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OnLive Aiming To Become Netflix of Games

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the sorry-gamefly-good-try dept.

Cloud 146

donniebaseball23 writes "OnLive may have its long-term sights on entertainment besides games, especially with the hiring of Pandora executive Etienne Handman, but for now the cloud-based service is laser focused on taking a chunk of the games market. It has launched a Netflix-inspired all-you-can-eat plan for $9.99/month. 'The meteoric growth of Netflix reflects the enormous consumer demand for flat-rate instant-play media,' said Steve Perlman, OnLive Founder and CEO. 'OnLive PlayPack is uniquely positioned to address this demand in the realm of high-performance video games, instantly delivering games ... to TVs, PCs, Macs and iPad, and soon Android tablets, smartphones and Blu-ray players.'"

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Old news. (1)

saucercrab (855892) | more than 3 years ago | (#35077802)

I had the Sega Channel back in '94.

Re:Old news. (1)

Onuma (947856) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078850)

Good point, but the Sega Channel seemed to be plagued by problems. Occasionally the unit would overheat, certain larger games were nearly impossible to download (Shadowrun and Phantasy Star IV come to mind), and had an lack of availability/support in many areas.

I hope, and expect OnLive to be implemented much more strongly than SC ever was. You may need their hardware and/or software to run things (not sure about their current implementation plan), but you can play it on your device - no need to specifically have a Sega Genesis in this case.

They're not the first to try, but they may be the first to succeed.

no for online to work as good severs will headend (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079222)

no for online to work as good severs will need to be at the headends and even VOD has control lag. Also that 250gb cap will make on live realty suck once they up the PQ.

I hear that hot cable tv israel is working on a on live like system.

hmm interesting (1)

rainmouse (1784278) | more than 3 years ago | (#35077828)

If they can make it less effort to stream or download a film to watch than it is to pirate something then they may be onto something glaringly obvious that the big media companies seem to have failed to realise. However I suspect people may be subjected to DRM restrictions and too many hoops to jump through to cross that threshold of ease of use offered by many torrent sites.

Re:hmm interesting (1)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079170)

>>>If they can make it less effort to stream or download than it is to pirate

Perhaps, but I still prefer to own games. That way I can convert them back to cash when finished with them. As example: I bought Final Fantasy 13 for $45 sale price, beat it, and then sold to to some guy on ebay for $53.

Made a nice profit. That happens with most of my games where I sell them for a few dollars more than I originally paid, so overall I am making money by owning (versus a $5 rental which I never get back).

On the other hand I might end-up like this guy, and
just go back to rentals: "Author Falls in Love with E-reader"
http://www.analogsf.com/2011_04/altview.shtml [analogsf.com]

Re:hmm interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35079584)

Made a nice profit. That happens with most of my games where I sell them for a few dollars more than I originally paid

Really? Profit happens when you sell something for more than you paid? Interesting concept. You are lying in that you normally purchase commodity video games and then turn a profit, but thanks for the definition either way, ass hat.

Re:hmm interesting (1)

AmberBlackCat (829689) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079484)

What they need to do is make it so you can pause, rewind, advance forward or backward a single frame, and take a screen capture as easily as you can with a movie played from a file on your hard drive. Also, they need to add the ability to edit the video and watch your new version of the video. And they need to guarantee you'll always be able to watch the current and your new edited version of the video. Then it will be as good as a video you have on disc.

First? But really... (1)

Genocaust (1031046) | more than 3 years ago | (#35077850)

Is this plan new? I signed up for the "free monthly trial" of OnLive awhile back but it still required me to purchase (at retail prices) games in addition to the waived monthly fee. Why would I want to pay retail and a continuing monthly maintenance fee for a game, exactly?

Re:First? But really... (1)

Shadis (934448) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078992)

This is new. This is a $9 a month fee to play all you want to play. You then don't have to pay for any of the games that are part of this program. As long as you keep paying the $9 a month you can play any of the games as much as you want. You can still pay the 'retail' price for a game if you don't want to pay a subscription fee as well.

Subscriptions, no thanks! (1)

sd4f (1891894) | more than 3 years ago | (#35077882)

What is it with subscriptions, everyone wants to sell you a contract for a service. It's like as if they have a dire fear of actually selling you a tangible product. Besides, my internet isn't reliable enough to instantly stream low res youtube.

Re:Subscriptions, no thanks! (1)

MattSausage (940218) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078916)

Well, for what it's worth, you still have the option to buy the games outright. Again, it's on their service, so no disks or anything. But you do not have to subscribe. In fact, the way it stands now, not all games are available under the subscription plans.

So, you can pay retail-ish prices for the games, and play them from now until the service shuts down (however many years that might be), or you can subscribe and get a dozen or more games to play without restriction which may or may not be the newest most popular games on the service.

Re:Subscriptions, no thanks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35079070)

What is it with subscriptions, everyone wants to sell you a contract for a service. It's like as if they have a dire fear of actually selling you a tangible product. Besides, my internet isn't reliable enough to instantly stream low res youtube.

What is it with subscriptions? I take it you don't know much about business at all. Recurring monthly revenue is basically the holy grail of any business plan. It's much better to have a continuous flow of income than it is to have fluctuating income.

Re:Subscriptions, no thanks! (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079150)

Yeah. That would mean that you actually have to work on more ways to earn money rather than just sit around and collect money from customers who pay you monthly.

Re:Subscriptions, no thanks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35079370)

Yeah. That would mean that you actually have to work on more ways to earn money rather than just sit around and collect money from customers who pay you monthly.

You seem to have that backwards. A subscription plan would require people to actually have to work to keep people wanting to pay a subscription.

Re:Subscriptions, no thanks! (1)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079276)

"What is it with subscriptions..."

money. like the gym membership you buy, keep, but don't use. It's a fixed, predictable revenue stream. Stability is key to long term growth of a business. being able to count on a steady income is a huge part of that. why not shoot for the business model that people have shown to be okay with (even if you aren't) and give yourself a chance at staying around.

Post Queue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35077902)

First

From the guy who brought you Xband and WebTV! (0)

mykos (1627575) | more than 3 years ago | (#35077946)

After helping to develop Quicktime, Steve Perlman has made his living bilking investors and early adopters into technology that doesn't work. While Xband wasn't really his fault because bandwidth was lacking, he now has to contend with a greater technology hurdle:
c itself.

Check out youtube videos of any Unreal Tournament III match, and notice the inability of the player to hit all but the most stationary enemies. It's not going to work. Network lag + rendering lag + controller input lag + television input lag = an unplayable experience, unless you exclusively play turn-based strategy games.

Re:From the guy who brought you Xband and WebTV! (1)

cheeks5965 (1682996) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079956)

It's not going to work. Network lag + rendering lag + controller input lag + television input lag = an unplayable experience, unless you exclusively play turn-based strategy games.

Yeah, lag is an initial concern, but in my experience has little impact for most games. I played through the entirety of just cause 2 and assassin's creed 2, and lag wasn't a problem. But it may be different for twitchier games like fps or racing. I recommend you give it a try and see if it's a deal breaker.

Steam (1)

Etiko (1391455) | more than 3 years ago | (#35077972)

I feel Steam has a bigger chance of becoming the "Netflix of Games". Especially with Steam moving to the PS3 now as well...

Re:Steam (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079168)

Technically it's just Steamworks (not sure about voice chat) from what I understand of it...

I'd be flat lined if Steam brought their store to the PS3 along with cross game/platform voice and they let me use the apps in my PC library that have PS3 equivalents, but for the update coming it's just enough Steam (cloud, updates and multiplayer) to support Portal 2 from my understanding.

Re:Steam (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079234)

Steam only works with PC's. OnLive works with PC's, and also as a stand-alone console. That's a big deal to gamers like me who left behind the PC a long time ago to sit our lazy asses on the couch and leave behind the upgrade race.

TACHYONS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35077988)

Regardless of what this topic is about, I just want to say that I gave Onlive a try, and it ended up being awful. Bad resolution, bad graphics, bad response times. The idea is great, but I doubt the worlds infrastructure is ready for it.

From the man who brought you Xband and WebTV! (2)

mykos (1627575) | more than 3 years ago | (#35077998)

Steve Perlman has made his living off of tech-deficient investors and hapless early adopters.

With Xband, he had to contend with limited bandwidth.
With WebTV, he had to contend with limited processing power
With onlive, he has to contend with the biggest hurdle of all: the speed of light.

Controller input lag + rendering lag + video compression lag + television input lag + stream decoding + network lag itself is not going to make for a great experience. Watch any youtube video with Onlive and Unreal Tournament III. Notice how the player is playing on the easiest settings and requires fairly stationary or predictable targets just to connect with a shot.

This system will be great for people who play facebook apps and turn-based strategy games, but everyone else is just going to be frustrated.

Re:From the man who brought you Xband and WebTV! (1)

bondsbw (888959) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079238)

Most people I know say that UT3 is definitely playable (and I agree), but those "Facebook" games are the ones that seem to experience the most noticeable lag.

In OnLive, there is a tiny amount of input-to-screen lag, but there is no gamer-to-gamer lag (the type where you're shooting one guy but he's actually 3 feet ahead of where he seems to be). So games that normally experience no lag like World of Goo seem to now be affected by input-to-screen lag, but games like UT3 actually have a reduced element of gamer-to-gamer lag and can be more playable than on a console.

Re:From the man who brought you Xband and WebTV! (1)

SixGame (1565287) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079660)

...so you've used it? I mean you clearly have experienced this lag in the games you've been playing in Onlive. Otherwise this is just speculation contrary to my actual experience and that of numerous journalists. I feel as a network engineer, a netcode debugger for multiplayer games, and a former pro CS player; I have a unique perspective on this particular claimed issue. Round trip latency, for me, falls within a 50ms to 100ms. It's noticeable to only the most competitive players, a large majority of FPS players will not be able to notice any input lag at all. With latency continually trending downwards, it will only be a short time before it's completely unnoticeable. I'd say that, while Steve Perlman's projects haven't been misleading to investors, they are simply a victim of timing. No matter how savy the CEO, you can't predict the future. WebTV's spectacular failure was largely due to the technology bubble leading up to the early 2000's. Perlman, however, was not at the company when things went south, but like many other tech companies, experienced fantastic success up till that point. WebTV was purchased by Microsoft in 1999 after Perlman personally met with Gates and described his vision. In my opinion. He may be ahead of his time, but his ideas are still relevant. Especially with the transition to XaaS, consumer grade solutions are becoming more cost-effective every day. When is that break-even point? Steve Perlman is still trying to get it, but he'll let us know when he does.

Re:From the man who brought you Xband and WebTV! (1)

crossmr (957846) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079882)

With latency continually trending downwards, it will only be a short time before it's completely unnoticeable

You don't sound like much of a network engineer. This is a physical impossibility. Any latency you notice is also likely to be doubled in a multiplayer game.
You might get 50-100 on some servers, but now you've got to start off with getting that to Onlive, then you have to get that to a server doubling it. Latency is only going to go up as ISPs jerk around with traffic, oversell subscriptions, and generally don't take care of their networks as well as they should. Even if onlive limits their multiplayer to inhouse to minimize latency, you're still dealing with lowered quality at a higher price. A gaming session that could die with the slightest hiccup. It just can't compete with a console, even less with a PC.

Ask anyone who has been the first to get service in a neighbourhood vs a year later how their service is. Now multiply that company wide.

Re:From the man who brought you Xband and WebTV! (1)

AmberBlackCat (829689) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079924)

I'm starting to think people will just adapt to the slower response times. It's working for the XBox Kinect.

Re:From the man who brought you Xband and WebTV! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35080394)

Really? Have you ever even played an OnLive game? I have had the microconsole for a month, and I play practically every day.

I played through all of Batman: Arkham Asylum and am currently playing Price of Persia.

The lag, whatever there actually is at least for me, is so rare that it's unnoticeable, or certainly irrelevant, given the savings comparison to a Sony or Nintendo product. As a fairly casual, sofa-type gamer, his product is perfect for me. I doubt it would make a hard-core gamer happy, but then I doubt it's intended to do so.

No affiliation, just a happy customer.

Re:From the man who brought you Xband and WebTV! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35080690)

Thank God you made this post again. After you made it the first time [slashdot.org] I was worried that you might not post the same thing again 20 minutes later without adding any new thoughts or information, but then you really came through for me.

Gamefly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35078034)

I though Gamefly was the Netflix of games...

Netflix has more than a dozen movies (1)

yotto (590067) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078040)

They need to get a LOT more games, and more recent games, before this will ever fly.

Are they for real? (2)

Pottsynz (756353) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078046)

Unless their tech is based on magic there is no way they can get mass market appeal. No one is going to put up with games that feel unresponsive/laggy. Gamefly is a vastly better option.

it still sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35078074)

..and it's a waste of bw, but it does give the control freaks their wet dream.

Good, but.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35078076)

The technology is impressive, but you really become aware of the lag at times. Wi-Fi is a no-nonoises DSL line contention and youryour distance from the datacentre all play large roles in whether it's playable.

Not All OnLive Games Available for This Offer (1)

mentil (1748130) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078092)

Only the special 'playpack' games can be played with this monthly flat fee, which is a portion of their total selection. Oddly, some games are available via the playpack but can't be otherwise played (purchased/rented) via OnLive.

There already is a Netflix for games (4, Informative)

ildon (413912) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078154)

It's called Gamefly.

Re:There already is a Netflix for games (2)

Kildjean (871084) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079090)

they mean streaming-wise as netflix's new model is going to be streaming content...

Re:There already is a Netflix for games (1)

slyrat (1143997) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079406)

they mean streaming-wise as netflix's new model is going to be streaming content...

Careful with statements like that. I may like the streaming ability of Netflix, but I certainly wouldn't do it without the ability to get the discs via mail. I like the better quality (especially with blu-ray) and the wider selection. I do think that if onlive joined up with gamefly there would be something really good going on.

Re:There already is a Netflix for games (1)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079434)

they mean streaming-wise as netflix's new model is going to be streaming content...

New model? Netflix has been doing streaming for over 3 years now.

Re:There already is a Netflix for games (1)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | more than 3 years ago | (#35080490)

Came here to say this.

Re:There already is a Netflix for games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35080494)

they also neglected to mention that onlive doesn't really work

Steam (1)

frecky (1095067) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078166)

Isn't this what Steam is already ... ?

Re:Steam (1)

Barefoot Monkey (1657313) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079158)

Isn't this what Steam is already ... ?

Not at all. Well, mostly-not-at-all - they'll probably end up with a similar delivery mechanism to Steam (and not persist with silly ideas like having the games execute remotely), but what this is really all about is the pricing scheme. TFA describes paying a fixed monthly amount to play anything on an entire catelogue. Steam gives you an indefinite subscription with after a seperate once-off payment for each individual game.

Re:Steam (1)

Barefoot Monkey (1657313) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079278)

To clarify: What OnLive offers now is completely unlike Steam - when you play an OnLive game it actually runs on an OnLive server and sends each rendered frame to your computer through the Internet. That's great if you have an amazing Internet connection and a terrible computer; that's quite a technical achievement, but I don't feel that the advantages (low hardware requirement) compensate enough for the drawbacks (latency, heavy Internet requirement) and I personally think that a Steam-like delivery mechanism would be a better idea. Of course, then they'd need something like this pricing scheme that they're proposing in order to differentiate themselves from Steam.

Re:Steam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35079822)

Not even remotely. Steam = iTunes download, OnLive = Netflix streaming. You never have a copy of the media with OnLive, your box does no work (beside sending inputs and displaying output).

This has major pros and cons.

The case for:
1) Instant demo. OnLive can put a simple 5 minute timer on free play and give you a demo of any game in their library.
2) Piracy lockout. You just get the rendered output, not a download so there's no way to torrent.
3) Low hardware costs. You can play any game on a standard PC or on your TV with a $100 attachment.
4) Instant rentals. Couple of days worth of rental and you can play a game instantly and "return" automatically.

The case against.
1) Speed of Light. Lag, you need some prediction and other local hardware tricks to reduce the effects of lag, particularly in multi-player.
2) Ownership lockout. You never real own a title. They have some options to permanently have access to a title, but it is reliant on your ability to use their service.
3) High network costs. All the bandwidth costs of streaming video plus the latency sensitivity of online gaming.
4) Limited Library. They don't have nearly the library size of Steam.

I think OnLive gives a particularly good case for AAA single player experiences which the target audience would enjoy demoing or renting.

Linux client (1)

La Gris (531858) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078190)

This would be a boon for linux gaming and a real threat for current gaming PC market overall.

Re:Linux client (0)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079440)

Because OnLive cares about your petty OS wars?

Steam (1)

korgitser (1809018) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078222)

... almost already did it

Countdown... (1)

slim (1652) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078226)

Comment explaining how it can't possibly work, from a games geek who insists on 100FPS with single frame latency, in 3... 2... 1... ... despite actual paying customers being satisfied with OnLive, from what I hear.

I even have friends in the UK using the US servers, finding the lag occasionally annoying but not a deal breaker.

Re:Countdown... (2)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078750)

I would say this service is acceptable for single-player or slow paced multi-player games only. I tried it out about a month ago; hopped on a single-player game, and the while the latency wasn't too bad for that particular game, I would never attempt a fast paced multi-player game. The resolution it renders at isn't exactly spectacular either. It ends up looking like a high quality Youtube video.

Re:Countdown... (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078858)

Considering I can get 100FPS from my onboard card, it's not that much.

meow mix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35078236)

meow mix is good on toast.

I took a look through their catalogue (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078258)

I have to say, they have a few very interesting titles on board. Unfortunately, most of those titles cost 5-10 bucks.

Guess what... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35078262)

First.

Finally (1)

N1AK (864906) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078288)

When I first heard of OnLive I thought the concept of a rent-a-game solution which removed the need for a decent pc or console was a great idea. Then I actually read about it, found out that the games had to be bought, the 'console' had to be bought, and then I had to pay a subscription to keep going. This completely killed any interest I had. The idea of 'buying' something then having to keep paying a subscription as well is still an absolute deal breaker to me.

I like playing the odd new game, but actually wouldn't care all that much about a rental service being a little behind 6-12 months. I've only just started Forza 3 (12+ months old), haven't opened Dragon Age: Origins, let alone actually bought Lego Batman, Batman: Arkham Asylum, any of ultimate alliance games. If a service like OnLive 'just works' tm, at £10pm I could see me moving away from buying physical media, and rent 'gaming' instead.

Re:Finally (1)

whoop (194) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079728)

When I first heard of OnLive I thought the concept of a rent-a-game solution which removed the need for a decent pc or console was a great idea. Then I actually read about it, found out that the games had to be bought, the 'console' had to be bought, and then I had to pay a subscription to keep going. This completely killed any interest I had. The idea of 'buying' something then having to keep paying a subscription as well is still an absolute deal breaker to me.

Most of those points have been taken care of. The console is only needed if you have no computer (Windows, Mac at last). The original subscription has been canceled. It is much more akin to Steam now, without the need for your computer to be at all powerful.

I like playing the odd new game, but actually wouldn't care all that much about a rental service being a little behind 6-12 months. I've only just started Forza 3 (12+ months old), haven't opened Dragon Age: Origins, let alone actually bought Lego Batman, Batman: Arkham Asylum, any of ultimate alliance games. If a service like OnLive 'just works' tm, at £10pm I could see me moving away from buying physical media, and rent 'gaming' instead.

OnLive's main benefit is to people who don't want to spend money every year to keep their graphics card and CPU up to date. It runs on anything. This Playpack service is also voluntary. You can subscribe for a month, then not subscribe for a couple months, pick it up again when plenty of more games are added. Do what you want. Meanwhile, games you really enjoy can be bought (and they have had good sales (25-75% off) like Steam does) and played on the off months.

The original EULA and plans they had were ridiculous. But it has gotten better all the time. During the fall, my motherboard and power supply stopped working on my gaming PC. I would have been left quite bored with only my tiny EeePC and Solitaire if it weren't for OnLive.

BIG problem is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35078298)

Do people really want to play their games at YouTube quality, and with occasionally pathetic latency (subject to the whims of your ISP)?

Slashdot is Down? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35078316)

Zero comments three hours after a story posts, what's up with that?

Yawn (4, Insightful)

crossmr (957846) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078320)

How many times has onlive changed their payment plans in the last 6 months? How about the last week? This is just another desperate attempt for them to try and drum up business for a service which really has no market. The "game reviewers who will sit next door with a 100 MB fiber connection and give you a glorifying review" segment isn't that large.
With an increasing number of ISPs decreasing their caps, inconsistent service, and the slightest hiccup breaking a game, this service benefits no one beyond those who really want to play super high end turn based games and would rather pay more per month to play them over the course of a few years than it would cost them to build a machine to play the games in the first place. Everyone else is taking a massive crap shoot and basically wasting money on rentals.

All I really want out of this company is to know what they put in the water when they meet the venture capitalists.

Re:Yawn (2)

Warskull (846730) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079516)

You forget, you don't actually have to build a PC to play their games. Most of the games are available on console and actually look better on console than OnLive. So you can fork out $200-300 and just buy an X360 or PS3 and be able to play 90% of their library and tons of games they don't have. I think the biggest hurdle OnLive has is the changing PC marketplace. It used to be PC was the only place you could play shooters and had tons of big exclusives. Now all the mainstream games go cross platform and many PC games are ports from console. The exclusives for PC tends to be big strategy games like Civ and Total War or inde games (which usually have very reasonable system requirements and pricing.) So that's yet another reason OnLive was a bad idea.

Saves? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35078324)

Anyone know if you can get your game saves if you end the service? I'd be down with it if I could, but if I lose my saves, I'm not sure how interested I am.

And yes, they are THAT important to me!

couldn't help it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35078362)

this one is a gamechanger

Broken? (1)

Facebeast (1689358) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078376)

Are the comments broken? This story is showing 0 comments for me despite being on my RSS feed for an hour! Or does eveyone else here care for OnLive as little as I do. It's a nice idea but I have a really hard time believing their wild claims about not having any noticeable latency.

huh? (1)

simondm (901892) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078402)

I thought this service was generally accepted to have been a failure? If the technology doesn't work, what difference is different pricing models going to make?

not going to happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35078426)

I have read the reviews and information on this service and I can tell you being a long time PC gamer them taking a huge chunk of the market is never going to happen.
To play games properly you need the right hardware a web streaming game experience is never going to replace that or even come close to it !!!
Maybe get back to me in 5-10 years when we all have giga-bit Ethernet or higher with unlimited bandwidth going into our homes.

If at first nobody cares ... (1)

killdashnine (651759) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078438)

just keep changing your business model!

Re:If at first nobody cares ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35079058)

Sounds like a smart move to me. If your business model doesn't work why stay with that business model? Adapt or fail.

different world requires different solutions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35078458)

Gaming is move more towards self contained, mobile devices. Remote rendering doesn't work for this scenario as it does not directly take advantage of the technology/features of the device. The devices are often tied to costly network plans where bandwidth is limited by deployment of the wireless technology and the technology itself. Onlive is dead in the long run.

Netflix on the other hand will eventually die as the studios work to cut out the middle man and work directly with the various providers (cable,telco, wireless). Cable companies are already building their online catalogs. Netflix = blockbuster (eventually). If you look at what has happened to Yahoo (formerly untouchable), AOL, MSN, and other content providers the only value left is what is unique to those services and much of that value moves to the cloud or third party services (flicker/twitter,facebook, etc) the services themselves become diluted. Netflix on the other hand has no unique offering, it simply leveraged a contract loophole and some existing technology to push forward with their brick and mortar business model. Congrats on that but where is the defense? Other than that, there is nothing unique about netflix. On top of this, the cable operators, and most wireless operators, already have working relationships with the studios and their business models more closely follow that of the studios/broadcasters.

In competition with netflix you already have OTT giants like AT&T and Verizon, consumer brands like Sony, Microsoft, and studio offerings like Hulu. Various approaches to the same problem which just goes to prove that technology is not the hurdle, only execution, awareness, cost, and convenience/access are.

I'm sure (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078488)

ISPs will welcome this with open arms, and never think of extorting money from both ends - just like Netflix.

Outsourcing (1)

Onuma (947856) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078490)

I'm definitely not against this type of system. It can allow many more people who can't afford to keep up with PC and console gaming by changing their hardware every so often - the GPU is not client-side, so the users only need enough bandwidth to handle the video and I/O for controls. So long as the servers are maintained in many locations, so as to leave latency as low as possible for the majority of OnLive customers, I can see this being a very plausible approach for the future of gaming; especially casual gamers. Being able to access, yet not need to purchase, a multitude of titles is an attractive offer.

OTOH, it does make me think of how nearly everything is being outsourced nowadays. I'd still prefer my own machines which I can customize and build to my specs.

Details? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35078504)

How would this work? The article is short on details... Would you get to 'own' a game for a month, or would you only be able to have one game out at a time?

One question ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35078510)

... are they IPv6 compliant?

Which is cheaper? (0)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078530)

Buying Final Fantasy 13 for $45 sale price, beating it, and then selling to to some guy on ebay for $53..... or renting it from netflix - I mean Onlive.

I think I'll continue buying-and-selling games. Nice idea though. Maybe someday I'll actually go back to renting movies/games like I did in the days of A-to-Z Video (they loaned-out Betamax, VHS, NES). But for now I like physically owning the item, so I have something of value to convert back to cash.

Of course I might end-up like this guy:
"Author Falls in Love with E-reader"
http://www.analogsf.com/2011_04/altview.shtml [analogsf.com]

Re:Which is cheaper? (0)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078546)

Test -

How come I can't see my own post? Or anybody else's posts? Odd.

Re:Which is cheaper? (2)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078894)

Unfortunately, publishers like EA are coming up with stuff like the OnlinePass [easports.com] , which must be bought by the person who buys your game, devaluing the second hand sale.

If you have purchased a used game and the code originally included has already been activated, you will need to purchase EA SPORTS Online Pass access from within your game by choosing PURCHASE ONLINE ACCESS from the Code Redemption screen.

So I can spend 100$ and 10$ a month to .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35078554)

So I'm spending 100$ for a device I hook into my tv, so that I can spend 10$ a month to ..... buy video games at full retail price???? This is revolutionary?? I have a PS3, Wii, and PC for this, and for the first 2, I can ebay used games for less than this service is selling full passes for.

Netflix of games already exists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35078578)

Gamefly already allows all you can rent games mailed to your house for a monthly fee. Also, who wants to play games with a Blu-ray remote?

/. Future News (1)

Even on Slashdot FOE (1870208) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078648)

$A_GAME_COMPANY has managed to get OnLive's domains seized via the DMCA on the basis that they are violating copyright by allowing people to play games without buying them in the manner prescribed by $A_GAME_COMPANY's business model.

Uh, GameFly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35078660)

Pretty sure Gamefly is the Netflix of gaming, seeing as how they do the EXACT SAME THING (minus the online streaming part).

Not saying OnLive can't overtake Gamefly (cloud based content delivery could be the feature that catapults it ahead), but it is dumb to ignore Gamefly when it is a big player in the video game rental market.

blu-ray players? (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078664)

Does this mean there will finally be some games for the PS3?

Application Binaries != Media Codecs (2)

seanalltogether (1071602) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078676)

I understand he's trying to draw an easy to quote analogy, but you can't just apply a magic codec to an application binary to turn it into a streaming game. The truth is that Steam is the Netflix of games, it's where everyone is going to buy their games now and gamers have the same love for Steam that people have for Netflix.

Re:Application Binaries != Media Codecs (1)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078844)

Wish I had mod points just for you mentioning the love gamers have for Steam. Some people don't understand the irrational attachment gamers form for their favorite game companies. Valve would need to seriously screw up to lose their fans.

Re:Application Binaries != Media Codecs (1)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079630)

... Not to mention Valve's subliminal in-game product placement...

Louis:
Bill: Watch out for that leaking hot steam!
Zoey: Mmm, I loooooove Steam!
Francis (who hates everything): Yeah, Steam's all right.

(L4D Crash Course)

Re:Application Binaries != Media Codecs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35079600)

it's where everyone is going to buy their games now and gamers have the same love for Steam that people have for Netflix.

That's quite far from the truth. A lot of people don't like Steam because of the client-overhead or the rent-only DRM. With Steam you pay full price to rent a single title, not a whole catalogue.

The central point of the comparison was paying a monthly fee to play all the games you want from their catalogue. That's closer to what services like Metaboli offer, although with them you run the games on your computer.

Re:Application Binaries != Media Codecs (1)

JeTmAn81 (836217) | more than 3 years ago | (#35080404)

S'funny, I don't remember buying my copy of Super Mario Galaxy 2 on Steam.

Sadly, a bit too late (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078682)

Where was this service two years ago when unlimited bandwidth broadband services still existed? Nowadays it sounds like a new way to put a direct funnel from my bank account to Comcast's.

Re:Sadly, a bit too late (1)

whoop (194) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079726)

Let Comcast know. Switch to another provider. I'm running on mere 5Mbit DSL currently without missing anything from Comcast. Currently, the busiest I've tested it was simultaneously streaming Hulu, OnLive, and playing World of Warcraft. They all ran quite well.

Yup. Just like Netflix (1)

wh1pp3t (1286918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078686)

Keyword here is PlayPack.
The $9.99 monthly subscription will give acces to select games, not their entire catalog. So yes, they are definitely similar to Netflix, where your streaming options are limited to many documentarys (many of which are excellent) and older movies.
I actually purchased a few games through OnLive because I own a notebook -- the service works quite well. My gaming rig days are over, I'm not a DRM zealot and I will pay for convienence. And it is nice to just turn on a game without installing it (using my SSD space), waste some time, then turn it off and get back to work or family.

GameFly (1)

BigSes (1623417) | more than 3 years ago | (#35078948)

I've heard of this "Netflix of games" already, its called GameFly. I'll keep their service and get first rate games delivered to my house, have the option to keep them for a good price, rather than streamed crap, thanks. Granted it costs more than their projected price, but its worth it to me.

Latency is too high for FPS games... (1)

mnewcomb (1042270) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079140)

I tried it and it is noticeably slow to your reactions. The video quality is a little low but that didn't really bother me. It was the slight delay when I moved the mouse to when the screen actually responded.

I think some games are perfectly suited to this type of play style, just not FPS games.

Not too mainstream. (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079186)

I just hope that this doesn't become so popular that some games are offered exclusively through it. I like owning the data, being able to modify the data, being able to play without an internet connection, being able to play my games even if the company goes out of business, and being able to play even if some random server I don't want to connect to is down. It might help people with poor hardware, and I respect that, but I just hope that this doesn't become the new form of DRM for paranoid companies.

Biz Model NetFlix or Vudu (1)

OldHawk777 (19923) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079294)

Biz Model NetFlix or Vudu [ http://www.vudu.com/ [vudu.com] ], which is better?

I have a PS3 (presently DS is best, repeat), Linux PC, Comcast DVR hooked to a 32" screen.

The PS3 now offers both NetFlix and Vudu. I checked both and decided to turn off my Vudu box and use the PS3 for Vudu service.

I chose Vudu because of the pay-as-u-go model and user interface was for me a better solution. The NetFlix monthly-fee would be a waste or me.

For online gaming I would probably pick a pay-as-u-go service provider before a monthly-fee gouger like Comcast.

At ~60yo, I am very intolerant of inflexible games, limited/fixed-avatars/view (mods/moves), no surprises (one time is enough), no kill/map/weapons... randoms/variations/options, time delays, audio/video-issues.... Unless the game service provider can figure out how to nationally/globally distribute/virtualize/containerize infrastructure and functionality to geographic/temporal-communities, and client-game-side app requirements and very fast small data-transactions for MMOG/Experience... They will not get me to use/subscribe.

Re:Biz Model NetFlix or Vudu (1)

OldHawk777 (19923) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079326)

For DS, OH21=Z21, 5th Avatar SL=129 (S=68.3, A=14.1...), I think is good for a 60yo gamer

OnWhat? (1)

bobbinspenguin (1988368) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079352)

I know it keeps getting pushed back and pushed back but here in the UK it doesn't really get mentioned outside of something like Slashdot. They're gonna have to do some serious advertising if they want people to pay attention here - especially if BT are gonna be the sole provider for it.

Possible if they ahve licensed Gaikai (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35079588)

What used to be billed as a way to instantly play A+ games in your web browser without needing a video card or a great machine has now become something else:

http://www.gaikai.com/ [gaikai.com]

Gaikai's original plan was to offer access to anyone to play MMO's, top tier FPS and other games through your web browser. They claimed that for one fee you would be able to pay one fee and have access to all the titles. This seems VERY similar but under another name.

Looking at gaikai's website now, you see that something has gone awry and this new company sounds like its offering the same product.

If only (1)

Glarimore (1795666) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079616)

OnLive might have worked if US internet connections operated as advertised.


But they don't.

Re:If only (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35080358)

OnLive might have worked if US internet connections operated as advertised.

But they don't.

The answer is quite simple - you guys just need UBB. Get everyone down to 25GB/month and you'll be able to game quite rapidly as eveyrone curtails their usage. It's your US regulator's fault for demanding that unlimited be unlimited and not some stupid non-limit like 250GB! If the market settled it, we ISPs won't need to upgrade our networks and we'd just cap everyone to 25GB with $2/GB overage charges, and you'd get all the speed you paid for, plus lower latency as our intertubes won't be so clogged up!

See? UBB is the solution! (not).

Gametap (1)

Admiral Frosty (919523) | more than 3 years ago | (#35079830)

I know everyone's talking about Gamefly, but Gametap does the same thing for PC games. Monthly fee, and you can download all you want. I used it for a year, but lately I realized that Steams sales have been more lucrative for me. Spend $30 on a sale, and I'll have it for ever. Lapse my gametap sub, and it's all gone.

Onlive is good (1)

ConallB (876297) | more than 3 years ago | (#35080588)

Sorry to go against the grain of the generally held opinion that Onlive doesn't work but as someone in the UK who has tried the service out from my living room PC I have to say it is definitely a viable, workable platform for game delivery.

I know that it isint really all that hot for FPS's but neither are consoles with their auto-aim and limited input controls. Thats why i have a PC.

Meanwhile there are plenty of games that are pretty good, even with my 80ms lag to the us servers (lego batman just as an example). I enjoy being entertained by games, not by the frame rate or resolution.

And to pay 9.99 p/m for access to the current games on onlive is not really that steep.

When the service comes to the UK for real I will definitely sign up. Rather than buy a console which will become tomorrows trash!

No HD Resolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35080618)

Don't forget there is no way to get HD resolution, well at least not above 780p. Experience sucks, sure glad I never paid for it LOL.

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