't using an OC-768 / STM-256x for every 5000 subscribers.

My university offers "1Gbps" broadband (the LAN is 1Gbps and 10Gbps, and the Internet connection is 2Gbps). But if more than 10 people try to use 1Gbps, the network can't deliver.

Re:What's the problem? (1)

iCantSpell (1162581) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591777)

That may be true, but that hasn't stopped me from completing a 700MB download in under 8 minutes.

Re:What's the problem? (1)

bluesatin (1350681) | more than 4 years ago | (#29592659)

You do realise that 700MB in 8 minutes is only about 13.5Mb or so right?

Ahh yes (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#29593253)

Because our nations are so similar. Ok so you've got a nice cheap connection. May I ask how much you pay for your living arrangements? Also, how big is the place you live? For reference I pay about $850/month for my place. I don't rent, I own. That amount includes principal and interest on the loan, taxes, and association dues. For that I have a 167 square meter, 3 bedroom, condo. The condo grounds have a pool and jacuzzi for the use of the residents, as well as some nice grassy areas to sit and read and so on. How's that stack up to your housing?

I'm not trying to brag, I am trying to say that we don't live in similar nations. Japan has some advantages the US doesn't, but those come at a cost just as the advantages the US has come at a cost. Where I live, things are a bit spread out. There's 50 miles of nothing in all directions one you leave the city, and the city itself is very spread out, rarely are things more than a couple stories high.

Also, how's the upstream on that connection? I don't mean upload speed, I mean speed of the links higher up. You get 100mbps signaling rate, that's great. Can you get that kind of speed to other places in Japan off your ISP? How about to places in the US or Europe?

I ask because in my experience, these massive links that many foreign countries have seem to be more or less big WANs. By that I mean they have high bandwidth links to the users, but no upstream backing it up. So you get blazing transfers to other customers, good transfers to anyone peered with the ISP, average to lousy transfers to anywhere else.

Now maybe that's ok with you, however that's real different from my connection. It is only 10mbit, but I get that to anywhere that can handle it. They have sufficient upstream at all levels to sustain that kind of speed. I am just not so impressed when people talk about their fast connections, but it is only fast to a select group of people.

I mean I could claim I have a gigabit connection at work. The signaling speed to my computer is gig, and I get those kinds of speeds to some things. However the switch it is on only has a gig uplink, and the switch that connects to only has a gig uplink and so on and the campus itself (I work for a university) only has about a gig of total Internet bandwidth. So I can get gig transfers to our file server, and I can get near gig transfers to someone in another building, but I'm only getting 50-100mbit or so (depending on how loaded the network is) out to the Internet at large. As such saying it is a "gigabit" Internet connection would be misleading. Technically maybe, but not in real operation.

Don't do it man! (3, Funny)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#29590055)

Gaming on Weed might sounds like fun with all them clouds but the reality is you'll wake up in your mid 30s, broke, with no life and wish you hadn't. Besides everyone knows your reaction time is better when you're sober.

We already have clouds gaming...MMORPGs (3, Insightful)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#29590107)

Servers that scale: check. Resources brought online as needed: check. Software as a service: Check.

And that's what make MMORPGs SUCK in my book. I can't play on the train (unless I spend a lot on wireless broadband - it ain't cheap in Aus). I have to rely on servers being up. I don't have time for any of that. If I get an hour to play a game, it needs to be available then and there whenever and whereever I get a chance to play.

If I want online chat I'll socialise with real world friends and family. I even have a couple of backups (mobile phone and land line). If you think I'm a luddite keep in mind I was on Skype and MSN with my mother 2 nights ago (after going round and fixing the security on her wireless network). I know there are people who love these games - even to the point of neglecting "real" life, but I just can't get into a system where my pleasure is at some company's control. I don't want to play a game against a freakishly good 12 year old. I might be interested in a game against a real world friend but I don't want something that saps my time and requires friends interested in the same niche as me.

By all means diversify but can we please keep traditional on a cd/dvd games that don't require a cloud, or even a network?

Re:We already have clouds gaming...MMORPGs (3, Interesting)

dbIII (701233) | more than 4 years ago | (#29590357)

Not a bad idea. MMORPGs should really descend from the clouds and only connect when you do want the shared content. You could do single player quests on Tuesday nights instead of just watching TV. You could visit a city for repairs/travel portal/vendor/whatever without having the huge lag from having to load the position data for a couple of thousand players and without reading the transcipt of some pedo describing in which orifice he wants to put his hands.

never trust the client (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29591039)

You should never ever trust the client. This would be impossible to do, because people would cheat like hell..

Re:never trust the client (1)

spydum (828400) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591735)

Sounds exactly like Diablo and it's multiplayer/open option.. it was diluted with hacks and cloning and such..

Re:We already have clouds gaming...MMORPGs (3, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591101)

Hi, server, it's Rogerborg - I'm back online. Yeah, the thing is, while I was playing offline, I won the game, got all the loot and hit level infinity. Be a good chap and update the world state, would you?

What, you don't believe me? Dude, would my client lie to you? Seriously, don't be so paranoid.

Re:We already have clouds gaming...MMORPGs (1)

ummcdou4 (469863) | more than 4 years ago | (#29590849)

I missed the part about him nuking all the other game companies that makes games on a traditional cd/dvd.

A market need that is profitable will be filled ( even some unprofitable ones)

Re:We already have clouds gaming...MMORPGs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29590987)

Skype is for Luddites! Mate.

Re:We already have clouds gaming...MMORPGs (3, Insightful)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591207)

Servers that scale: check. Resources brought online as needed: check. Software as a service: Check.

And that's what make MMORPGs SUCK in my book.

Yet MMORPGs are a massive success. They fit in with the desires of millions, you're just not one of those millions.

I don't buy makeup. I don't boldly announce that the makeup industry can't possibly make money.

Re:We already have clouds gaming...MMORPGs (1)

radish (98371) | more than 4 years ago | (#29592251)

You're missing the point. This isn't about the TYPE of games you play, it's about HOW you play them. The demos I've seen have been straightforward FPS and racing titles, not MMOs. These games can be single player or multiplayer - the idea is you can play PC games without having to buy a gaming PC. Yes it requires a network and yes it requires their service to be up, but that's not a big deal for most people.

Re:We already have clouds gaming...MMORPGs (1)

AbRASiON (589899) | more than 4 years ago | (#29592497)

While I think the idea of onlive is a complete and utter hype wank like the phantom console, you either didn't read the article or the article doesn't cover what Onlive is about.

Onlive is a product designed to let you play any games, be it multiplayer or single player on very very low end hardware, all the computations are done remotely, you just need a client installed on your PC, laptop or possibly even console or set top box.
They have a mammoth render farm of machines and a custom build of the games, say Crysis, Call of Duty 4, Counter Strike, whatever you like and you can play the latest and greatest game without upgrading your PC - you just need a huge, low latency internet connection to play it.

Now as any experienced internet user would know, especially on slashdot, this is going to be a huge bucket of failure, it simply won't work due to latency, let alone for people in other countrties like Australia, with not only higher latency but lower download limits per month.

The entire thing is rubbish and lies, it simply is not going to work as advertised - that being said, you didn't 'get' the article, the product is about streaming games to you (or anything!) you no longer need to own the computational equipment, just the display eqiupment.

Re:We already have clouds gaming...MMORPGs (1)

John Betonschaar (178617) | more than 4 years ago | (#29592961)

You forgot how it's rubbish because the subscription fees for something like 5 years (the typicial lifespan of a console) would probably have to amount to at least the price of a decent console plus a few games each year, if they want to cover their costs. These huge gaming server rigs, bandwidth, power and game licenses don't come for free. Suppose 5 * 12 * $20, which would be $1200 already, which buys you a PS3 with 10 games. What I, as a consumer, would get in return, would be a 'gaming rig' that stops working when the network is down, most likely has worse visuals and and by construction would have worse input lag, and when I cancel my subscription I wouldn't have any games or consoles left. So I'd be getting an inferior service and no tangible goods, but would probably have to spend the

So yes, I also think it's complete and utter hype wank and rubbish, and I wish the fools that poured good money into this idea that serves no-one all the best.... Explaining it to their shareholders...

1337 Video (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29590127)

That video got pretty 1337 right at the end.

This will bring us good games and DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29590151)

I guess that sooner or later, there will be Linux client. There will be FreeBSD client. There can even be Solaris client! This will come from community of geeks who had enough of playing XBill ;).

What I don't like about this, is that you no longer own a game copy. I buy older games not only because I have Intel integrateg graphics, but also because I can pass it on to my brother or my girlfriend when I'm done with it. No DRM in old games. New ones usually won't run on Linux so I don't care that much, but these are full of shitty DRM.

I think that there is something really wrong about not having a copy of game, it takes out great value from service.

I remember the times when we exchanged cardridges of NEX/SNES with friends when I was 12. That was great feeling. Now you loose it, it's sad.

Cloud Banking (1)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | more than 4 years ago | (#29590211)

... rhymes with Cloud Wanking.

The allure of ***Cloud*** (insert fireworks) surprises and doesn't surprise me. Seems like any tech concept you can put in simple allegorical terms that can be understood by the technically illiterate investors (and tech journalists at Wired) is a surefire recipe for success. Here... let me try:

"Mountain(TM) Computing! The Problem: computing resources are spread too thin across the enterprise. Solution: With Mountain(TM) computing we marshal them for access at the peak. Intel and Microsoft are excited about Mountain(TM) computing."

Also see: Push, Web 2.0.

Re:Cloud Banking (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#29590797)

At least you wouldn't need chillers on the top of Everest.

How does this work in ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29590571)

Broadband starved countries (Africa, Oceania) where we get chucked on 64kbps when we go over the limit? Do us a favour and don't bother bringing it over here. I have no desire to re-load the same bandwidth day after day ... what a waste of pipes. I'd rather install game ONCE and incur no bandwidth costs at all.

Re:How does this work in ... (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29592221)

How does this work in broadband starved countries (Africa, Oceania) where we get chucked on 64kbps when we go over the limit?

It doesn't. It's not even offered. Next question?

The cost-benefit analysis (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#29590591)

For those with short attention spans, the product is supposed to provide games by server-side rendering. The essential question is: on aggregate, is it cheaper for them to buy the game-rendering hardware and set up the network infrastructure and add their margin, than for the end user to simply go out and buy a games console outright? If 20% of their users want to play Crysis 2, and 80% want to play Peggle, the company needs to buy enough heavy-duty hardware for all of those people to play Crysis 2, and still offer the service at a price which will please people who want Peggle. I'm not sure that the maths will work.

Re:The cost-benefit analysis (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29590791)

If 20% of their users want to play Crysis 2, and 80% want to play Peggle, the company needs to buy enough heavy-duty hardware for all of those people to play Crysis 2, and still offer the service at a price which will please people who want Peggle. I'm not sure that the maths will work.

Er, no they don't.

What's more, if 100% of their customers want to play Crysis 2, half on weekends, half on weekdays, then they only need to buy enough heavy-duty hardware for half the capacity. When a home console isn't being played, that's potential computing power being wasted.

Re:The cost-benefit analysis (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591115)

What's more, if 100% of their customers want to play Crysis 2, half on weekends, half on weekdays, then they only need to buy enough heavy-duty hardware for half the capacity.

Until the next public holiday, when 100% of their customers try to play and either half of them can't, or all of them have a sucky experience. Still, at least that'll cause their paying customer base to reduce to the level that they can support, so I guess it's a self-solving problem.

Re:The cost-benefit analysis (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591185)

Until the next public holiday, when 100% of their customers try to play and either half of them can't, or all of them have a sucky experience.

It's up to them as service providers to work out the right scale. It will likely *never* be necessary to have enough grunt for every subscriber to be playing a top-end game simultanously.

In your example of a public holiday, for instance - OK, some people will spend the day playing Crysis when they would normally be working. Others will go to see friends/family and not play games at all. Things even out.

Yes, they'll need to predict peaks and provide for them. That's no different to any other service.

Re:The cost-benefit analysis (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591999)

I agree that my 100% figure is just as bullshit as your 50%. The salient point is that they have to[*] provide enough iron to cover the peak, while not bankrupting themselves at the mean or median level of usage. That's going to be a tricky proposition since unlike (e.g.) an MMO they won't know the peak/mean load per customer until they've got enough customers to start losing them through bad service.

[*] They don't have to, iff they don't mind hemorrhaging customers.

Re:The cost-benefit analysis (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29592147)

That's what the beta's for.

Re:The cost-benefit analysis (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#29590827)

More than likely, the graphics-intensive games will be rendered at resolutions which make mid-level hardware fine for what they require. You won't find a hardcore PC gamer using this service; 1920x1080 will be his choice, and he'll have the hardware to back it up. I see this as being piped to a widescreen 720p TV at best, 17" monitor at 1280x1024 maybe. Hopefully it'll followed by an app for Windows, OS/X, and Linux which will save on hardware costs to the company and mean I can finally 3D game on a laptop without needing to spend Great Britain Pound Sterling2500 on some 5kg Alienware monstrosity with power consumption measured in kW.

Re:The cost-benefit analysis (2, Informative)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591093)

You know, I play most games at "full-everything" quality on an 8800GT and an Athlon X2 3800 with 4GB RAM. Power consumption is less than 300W at peak.
You don't need monstruosities unless you are deeply in love with diminishing returns.

Re:The cost-benefit analysis (1)

mariushm (1022195) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591181)

It's even less... My quad core with a Radeon 4850 and 4 GB of memory won't go over 270W at full load, playing at 1920x1200 and highest settings. On idle, it's 167w... And this is with a bad power supply, a 460w with less than 75% power efficiency.

As for parent poster, I agree... Crysis and other games would most likely be rendered at maximum 720p and low to medium settings, because any better quality would just be lost on the compression and people won't notice it. 4:3 will probably be rendered at 1280x1024 and then software resized to 640x480 and encoded...

Re:The cost-benefit analysis (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591459)

Newsflash: most people would consider your 8800GT, Athlon X2 3800 with 4GB RAM a very high level machine.

Then there's all the people with laptops that have lots of CPU, lots of RAM, and a crummy graphics card.

Re:The cost-benefit analysis (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#29592323)

What's "most games"? I can pretty much guarantee you don't play FarCry 2, Crysis, or WoW with "full everything" on that computer, because I don't play those games with "full everything" on an overclocked 8800GTX, 4GB low-latency RAM, and a quad core Q6600 running at over 3GHz.

Unless you're running it on an iPod screen.

Re:The cost-benefit analysis (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591233)

I see this as being piped to a widescreen 720p TV at best, 17" monitor at 1280x1024 maybe.

OnLive does 'SD' or 'HD'. 'HD' is 720p. I'm guessing that SD is 640x480.

Re:The cost-benefit analysis (1)

crossmr (957846) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591789)

In short. No. They have some serious issues here. Likely they're going to charge $19.99 or $29.99/month for this. Anymore and they risk making it look too expensive. That means each user will pay an average of $240/$360 a year. They will get money from partners, and maybe AT&T is going to give them a deal on bandwidth on their end. No doubt AT&T will double dip on its customers. What's the cost of a machine? Well its certainly more than $360. That's a good start on a graphics card to play crisis at 720 on full, which everyone will expect. Sure they'll get a deal for buying thousands of these machines. Here is where they run into issues. Do they need to buy 1 machine for every person? Absolutely. If they don't, they run a risk. As a brand new service trying to establish itself and quell the naysayers, any hiccups are going under a microscope. If they only buy 50%, peak times will have wait times. People will complain, they will get bad press. Everyone will say "I told you so", the service will end up being some niche service that a few thousand people use. Now the company also has to pay salaries, operating costs, and figure in a profit and use some cash for future growth. Maybe if they were charing $60/month, but who is going to pay that?

Frost pis:t (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29591033)

multicast? (1)

molecular (311632) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591123)

In the video, when he talks about spectators all watching one person (same stream), he says they would use "multicast within our datacenters". Well, I could see the point of using multicast up to the end-points through the whole path (which, at least in germany, sadly won't work, because providers here don't support it), but using it within the datacenters? How will that help 100.000 people watching the stream, you will still need to unicast it expensively to every single viewer from the border of the datacenter.

Can someone clear this up for me? Would multicasting work on US-Internet?

Re:multicast? (1)

citizenr (871508) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591277)

Multicast doesn't work anywhere over internet. I think they want to install datacenters directly at big ISPs and hope for special deals catering to their needs. Maybe they will share revenue with those ISPs?
I dont see this working and scaling in any shape or form without special treatment from big providers. Hell, even youtube likes to slow down at some times of day, and youtube uses less bandwidth and crappiest resolution.

The timing issues seem kind of sketchy (1)

iteyoidar (972700) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591333)

I feel like this would totally destroy rhythm based games and fighting games where even 30 or 40 ms lag is noticeable to the average player because of the way the timing works. Aiming in shooting games would probably feel too weird to be very enjoyable.

Imagine some sort of cloud gaming future in like 2050 where vast swaths of game genres have been killed off by the lag inherent to the game systems, and people play nothing but slow paced adventure and puzzle games!

Clip length = proof of quality (1)

Negrin (1100257) | more than 4 years ago | (#29591551)

The video is 13:37 long. OnLive must be good.

latency is not the only problem that this will hit (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#29592001)

latency is not the only problem that this will hit.

I see bandwidth as one big one as many people only have 1.5-3 meg download and can't get faster. also cable may not be much better just think about how much load this will put on a node if a block full of people all hit this at the same time.

also the need for a LOT of hardware at EACH data center (Hardware needs like 1 high end pc per user for a lot of the games + back end systems) and the they will need a lot of data centers all over the place to keep lag down.

hot cable israel has a system like this running on there cable boxes and that type of setup may work here but likely some like that will hit the same thing people see with VOD they will run out of slots for this.

The future of new graphics tech (1)

Floritard (1058660) | more than 4 years ago | (#29592085)

So if we all move to simple client apps and micro consoles, no longer upgrading our machines ourselves, then who will be driving high-end graphics innovations? With no market for PC graphics cards or even for cards in new consoles then who pays ATI / Nvidia to continue developing new technology? I suppose the responsibility then falls to game developers? Will they need to push new graphics innovation nearly as hard as the current market where large companies are constantly competing to upstage each other visually?

Re:The future of new graphics tech (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29592279)

With no market for PC graphics cards or even for cards in new consoles then who pays ATI / Nvidia to continue developing new technology?

Firstly, the servers for cloud gaming services will need loads of GPUs, so demand for new graphics chips would not diminish.

Secondly, this isn't going to obsolete locally hosted gaming. Many people will still want to run ninja gaming rigs; many people will want to play on traditional consoles. Cloud gaming may poach some customers away from local gaming, and it may attract people who could never be bothered with the hassles of local gaming. But it won't kill local gaming.

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