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OnLive Remote Gaming Service Launches In June

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the promises-coming-due dept.

PC Games (Games) 316

adeelarshad82 writes "After eight years of development, remote gaming service OnLive is scheduled to roll out on June 17 for Windows and Mac. The company also announced its service pricing: users will need to pay $14.95 per month, which will allow them access to the service. However, the company did not disclose the price to rent or purchase games. 'It is partnering in this launch with publishers including Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, 2K Games, THQ and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. The games will also include new releases like Mass Effect 2, Borderlands, Assassin’s Creed II, as well as a bunch of other titles. Perlman anticipates anywhere from a dozen to 25 titles to be available at launch time, and more after that, depending on how negotiations with other publishers proceed.'"

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316 comments

Hmmm ... (2, Informative)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31432424)

The reviews on performance were mediocre to bad ... and some of those 'partners' don't exactly have the best customer service track record ... and only $14.95 a month you say?

I wonder how long before one of those partners throws a tantrum and pulls the plug in one (or all) of its servers when it doesn't get what it wants?

STEPS IN OVERCOMING MASTURBATION (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31432470)

Be assured that you can be cured of your difficulty. Many have been, both male and female, and you can be also if you determine that it must be so.

This determination is the first step. That is where we begin. You must decide that you will end this practice, and when you make that decision, the problem will be greatly reduced at once.

But it must be more than a hope or a wish, more than knowing that it is good for you. It must be actually a DECISION. If you truly make up your mind that you will be cured, then you will have the strength to resist any tendencies which you may have and any temptations which may come to you.

After you have made this decision, then observe the following specific guidelines:

A Guide to Self-Control:

1. Never touch the intimate parts of your body except during normal toilet processes.

2. Avoid being alone as much as possible. Find good company and stay in this good company.

3. If you are associated with other persons having this same problem, YOU MUST BREAK OFF THEIR FRIENDSHIP. Never associate with other people having the same weakness. Don't suppose that two of you will quit together, you never will. You must get away from people of that kind. Just to be in their presence will keep your problem foremost in your mind. The problem must be taken OUT OF YOUR MIND for that is where it really exists. Your mind must be on other and more wholesome things.

4. When you bathe, do not admire yourself in a mirror. Never stay in the bath more than five or six minutes -- just long enough to bathe and dry and dress AND THEN GET OUT OF THE BATHROOM into a room where you will have some member of your family present.

5. When in bed, if that is where you have your problem for the most part, dress yourself for the night so securely that you cannot easily touch your vital parts, and so that it would be difficult and time consuming for you to remove those clothes. By the time you started to remove protective clothing you would have sufficiently controlled your thinking that the temptation would leave you.

6. If the temptation seems overpowering while you are in bed, GET OUT OF BED AND GO INTO THE KITCHEN AND FIX YOURSELF A SNACK, even if it is in the middle of the night, and even if you are not hungry, and despite your fears of gaining weight. The purpose behind this suggestion is that you GET YOUR MIND ON SOMETHING ELSE. You are the subject of your thoughts, so to speak.

7. Never read pornographic material. Never read about your problem. Keep it out of mind. Remember -- "First a thought, then an act."

The thought pattern must be changed. You must not allow this problem to remain in your mind. When you accomplish that, you soon will be free of the act.

8. Put wholesome thoughts into your mind at all times. Read good books -- Church books -- Scriptures -- Sermons of the Brethern [sic, Cistern too?]. Make a daily habit of reading at least one chapter of Scripture, preferably from one of the four Gospels in the New Testament, or the Book of Mormon. The four Gospels -- Matthew, Mark, Luke and John -- above anything else in the Bible can be helpful because of their uplifting qualities.

9. Pray. But when you pray, don't pray about this problem, for that will tend to keep [it] in your mind more than ever. Pray for faith, pray for understanding of the Scriptures, pray for the Missionaries, the General Authorities, your friends, your families, BUT KEEP THE PROBLEM OUT OF YOUR MIND BY NOT MENTIONING IT EVER -- NOT IN CONVERSATION WITH OTHERS, NOT IN YOUR PRAYERS. KEEP IT _OUT_ of your mind! The attitude of a person toward his problem has an affect on how easy it is to overcome. It is essential that a firm commitment be made to control the habit. As a person understands his reasons for the behavior, and is sensitive to the conditions or situations that may trigger a desire for the act, he develops the power to control it.

As one meets with his Priesthood Leader, a program for overcoming masturbation can be implemented using some of these suggestions. Remember it is essential that a regular report program be agreed on, so progress can be recognized and failures understood and eliminated.

Suggestions:

1. Pray daily, ask for the gifts of the Spirit, that which will strengthen you against temptation. Pray fervently and out loud when the temptations are the strongest.

2. Follow a program of vigorous daily exercise. The exercises reduce emotional tension and depression and are absolutely basic to the solution of this problem. Double your physical activity when you feel stress increasing.

3. When the temptation to masturbate is strong, yell STOP to those thoughts as loudly as you can in your mind and then recite a prechosen Scripture or sing an inspirational hymn. It is important to turn your thoughts away from the selfish need to indulge.

4. Set goals of abstinence, begin with a day, then a week, month, year and finally commit to never doing it again. Until you commit yourself to never again you will always be open to temptation.

5. Change in behavior and attitude is most easily achieved through a changed self-image. Spend time every day imagining yourself strong and in control, easily overcoming tempting situations.

6. Begin to work daily on a self-improvement program. Relate this plan to improving your Church service, to improving your relationships with your family, God and others. Strive to enhance your strengths and talents.

7. Be outgoing and friendly. Force yourself to be with others and learn to enjoy working and talking to them. Use principles of developing friendships found in books such as How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.

8. Be aware of situations that depress you or that cause you to feel lonely, bored, frustrated or discouraged. These emotional states can trigger the desire to masturbate as a way of escape. Plan in advance to counter these low periods through various activities, such as reading a book, visiting a friend, doing something athletic, etc.

9. Make a pocket calendar for a month on a small card. Carry it with you, but show it to no one. If you have a lapse of self control, color the day black. Your goal will be to have no black days. The calendar becomes a strong visual reminder of self control and should be looked at when you are tempted to add another black day. Keep your calendar up until you have at least three clear months.

10. A careful study will indicate you have had the problem at certain times and under certain conditions. Try and recall, in detail, what your particular times and conditions were. Now that you understand how it happens, plan to break the pattern through counter activities.

11. In the field of psychotherapy there is a very effective technique called aversion therapy. When we associate or think of something very distasteful with something which has been pleasurable, but undesirable, the distasteful thought and feeling will begin to cancel out that which was pleasurable. If you associate something very distasteful with your loss of self-control it will help you to stop the act. For example, if you are tempted to masturbate, think of having to bathe in a tub of worms, and eat several of them as you do the act.

12. During your toileting and shower activities leave the bathroom door or shower curtain partly open, to discourage being alone in total privacy. Take cool brief showers.

13. Arise immediately in the mornings. Do not lie in bed awake, no matter what time of day it is. Get up and do something. Start each day with an enthusiastic activity.

14. Keep your bladder empty. Refrain from drinking large amounts of fluids before retiring.

15. Reduce the amount of spices and condiments in your food. Eat as lightly as possible at night.

16. Wear pajamas that are difficult to open, yet loose and not binding.

17. Avoid people, situations, pictures or reading materials that might create sexual excitement.

18. It is sometimes helpful to have a physical object to use in overcoming this problem. A Book of Mormon, firmly held in hand, even in bed at night has proven helpful in extreme cases.

19. In very severe cases it may be necessary to tie a hand to the bed frame with a tie in order that the habit of masturbating in a semi-sleep condition can be broken. This can also be accomplished by wearing several layers of clothing which would be difficult to remove while half asleep.

20. Set up a reward system for your successes. It does not have to be a big reward. A quarter in a receptacle each time you overcome or reach a goal. Spend it on something which delights you and will be a continuing reminder of your progress.

21. Do not let yourself return to any past habit or attitude patterns which were part of your problem. Satan Never Gives Up. Be calmly and confidently on guard. Keep a positive mental attitude. You can win this fight! The joy and strength you will feel when you do will give your whole life a radiant and spiritual glow of satisfaction and fulfillment.

Re:Hmmm ... (3, Informative)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 4 years ago | (#31433116)

What reviews of service? Stop spreading your garbage FUD. There were no reviews allowed due to the NDA for beta users.

The only review I ever read was done by a guy who wasn't authorized to use the service, using a friend's account, and played from twice the recommended distance to one of the game servers.

Half the time the servers refused to let him on because his lag was too high. And yet despite being 2000 miles away and being constantly warned of poor performance and lag by the servers, he *still* had a positive experience with several of the games.

Re:Hmmm ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31433212)

15$/month AND you HAVE TO BUY the game!!!! What kind of fucking bullshit is this for a sub-par gaming experience?

Monthly Charges? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31432426)

Wait you want me to pay a monthly charge in order to have the privledge of buying a game? This is apposed to just buying the game at a gamestop how?

Also I can imagine Lag being a bitch

What a steal! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31432436)

Zero control over my purchases? Zero re-sale value when I'm tired of a game? Zero incentive for publishers to discount their titles? Zero bandwidth & gaming ability remaining once I hit my cap? Zero ability to take my games with me once the company goes belly-up (and boy, will it ever...)? All for the low, low price of $15/mo? Sign me up!

Re:What a steal! (1)

kz45 (175825) | more than 4 years ago | (#31432802)

"Zero control over my purchases? Zero re-sale value when I'm tired of a game? Zero incentive for publishers to discount their titles? Zero bandwidth & gaming ability remaining once I hit my cap? Zero ability to take my games with me once the company goes belly-up (and boy, will it ever...)? All for the low, low price of $15/mo? Sign me up!"

It's the same with Netflix. Unless you are illegally ripping the DVDs. You aren't buying games, you are renting them.

Re:What a steal! (2, Informative)

Killer Orca (1373645) | more than 4 years ago | (#31432856)

It's the same with Netflix. Unless you are illegally ripping the DVDs. You aren't buying games, you are renting them.

Yes but Netflix only charges a monthly fee, there is no additional fees based on the amount of movies you rent. Except for BluRay, those are just $1 extra tacked onto the rental fee and it isn't per-movie.

Re:What a steal! (2, Informative)

snuf23 (182335) | more than 4 years ago | (#31432968)

Adding blu ray to your account now costs from $2 extra for the 1 disc at a time plan to $5 extra for the 4 disc at a time plan.

Re:What a steal! (1)

crazyjimmy (927974) | more than 4 years ago | (#31433226)

Adding blu ray to your account now costs from $2 extra for the 1 disc at a time plan to $5 extra for the 4 disc at a time plan.

But the point doesn't change... it's not 2$ per disc, or 5$ per disc. It's just a boost to the monthly fee.

Re:What a steal! (1)

Ben4jammin (1233084) | more than 4 years ago | (#31432888)

Right, you can buy OR rent...so if you are renting you don't have to worry as much. If you buy, you take the same risk as any other provider like this that could shut down. I can see using this to rent games to see if you want to buy them. Nothing pisses me off more than buying a $60 game just to find out the reviews I read hyped me into a bad purchase.

Re:What a steal! (3, Insightful)

cgenman (325138) | more than 4 years ago | (#31433264)

It sounds like you are actually buying and renting. 15$ per month covers remote processing charges, not the games themselves.

Considering the data that must flow and the server procs that must run hot, $15 a month doesn't sound crazy. But at those prices, upgrade your darned video card.

Re:What a steal! (2, Interesting)

Hes Nikke (237581) | more than 4 years ago | (#31433354)

it would be the same as netflix if netflix charged you on a per-movie basis in addition to the monthly fee. this alone will make onlive fail. I have lost *ALL* interest in onlive do to the pricing model, especially now that steam is heading for the mac.

Re:What a steal! (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 4 years ago | (#31432984)

Then cough up the $50 per and buy new releases. This is an alternative; you can rent them.

It amazes me that people even bother reselling games. It's called disposable income for a reason. If you can't afford to dispose of it then don't spend it.

That all being said, I'll continue to buy my games. I'm not interested in this service, but there is no need to bitch and whine and moan about it.

Re:What a steal! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31433180)

It amazes me that people even bother reselling games. It's called disposable income for a reason. If you can't afford to dispose of it then don't spend it.

No shit? What does that have to do with reselling games? Maybe I have the disposable income, but want more of it?

That all being said, I'll continue to buy my games. I'm not interested in this service, but there is no need to bitch and whine and moan about it.

There is no need to bitch and whine and moan about it, but it sure is fun.

Re:What a steal! (3, Insightful)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 4 years ago | (#31433152)

I don't think you understand that publishers have a much greater incentive to discount their titles just like they do on Valve's steam. You don't seem to realize that in retail the tail end of a game title's sales curve is completely leeched by used game companies like gamestop, who undercut retail prices by 50% and reap all the profits for essentially doing nothing.

As people have seen with Steam, when the companies don't have to contend with Gamestop they can lower their prices to very low levels to stimulate sales, knowing that they won't simply be undercut by used game stores.

Re:What a steal! (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#31433190)

Zero control over my purchases? Zero re-sale value when I'm tired of a game? Zero incentive for publishers to discount their titles? Zero bandwidth & gaming ability remaining once I hit my cap? Zero ability to take my games with me once the company goes belly-up

Welcome to the brave new future.

Re:What a steal! (1)

bnenning (58349) | more than 4 years ago | (#31433620)

At least the OnLive model is more honest than crap like UbiSoft's always-connected DRM. With OnLive it's clear that you own nothing and are just paying to rent games. With insane DRM you get to pay the higher cost of "buying" the game, and you still don't actually own anything.

That said, I won't believe their service is usable for midrange or higher games until I see it in person.

Wrong business model (0, Flamebait)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#31432448)

Games should be distributed for free, and gamers should pay a monthly fee for each game to access the servers. Dedicated servers for each game are probably a good idea too. This "all you can eat" price for using the shared server only encourages people to pirate games.

Re:Wrong business model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31432656)

I totally agree. It would be like Netflix charging 15.99/mo to stream movies, only to charge an extra fee to rent each one. No one (and rightfully so) would do that.

Re:Wrong business model (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 4 years ago | (#31432714)

Games should be distributed for free, and gamers should pay a monthly fee for each game to access the servers.

I'm sure that'd work really well for a game like Mass Effect 2.

Re:Wrong business model (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#31432898)

I assume you're referring to the Cerberus Network card. While requiring use of this card certainly reduces pirating, I'm not sure it adds any value for the gamer. It is also not clear how this card prevents cheating, other than allowing people's cards to be perma-banned once they are caught (which really sucks when you then buy the game from someone that has been banned). I still think making money off the servers, and computing as much of the game physics on the servers as lag issues allow you to, it the best way to go, IMHO.

Re:Wrong business model (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#31433202)

I assume you're referring to the Cerberus Network card.

Did you accidentally reply to the wrong post or something? I see no mention of a network card in the post you replied to.

Re:Wrong business model (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#31433132)

Games should be distributed for free, and gamers should pay a monthly fee for each game to access the servers.

Why, because you say so? I'd much rather buy games and not have to pay monthly fees. In fact, that's what I do. I don't go near any games that require monthly fees to play online.

DEAD ON ARRIVAL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31432450)

Plus you have to buy each game, its not like some sort of netflix for games, you have to rent or buy every game.

What is this? (-1, Offtopic)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31432456)

Steam is Free?

But not for Mac users (yet).

AFAIK

Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, 2K Games, THQ and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. The games will also include new releases like Mass Effect 2, Borderlands, Assassin’s Creed II

These companies are also working with Valve/Steam team and those games are available as well?

Re:What is this? (5, Informative)

Dthief (1700318) | more than 4 years ago | (#31432520)

Did you read the article? The difference is steam allows you to download games to your own computer, whereas this service allows you to play a game remotely off of their computer. The benefit is you dont need a kickass top of the line computer (just a fast internet connection) to have your performance match that of other players. So you are paying them to get computer upgrades, instead of doing it yourself. Is it worth it? thats a different issue. But the model is very different from Steam

Re:What is this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31433166)

...this service allows you to play a game remotely off of their computer. The benefit is you dont need a kickass top of the line computer (just a fast internet connection) to have your performance match that of other players.

Something about this just doesn't smell right.

Ever work on a terminal server? That's basically what they are offering. There are latency issues inherent in this model. There are enormous bandwidth requirements to stream fully rendered high quality graphics in real time. My machine would still need to be pretty powerful just to display this video in real time.

Fishy I say.

Monthly charges AND per game (4, Insightful)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 4 years ago | (#31432488)

So I'm paying $15 a month so that I don't need to have a fancy computer to play all the latest games. Except I'm still paying for the games.

So, say a $1000 computer will last me about four years. I'd save about $280 using this service, but I'd have to get all my games through them, I'd only be able to play when my Internet works (wait, are they Ubisoft in disguise?), and the quality of my experience isn't guaranteed to be as good as playing on a copy running off my own machine.

You know what? I'll *pay* that $280, and gladly.

Re:Monthly charges AND per game (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31432644)

Awesome, you just realized you aren't part of their target group. Congratulations twidarkling for your outstanding commentary, always the best.

Re:Monthly charges AND per game (4, Insightful)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#31433238)

So, who is the target group? Gamers won't go for this, because of performance issues and the fact that they already have gaming platforms. Non-gamers won't go for this because they don't play games. Casual gamers won't want to pay the monthly fee, and have plenty of cheap alternatives.

Re:Monthly charges AND per game (1)

SETIGuy (33768) | more than 4 years ago | (#31433584)

Just a guess... The target audience is people who spent too much money on a Mac and then realized it can't play most of the games that are out there. So now for $15 a month, Apple will let you PC play games running on a remote PC. What I don't get is why is there a Windows version?

Re:Monthly charges AND per game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31433606)

Macs run Windows too, you know. I'm no Macfag, but come on - it's the 21st century, update your trolls accordingly.

Re:Monthly charges AND per game (4, Interesting)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31432654)

Lets say you've got $1000 bucks to spend. Internet connection we'll say is ~$30 a month. Thats for decent gaming speeds @ home. In scenario A, you grab a $200 computer and your total billing becomes $45 a month - so ~18 months of gaming.In the other scenario, 18 months of internet connectivity is $540. That leaves you $460 for a new Rig. Not a whole lot to deck out your machine.

Reversely, if you buy an 800$ machine, expecting it to last you 3 years, thats $800 + $540 so $1340 overall. If you buy a $200 machine, expecting to play for 3 years, thats $200 + 1620 so 1820 overall. Saving about 500 bucks. The only factors you as a user have to think about its how long you'll go between upgrades.

This OnLive System appears to work well for those who want to game during summer vacation but Buckle down during the school year - in other words: Short spurts of gaming.

Re:Monthly charges AND per game (2, Insightful)

Mandelbrot-5 (471417) | more than 4 years ago | (#31432682)

Four years out of a 1k gaming rig? I'm a cheap bastard, and I still spend $400 a year to keep just above minimum specs for the new engines.

Re:Monthly charges AND per game (2)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31432722)

Four years out of a 1k gaming rig? I'm a cheap bastard, and I still spend $400 a year to keep just above minimum specs for the new engines.

Really? My friend spend about $1000 bucks in 2005 or 2006 for a Quad Core from Intel and has upgraded the Ram Once and it's lasted him this whole time.

Re:Monthly charges AND per game (2, Interesting)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 4 years ago | (#31433168)

"Really? My friend spend about $1000 bucks in 2005 or 2006 for a Quad Core from Intel and has upgraded the Ram Once and it's lasted him this whole time."

Does your friend also have a time machine? Because the first quad core was released Nov 2006, [wikipedia.org] the 2.667ghz Core 2 Extreme QX6700, and it cost $999 just for the processor. [wikipedia.org] . In terms of benchmarks, it's about half the performance [cpubenchmark.net] of a modern $230 i7-930 [microcenter.com] .

Quad didn't become popular until the Q6600 was released April 2007 for $266. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Monthly charges AND per game (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31432730)

You're doing it wrong.

Re:Monthly charges AND per game (1)

Haeleth (414428) | more than 4 years ago | (#31432876)

If you're paying $400/yr, you're not a cheap bastard. Sorry to shatter your world-view, but you really aren't.

I haven't spent a penny on my computer since 2007, when I upgraded it to what was mid-range then -- and it still runs new games just fine.

The simple fact of the matter is that most games have to run well on current-gen consoles, and current-gen consoles are stuck with 2005-vintage technology. So there's no reason to upgrade beyond a certain point, unless you absolutely have to play with every single setting maxed out.

Re:Monthly charges AND per game (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 4 years ago | (#31433312)

"If you're paying $400/yr, you're not a cheap bastard. Sorry to shatter your world-view, but you really aren't."

Agreed, who needs to spend $400 every year to keep up with games? Maybe if you throw in the price of the games I could easily see reaching $400 a year, but $400 on just hardware? Let's see, that's a new i7-920 [microcenter.com] and $200 left over for a decent motherboard and ram, so what are you going to buy next year? Ok, $400 for video card.... then what, new processor? Pretty sure the i7 920 wouldn't be outdated by 2012.

March 2008 you could have bought a Core 2 Quad Q9300 for $266 retail. [wikipedia.org] That gives you $140 left for ram and mb. Let's say you went a little over, $140 wouldn't cut it, spent $240 on mb and ram, leaving you with $300 for 2009. Feb 2009 $300 would buy a Radeon HD 4850 X2 2 GB card [tomshardware.com] . It's two 4850 GPUs built onto one PCI-E card, so basically it's like having two 4850 video cards. It should run everything you throw at it. So now it's March 2010, you have your Core 2 Quad 9300, your mb, your ram, and two 4850 video cards. What else do you need?

Re:Monthly charges AND per game (1)

Tromad (1741656) | more than 4 years ago | (#31433340)

I've spent $600 over the past 4 years and my computer can play anything I throw at it that I am interested in. The only game that caps my CPU is Empire total war and even then I'm getting 30fps with high detail. Core2duo, 4gb ram, radeon 4770, all dirt cheap now and able to handle 98% of games out there.

Re:Monthly charges AND per game (2, Interesting)

Microlith (54737) | more than 4 years ago | (#31432688)

are they Ubisoft in disguise

They are what Ubisoft, EA, Activision, et. al. want the gaming world to become. No hard distribution channels, no consoles, no PCs, no DRM to fight with.

You go, buy a box, pay a monthly fee for the service and for the games. They retain 100% control and can fuck with you at will, since you have no recourse. Now you can hack the game. Now you can get a killer deal on the predecessor to the latest HOT SEQUEL and find out it probably sucks (or is awesome, but who cares about -good games-). And best of all, your copy of $GAME can go inactive (like we all expect Assassins Creed II to) right before its sequel hits! They hate having informed consumers who can control how and when they play.

I suspect that rentals will be allowed on the publisher's schedule, preceded by many months of full retail (or maybe slightly discounted, to lure you in) prices on the games. No discounts, no control. So you might say my view on OnLive is that of complete and total pessimism, and I hope it goes down in flames.

Re:Monthly charges AND per game (2, Informative)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 4 years ago | (#31433272)

You're very jaded, aren't you? If you understood anything about the issues with resale in the retail channel, you'd understand that game publishers are disincentivized from discounting because they are constantly undercut by used game resellers. If you've ever used Steam you'd see how often publishers use massive discounts to spur sales of older games. Recently I remember a campaign for a $5 Bioshock when Bioshock 2 was being hyped.

Re:Monthly charges AND per game (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31433282)

I'd have to get all my games through them, I'd only be able to play when my Internet works

Not just any kind of Internet, either. At the moment, they're a requiring 5Mbps connection (they say they will also support a reduced-quality mode that runs on 1.5Mbps).

Which also leads me to ask: how much traffic will this thing actually eat? And how likely would be a person who games reasonably often to run into their ISP's cap (where such are common)?

Re:Monthly charges AND per game (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31433320)

To add to the above - their current FAQ [onlive.com] just talks about "SD" and "HD", conveniently omitting what they mean by it. But Google remembers [74.125.155.132] the older version, which had it all spelled out:

For HDTV resolution (720p60), OnLive needs 5 Mbps.

So it's 1280×720. Which is kinda meh these days for PCs, when a 24" (1920x1200) can be had for so cheap. It's definitely not what I'd call "HD".

Also it's not really 1280x720 (2, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#31433512)

At least not in the same way your computer is. All video on your computer is sent losslessly, 4:4:4 to your monitor. Full colour resolution per pixel, no blocking of any kind, etc. Gives a very sharp image. This? Not so much. You aren't going to get great quality 720p video, even with the highest end codecs like H.264. It'll be ok, but plenty of artifacts (and that's at 30fps not 60). However they can't do H.264, even if they had infinite compression power, it takes a heavy hitter of a system to decompress, or a videocard that can help the process. So they did their own thing. Well guess what? You can have detail, low bandwidth, or low CPU usage but not all 3.

Looking at screenshots taken from the service, you do lose a good deal of detail. The textures get smeared, the colours are less distinct, etc. All the typical stuff anyone who's played with video compression is familiar with.

So you aren't getting the same experience as you would with a card on the system doing 1280x720, unless you maybe turned the detail down a good bit. There's no solution except to use more bandwidth, or more CPU power decoding (and even that has limits, more bandwidth is the only truly scalable solution). For 720p in Blu-Ray quality you are looking at probably 7mbps minimum, maybe more.

Well good luck to them (5, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#31432522)

I just don't see this succeeding, especially after seeing the leaked preview article. The problem is that on top of the cost of the service, you have to have a good net connection. While it uses like 1mbps for the stream, you need more like a 10mbps connection to keep the latency low. Remember that you don't just have to take ping time in to account with data transfer, but the time it takes to transfer all the data. Ok well good connections cost more money and thus aren't so much the domain of the budget user which is their target user. I mean I've got a connection with low ping times and plenty of bandwidth, however I won't be buying since I also have a video card.

Another problem is that because of the compression on the video stream, you are not going to get the highest quality video, no matter what the settings on the host computer are. Part of their selling point is that you get the max quality of new video cards on your current system. No, not really. Looking at the gameplay vids you get more like mid to lowish quality video. Fine, but that isn't nearly so expensive. $100 will get you a video card that will look as good or better than what was shown, and that is not nearly such a barrier for entry.

Yet another problem is that their service requires you to be near one of their data centers, so that pings are low. Fair enough, latency can kill this, but that means their potential user base is less than it would be otherwise. There will be users who want the service and can't have it because their ping is too high. Some may even be near a data center physically, but too far Internet wise.

Finally there's the ever present lag issue. While the test showed some kinds of games to be playable, the lag is there and was noticeable in relation to a native system.

I just don't see this as having a big enough market. If they truly could deliver a gaming experience the same as owning a $1500-2000 system over low bandwidth net connections, sure. However they can't. They can (almost) deliver the experience of owning a $500 system with a $100 graphics card added on over a moderate bandwidth net connection to some areas.

Re:Well good luck to them (1, Informative)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31432604)

Back in Jan the performance didn't exactly get two thumbs up [arstechnica.com] even from actual beta testers [arstechnica.com] who complained about the lag issues.

Re:Well good luck to them (3, Informative)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 4 years ago | (#31433250)

Ars is citing the PC perspective article. That was the stupidest article to be citing, because the guy who wrote it wasn't authorized to use the beta, and was 2000 miles (twice the allowed 1000 mile maximum distance) from a game server. The service constantly warned him about huge lag issues and sometimes wouldn't even let him log on.

The author of the ars article, Ben Kuchera, purposely never mentioned this and made some hand-waving comments about how he'd round up some beta users who had negative comments about the service. Seriously, he never did. The entire ars article was totally unprofessional, and the PC Per article was repeatedly debunked as being worthless.

The fact that you're still spreading this FUD speaks to how you've already pre-judged the service and aren't interested in doing actual research or waiting for an unbiased and accurate review to find out what it might be like.

Greetings OnLive Shill/Fanboy (2)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#31433358)

The reason why people aren't "doing actual research" is because OnLive doesn't allow it. They are being very locked down about the process. As such people have to get what they can get. If OnLive doesn't like it they are more than welcome to stop being dicks and open the service up to review services.

However, I suspect they know it isn't that great and are hoping to catch as many people as possible on launch day based on hype.

Don't like it? Then go tell OnLive (or the relevant person, if you work for them) to let some real reviews happen. Allow review sites in without NDAs, let them test games in their way. Until that happens, expect more of this.

Also appreciate that people are starting from the technical knowledge of why this is likely to be crap (as I outlined in my post) and then finding that the only real information out there not from the company's PR department backs up that assertion.

Re:Greetings OnLive Shill/Fanboy (1)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 4 years ago | (#31433410)

You don't have the slightest amount of technical knowledge about this service. I mean what the devil does this even mean? "Remember that you don't just have to take ping time in to account with data transfer, but the time it takes to transfer all the data." They've specified the bandwidth required to run their service at each resolution. Everything you said is just asinine.

There was a great video where the creator of the service presented in front of a university class discussing the technology and overcoming the issues of lag and distance. You should find that and watch it before spouting off.

I also don't know what "videos" you're referring to. I don't see how a non-sanctioned cam video of a game running on a laggy, unauthorized connection could possibly be telling. It sounds to me like you've decided beforehand that the service would fail, and are twisting facts to fit your viewpoint.

Re:Greetings OnLive Shill/Fanboy (4, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#31433568)

Sorry but I do understand how it works, because I understand networking and video compression both very well. That's all it does. Input from the player's PC is sent to the OnLive servers, the game does with it what it will, the resulting image stream is then compressed and sent to the client PC.

As for ping time and bandwidth mattering if you don't understand, it means you don't understand networking. So, a ping is more or less a small (or zero) payload packet that you send to a server and get a response. Very low overhead. It represents minimum round-trip transit time. Meaning if you have a ping of, say 100ms, your computer will start receiving data from the server not less than 100ms from making the request. Ok, all well and good. However real data isn't 0 bytes. There is an actual data stream to transfer before you can use it. You have to get all the data. How fast that happens depends on the speed of your connection. so suppose your payload is 100kbits. On a 56k modem, it would take about 1800ms to transfer which with a 100ms ping would mean 1900ms from the time a request was sent. On a 1mbps connection, it would take only 100ms to transfer, total of 200ms. On a 100mbps connection it would take 1ms to transfer, 101ms total.

As such both ping AND transfer rate play in to what kind of lag you get with actual data.

That is one of the reasons why they are saying you need a bigger connection than the actual data stream, other wise the transfer of the video would add too much lag.

Sorry if you want this thing to be great, but there are real issues of the Internet and so on that they are contending with, things that PR speak can't make go away. You can't magically tell someone's connection to have less lag.

Re:Well good luck to them (1)

DominicFalcon (1764156) | more than 4 years ago | (#31432636)

The cost isn't exactly ideal either. For their cost plus an estimated $6 per title for 2 weeks (competitive with brick and mortar game rentals) over two years, you could buy a console and a GameFly account for many of the same benefits. You wouldn't have the same game selection as with the PC, but you would avoid all the latency and a large number of the connection issues.

OnFail Remote Gaming Service (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31432704)

These scam artists and clowns need to hurry up and fail and go away. Everyone is tired of hearing about this turd of a gaming service.

Re:Well good luck to them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31432832)

No-one cares if it delivers the experience of a $2000 system or the experience of a $200 system. What they care about are games.

What OnLive really needs to do is to sign up with Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft to run games from Wii, PS3 and XBOX360. Good fucking luck. :-)

Re:Well good luck to them (1)

Guysmiley777 (880063) | more than 4 years ago | (#31432852)

One review site that got sued for posting thoughts about the beta of OnLive basically said that the latency from the time you input a command to the time it shows up on the screen made 1st/3rd person shooter type games entirely unplayable. You would "overshoot" your target when trying to aim at something, and that problem is not solvable, end of story. REAL gaming systems render the client side with virtually zero latency from the controller, so when you let go of the thumbstick your cursor stops NOW. The OnLive setup can't see into the future to know when you're going to press a button or move a controller stick.

Re:Well good luck to them (1)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 4 years ago | (#31433286)

That review site was PC Perspective, and the man who wrote it hijacked a friend's account and was 2000 miles (twice the recommended limit of 1000 miles) from the nearest game server.

In fact the server constantly warned him about his lag, and sometimes refused to let him even connect. The preview was hardly professional and mostly a disservice. But then, you either already knew that or simply weren't interested in the facts, and wanted to smear the service in your mind because anything new scares you.

Re:Well good luck to them (1)

illumnatLA (820383) | more than 4 years ago | (#31433624)

Lag would be a big issue. Games like World of Warcraft are built from the ground up with latency issues in mind. It's part of the reason they have things like a 'Global Cooldown.' Even then, especially in things like PVP, it's not exactly perfect.

I can't imagine that 'twitch' games like first person shooters could be anything but annoying given even minimal lag.

guaranteed failure (4, Insightful)

SethJohnson (112166) | more than 4 years ago | (#31432540)

The business model is flawed from square-one. This is going to sink into bankruptcy very, very quickly. The overhead is pretty significant and profit is required rapidly to keep it afloat. The problem is that there is very little incentive for anyone to sign up. They are competing with consoles AND pc games, yet they only offer pc games. People that are inclined to play PC games already have hardware that can handle it. Those who are not inclined, are on consoles. If their hardware isn't state-of-the-art, they play older games and save for newer hardware. $14.95 a month is so steep, it is only really the type of subscription fee that could be paid by someone who has enough money to buy a computer serious enough to play contemporary games.

This will join cue-cat, divx, and broadcast.com in the tomb of ideas that suckered investors yet were non-movers in the marketplace.

Seth

Re:guaranteed failure (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31432584)

This will join cue-cat, divx, and broadcast.com in the tomb of ideas that suckered investors yet were non-movers in the marketplace.

In addition, it will join the Power Glove, Virtual Boy and Sega CD in the tomb of gaming products that had great ideas behind them, but failed because the technology wasn't there yet.

Re:guaranteed failure (1)

Xugumad (39311) | more than 4 years ago | (#31432598)

Yeah... they might be just about competitive against PCs, but on a 4-5 year console lifespan they're not even in the same ballpark...

Re:guaranteed failure (1)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 4 years ago | (#31433306)

$15/month is steep, but it depends on the cost of games. If people get a discount for buying them through OnLive, that right there is a huge incentive.

Re:guaranteed failure (1)

AmberBlackCat (829689) | more than 4 years ago | (#31433474)

I have a $400 laptop with integrated graphics. So no Duke Nukem Forever for me. But I have an internet connection and can possibly pay $15 a month. If the service actually worked as its advertisements claim, it would be something to think about. So the point of all that is, while the people who play PC games tend to already have the hardware for it, this could appeal to people who would play such games but don't have the hardware for it. But I think they should ask Vonage what happens to companies whose service depends on your internet connection. And I personally like to buy things, not rent them.

Cloud Computing (4, Insightful)

mprinkey (1434) | more than 4 years ago | (#31432552)

I can't wait for this newest bubble to burst. Thin clients haven't really been embraced for office apps where 95% of the functionality can run in the browser and it will work reasonably well. How can you expect to compete with native apps on PCs where performance is cheaply had so long as you don't need to run at the highest settings...or on consoles which look almost as good? The problem for game companies is that many folks have realized that they can play year old games on cheap new hardware to great effect...after the game is reduced to 50%.

I don't see the market niche. Hardcore gamers won't touch it. Casual gamers will baulk at the $15/month by in BEFORE you get the privilege to buy/rent a game. So, who will want this unless the games are steeply discounted? $180/year could be well spent on local hardware upgrades.

Re:Cloud Computing (3, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#31432726)

I can't wait for this newest bubble to burst. Thin clients haven't really been embraced for office apps where 95% of the functionality can run in the browser and it will work reasonably well. How can you expect to compete with native apps on PCs where performance is cheaply had so long as you don't need to run at the highest settings...or on consoles which look almost as good? The problem for game companies is that many folks have realized that they can play year old games on cheap new hardware to great effect...after the game is reduced to 50%.

I don't see the market niche. Hardcore gamers won't touch it. Casual gamers will baulk at the $15/month by in BEFORE you get the privilege to buy/rent a game. So, who will want this unless the games are steeply discounted? $180/year could be well spent on local hardware upgrades.

Besides ... they'll have to contend with Valve's Steam.

Steam is different (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#31432768)

Steam just sells you games to play on your system. You buy a game, Steam downloads it to your computer, and you run it. The idea with Online is that they run the game. You just have a little video playerish client that you use. You don't need to have hardware that can run the game.

Both online services, but different ideas. Onlive is for people who want to play games on a low end system. Steam is for people who want to play games on their computer, but can't find their pants to go to the store and buy them.

Re:Steam is different (0, Redundant)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#31432910)

Both online services, but different ideas

I agree. But they're still going to have to contend with Valve's Steam.

Re:Steam is different (2, Funny)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 4 years ago | (#31433526)

but can't find their pants to go to the store and buy them.

Thank GOD for steam!

Re:Cloud Computing (1)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 4 years ago | (#31433330)

Right... and you think the majority of people in the US upgrade their computers every 2 or 3 years to play the latest games? Do you understand the appeal of being able to play Crysis on a netbook, or even on your Wi-Fi enabled smartphone? Or on... god forbid Linux?!

Re:Cloud Computing (1)

mhajicek (1582795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31433530)

We use thin clients and Citrix windows a lot at my company, and they barely function well enough to get the job done. Good luck if you try running a video through one.

Ubisoft + DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31432588)

Wow, only $15 to not be able to play a game offline, and not even play it at all*

*only when DRM authorization servers are offline. Uptime not guaranteed. Some restrictions apply. See retailer for details.

Broadband Cap? (4, Interesting)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31432626)

Has anyone heard how much this will eat into broadband cap?
and what internet speed is needed to play?

Their is one thing I know, I would not want to be stuck with a game that I cannot play till the start of a new month because I decided to watch a few youtube videos.

Re:Broadband Cap? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#31432990)

Seeing as you need a 5Mbps connection to play, I'd assume quite a bit! :)

Re:Broadband Cap? (1)

Petrushka (815171) | more than 4 years ago | (#31433464)

An earlier report [rockpapershotgun.com] mentioned it would chew through 1.5 Mb/s; the figure you quote is probably more realistic. But even using the smaller figure, if you had a cap of, say, 30 GB/month, you'd eat through it in 44 hours.

Or at 5 Mb/s, 13 hours. Enjoy your half-hour of gameplay per day!

Re:Broadband Cap? (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#31433390)

It seems to use 1mbps for their "HD" stream, which is 720p (sorta, rather low quality 720p from the look of it). For that they currently say you need 5mbps, earlier it was seeming they were saying 10mbps. It's possible they refined things, but more likely that they've just decided that excluded too many potential customers and will screw people with worse service.

So the 1mbps thing seems to be pretty solid in terms of usage. That translates to about 440 megabytes per hour of gameplay.

As for speed you'll need I don't think there'll be a hard and fast answer. The faster your net, the lower the lag. Remember that with data transfer latency isn't ping time, it is ping time PLUS the time it takes to send all the data you need. So assume you are sending 100kbits of data. That'd take 100ms on a 1mbps line, but only 10ms on a 10mbps line.

Figure if they are saying 5mbps that's the minimum that'd work and figure 10mbps for a more realistic good experience (since we all know lines have hiccups and slowdowns).

partner up? (2, Interesting)

akabigbro (257295) | more than 4 years ago | (#31432628)

They should think about partnering up with the developers of Google Chrome OS. This seems like a match made in heaven.

Do not want (3, Insightful)

dave562 (969951) | more than 4 years ago | (#31432694)

I'm probably missing something here, but why would I want to pay $15 for the privledge of buying software from OnLive?

Re:Do not want (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 4 years ago | (#31432720)

you're not buying anything.

you're playing the games remotely.

the games are running remotely. hehe. As if that will ever work.

You're paying to play them remotely. No word on if rentals will cost anything over your monthly fee.

Seems doomed to epic failure.

Re:Do not want (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 4 years ago | (#31433064)

Oh, I see. Remote, 3d accelerated gaming. Color me skeptical. In the business world they are having problems getting 20+ people on 8+ core terminal servers. Those people are only running business apps that while potentially processor intensive while running queries, don't have nearly the overhead that a typical FPS has. I'd like to see some internal documents from the company about how many people they are planning to cram on each server, and what the specs on those servers are. Is there even a decent virtualization solution for 3d video cards?

Re:Do not want (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31432770)

Because they REALLY like your money.

Re:Do not want (1)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 4 years ago | (#31433342)

Hopefully they offer a discount to the games. I feel like that's the best way to attract customers. The real sweet spot would be a $10 discount, so anyone comparing the retail version and the OnLive version would constantly be confronted with the choice of paying more or less for a game.

a option for the ipad perhaps (3, Funny)

radradrobotank (1742836) | more than 4 years ago | (#31432798)

Not a WOW player, would WOW be playable on a ipad using this service? WOW players are used to subscription services, whats a extra $14.95 a month if you can play WOW in the bath.

What am I missing (1)

GKevlin (1744142) | more than 4 years ago | (#31432870)

On newer HTPC's (which if they are using 720p seem to be the target for a service like this) Adobe flash and other applications can run into CPU bottlenecks rather easily. Even if there are a whole lot of people out there that want this service, it seems entirely dependent on OnLives ability to squeeze blood from the stones that are super-efficient processors like Intel ATOMs. Though, Adobe has shown cleverness in shifting some of the load onto GPUs in Flash 10.1 beta, will Onlive be able to deal with that stacked with network latency as huge bottlenecks.

Seriously? (1)

celibate for life (1639541) | more than 4 years ago | (#31433002)

I want to meet people who think this OnLive Service has any chance of succeeding, so I can point and laugh at their faces.

Re:Seriously? (1)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 4 years ago | (#31433364)

I think this is going to be enormously successful. The internet infrastructure in the US has lagged behind unfortunately, but I still think this is good enough to work. The sheer novelty of playing Crysis on a Wi-Fi enabled phone or a netbook alone should be great PR.

I've seen a demo recently -- it was pretty cool! (1)

Thagg (9904) | more than 4 years ago | (#31433046)

I don't know if I'd use this for games, but I saw a demo of this running some very expensive software recently, and it was pretty amazing. If you could rent time on the software at a reasonable price, and get good performance over OnLive, it might be worthwhile.

Say you are a CAD designer. It turns out that there are six or seven high-end CAD packages, that each have their strengths and weaknesses. If you could rent the one you need for a particular job, it might be a good deal, rather than fork out $5000 per package.

It does require that the software vendors allow this kind of thing -- after all, they win when somebody buys there software, whether the person uses it every day or just a few times a year.

Re:I've seen a demo recently -- it was pretty cool (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#31433308)

Say you are a CAD designer.

If you are a CAD designer, wouldn't you just design your own CAD package, instead of running somebody else's?

Doesn't seem to be much demand (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#31433424)

Remember that at a business, this kind of thing has long been possible and without many of the drawbacks. I can set up a Windows Terminal Server and more or less any Windows software can be run off that on to anything that can do RDP, be it a low power Windows box, a Linux box, or a thin client. All processing is done on the server and on a LAN, interface speed feels extremely near native.

However, it is extremely unpopular. You just don't see it used hardly at all. Instead businesses buy people their own computers and software. They could be doing this central model if they wanted, and companies would support it if they did, but very few seem interested.

The whole thin client/big server thing just isn't popular and doesn't seem to be getting there. It died off when the microcomputer became cheap and despite number predictions of it coming back and technologies oriented that way (like the Sun Ray) it hasn't gained anything other than a token market.

After looking at Steve Perlman's track record... (1)

cunina (986893) | more than 4 years ago | (#31433090)

I'm sure OnLive will be every bit as successful as WebTV was. And for the same reasons, too.

They need to start cutting deals with ISPs (1)

Flipao (903929) | more than 4 years ago | (#31433108)

And get a cut off the broadband line rental, the monthly fee is far too high. I see far more future on Dave Perry's Gaikai service, it uses far less bandwidth, runs on Flash and is aimed at casual gamers. Onlive look far too greedy and are setting people's expectations far too high.

It took me awhile... (1)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 4 years ago | (#31433438)

It took me awhile to figure out what the point in all this was. Well, besides someone making themselves a middleman for profit.

What it boils down to is this. Piracy, as far as computer games are concerned, is essentially the use of an executable(and it's associated files) without permission.

This whole scheme is simply testing the viability of never letting that executable out in the wild in the first place. No executable to crack, no piracy. Obviously, this will not work unless they also stop selling boxed games or downloads. Don't like paying for something and not have something to show for it? Don't buy the service. Buy the boxed version. Otherwise, if this service is successful, the next step IS the discontinuation of boxed game sales.

From my perspective, no executable, no money.

Don't let them get this one out of the barn...Put your money where it does what YOU want.

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