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OnLive CEO On Post-Launch Status, Game Licenses

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the cloud-gaming-doesn't-involve-lakitu dept.

PC Games (Games) 121

CNET has a lengthy interview with OnLive CEO Steve Perlman about how the service is shaping up almost a month after launch. Demand seems to have outstripped their expectations, and it required some quick server expansion to compensate. He also addresses a common concern among gamers — that the licenses for games could expire in three years. Perlman says, "It's less of an issue about the licenses evaporating, and more of an issue of whether or not we continue to maintain the operating systems and the graphics cards to run those games. If a game is tied to a particular Nvidia or ATI card, or if it's relying on a particular version of Windows with different drivers, we can't be sure that those will continue to be available as our servers age and need to be replaced. If it's a popular game that can't run on old hardware anymore, the publishers can do an upgrade for the game. Also, servers usually do last longer than three years, so chances are we'll keep running them. But we have a legal obligation to disclose what might happen. I think the probability of us pulling a game in three years is on the order of 0.1 percent. It's also highly unlikely that a game server will evaporate after three years, but we have to allow for that possibility." He also goes into future plans for expanding OnLive, both in terms of the content they offer and the devices they may support. The Digital Foundry blog followed up the latency tests we discussed with a full review, if you'd like an unbiased opinion of the service.

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Uh... (2, Insightful)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924472)

No no, the problem is exactly the licenses evaporating, or rather people's accounts being closed and a user subsequently losing out on all their purchased games. I think a simple, extremely reasonable solution would be to allow users to download and play the game locally if they wish a la Steam. Give them both the option to play in the cloud (much more convenient) and locally (sense of security and ownership) and you have an award winning service that destroys your Valve-hosted competitor.

Re:Uh... (1)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924496)

Sorry to double post, but I just thought this comment in the interview was extremely stupid: "We have to put a stake in the ground somewhere. We could put five years, we could put two years." Why do you have to set a limit on a license for a fully purchased game? That's got to be the stupidest thing I've ever heard. How can this guy not understand the frustration of consumers whose money goes into a "three year Playpass", rather than wholly owning the game?

Re:Uh... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924560)

I assume that the game license isn't really at issue(given that anything but a super-popular AAAAAA title will be selling for just over the cost of disc and distribution out of the bargain bin in two years, it isn't as though OnLive is going to be able to make money selling the licences off or anything, even if their contracts with the publishers allowed that). I'd imagine that it is the fact that, for OnLive to allow you to "own" a game, they still have to have at least one server up in your area with the hardware and software capable of running that game. Presumably, since their systems are somewhat specialized, they may also forsee greater difficulties or higher costs in some of the longevity strategies commonly used by hobbyists(DRM cracking if some licensing server goes down is probably off the table, for a corporation with visibility and actual assets, piles of lovingly handcrafted shims and hacks and 3rd party engine tweaks may or may not be compatible with their distribution system, and they almost certainly want their hardware costs to get lower over time, so the emulation strategy of just throwing lots of modern hardware at the problem is unlikely to please them).

Assuming the punters are still happy to play, and the game is still working with their systems, they would be nuts to arbitrarily pull old games out of circulation just because they can(people playing older games means the same subscription fee; but lower hardware utilization and already-paid-for licenses, why would they turn that down?); but they probably want to be sure that they are incurring no actual obligation, in a legal sense, to support a game for any particularly great length of time, or to go to any heroic measures to do so if they don't feel like it....

Re:Uh... (1)

drc003 (738548) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925208)

"Assuming the punters are still happy to play, and the game is still working with their systems, they would be nuts to arbitrarily pull old games out of circulation just because they can......" Yes, but at what point will they decide that the number of people still happy to play the game isn't enough to incur the costs of keeping that game running? If I pay for a game I expect to be able to play it as long as I would like. I still love playing Red Orchestra via Steam. However, it is well past 3 years and the player/server numbers are very low. This is a situation where they wouild be well within their rights and possibly see pulling the game as the financially correct thing to do. I'm sorry but for me it is imperative that if they want to set this 3 year limit you have the ability to download the game locally. I'm amazed to see consumers defending such a model.

Re:Uh... (2, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925316)

There is no way in hell that I would touch their model, I'm just trying to understand their motivation and behavior structure as accurately as possible.

It is, unequivocally, the case that "cloud gaming" is a far bigger attack on your ability to "own" what you buy than even the nastiest of DRM systems, and it is only logical to assume that the company behind it would do absolutely anything to you that isn't actually illegal if they thought it would improve their balance sheet by a nickel.

However, as best I can tell, arbitrarily cutting off players of old games(unless the cost of supporting them gets too high, or the number of players in a given region drops below a certain value) is not an economically rational behavior, and I would, thus, not expect them to do it.

I find their value proposition deeply uncompelling, and losing that much control over what I buy distasteful on ethical grounds(and, unlike something like Steam, they aren't even offering a good deal in exchange for your principles and your ownership rights...) and I have no intention of signing up; but I still base my analysis of their expected behavior on the assumption that they are value-rational, amoral, and money-seeking, rather than evil per se. Evil is, after all, only sometimes profitable.

Re:Uh... (1)

Archimagus (978734) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925404)

"I'm sorry but for me it is imperative that if they want to set this 3 year limit" They are not setting a 3 year limit, they are saying that they guarantee that the game will be there for at least 3 years. As they said in the article there is a 99.9% chance that the game will be available much much longer than that but it is conceivable that they will not be able to keep it up after that. Once they get new servers, if the game still runs on those servers the game will continue to be available. I do think though, that considering the possibility that the game "could" go away in 3 years that they should charge less than they do for the games. I would rather see a slightly higher monthly fee for the service and be able to play any game they have available.

Re:Uh... (2, Informative)

drc003 (738548) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925650)

Yes, they are setting a 3 year limit. I'm not talking about what they are "SAYING", I'm talking about what they are setting up to support in legal terms. People can say whatever they want. You can sign your house over to someone in your family while they are "saying" they will never kick you out and sell the house. However if at anytime they decide to do so they can and will.

Re:Uh... (3, Informative)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924650)

Why do you have to set a limit on a license for a fully purchased game?

Maybe because they are actually honest and tell you the limitations of their system upfront instead of pretending that the system will run forever and there never ever will be a problem with it? You know, pretending that a service will run forever simply doesn't make it so.

Re:Uh... (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#32926196)

Exactly, personally I already knew their service was not for me, but if I was one of the people considering it, I'd rather be told up front that they'll support the game for a minimum 3 years and there's every chance it will go offline at that point than them keep quiet, build up a big subscriber based then enact a few clauses buried in the terms and conditions to the same effect. It was always obvious this would be the case anyway (to anyone who understands how games can be tied to a particular era's architecture), the only surprise for me is that there's any sense of ownership of titles at all - I'd have thought it would be a full subscription with access to all the games included, I'm a little surprised to learn that you pay an amount to "own" the game, that's just going to cause confusion.

Re:Uh... (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 4 years ago | (#32926902)

They specifically say they have to put a limit because they can't guarantee they can maintain the hardware/OS to play a given game indefinitely. Maintenance costs go up over time, replacements become impossible to acquire, OS vendors stop providing support for the OS (including no longer providing security patches for newly discovered vulnerabilities!).

Re:Uh... (2, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924518)

I suspect that they would find the economics of doing that either untenable or unhelpful...

Presumably, since a game that you must be connected to a fast, low-latency internet connection to play at all, even single-player, has lower utility than a game playable standalone(and such a game is pretty much immune to piracy, and revocable at any time) the OnLive people can negotiate lower per-unit prices from the publishers. That and they can presumably do some license sharing, since not everyone will be playing a given game at a given time.

If they give their customers the option of cloud or download, these advantages evaporate. They'll likely face the same per unit costs as any other download seller, plus the costs of keeping their servers and lights on. If they offer the download option as a separate service, priced separately and distinct from the cloud stuff, they would avoid that; but their download service would be just another commodity CDN with a game-focused website slapped on top. How many of those are there now? At least a few that already matter enough to be called "incumbents" and dozens of more or less interchangeable minor competitors, at least.

Re:Uh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32924554)

I think a simple, extremely reasonable solution would be to allow users to download and play the game locally if they wish a la Steam.

How exactly does that help with the "licenses evaporating" issue? If Steam closes your account, your games are gone, too.

Re:Uh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32924632)

Steam's business model is different. When I use it, I am activating a purchased product, not using a license. Obviously this doesn't count for MMOs, but in that case my license is with a third party, not Valve.

Also, Valve spent several years building consumer confidence with 1-time activation of physical products that don't need to be re-authorized until they are reinstalled. Given that I've used Steam since just after Half-Life 2 came out, I'll take my chances.

Re:Uh... (3, Informative)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924880)

Read the ToS more carefully, Steam calls it a purchase, but treats it much more like a license. People can and do lose entire accounts worth of games when somebody hacks in. And even if you get the games back, if the person got you banned then they won't undo it.

Re:Uh... (2, Informative)

Cornelius the Great (555189) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925594)

Read the ToS more carefully, Steam calls it a purchase, but treats it much more like a license. People can and do lose entire accounts worth of games when somebody hacks in.

Not a problem- ask nicely and Valve will restore your account.

And even if you get the games back, if the person got you banned then they won't undo it.

You're referring to a VAC (Valve Anti-Cheat) ban, which will ban you from VAC-enabled servers. That doesn't keep you from playing the game- you'll be able to play on non-VAC servers. However, Valve's policy is strict for a reason- anyone who has been caught cheating could claim their account has been hacked and then anyone could continue playing on VAC servers.

Multiplayer is a completely different animal when dealing with software licensing. You're never guaranteed that the "official" servers will stay up indefinitely, and if the game lacks support for dedicated servers (ahem, MW2), then you're completely out of the online at some point in the future. Needless to say, VAC-bans are the least of my worries.

It's a fair tradeoff, and the ToS is reasonable enough to me that I've made most of my game purchases through Steam. Plus, their DRM is breakable if Valve ever goes away, so just make sure you make backups of your games, use a strong password, and be wary of phishing pages and keyloggers (a good general rule anyway), and you shouldn't have anything to worry about.

Re:Uh... (1)

Allnighte (1794642) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924572)

Not to mention that in 5 years* there's a fair chance your low budget computer will be able to play the game you played on their system this year. If they let the key/license transfer to a local copy of the game it would help keep its value.

*maybe not 3 years. and maybe not in 5 years for Crysis type games that you want to keep playing on your mobile, but not all games are super graphics intense.

Re:Uh... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924664)

Particularly since the game you played on their system was 1280×720(with some compression artefacts; which more or less add up to the equivalent of playing on "low" or "medium", depending on the specific game's settings system)...

You can bring almost any system to its knees by demanding enough pixels(and, if your monitor isn't that big, demanding that they be 16x anti-aliased, buffed, and polished before delivery, to bump the effective resolution that needs to be rendered); but if you are comparing to a fairly low fixed resolution, pretty much any GPU whose name doesn't start with "Intel Extreme" or "GMA" can probably handle it in the very near future.

Neat service. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32924500)

Got it just because I was curious about how well it'd work. I'd hooked up my Playstation 2 to my computer through a TV card before, and the experience is similar -- there's latency there, but I don't really notice it during gameplay. I've only tried Dirt 2.

I wish they'd tweak their pricing scheme, though... a monthly fee + per-game charges is a hard sell. The aspect that appealed to me was the idea of being able to rent and try out games from a largish game library, but GameFly beats their rental pricing easily at the moment. When they get their TV "console" gear out there, and if they can make it work nicely with wireless, I think they'll find their primary audience.

Re:Neat service. (0, Troll)

luther349 (645380) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924778)

if they sent you a physical copy of the game and your renting there hardware it would be different.who cares if my current pc cant play said game but at least i litterly bought it. then when onlive drops support or fail's as a company at least the stuff you bought doesn't vanish. or maybe do away with the entire rental system charge maybe 50 bucks a month to play there entire library. now that would get people on there.

Re:Neat service. (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 4 years ago | (#32926000)

Nah, it would make sense to either reimburse people's purchases upon the failure of the company, or (more rationally) send them a copy of the game. Having two games means they could be played at the same time - you only buy one copy of the game, after all.

Re:Neat service. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32926400)

Presumably they'd have to have the same serial key registered, that way you can give away your physical copy if you wish, but you won't be able to play OnLive when your friend was playing. Of course that relies on some check going to a server which means it can be faked, but if you're going to go to those lengths you'd probably just pirate it and avoid all the hassle.

Is it just me? (4, Insightful)

ledow (319597) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924538)

Is anyone else really sick of hearing about this dead horse that they're trying to flog?

Latency claims - false.
Framerate claims - false.
Image quality claims - false.
"Blockbuster" games claims - false.
Bandwidth required - 2.5 Gb / hour (so the average UK broadband customer would exceed their monthly allowance in less than 10-15 hours a month).
Overall system capability to handle powerful games - looking false already but there's nothing on the system to really tax them yet.

Pricing - slightly more than just buying the damn game from a shop (and "owning" it forever), and actually cheaper to run it on your own PC even if you take into account the graphics card investment necessary to run those games (but, come on, my laptop cost no more than usual and comes with a card that can laugh at most of those games in bigger resolutions - are there still systems out there that can't do Half-life 2 at 60fps or equivalent?).

It was a nice idea, but it was derided for making exactly those claims that turned out to be false. Some people may buy it but I'd be doubtful they'd keep it for very long. Probably because they don't know how to load / run Steam. If you'd pitched it at casual gamers, it would have sold millions and you could run be running every grannies Wii-style games for them, but you aimed it at fast-paced, FPS-gamers and the like, requiring huge investment in CPU, RAM, graphics cards and latency reduction. World of Goo is on their store lists - that will *work* perfectly in such a setup - low CPU/GPU demand, no latency issues, easily compressible graphics. Saying it could run "any" game was just silly. If you'd pitched it as a "no-maintenance Wii replacement" without the hassle of sticky fingers, scratched disks, special hardware, constant upgrades, etc. then you could have recouped your investment by now. As it is, most people are laughing at you. Give it up now, before the whole thing collapses under the weight of its own claims.

Re:Is it just me? (1, Interesting)

XnavxeMiyyep (782119) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924692)

Bandwidth required - 2.5 Gb / hour (so the average UK broadband customer would exceed their monthly allowance in less than 10-15 hours a month).

This is why I support them. I have no interest in the platform for myself, for similar reasons to many of the other /.ers, but if OnLive take off, then ISPs will have to increase their capacity to keep up with their demands.

Speaking realistically... (1)

Robotron23 (832528) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924752)

Will gamers who use OnLive ever represent such a large chunk of a typical ISPs' customer base as to make a massively expensive upgrade in capacity worthwhile financially?

Re:Speaking realistically... (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#32926470)

They likely wouldn't uprade capacity anyway, they'd just give higher caps but throttle the service so much that OnLive games (and pretty much everything beyond basic web browsing) would be unusable.

Re:Is it just me? (2, Insightful)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924764)

No, they won't "have to do" anything at all. We already have the situation where they're flogging HIGH bandwidth stuff and they've got caps on landline and mobile internet access.

If you think any single application's going to force them to change the caps anytime soon, I've got this nice oceanside property on the Florida coast to sell you...

Re:Is it just me? (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925290)

Sorry, I'm only in the market for bridges at the moment. Got any of those?

Re:Is it just me? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 4 years ago | (#32927168)

Funny. I'm actually trying to find a good beachfront in FL right now, figuring they'll have it all cleaned up by my retirement.

Re:Is it just me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32924816)

I think where a service like OnLive would excel is in the local ISP datacenter. This would cut out the bandwidth charges from an ISP like Comcast and also lower the latency dramatically. Especially if the datacenters were local to each metro area.

Re:Is it just me? (2, Insightful)

BForrester (946915) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924950)

The more likely case is that ISPs will
  - not improve their infrastructure
  - charge exorbitant prices for those who exceed the bandwidth cap
  - offer exorbitantly priced "HD gamer" packages for those who want low-latency, high cap plans
  - berate users (aka service abusers) who consistently use most of the bandwith promised them in their contract

For many of us, this is already status quo.

Re:Is it just me? (1)

Robotron23 (832528) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924720)

Good post. I'd like to add that OnLive is not out in Britain until the end of 2011...so about 16-17 months. That said, the sluggishness in UK broadband compared with services offered in parts of the European continent is well documented, and the lacklustre broadband situation is likely to stay as such for Britons: We are charged about £35 GBP/40 Euro monthly for a connection not even half as good as say...a Swedish ISP or an ISP located in a 'less rich' country like Turkey that is cheaper meg for meg.

The one thing which struck me as the initial hype of this OnLive service happened was my thinking: 'Well what's wrong with Steam?' - OnLive doesn't offer anymore freedom from DRM than Steam. It doesn't offer enough titles to merit using alongside Steam. Like you said the economics of buying games there are non-existant...just walk into a shop and buy one for cheaper. I also bet that despite this initial demand they won't be able to match the frequency and allure of Valve's offers that happen every couple of weeks.

Steam is great mostly for cheap games that they have on offer, classic games hard to come by in the stores, and also the simplistic, hassle-free purchase and browsing interface. OnLive embodies none of these key principles except partly the latter one...and these principles are a big part of Steam's success that keeps gamers checking the store often.

Re:Is it just me? (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#32926592)

Good post. I'd like to add that OnLive is not out in Britain until the end of 2011...so about 16-17 months. That said, the sluggishness in UK broadband compared with services offered in parts of the European continent is well documented, and the lacklustre broadband situation is likely to stay as such for Britons: We are charged about £35 GBP/40 Euro monthly for a connection not even half as good as say...a Swedish ISP or an ISP located in a 'less rich' country like Turkey that is cheaper meg for meg.

And the government announced this week that it wants Britain to be the broadband capital of Europe in the next five years. But it's not prepared to invest a penny of public money in meeting the estimated £2bn costs. I really can't see our position on broadband improving drastically in the near future.

The one thing which struck me as the initial hype of this OnLive service happened was my thinking: 'Well what's wrong with Steam?' - OnLive doesn't offer anymore freedom from DRM than Steam. It doesn't offer enough titles to merit using alongside Steam. Like you said the economics of buying games there are non-existant...just walk into a shop and buy one for cheaper. I also bet that despite this initial demand they won't be able to match the frequency and allure of Valve's offers that happen every couple of weeks.

Steam is great mostly for cheap games that they have on offer, classic games hard to come by in the stores, and also the simplistic, hassle-free purchase and browsing interface. OnLive embodies none of these key principles except partly the latter one...and these principles are a big part of Steam's success that keeps gamers checking the store often.

As far as I could tell, the only thing the service ever offered was not having to have a cutting edge gaming rig. The fact that it's hardly offering taxing games and they're at a pretty low resolution anyway, coupled with the fact that PC gaming over the last few years has slowed down (due to both consoles and the slow down in tech advancements generally with a focus on smaller, less powerful consumer PCs) already renders its only selling point completely moot. Couple that with not owning the games but still paying an extra chunk per game to be able to play on a subscription service with all the other concerns (latency, etc) and it seems like the only reason they're still trying to sell this is because they've invested too much to walk away.

Re:Is it just me? (1)

Beardydog (716221) | more than 4 years ago | (#32928018)

Demand is only where it's at because they're waiving the service fee for the first year as a "bonus" to everyone who's willing to give them a chance. The fact that you can't demo the system on their site ( the fact that this is possible is pretty much the strongest point of their operation ) is insane. The fact that your gaming is limited to the library of games they've adapted ( instead of the library of games your rig can support ) is insane. The fact that you can only sign up by raffle is insane. Everything about their site says "we have no idea what we've gotten into. They are absolutely running on vapor.

Who knows if demand is even that high? It's not like I can just sign up, play, and see how many people are around. Their demand, their capabilities, and their long-term support are all articles of faith. They may as well still be a "coming soon" pie-in-the-sky E3 announcement for all the relevance they have.

If I want to play games on one of my crappy computers for some reason, I'll fire up the free, blurry, low-res ( and blessedly low-latency ) version of streammygame.com. Sure, they've failed to produce an iPhone client for two solid years running, but Onlive has failed to allow me to join for the same length of time.

Re:Is it just me? (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924786)

Oh, and the classic response to why the service sucks: it's too popular! Damn, who'd have thought anyone would be dumb enough to actually give us money in return for a bunch of empty promises, and a complete lack of anything approaching a SLA.

I'm actually kind of surprised that he didn't blame ISPs for their inability to support the Magic behind OnLive. I guess that'll come next month.

Re:Is it just me? (2, Informative)

tbcpp (797625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32926596)

Have you actually used the service? I tried it out (I'm a founding member whoop-dee-doo). And it's exactly the opposite of what you state about World-of-Goo. I found UT3 perfectly playable, with very little noticeable lag. In fact on my second Team death match, I ranked at the top of the list for kills. It's about the same sort of lag I'd expect from using the average bluetooth mouse. World of Goo (and other 2d games) on the other hand was unplayable, the mouse lags so much that it's almost unplayable. So yeah...I'd say your general statement was false. Yes, Latency is an issue, and yes, the video quality is bad. But the heavy 3d games run waaaay better than the lighter 2d games.

Re:Is it just me? (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 4 years ago | (#32928008)

Then there's even more wrong with the system than I could ever have imagined. Can even get World of Goo working smoothly? Shit, I'm not touching the thing with a bargepole now!

Re:Is it just me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32927046)

It's just you. I got in on this because I wanted to play games not available for my Mac and Linux box, and that even if they did, neither one would be able to handle. Plus I don't have to buy it multiple times. See? Cost and technology justified. It plays wonderfully and beautifully on both my Macbook and Ubuntu box, using the same paid for copy, and maintaining my save state across systems. Just because you don't see a need for it doesn't mean no one else will. And it will only get better, cheaper, and broader from here.

Re:Is it just me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32931108)

Tachyons bro, just Tachyons...

Utter crap (4, Insightful)

crossmr (957846) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924584)

Lot's of people, including me, called it as soon as it was announced. It is an absolute failure, we've got screenshots that look horrible, latency issues, games that are so bad you can't see crosshairs.. I mean this is just a disaster. They should close from embarrassment and try and pretend the whole thing never happened. If they wanted to target turn based strategy games or something they might have something.. but their service simply can't service the market they want and the market they want doesn't really benefit from their service.

Re:Utter crap (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924670)

And your FUD is based on exactly what? From all I have seen and read they come pretty close to their announced target performance. Yeah, hardcore twitch PC gamer that isn't happy with anything less then Full-HD and 120fps won't be happy, but he never was the target audience to begin with.

Re:Utter crap (2, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924714)

Crossmr is being a touch blunt; but he has a point.

The real problem is, hardcore twitch gamers aren't going to be happy; but the further you get from twitch gamers, the less valuable the "cloud gaming" features become. Were it possible to serve them, twitch gamers would benefit the most; because they require the most expensive hardware, upgrade the most frequently, play the newest games that may not have been ported yet, etc. The further you get from them, the less valuable the service is. At the other extreme, the "casual" gamer, much of what they play is Flash-based(and thus about as "multiplatform" as anything currently available), and has resource requirements satisfied by a netbook. The technophobe market is pretty well served by a mix of casual flash that you just have to go to a web page to get, or (now relatively cheap) consoles that you can get brick-and-mortar buys/rentals for, pop in and play.

The set of games that are, simultaneously, "non twitch" and "highly system intensive" and "tolerant of relatively low resolution" is vanishingly small. Dwarf Fortress?

Re:Utter crap (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924886)

There is a very large market between hardcore PC people and Solitaire playing casual gamers, namely all the people that own a gaming console. Now if OnLive is good enough to compete with a game console, I don't know, but it seems to get close and offers a bunch of features that no other device has (30min demos of the full game for example). And when it comes to lag, see Killzone 2, that game has more lag then anything I have seen from OnLive so far, yet it got high reviews almost everywhere, most people just don't make a big deal of lag as long as the game is playable and you get used to it.

Also don't forget Mac, Linux, iPads and what not. This service isn't limited to Windows, it can in theory run everywhere where you get enough bandwidth. And heck if it actually ends up being somewhat successful and they do a Linux port it could single handedly remove the "There are no games on Linux, thats why I use Windows" excuse.

Re:Utter crap (1)

CaseM (746707) | more than 4 years ago | (#32927732)

You seem to be taking this fairly personally. Do you work for OnLive?

It's fairly simple, really:

Anyone who cares enough about games to subscribe to this service will already own either a PC or a gaming console.

Anyone who doesn't give a shit about gaming isn't going to be inspired to sign up for this service given the crop of games they're touting.

Re:Utter crap (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#32928310)

Do you work for OnLive?

No, I just don't like people declaring "absolute failure" when the service by all accounts is actually completly usable and far surpasses anything else in that area. See for example Playstation Remote Play, that gets sluggish and unplayable when you are a meter away from the machine. That OnLive manages relative low latency over the Internet is truly impressive and might change the way we do computing in the future. Oh, and obvious xkcd reference [xkcd.com] .

Anyone who cares enough about games to subscribe to this service will already own either a PC or a gaming console.

Yes, there is a market saturation issue and the success of the service in the end I think really depends on how much better then a console they can get. The biggest issue right now is probably the lack of exclusive titles, just having a console game, that you already played, at a higher detail level isn't all that great for $15. Having games like Crysis on the other side running at max detail would be rather impressive, but there just aren't all that many high end games like that around these days. But even with that given, there are probably laptops, mobile phones and other devices around on which that service could be interesting, as even when a console is cheaper, it might not be at hand when you want to use it. And of course OnLive might one day be the solution to gaming on Linux.

Re:Utter crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32928572)

No, I just don't like people declaring "absolute failure" when the service by all accounts is actually completly usable and far surpasses anything else in that area.

When you're the really the only game in town it's not hard to "far surpass anything else in the area". But despite what you claim the reviews show that they aren't providing anything near the level that OnLive claimed and they probably never will be. And yes, you are a shill otherwise you wouldn't be taking this personally like you are.

Re:Utter crap (1)

SethJohnson (112166) | more than 4 years ago | (#32927832)

There is a very large market between hardcore PC people and Solitaire playing casual gamers, namely all the people that own a gaming console.

You're right. And those people are well-served by consoles and the massive content library available for those consoles. Compared to oNLive, there's not much incentive for console players to put down their controllers and subscribe to onLive.

Best of luck to them, but they seem to hold a solution looking for a problem.

Seth

Re:Utter crap (1)

Chrono11901 (901948) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924780)

I was in beta...
During peak internet trafic my mouse lag would vary between .3-.9 seconds.
Games ran on low settings and looked like complete ass.

A 500$ value computer made with parts from newegg would do better.

Re:Utter crap (1)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924796)

It's not FUD.

The quality is suboptimal as was shown with the review.

The latency sucks with a LIGHTLY loaded system network. It's marginal with the current number of subscribers. When you start getting close to capacity on their end, the latency will go to hell in a handbasket.

The bandwidth requirements will kill you AND them (With their stated bandwidth requirements, you need an OC192 to provide their current levels of quality in latency for 6000 simultaneous subscribers, give or take a couple hundred. Do the math there.)

Re:Utter crap (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924946)

The quality is suboptimal as was shown with the review.

This one [eurogamer.net] ?

Almost 18 months ago now we came up with several good reasons why OnLive couldn't possibly work, at least in relation to the specs and claims being made by the company itself. Now we've been hands-on with the final product, the company needs to be congratulated on just how close it has got to sorting out the latency issues which were one of the key concerns. Out of controlled conditions, OnLive has managed to get within spitting distance of console response times and that's a clear technological achievement worthy of recognition.

Yeah, that totally reads like a complete and utter failure.

Re:Utter crap (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925004)

Worthy of recognition, but they didn't say it was "OMG" good. That's like saying to your date: "You know, I recently went out with this ultra hot woman the other day and I'd place you somewhere below average, but I commend you for trying."

Re:Utter crap (2, Interesting)

crossmr (957846) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925040)

Yes.
That one.

However, despite the incredible achievement in streaming gameplay with relatively low latency, the bottom line is that the gameplay experience is not better than what we already have - by and large it's tangibly worse.

I mean if we want to cherry pick comments.
Just how much are you being paid for your comments today?

The varying quality of the graphics is questionable, and the lag is best described as "better than expected" - nowhere near the claims that have been made for the system, and still measurably inferior to current standards. It's just a question of how your personal perception level will interpret it as to whether it's a game-breaker or not.

Let's quote a little more since you seemed to miss it.

In terms of buying games, the prices for new titles are too high and the selection of games is uninspiring. The notion of paying so much for what is measurably an inferior product compared to the physical disc means that OnLive simply cannot be taken seriously at this point in time - especially when you don't own the games you are buying.

In other words, it's a joke.

So yes, it does sound like a complete and utter failure.

Perhaps by the time expensive next-generation hardware is unleashed upon us OnLive's value proposition will increase accordingly, but until then the value just isn't there.

and hey who could forget the paragraph immediately after what you quoted

However, even in this regard, lag doesn't meet OnLive's on-the-record promises, and elsewhere the system comes up short. The claims of 720p60 don't stack up compared to the reality of the service (unless you are describing the technical make-up of the transmitted video stream rather than actual game performance) and the quality of the image in challenging situations is poor and no match whatsoever for playing the same game locally. OnLive generally seems to be a system that can work well for certain games, but really isn't very well suited for others.

So again, how much you being paid to astroturf?

Re:Utter crap (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925152)

So yes, it does sound like a complete and utter failure.

You are moving the goalpost. The review utterly busted your claims that its technically not workable, since it actually works. And no, that it can't do 720p@60 doesn't change that, its not even much of a deal, since neither Xbox360 not PS3 will give you that on an average game and they sell just fine. Price and licensing, sure, they are an issue, but that's stuff they will have to adjust to market forces. The core point is simply, after all those "Its impossible!" claims, they have shown that it actually works.

Re:Utter crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32925206)

Keep the shilling coming. Is OnLive paying you by the post?

Re:Utter crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32927198)

He figured it's either post here or play on their service. This was the slightly less painful option.

Re:Utter crap (1)

crossmr (957846) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925258)

You are moving the goalpost. The review utterly busted your claims that its technically not workable, since it actually works. And no, that it can't do 720p@60 doesn't change that,

not even a little bit. The review clearly states that they didn't meet their goals. They said they came close, they didn't say they met them. I know all those pennies they're throwing your way is blinding you but give it another go over. So no it doesn't remotely bust my claim since "close" means what they claimed still isn't technically workable. Until they actually provide the product they promised, they'll have to keep paying chumps like you to talk them up.

Re:Utter crap (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925398)

They said they came close, they didn't say they met them.

In my book "close" means "close", not "utter failure". Utter failure would be if all or most of their games would be unplayable and they are nowhere near that. And its not like they are the first one to overestimate their technical capabilities, remember claims how PS3 would be 1080p or Xbox360 wouldn't allow games below 720p? Yet lots of games miss that mark, often by a lot.

I know all those pennies they're throwing your way is blinding you but give it another go over.

False claims of astroturfing don't make your argument any better.

Give me a solid reason why OnLive can't successed and I might listen, but so far I neither have seen or heard any.

Re:Utter crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32925422)

Give me a solid reason why OnLive can't successed and I might listen, but so far I neither have seen or heard any.

Excessive bandwidth costs, poor video quality, bad latency, overpriced schlock. Go away now little shill.

Re:Utter crap (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925682)

Excessive bandwidth costs and poor video quality will solve itself over time, its called technological progress, it happens. The bad latency argument has already been debunked. Price, yes, its an issue and $15 is to much, $10 or $5 would be more fitting. The probably biggest issue right now however is market saturation, those who don't have time or money for PC gaming, already have a console and while OnLive seems to be able to keep up with consoles, it doesn't outpace them, as you end up with the choice between compressed good graphics and uncompressed bad graphics. Of course OnLive might also be to early, but then so was stuff like Steam, first everybody hated it and today its basically a core part of every PC gamers life. The interesting part will be to see if OnLive has enough money to keep going till bandwidth is easy enough available that they can market to the average person, not just the 20mbit/s heavy Internet user.

But in the end I wouldn't be surprised if in five or ten years OnLive or a similar service like it, would be a core piece of the gaming landscape.

Re:Utter crap (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32925918)

The bad latency argument has already been debunked.

Except that the article that we are discussing shows it's not debunked. They said it was "better than expected" but it was still "nowhere near the claims that have been made for the system". All you did was quote mine to try to make a point but no one is buying it.

Re:Utter crap (1)

crossmr (957846) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925662)

Trying to deny it doesn't make your astroturfing any less obvious. The technical limitations have been pointed out for a long time and the results have shown that they didn't overcome them, thus an utter failure. As the review pointed out, the service simply cannot be taken seriously.

Whatever they're paying you, tell them to double it, you're certainly trying your best.

Re:Utter crap (1)

hkmwbz (531650) | more than 4 years ago | (#32931560)

Seriously, what's with the aggressive tone? Can't you express your opinion without bashing the service and throwing accusations all over the place?

You even accuse him of astroturfing after he criticizes the service...

Re:Utter crap (1)

Cederic (9623) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925190)

I'm not even hardcore twitch these days, and "full HD" would be a backwards step from my gaming experience for the past three years.

720p, with 150ms input to display latency, excessive bandwidth demands and a higher cost than just buying the games I want to play? Forgive me for being unconvinced.

The irony is that I'd love this service to become viable and effective. The Arena looks magnificent (although raises privacy concerns for things like in-game chat), the ability to play demos is desperately needed and if I could have the choice of playing the same game (purchased just once) via Onlive or through a local installation then I'd leap at it.

Re:Utter crap (2, Interesting)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#32927348)

Agreed, I don't think anyone here, even the hard core doubters, are willing this to fail, I'd love to be able to log into my entire games catalogue and play it from pretty much any computer I happen to be sat at, it's just that people recognise the massive limitations at the moment and find it incredibly difficult to believe this will take off. There would have to be a sea change in the availability of cheap, high speed, uncapped or at least very high capped broadband before this could be viable (even then it leaves the latency question, but it would be suitable for a number of genres that don't require twitch responses), and whether that will happen before OnLive's investors lose interest is the big question.

Re:Utter crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32929634)

I honestly thought it worked really well. I was able to play and watch with almost no lag and a minimal amount of artifacts. I still don't quite understand their business model, but the technology seems great! I've got a very fast low latency line with an ISP that knows what they're doing at home so maybe that's why my experience is better than most.

Yeah right.... (5, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924672)

""It's less of an issue about the licenses evaporating, and more of an issue of whether or not we continue to maintain the operating systems and the graphics cards to run those games."

Whatever... I have a copy of the really old Unreal Tournament that works great on windows 7 with a modern video card. his "issue" is a non issue and is used as a red herring to justify killing customers licenses.

Re:Yeah right.... (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924762)

And your single game anecdote invalidates his argument exactly how? Just because some games might work doesn't mean that they can guarantee that for each single game on their service will continue to work and when it fails and the publishers doesn't care to fix it, they simply might be out of luck, that's why they have that disclaimer:

Full: Provides unlimited access to the selected game throughout its supported lifetime on the OnLive service. We expect to keep all games supported for as long as people continue to play them, but at a minimum, all current games will be supported for 3 years after their release on the OnLive Service.

Note, it doesn't they "after three years your games will stop working", it says that will work for three years at minimum, they might work much longer. I much prefer them being upfront about the limitations their service, then doing it like Sega who shut down their Chromehound XboxLive multiplayer servers after just 3.5 years, something I don't think many people had in mind when they subscribed to the XboxLive service.

Re:Yeah right.... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32924982)

Could you be a more obvious shill for OnLine, bro? You get way too defensive over any criticism of this service.

Re:Yeah right.... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925938)

his point was simply that upgrading a game maching doesn't mean you can't play old games.

Onlive was saying that upgrading servers means you can't play old games; which is BS.

While you are technically correct, about the three years, it sure sounded like weasel words.

"r. I much prefer them being upfront about the limitations their service, "

me too. This was the consumers can talk about their BS, and the pros and cons of the service.

Re:Yeah right.... (1)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924808)

Heh... It's just more stuff that fails the sniff test on OnLive.

Not a single thing from them has passed a sniff test- it all smells like BS.

Re:Yeah right.... (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925018)

Yeah, I'd at least have thought they'd have some form of accelerated virtualisation. If you buy a game for a service like that, what's stopping you having an "image" of a server for each game that runs it via your Cloud server and gets instantiated on-demand. Whether the server is brand-new or ten years old, or whether the games been in the archives for ten minutes or a decade, it should just be a matter of loading a virtual machine on the cloud servers and having them run it. This also brings you things like pause-and-resume for the service should the user disconnect in the middle of a game, and/or being able to migrate apps between servers and upgrades seamlessly.

Once the image is set up, no more "backwards compatibility" problems - you're in an isolated network, running a heavily-locked-down virtualised machine, for a single user (so security of running old Windows isn't an issue). You also become OS-agnostic and can offer DOS-only, Linux-only, or Apple-only games (not that there's many of them) or even emulators of older systems. Virtual machines are one of the best ways to permanently keep a working image of something going forever. A disaster-recovery technician trying to provide modern replacements would give you *anything* for a virtual image of how the system used to be.

If they're *not* virtualising like this, then they're idiots. If they are, there's no excuse for not being able to run those machines forever except license negotiation (and that won't be too hard 2-3 years down the line when the game is on the budget shelves and in Steam for £5). The only question is that of hardware acceleration under virtualisation but I'm sure such a "revolutionary" idea should have no problems finding backers to make sure the DirectX / OpenGL hand-over works fine under virtualisation. VMWare already does it, from what I remember.

The hardware / driver part is a issue and virtuali (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925866)

The hardware / driver part is a issue and virtualising video cards is likely some kind of pass though to real card.

for 1 thing old drivers can't run new cards and the new ones some times brake older games / slow them down.

And... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32925506)

And I have a copy of Wipeout XL that worked fine on a 233MHz Windows 95 PC but refused to install on Windows 98 or above, and any CPU speed higher would make the game accelerate way past playability. MS likes to tout compatibility but the reality is that it's pretty sporadic that a particular game/program will work the same across various hardware/OS combinations.

Re:And... (1)

ImprovOmega (744717) | more than 4 years ago | (#32928868)

On the other hand I had a copy of Wing Commander:Kilrathi Saga that played perfectly in Win95, barely in Windows XP, not at all in Windows Vista and now plays flawlessly in Win 7 (on the exact same hardware that it failed to run on in Vista). So...yeah, sometimes old games fail spectacularly on modern systems, and sometimes they die and get resurrected. There's no rhyme or reason to it, each game is highly individual.

Re:Yeah right.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32925694)

Metal Gear Solid for PC I think is good example of a game requiring certain graphics card.. At least, NVidia no longer seems to support the texture mode the game needs to render with hardware acceleration. Luckily it was created in a time where 3d accelerated graphics cards were not that common so it had software rendering as an option.

Duke Nukem 3d was always iffy under the DOS-based versions of Windows (while in "Windows" mode anyway). Then Windows 2000 and is descendants came along and it ran poorly if at all. However in a surprising turn of events 3drealms released the source code and most of those problems went away!

Max Payne (first one) ran in Vista/7 muted for all intents and purposes--requiring you to run unofficial (!) patch to get it working..

And I guess no one remembers when BioShock was released and its lack of support for a certain Shader Model?

Perlman isn't pulling one completely of thin air... though frankly, even with the examples given I say he has bigger concerns at the moment.. (Cost? Latency?)

no beta ticket for me :( (1)

jappleng (1805148) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924678)

I registered a long time ago for a beta but they never sent me one. I'm kind of sad because I was looking forward to trying this concept. But, knowing what is going on now, and what they are doing, I don't think that I care too much about OnLive anymore. Perhaps in the future we can see something come out of this that functions like it should but with the way computers and networks are currently engineered, there is no affordable way at least in my opinion to service what they want while maintaining the integrity of the games and performance. Fortunately you don't have to spend over $2000 for a really good gaming rig these days. Even a $900 custom built computer will run virtually any PC game at their highest settings and you can easily expand with an SLI card, RAM, and perhaps even solid state disks. Perhaps by 2016, PCs will be even more affordable than they are today :)

Re:no beta ticket for me :( (0, Troll)

luther349 (645380) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924844)

its a good idea but done wrong. paying a fee and buying the games just isn't gonna attract people. what they should have done was aim to be the net flicks of gaming. maybe a 50 or 60$ fee to play every game they have on there hardware would have gotten everyone's attention. but i have to rent/buy everything i wanna play on there hardware ill just build my own pc and use my own hardware without fees and at higher qualty.

Re:no beta ticket for me :( (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924900)

its a good idea but done wrong. paying a fee and buying the games just isn't gonna attract people.

Which is why nobody is using XboxLive, right? The 30min demo feature that OnLive has alone seems to be worth the fee.

Re:no beta ticket for me :( (1)

Cederic (9623) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925274)

$15/month to access game demos? Sorry, you think people should pay to receive advertising?

How about Online pay me $15/month and I'll maybe allow some of my time to play a demo or two. After all, the only outcomes for me are
- I play a game and it's shite, so I waste my time
- I play a game and it's great, so I buy it

Either way I lose out (time or money) and Onlive have the chance of a sale they would otherwise have lost.

(Except of course, I wont be buying through Onlive, because I'll get a cheaper better gaming experience by buying the game from Steam/Amazon)

Don't lets even get started on the ability to preview games through the unofficial channels (i.e. piracy) or through rental services (e.g. I can play as many games as I like each month for a fixed cost, with the game discs sent through the posts to me by LoveFilm).

Lets put this in perspective: Metaboli charge approximately the same but give you access to their full catalogue of games at no extra cost, to play in full and not as a demo. Why on earth would I ever go to Onlive instead of Metaboli?

Re:no beta ticket for me :( (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32925304)

You can buy games on XBox live without paying the monthly fee. The monthly fee is only for online play. Nice try, OnLive shill.

Re:no beta ticket for me :( (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925946)

Because purchasing an Xbox Live gold account is necessary in order to play 360 games? Oh wait... Exactly what was your statement supposed to show?

Re:no beta ticket for me :( (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32925144)

I got into the founder program and they just had a survey this week. One of the questions was interest in a separate package where you pay a single fee and get access to the service and games that are more than six months old. Now this doesn't mean that they are this, but I'm fairly sure they are taking the complaints about the subscription to heart and trying to make something more appealing.

Make this right. (2, Funny)

xmorg (718633) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924756)

Yesterday , BP made it right. Some of you don't believe. some of you are still angry; and that's ok. I'm xmorg, and ill be here as long as it takes to make this right.

Priceing (1)

yoshi_mon (172895) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924912)

The biggest issue with this service is the price. Computers are pretty damn cheap these days, even the GPUs. Sure the enthusiast market will have it's $300 video cards but that is like saying every car needs a v12. Most people get by just fine with a v6.

To then charge, near?, full price on top of a subscription for a service that already requires you to have a computer, ISP connection, and all the rest is downright asking for failure. I'm sure their startup costs are substantial but only the really really stupid people who again already have a computer and an internet connection are going to pay full price for such a service. And most of those really really stupid people have already been sold video cards, games, and consoles by the Best Buy drones.

Re:Priceing (1)

Cythrawl (941686) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925282)

I agree, The pricing should be more like a Netflix account, because in reality you are not owning the games you are renting them, via a streaming service... $39,99 for a (potential) three year licence for Assassins Creed 2 or buy the original game for $39.98 from Fry's.com that doesn't have a lesser resolution (AND the ability to change the detail level), latency issues, etc etc etc... Really which one would YOU take?? DRM aside I know which one I would rather have.... The pricing is all wrong, and that my friends is what will totally doom this to failure (although I will admit it has a very cool front end and watching other people play live is fun). I got a free account just to see how this thing worked, and really in my opinion its pretty impressive what it does. For PC's that are say 5 years old with crap hardware, they could run Just Cause 2 with everything cranked, without DirectX11 and Nvidia card and have all the features that game has with that hardware (CUDA Effects, Brokeh Filter, etc). Its GREAT for that I guess, but if that was the case then you are not a hardcore PC gamer, and this service does NOTHING for the avid PC Gamer at all...

Re:Priceing (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925870)

Gaming capable computers aren't that cheap. I think you need to spend a minimum of $150 for a midrange video card. Sure you can try to get away with an $80 beater card, but your frame rates on even low settings for games like BC2 will put you at a disadvantage against players who don't get random slowdowns.

To make this situation worse you'll probably need to spend another $60 on a power supply and the huge hassle of replacing your existing ps.

When you consider this, not only are gaming computers expensive (you could buy a console for this money) but most people don't have or want the technical chops to replace a ps.

Re:Priceing (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#32926282)

Gaming capable computers aren't that cheap.

Bullshit. You can buy a $500 dollar computer that can play pretty much any game at medium settings if not slightly better. Now if by "gaming capable" you meant play Cyrsis at 1920x1200 at highest settings then yes you'd have a point.

Re:Priceing (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 4 years ago | (#32928960)

By gaming capable I mean the ability to buy ANY game and play it without it looking terrible or being at a competitive disadvantage. With consoles this is true out of the box. With your budget beater gaming PC, this is absolutely not true.

Re:Priceing (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#32929154)

With your budget beater gaming PC, this is absolutely not true.

I have an PC with an AMD 4800+, 1 gig of RAM and an old AGP 7800GT video card. There is nothing special about the hardware and the CPU and video card are at least 5 years old and I've been able to play pretty any current game at medium to higher quality with no "competitive disadvantage" and more than 30fps. In conclusion, you're full of it.

Re:Priceing (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#32928124)

What the hell?
Mid range is 50-60, upper range is a hundred, and the stupid range is 300.

" huge hassle of replacing your existing ps."

wow, yeah 5 minutes of work. that's a huge hassle. I mean, that's time you could have spent eating cheesy poofs.

replacing a ps doesn't take technical chops. It just takes a little bit of confidence.

500 bucks and I can build a new machine that plays everything at a high resolution. The great thing is, it will last for years and only need a minor video card upgrade every 3 years. cheaper then a console in the long run.

I own two consoles and game on them. Different kinds of games. sports/driving games / music games no consoles. Twitch and strategy on the PC.

Re:Priceing (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 4 years ago | (#32928934)

You're looking at this from the wrong perspective. Yes, you can do these things, but Joe Average can't and won't. PC gaming is hurting because it has a technical barrier to entry. Joe Average isn't opening his case and pulling out his ps and putting in a $150 video card. He's simply going to buy a console.

Dejobaan's Guarantee to Yoooooooou! (5, Informative)

MiceHead (723398) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925444)

Sooooooo! So. We're Dejobaan Games, a small indie (redundant?) studio responsible for a game called AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! -- A Reckless Disregard for Gravity [dejobaan.com] . If you've used OnLive, you've probably seen the damned thing listed at the top of their games selection because they sort alphabetically. Our next game will probably be called something annoying like !!!00000LoL and be even higher on the list.

I digress.

I like OnLive; I like the guys I've met that work for OnLive; I'm also the Hair Club President. I want them to succeed, because the more ways for folks to get games, the better. Here's our guarantee: If you pick Aaaaa! up on OnLive, and they stop carrying our game in 3 years, we'll give you an offline copy. I'm not sure if folks are having tech issues, but honestly, the licensing issue is really easy for us to fix. :)

Re:Dejobaan's Guarantee to Yoooooooou! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32925620)

Why not give users access to a download now? It's not as if they're likely to buy a second copy and it would give them more flexibility.

Re:Dejobaan's Guarantee to Yoooooooou! (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925880)

Or just charge a fee to play and let players play whatever they want. SO it's more like subscription TV.

Re:Dejobaan's Guarantee to Yoooooooou! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32926078)

Yeah, but you guys actually care about your audience. To many of the big publishers I am nothing but the size of my wallet.

Nevertheless, it's great to hear someone like you say that!

Re:Dejobaan's Guarantee to Yoooooooou! (1)

Reapman (740286) | more than 4 years ago | (#32928434)

Gonna have to check out your game once I get home (you guys made it on our Block List at work, :[ ), not often you see a developer post directly here and tie in a bit of humor. Plus you actually seem to care. I have no interest in OnLive (and I'm in Canada, so it doesn't matter if I do or not it'll probably be years before it reaches us if ever) but I do like to support developers that give a damn!

How long will comcast like this? Till nodes max ou (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925510)

How long will comcast like this? Till nodes max out? Till uses hit there download cap real fast?

having a direct link to ISP like AT&T and comcast is nice it's the cable lines / nodes that are the real small link points. Dsl is better at that point but AT&T will have to up all Dsl uses to there max line speed for people to be able to use this and trun on fast path for U-Verse users.

Look at the big picture (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32926622)

Comcast, AT&T and Cox **LOVE** this service / the idea of this service.

Get rid of net neutrality.
Sell different levels / quality of internet services (add this as a "Gamers pack")
Profit!

ISP then Subsidize OnLive so it can charge lower fees, OnLive profits.
Game companies release exclusive titles / blockbusters on OnLive, thereby reducing piracy in the industry, game companies profit.

Basically it's about control, and the ISP's will keep this service running. They only want big businesses to run games (I.E. *NO* home servers hosting or running a game). Think of how much Cox would love it if they could force Activision to pay a fee to let consumers connect to WoW? Or how AT&T would need money from EA Games to allow people to connect to the latest Battlefield game? This service stinks, but it's where the big ISP's want things to go. They also want in on the ground floor with OnLive (and subsidizing them) so they have more control over it than Steam.

Missing the boat. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#32925858)

We have:
A) Games the same price, or more expensive then owning your own.
B) Loosing all games if your account is cancelled
C) a monthly fee
D) game that can only be played on t a time. I can be playing fallout while me son plays my copy os SCII, for example.
E) No resell/give away of games. I'll often give games to people whose budget doesn't really allow for them.
F) Graphics are inconsistan/poor.
G) You can't upgrade the performance.

That's too many negatives.

Here is what think they could do to counter the negatives:
a monthly fee and you can play whatever you want.
If it was 15 bucks and I could play what ever I want? sweet. Or free with advertising. Advertising they could control really well since you can't DVR a game. 30 seconds just before entering a game would be fine. obviously not interrupting the game.

Re:Missing the boat. (1)

Reapman (740286) | more than 4 years ago | (#32929902)

"30 seconds just before entering a game would be fine. obviously not interrupting the game."

Obvious to you and me yes.. obvious to the Bobby Kotick's of the world? Ya not so much.

*Door opens, unveiling the final boss of the game, switch to view of the player, weapon at the ready, charging in ready to start the fight...*
"We'll return after this brief commercial announcement from Tampax!"

Well, back to consoles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32930426)

You still have to buy the games
Plus you have to pay $15 a month
"Your" game might at some point become completely unplayable
They don't even want to talk about what might happen if a license is revoked

So, cheaper? No
"Better" graphics? No
More game selection? No
More convenient? Barely
Trading, borrowing, etc. etc.? No
Unforseen consequences? Yes

1/6 for the consumer is far short of an improvement, I'm not sure cloud computing is the "future" of gaming, whether it prevents piracy or not.

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