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Cloud Gaming Service OnLive Set For Launch

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the money-mouth-etc dept.

PC Games (Games) 115

Steve Perlman's long-anticipated cloud gaming service, OnLive, officially launches today, finally ready to be put to the test by skeptical and hopeful gamers around the US. After granting some early sign-ups a free year to try out the service, OnLive also announced the list of 23 games that will available from the start, including Mass Effect 2, UT 3, Assassin's Creed 2, Dragon Age: Origins, Batman: Arkham Asylum, and F.E.A.R. 2. Perlman spoke at length with Gamasutra about the beta, latency, and potential partnerships with other broadband providers. Future OnLive competitor Gaikai recently announced it's targeting 2011 for its own launch.

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115 comments

The Fine Print (3, Insightful)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598694)

From their beta signup page:

The OnLive Game Service (the "Service") Fee will be waived for the first 12 months from the date you activate your OnLive Account. During these 12 months, your access to the Service will include free demos and community features, such as member Profiles, Friending, Chat, Spectating and Brag Clip(TM) videos, but will not include any games, content or other services that are offered for purchase, and which must be purchased separately.

Sounds like you're going to need to pay to test their stuff. At least they're up front about it?

Re:The Fine Print (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32598738)

You can test with demos, can't you?

Re:The Fine Print (2, Insightful)

carlzum (832868) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598894)

Wait, you have to pay for games? I can already buy a console, pay a monthly service fee, and purchase games. I thought OnLive was similar to a premium cable channel, you paid a monthly fee and could play the entire catalog available. This is a slightly cheaper console but you lose the games you bought when the company tanks.

Pioneer of on-demand gaming my ass, Sega [wikipedia.org] and even Intellivision [wikipedia.org] were far more innovative decades ago.

Re:The Fine Print (2, Informative)

SheeEttin (899897) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598932)

Your legalese skills are not up to par:

The OnLive Game Service (the "Service") Fee will be waived for the first 12 months from the date you activate your OnLive Account. During these 12 months, your access to the Service will include free demos and community features, such as member Profiles, Friending, Chat, Spectating and Brag Clip(TM) videos, but will not include any games, content or other services that are offered for purchase, and which must be purchased separately.

So yes, you get free demos. But your "free year" doesn't include anything you'd normally have to purchase.

Re:The Fine Print (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32600380)

Not true, if you don't get the "free year" you have to pay a monthly subscription fee, plus the cost of games. I was in the beta, it's kind of interesting. Latency was not nearly the problem I expected, but the massive compression made the games look like shit. Main problem they will have though (even with the free year) is that no one in their right mind will buy games through them until there's some reason to believe the company will last and the company won't last if nobody buys games. But you could easily spend a few hundred dollars on games, then the company goes out of business and you have nothing. The client is also kind of crappy, everything's very targeted at the console they're trying to sell. Using the client with a mouse and keyboard feels kind of like using the menu on a bad PC port of a console game.

Re:The Fine Print (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 4 years ago | (#32600404)

But you still have to provide a credit card information if you get accepted even though they won't charge you. :(

Re:The Fine Print (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32602472)

mod this guy up. he actually knows how to read, unlike the parent poster

it's magic! (3, Insightful)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598704)

How are they planning to magically teleport 1280x1024 3D video data at 60 FPS to my computer with under 50 ms of additional lag? This is an extremely stupid idea but if you consider that "real" gamers have systems that can render the games by themselves, it's redundant to say that real gamers won't take a technology like this seriously.

Re:it's magic! (4, Insightful)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598786)

I don't think anyone with a gaming system will be interested, but everyone else may be. Some games like RPGs can be played acceptably with a little lag, and I wouldn't mind being able to see some nice graphics on my Eee PC when I'm away from home.

Will it work well with an FPS? Doubtful. Before anyone says "Hey! I used to frag in Quake with a 300 ping and it was plenty playable!" -- I used to too. But that was 300ms of network latency, not input latency - very big difference. Lag compensation makes a world of difference, and that's impossible when you're just piping video.

Re:it's magic! (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32598838)

I don't think anyone with a gaming system will be interested, but everyone else may be. Some games like RPGs can be played acceptably with a little lag, and I wouldn't mind being able to see some nice graphics on my Eee PC when I'm away from home.

Will it work well with an FPS? Doubtful. Before anyone says "Hey! I used to frag in Quake with a 300 ping and it was plenty playable!" -- I used to too. But that was 300ms of network latency, not input latency - very big difference. Lag compensation makes a world of difference, and that's impossible when you're just piping video.

(it's june 17th now, so the NDA is over) I've been hardcore fragging on unreal tournament 3 and haven't had any latency issues. Try it before you knock it honestly, it's a lot better than I was hoping for and almost as good as I was dreaming for...

just wait for the comcast cap to kill this and lag (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598916)

just wait for the comcast cap to kill this and lag / use to go up after beta is over and more people use this.

Re:just wait for the comcast cap to kill this and (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32600726)

The Comcast cap is fine with normal uses of streaming video. You might possibly run into problems if you use it to watch streaming video 12 hours a day, but normal people have these things called "jobs" or "school" that mean they don't actually do that.

So far I have not seen evidence of anyone managing to hit Comcast's cap unless they were constantly pirating movies. I am still waiting for someone to prove that they've been disadvantaged without breaking the law.

Re:it's magic! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32601598)

I do NOT understand why EVERY gamer I talk to is knocking this before it has even come out. Its like they want it to epically fail, thank you for being the very FIRST person I've heard from who has an open mind about it and something good to say lol I woke up at 9 this morning so I could hop on but apparently there are too many people trying to get on now I keep getting a 404 Page Not Found error when I go to play.onlive.com

Re:it's magic! (0, Troll)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#32602906)

Joke post?

Everyone with two brain cells to rub together knows that this will never work.

We've already seen that they graphics they shitstream to you are not high end as they claimed they would be, they're low-middle end.

The framerate is 30 fps if you're lucky.

The latency (and this is input latency as well!) is a joke.

You don't own the games.

Etc.

It's a turd.

Re:it's magic! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32601716)

Latency is extremely low and the compression kicks in at the right times. Twitchy games like UT3 and Batman have worked perfectly so far, even on my unsupported wireless network. Being able to play Borderlands at work (after hours) without installing anything other than a 6mb player was great.

I was seriously skeptical about whether or not they'd pull this off. They did.

Re:it's magic! (2, Insightful)

DeadDecoy (877617) | more than 4 years ago | (#32599120)

I think ultimately, it depends on the cost. Game purchases would have to be significantly cheaper, as I'd already be shelling out money for a monthly subscription (isp not included) and there's no mention of whether I can backup or archive my copy or whether I'd have access to the games I purchased should I decide to discontinue my subscription. I.e. it's good for games I'd only play once, but I'm skeptical about the service with regards to games that have a long shelf life: civilization, starcraft, half-life, etc.

It sounds cool at first: no high end hardware purchases, but that cost is just being moved to monthly subscriptions. Again, if I decided to discontinue their service, there's a chance I'd end up with no games OR hardware. Given that I'll need a computer regardless, I think I'll just stick with my archaic computer + disk setup until I hear more about the service.

Re:it's magic! (2, Insightful)

Svippy (876087) | more than 4 years ago | (#32599920)

I don't think anyone with a gaming system will be interested, but everyone else may be. Some games like RPGs can be played acceptably with a little lag, and I wouldn't mind being able to see some nice graphics on my Eee PC when I'm away from home.

Uhm, yeah, I'm gonna give you that, that would be awesome, but as you can tell from the minimum recommended system requirements [onlive.com] , that ain't going to happen:

  • PC: Windows® 7 or Vista (32 or 64-bit) or XP (32-bit)
  • Mac: Mac OS X 10.6 or later
  • Processor: Dual-core CPU
  • Screen Resolution: 1280x720
  • Internet Connection: 5 Mbps located inside the contiguous United States (wired connection required)

So I am going to assume your Eee does not have a dual-core CPU, a x720 screen resolution or always a wired connection, which means netbooks aren't welcome. But maybe they'll fix that in the future. So you can even play them on your iPad.

Re:it's magic! (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 4 years ago | (#32600462)

No Linux and no Windows XP... did the EEEs ship with Windows 7 Starter? If not, there's another strike.

Re:it's magic! (1)

RemoWilliams84 (1348761) | more than 4 years ago | (#32601090)

READING COMPREHENSION FAIL!

Says:

PC: Windows® 7 or Vista (32 or 64-bit) or XP (32-bit)

Re:it's magic! (2, Funny)

nschubach (922175) | more than 4 years ago | (#32601208)

Ah, sorry. I missed it. Shall I submit my papers to be prosecuted and tried for murder now or next week?

Re:it's magic! (2, Informative)

Stele (9443) | more than 4 years ago | (#32600658)

Here is a demo [youtube.com] of it running on an iPad.

Re:it's magic! (1)

LS (57954) | more than 4 years ago | (#32600616)

On what basis is everyone claiming that input latency would be so much? Can someone PLEASE show an end to end calculation of all the variables involved and prove that latency would be this high? And let's talk about best case where you are 10 kilometers from the servers, not across the ocean.

as you're clearly can't RTFA (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598800)

Are you getting tired yet about people asking you about lag and OnLive? [laughs]

SP: I am. So, the other thing is we're going to be putting out facts. There's a lot of misconceptions about latency. It's a brand new technology, and it's fair for people to ask. We're going to need to understand this, right.

For example, we've measured monitors that have 80 milliseconds of latency. The monitor. [laughs] In fact, we spoke to that monitor manufacturer, who will remain nameless [laughs], and they understood what we were doing. They got excited about it, and they came out with a new line of monitors that have 9 milliseconds of latency. They're some of the best monitors out there now, okay.

So, people just don't think about it. But you know, if you have an 80 millisecond monitor, anything you're playing on it, a local game, you're going to see some lag in a local game. But people don't think about it because they figure, "Okay, it's local, so lag is not on my agenda to thing about."

Some of the mice you can get that are 15 milliseconds of latency, or you can get mice with 1 millisecond of latency, you know what I mean. It's a huge swing. So, what we're going to do is put the facts. We're going to say, "Look. Here are the kind of things that introduce latency. Please let us know. If you're going to be on a lagging experience, come tell us. Tell us what your system is so we can go and try to test that equipment."

Then what we're going to try to do is put up a list of different equipment and how we've measured it. Not every laptop, but most laptops have pretty low latency screens. So, you know, again, not every trackpad, but trackpads are probably not the best thing to use for gaming. But nonetheless, at least it's built in, and there's a good chance the latency is not too bad on it, right. So, give that a go before you kind of condemn the whole system. [laughs]

These are things that we need to educate people on. The bottom line is this: if you have a good connection to OnLive and your gear is low latency, you have a low latency experience. It works. It really does. It's never going to be low latency as having the exact same computer capability locally, right. I think that's an obvious thing, right. There's a load of latency introduced by the internet.

But the thing that we need to get across to people is that the latency is not exactly what you expected. Sometimes the latency is actually not the internet. Most of the latency is in the last mile. Actually, most of the latency, if you don't have optimal equipment, is in your gear, your monitor, and your mouse. And then the next place you look is in the last mile. And actually, the third place you look is in the internet.

Re:as you're clearly can't RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32598954)

And what are you expecting the company CEO to say? That the lag is actually terrible and you shouldn't buy his product?

Re:as you're clearly can't RTFA (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#32599022)

What I expect is the stupid questions about lag to STOP because they have been ANSWERED.

Re:as you're clearly can't RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32599236)

Marketing doesn't qualify as an answer.

That said, if you're not playing games with tight input requirements, you only have to then worry about the business practices of The Cloud.

Re:as you're clearly can't RTFA (1, Insightful)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 4 years ago | (#32599300)

Yeah, answered with TACHYONS!!!!

Seriously, someone tied to the company says "We're using a brand new technology, so shut up and take our word for it," and you claim that's an answer?

Oh, I'm sorry, the answer is "It's your equipment, so shut up and pay us." OnLive can go fuck themselves. I'm not paying a monthly fee, plus paying for games, and then I don't get to keep any of them if I stop paying them every month. That's why I don't use XBox Live Gold for online play, that's why I avoid DRM schemes like Ubisoft's, and it's why I don't play MMOs.

OnLive, however, has earned an extra heaping of "they can go fuck themselves" with this kind of shit. I hope the entire company goes down in flaming ruins.

Re:as you're clearly can't RTFA (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#32599390)

regardless of the answer, it has been asked and answered, asking again is just going to yield the same answers.

Re:as you're clearly can't RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32600346)

Person 1: What color is the sky?
Person 2: 857
Person 1: Wait, that's a number, not a color!
Person 2: It's been answered motherfucker! Don't question me again!

Re:as you're clearly can't RTFA (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#32600758)

You forgot person 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 who have all asked the same question and the answer is more like: the color of the sky depends on your location and the time of day, I recommend you wait until the sky is clear and then go out and TAKE A FUCKING LOOK FOR YOURSELF, but until then....

Having person 9, 10, 11, and 12 ask the same question AGAIN is not productive.

Re:as you're clearly can't RTFA (1)

sammyF70 (1154563) | more than 4 years ago | (#32600986)

No. It hasn't. Basically, It has been avoided through FUD. "Lag you experience can be caused by your peripherals" isn't even remotely an answer to "how big is the lag caused by your technology?"
What could have been considered an answer would have been something along the lines of "We measured an average 100-150ms lag when playing at 1680x1050 over a good connection 2 hops away", not "we won't say, because your mouse might cause lag too"

Re:as you're clearly can't RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32599868)

U MAD

Yeah, I don't see how it can possibly work for FPS' either, unless you live very near to your exchange / PCP in the same city as their servers ... which I'm guessing beta testers with positive reports do, due to being handpicked for such qualities. Even then, high motion scenes must surely have noticeable lag.

Re:as you're clearly can't RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32602952)

well it's launch date. go sign up get in free and try the fucking thing. then you get your final answer.

FUCK

Re:as you're clearly can't RTFA (1)

Svippy (876087) | more than 4 years ago | (#32599896)

So... he's saying, 'you already have latency, would more latency hurt?' In addition, if I need this kind of gear (9ms monitor and 1ms mouse), which I do not assume to be cheap, doesn't that sort of defeat the purpose of not going buying a game rig?

So even if their latency is low, I am still not buying the argument that I need better gear. I do realise there are input latencies and all, but does not add to the experience! I think the latency on my current hardware is justifiable because I cannot observe it, but add another system of latency, and chances are I might.

And since this service ain't exactly offering Civ4, I am going with that you want your mouse to click and action happening at the same time.

Re:it's magic! (3, Interesting)

rockNme2349 (1414329) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598804)

Well for one, they plan on transferring 2D video data probably at around 24 FPS. They are trying to get as low latencies as possible by having several servers around the country and are only selling to people near those servers.

Their target is not hardcore PC gamers. Also this system will never work with twitch gaming, like unreal tournament. However for less latency critical games, and for more casual gamers who aren't looking for a large hardware commitment, this fills a niche. I'm personally not interested in their service, but I'm interested to see how it turns out.

Twitch games? (1)

Namarrgon (105036) | more than 4 years ago | (#32599260)

Also this system will never work with twitch gaming, like unreal tournament.

I'd certainly agree, yet UT3 is on the list of launch games, so they seem to think it's good enough.

All depends on your net connection, and your standards.

Re:Twitch games? (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 4 years ago | (#32599364)

Also this system will never work with twitch gaming, like unreal tournament.

I'd certainly agree, yet UT3 is on the list of launch games, so they seem to think it's good enough.

All depends on your net connection, and your standards.

I'd suggest it doesn't depend on your standards, if you're getting flogged by gamers playing on local systems because they don't have the same input lag that isn't to do with your standards, that would be purely your network connection. The OnLive system will always introduce significant latency so you'll never be able to compete against those on local dedicated systems in twitch games.

Re:Twitch games? (1)

BitwiseX (300405) | more than 4 years ago | (#32602746)

I'd certainly agree, yet UT3 is on the list of launch games, so they seem to think it's good enough.

My boss got in the beta and UT3 was the first game we tried. This was on a Mac Book Pro on a 40 Mb\s connection. I was pretty impressed. I asked for his report when he got home to Comcast, but that was a no go because his Desktop is using Wifi, and OnLive blocks you from playing across Wifi. Bummer.

Re:it's magic! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32598806)

"Real gamers" are a shrinking market, becoming less and less relevant compared to 'medium' and 'casual' gamers. I could list tons of examples, but the most prevalent at the moment: consider StarCraft 2 lacking LAN *AND* inter-regional games, which would drive any "real gamer" nuts. "Real gamers" don't matter from a developer's/publisher's point of view. Not enough money compared to the masses who likely won't care about the lag while they grind their MMORPG character or spray bullets around each other oblivious to any latency, no matter how unacceptable it would be to a "real gamer".

  - a real gamer

I heard lack of lan is to contol video game league (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32599012)

I heard lack of lan is to control video game leagues / lock out leagues from doing there own thing and not useing battle net.

Re:I heard lack of lan is to contol video game lea (1)

promythyus (1519707) | more than 4 years ago | (#32600832)

Because we can believe everything that Blizz say purely because they say it :)

Re:it's magic! (1)

murdocj (543661) | more than 4 years ago | (#32601578)

I love how people define "real gamers" as "people who play games exactly the way I do".

Guess what: I'm a "real gamer", I was in the SC2 beta, I was able to set up private games and invite my friends to play, and I don't give a damn whether SC2 has LAN play or not.

Re:it's magic! (1)

ifrag (984323) | more than 4 years ago | (#32602666)

It's already been stated that Pro tournaments will be hosted on a LAN and must have a Blizzard representative, etc. Based on your comment I'm going to assume that you, "a real gamer" as you say does not actually fall into the Pro category, and this is why you are attempting to take issue with it. You complain about the lack of inter-regional games and then do a full 180 and complain about lag as well. Try to decide what you actually care about.

No matter what they say to the contrary the b.net 2 setup does a couple things effectively, even if it is only collateral damage. It prevents piracy and the hosting of unapproved tournaments. Your epic basement tournament is a casualty of this change, but this will also impact KeSPA. The people who are most angry are those who fall somewhere between 'medium' and 'pro' since they cannot do as they please.

Re:it's magic! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32598818)

What makes you think that "real gamers" matter? Hardcore gamers are an ever smaller niche. The future is in casual games. The people playing farmville and the sims with low end graphics and beige box machines.

Re:it's magic! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32599056)

so basically, the hardcore gamers don't need this because they already have machines that will run the games they want to play, and casual gamers don't need it for the same reason

oh yeah, this is going to make a lot of money, i can tell

Re:it's magic! (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 4 years ago | (#32599130)

What if you want to play the new games, but don't want to spend a grand on a new computer capable of running them, and then buying the games themselves on top of that?

Re:it's magic! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32599272)

so spending a monthly fee and then paying for the games themselves on top of that is a better option?

there's a market for people who want to play the new games, but don't want to spend a grand on a new computer--they own consoles

maybe it'll be a big hit among the sort of people who keep rent-to-own appliance shops in business, but i don't really see them making too much money here

Re:it's magic! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32600608)

What if you want to play the new games, but don't want to spend a grand on a new computer capable of running them, and then buying the games themselves on top of that?

Why spend a grand when you can play most games with a $400 rig? PC gaming has never been cheaper.

Re:it's magic! (2, Funny)

Hazza64 (1820988) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598826)

I hear Dr. Jon Osterman and Adrian Veidt are involved with the project. Apparently it involves using tachyons to send the information from the server to the user instantly! When asked about the future of the project Dr. Jon Osterman replied that 'the future is still unclear'.

Re:it's magic! (1)

Oewyn (1526739) | more than 4 years ago | (#32599084)

It really needs to utilize quantum entanglement to be feasible

Re:it's magic! (3, Interesting)

Qantravon (1466953) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598930)

It's true that hardcore gamers are going to have systems capable of running these games well, locally. By which logic, their target audience shouldn't be hardcore gamers, but the more casual gamers looking for slightly prettier graphics than their box can handle.

However, look at that list of games. Those aren't games targeted at the casual audience. Those are the very games that are going to be picked up almost exclusively by the same gamers who already have capable systems. MMORPGs, maybe some find-and-click games, that's what they should be offering, not lightning-paced FPS'es, 60+ hour RPG's, and combo/timing intensive action games.

This is why I think OnLive is going to flop. Their game selection is targeting the wrong audience.

Re:it's magic! (2, Insightful)

RoadDoggFL (876257) | more than 4 years ago | (#32599230)

So why can't the target audience be hardcore gamers who don't have the money to upgrade their computers? Gaming lounge patrons? Or hell, potential hardcore gamers that don't have the money, technical know-how, or desire to maintain a gaming-competent PC. You're right, there's no market for this. Everybody already has their dream gaming setup.

Re:it's magic! (1)

Qantravon (1466953) | more than 4 years ago | (#32599340)

I was talking in terms of majorities and generalities. Most gamers have a setup that's capable of running games well. That doesn't necessarily mean "dream setup," it means capable. For example, my computer is far from top-of-the-line, but it will still run most new games at mid-to-high settings. For me, that's good enough. For a lot of people, it's good enough.

Re:it's magic! (1)

RoadDoggFL (876257) | more than 4 years ago | (#32599370)

And for a lot of people with a comparable setup (somehow the majority of people interested in playing Mass Effect 2, UT 3, Assassin's Creed 2, Dragon Age: Origins, Batman: Arkham Asylum, and F.E.A.R. 2., to you), upgrading that machine so that it remains capable may not be as appealing as using something like PlayOn.

Re:it's magic! (1)

Qantravon (1466953) | more than 4 years ago | (#32599466)

I can only speak from what I know, and in my personal experience, of the people I know, most if not all who are interested in those games have no qualms about upgrading to maintain a capable computer. Of the gamers I know, most tend to take a point of pride in the capabilities of their personal computer.

Of course, I am completely willing to believe that my experience qualifies as a random outlier. If I can see evidence to support it. I just don't personally know that many (if any) "gamers" that would go for this type of setup.

Re:it's magic! (1)

RoadDoggFL (876257) | more than 4 years ago | (#32599834)

And I am completely willing to believe that your experiences are overwhelmingly frequent. If I can see evidence to support it. Why is it so hard to believe that there are people who would enjoy playing these games if the hardware required didn't cost so much...?

Re:it's magic! (1)

mlk (18543) | more than 4 years ago | (#32599808)

Except hard core games without cash for a large desktop computer can use a console. If OnLive costs £15 a month and a 360 has a one off cost of £200, then you could take a loan for two years and own the 360.

The market for this seams to me to be gamers without basic math skills.

Re:it's magic! (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32599958)

Maybe aye, maybe no. The pricing is going to be crucial, both for customers and OnLive.

I assume that they haven't actually announced it yet because they're still frantically doing the sums and moaning "Ohshitohshitohshit" while their creditors kick down the door and demand their hardware back.

Re:it's magic! (1)

LBt1st (709520) | more than 4 years ago | (#32602438)

Also, I wonder if the average PC/laptop with a crappy onboard Intel chipset can handle the video decoding needs of this. People with better video cards are likely to run the games normally.

So it seems that their target audience has/is
A) A fast internet connection
B) Willing to spend money on a gaming service but not on hardware/software/console(s)
C) No desire to run games locally AND
D) A video card that can handle HD decoding

Who the hell Is that?

and the nice thing about the cloud... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32598746)

Whether for gaming or word processing, nobody ever owns anything. You can be charged on a continuous basis to use services.

(That was sarcasm in case you didn't catch it).

The ownership age is over. It is all about software as a service from here forward. Enjoy it bitches, because just like many modern games never come to the PC, in the future modern games won't be available except in the cloud via subscription. From the publisher's perspective it solves all the problems. They maintain control forever if you don't have any of the content.

Re:and the nice thing about the cloud... (1)

hydrolyzer (1637811) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598778)

It's okay, I wouldn't want to own any of the crap they've been producing lately anyway.

Re:and the nice thing about the cloud... (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598834)

The ownership age is over.

I prefer to think the honesty age is about to begin.. instead of going to a store, plonking down money, buying a physical product and then having the publisher say "oh no no, you don't own that" we will finally have a legitimate pay-for-service that if I don't like it I can stop paying for it. That said, OnLive's current business model is really shit: base subscription + one-off payments for access to each individual game.. but hopefully that will go away eventually and we'll get a straight all-you-can-eat model, if not from OnLive then from some other competitor.

Wet Dream For Publishers (1)

gravos (912628) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598798)

Game publishers are going to be all over this technology if they can make it work because it means the game source code never has to be released and, implemented correctly, the games will be impossible to crack.

I'm not too happy about it, but it's the future. If not now, probably this decade or early next.

Re:Wet Dream For Publishers (1)

cosm (1072588) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598864)

Game publishers are going to be all over this technology if they can make it work because it means the game source code never has to be released and, implemented correctly, the games will be impossible to crack. I'm not too happy about it, but it's the future. If not now, probably this decade or early next.

+1 Insightful. This is what MAFIAADRMFAGS want. And as persistent they are and with as much pull in the industry as they have, they will get it. They say we have purchasing power with the dollar to sway the market. But IMO, wallet power does not compare to litigation or lobbyist power, and hence WE. ARE. FUCKED.

Re:Wet Dream For Publishers (2, Insightful)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 4 years ago | (#32599544)

and hence WE. ARE. FUCKED.

Are we? At some point it'll get bad enough that those among us who truly want to game the proper way will either buy indie titles exclusively or start collaborating and make our own bloody games...

I've been having a blast e-mailing companies with a form e-mail I created which summarized comes down to "Hi, I would have loved to have bought your game X, but unfortunately you chose to treat me, your potential customer, as a thief. Hence I have decided not to buy your game X and instead spend my money on the following companies that do treat treat their paying customers properly: Y and Z."

Now what I'm truly curious about is...is there *any* solid evidence where implementing DRM caused would-be pirates to buy the game instead of torrenting it?

Re:Wet Dream For Publishers (1)

minasoko (710100) | more than 4 years ago | (#32599726)

Exactly. I don't care what EA, Activision or Ubisoft do with this technology, if anything. But then, I only play old games.
The kind of game I love will never be moved to the cloud and streamed to a thin client. Even if it did happen, the user base would just ignore it and organise their own alternative. The source code for all the decent Quake games is available for anyone to use and the very best version of Quake yet made is a mod created by talented fans.

As long as there are people to play against and I still enjoy games, I don't think Quake will ever get boring.

If I were to extrapolate wildly, I could conceive of a situation where the hardest of hardcore gamers may well get driven to a handful of niche titles, whilst most publishers serve up subscription cloud gaming to the vast majority of casual players through their set top entertain-o-box.

Re:Wet Dream For Publishers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32600410)

You need to care about OnLive failing, then. Because if the future of gaming is OnLive then there will be no more old games. After three years games the games *you have bought* become inaccessible. In 2013, you're hit with a desire to play one of the old classics like CoD4 or Splinter Cell Conviction or Just Cause 2? Tough shit, you can't. THE CLOUD does not provide for those who want to do something other than buy new games constantly.

Re:Wet Dream For Publishers (1)

mykos (1627575) | more than 4 years ago | (#32599836)

MOD PARENT UP. I've been thinking the same thing. All the "Big Content" publishers think we can't live without them, which is of course a big load of crap.

What people don't realize... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32598810)

What people don't realize are the monthly fees of $14.95 per month, PLUS you have to pay for the games.

So you pay $180 a year to have videos streamed to your PC. For $100 you can pick up a relatively modest graphics card, pop it in your PC, and have much better picture quality. The compression must be horrible. Even an ATI 4650 at 720P should be able to rival onlive.

Bonus: Captcha for this post was 'frauds'.

Re:What people don't realize... (2, Insightful)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 4 years ago | (#32599336)

Or, you pay $350 for a console that's good for 5+ years, and rent games from where ever, and buy any ones you really like when they hit bargain-bin status.

Re:What people don't realize... (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 4 years ago | (#32599378)

What people don't realize are the monthly fees of $14.95 per month, PLUS you have to pay for the games.

So you pay $180 a year to have videos streamed to your PC. For $100 you can pick up a relatively modest graphics card, pop it in your PC, and have much better picture quality. The compression must be horrible. Even an ATI 4650 at 720P should be able to rival onlive.

Bonus: Captcha for this post was 'frauds'.

Not to mention with the lowering prices of high resolution displays, eyefinity (and the like), 3D displays and 7.1 surround sound setups who wants to fall back to low-quality streamed videos.

Only about 3 years too late... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32598836)

see: http://www.sailonline.org/

Different platforms (1)

MrDoh! (71235) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598886)

If this is using Flash to display the images on the client, does this mean we'll be able to play PC games on Flash using Phones/Tablets/mini-netbooks with hardware decoding?
I've seen a demo of Everquest running on an Android phone, just remoting the display and sending key presses back to the game running on the decent gaming rig. It was actually usable for alot of game playing.

This has some amazing potential, as long as the latency isn't too bad. I can see this working great for alot of games that are out there now. Just FPS'like games I can see there being issues.

You do not own games you pay full price for pay on (3, Interesting)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598902)

You do not own games you pay full price for! and you have to keep paying on live to use them!

So you are better off useing your own system and buying the games that can be used with out having to pay a fee JUST TO PLAY! also no INPUT LAG AND NO NEED FOR a 5MEG plus full time data stream.

Re:You do not own games you pay full price for pay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32600446)

You do not own games you pay full price for!

Question is whether you actually have to pay full price. If so, it would be idiotic to sign up for it.

However there are services like Metaboli (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metaboli) where you pay a monthly fee to play all the games they offer for no extra charge; for as long as you have a subscription. It's a fairly reasonable fee too (10-20€ per month depending on which games you want).

Point is, it's not out of the question that the price will be reasonable for something you just rent.

Re:You do not own games you pay full price for pay (1)

nmg196 (184961) | more than 4 years ago | (#32600952)

But you DON'T pay full price for them and you DON'T have to buy a console. That's the entire point of their system - you just pay a small subscription fee which is a fraction of the price of even one game.

Re:You do not own games you pay full price for pay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32602024)

you just pay a small subscription fee

That's not correct. Their site states that their subscription fee "will not include any games, content or other services that are offered for purchase"; only demos and social stuff.

So you have to pay the subscription on top of whatever games will cost.

Re:You do not own games you pay full price for pay (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#32603402)

According to Onlive, you ALSO have to buy the games.
but what would they know.

"but will not include any games, content or other services that are offered for purchase, and which must be purchased separately."

Re:You do not own games you pay full price for pay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32601880)

Actually, in the purchase process they state that you have access to the game at least until a specified date (2013 on the game I bought) and that if the service goes down you'll get a prorated refund. Seems fair to me.

Re:You do not own games you pay full price for pay (1)

revlayle (964221) | more than 4 years ago | (#32602040)

This is the problem I have with the service. I understand it is for anyone with any sort of entry level computer to be allow to play these high-end games. But the eventually $15/mo basically buys you a new system every three years. Their subsidizing their own hardware with your subscription fee. I think the service is rally cool, I know of a few beta players who say it really does work with pretty decent latency (*usually* within the 70-ish milliseconds claimed by OnLive - characterized by their comments of "it responds pretty well" - yes, I know I'm guesstimating here). But paying for games AND paying to keep in the service (or lose my games) - this is the part I am having trouble swallowing.

That being said, I am trying to get in the "founding fathers" promotion that gives you the first year for free with a "free" games, If I get in, yeah I'll try it! If some RPGs are available for rent, I might play them that way instead of paying full price - if it works well.

If you only play turn-based strategy (1)

mykos (1627575) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598944)

No matter what the onlive reps say, they are not going to be able to get your input lag to a playable 50ms.

1. INPUT LAG. You have to add their input lag to your television's. If you were near unbearable on input lag before, Onlive will put you over the hump. All of a sudden, it will feel like everyone else is wallhacking, or maybe that you've just suddenly become a bad shot. This will not be enjoyable in any way. And can any computer, even your own, screen cap in fraps, compress video, and even send it over the lan in a manner timely enough to play twitchy shooters or other games requiring quick reactions?

2. PEAK USAGE
They're going to have to either waste tons of money having a bunch of idle computers waiting for the four heaviest gaming hours of the day, or they're going to have to wait in queues for a half hour or more. The only people willing to wait for long queues are already playing WoW, so there's nobody left who is willing to use Onlive.

3. IF IT SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE...
...It probably is. It's a lot more likely that we're looking a pump-and-dump scheme in the face than a legitimate service. Unless they've discovered some quantum computer that we don't yet know about and overcome that pesky speed of light thing, they are not going to release a product that will work for anything other than turn-based games.

May if they put the severs at your cable headend o (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32599058)

May if they put the severs at your cable headend or area superhead end then you may be able to over come some of the input delay but peak use is a big killer just like how cable VOD can get over loaded. But I hear HOT CABLE (Israel) is working on some thing like this.

Re:If you only play turn-based strategy (1)

fyrewulff (702920) | more than 4 years ago | (#32599062)

I don't think the inventor of freaking Quicktime is going to ruin his reputation by going for a pump-and-dump scheme.

Re:If you only play turn-based strategy (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 4 years ago | (#32599142)

No matter what the onlive reps say, they are not going to be able to get your input lag to a playable 50ms.

I'd just like to point out that if they're getting close to launch, they've already tested this. Maybe they adjusted the games to account for it. Maybe the latency sounds worse as a number than it does when you actually use it. Maybe the latency is reduced at another end of the pipe, possibly making up for it. Who knows until you use it?

It's fun to have academic discussions about it, but I'm not making up my mind until I'm actually sitting here playing the game. I've learned this lesson too many times.

Re:If you only play turn-based strategy (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 4 years ago | (#32601338)

Maybe you should perform some rudimentary research before getting all upset on slashdot. All your questions have been answered time and time again, in the various OnLive threads we've seen. The service has already been through testing, and people who used it seem to think you're full of shit. But please, continue.

Two words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32599028)

No thanks,

OnLive (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32599206)

No ownership. Less FPS than an NES. Lame.

Look, ma.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32599288)

I'm playing my games through VNC!

Re:Look, ma.. (1)

mlk (18543) | more than 4 years ago | (#32599828)

I did this once with Halflife. It was pain.

Bullshit or Not? (1)

Mike610544 (578872) | more than 4 years ago | (#32599318)

I can't even remotely imagine playing ME2 on this kind of setup. Online games can hide latency by having the client extrapolate, but what they're selling seems totally unworkable. The internet is not a real time system, even with a tolerance of 100 ms or so.

Re:Bullshit or Not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32602694)

i dunno man why dont you find one of the many thousands of beta testers over the past months who dont seem apparently to know what the fuck youre talking about?

Borderlands (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32599710)

Borderlands is being shown on this service at E3 show floor as well.

Since nobody asked yet... (2, Funny)

Noughmad (1044096) | more than 4 years ago | (#32599838)

Will it run on Linux?

Re:Since nobody asked yet... (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 4 years ago | (#32600518)

Negative. The one hope they might sell me a subscription for a while... gone. I already have a Windows machine for gaming, but to be able to plug in my Lenovo Debian machine when I go to my parents for the weekend and drop into a few games is out the window. (I likely wouldn't have kept it for the long haul though seeing that I like to mod games, so maybe it's all the better.)

Re:Since nobody asked yet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32602870)

They have made a proof of concept of OnLine running on the iPad (linked somewhere in the comments) and even noted that "it's very easy to port to a new platform".
With enough noise by Linux users, it might be ported.

I don't See (1)

RivenAleem (1590553) | more than 4 years ago | (#32600220)

Crysis is not on this list.

OnLive has not launched. (1)

Yaos (804128) | more than 4 years ago | (#32600664)

You can only sign up to be allowed to sign up, which is what they've been doing for quite some time now.

Re:OnLive has not launched. (1)

Bugamn (1769722) | more than 4 years ago | (#32601460)

Do I get access to Duke Nukem Forever with a sign up for sign up?

It's unfortunate... (1)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 4 years ago | (#32602418)

Canadians can't sign up, despite the fact that about a quarter of our population is within the 1000 mile range of the DC OnLive location. For example, Montreal is about 590 miles away, well under the 1000 mile limit.

Bandwidth... (1)

LamboAlpha (840950) | more than 4 years ago | (#32603650)

This is what I see...
1920 x 1200 (Resolution) x 32 bit (4 Bytes Color Depth) x 60 Hz (Refresh) = 4423680000 bit/s = 4423.680 mbit/s or 527 Mbytes/sec

Therefore, they must compress the video stream. So with this I get lag, bad video quality and compression artifacts.
This assumes that I have a high speed internet connection that is not capped... At 2mbit stream rate (but they required a 5mbit connection, therefore you would have some spare capacity for overhead and network issues), you would only get about ~22 hours (~45min/day) per month with a 150GB cap (assuming no overhead, other traffic or other users). I also know people that could push 22 hours in one weekend.
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