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Onlive! the death of gaming as we know it ?

Last response: in Video Games
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March 25, 2009 9:44:09 AM

Well, I dont know if any of you have been following the Game Developers Conference, but a new service being launched soon where announced called Onlive. Its basicly a streaming service for games, where the game performance you will get do NOT . on your computer/mac but how fast your internet service is! If this thing actually works, it will change the way we play maybe forever. You will no longer need to buy high end pc's to be able to handle the newest games at decent resolution. You will instead have to own a 5mbit ADSL line to be able to play games in high resolution.

Here is the info that Gametrailers got out of an interview with one of the founders of Onlive:

http://www.gametrailers.com/player/47079.html

This might just be the ultimate in vaporware, but its a really cool idea. What is really negative though is that if this takes off, it will really put a hold on the competition between the large GPU developers ( Ati, Nvidia etc ), and that might stall future developments on the GPU front.

What do you guys think ?

More about : onlive death gaming

March 25, 2009 10:33:57 AM

Nice idea but i can just think of so many technical issues here that i cant see it getting off the ground. At the very worst it will kill the console, but to say PCs will die a death isnt correct....i very much doubt each subscriber is going to recieve gaming power equivalent to a sli setup /w i7.
March 25, 2009 10:44:52 AM

I can see how this can become a lag fest, but the idea iitself are really cool. Just think about the gaming potential :p 
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March 25, 2009 11:00:01 AM

It'll look horrible! and horrifically laggy. Imagine turning round...

move mouse>pc moves mouse>through network>server> turn character>server> video encoding!>network>video decoding> character moves.
March 25, 2009 12:10:26 PM

Its the most ridiculous idea I've seen in awhile.
March 25, 2009 1:36:33 PM

advantages and disadvantages i can see from the set go.

Advantages

-No Need to Spend lots on hardware
-Everyone can play a game if these choose without worry
-Large selection of games available


Disadvantages

- due to the nature of networks and the internet LAG will be a problem
- how many people can each server handle?
- cost of the service and keeping it running
- user demand and expectations including graphical detail and resolution settings
- if you loose your internet for the day you cant play
- lag between keyboard/mouse would be horrific (think early wireless mice)
March 26, 2009 1:34:28 AM

whatever this is, it can't be done - the minute you had lets say 10 million users playing on the service (probably way less than that) it'd die completely.
March 26, 2009 3:17:52 AM

People with bandwidth caps are going to be unhappy pixies too.

From what i saw from what they was saying about it their HD is HD, 1080P so your at home PC is going to be higher res on a monitor if you have latest hardware.

I can see them wanting people to pay as you go and spending way over what an actual game would have cost in the first place.
March 26, 2009 7:46:09 PM

What is onlive?

Its basically cloud computing for gaming. Their servers run the game on very hi end servers and compresses the video and streams it threw your web browser. Kinda weriod but its a live broadcast of you playing your game sent to you live. Kinda hard to get your head around that lol.

Basic gaming lag is in milliseconds but for them to even try this they had to get the lag down to microseconds. So fast you can tell a difference.

Known limitations:

Need a broadband connection at speed of 1.5mb or faster- 1.5mb for stream, 5mb for hd stream of 720p at 60fps.
Right now you have to be around 1000-1500 away from the data-center otherwise you will get notable lag.
Right now theirs only one data-center on each coast.
So right now you cant play east vs west coast without seeing lag until they get a central data-center in place.

Pros:
The Gamer-
For somebody who pays say 1500 for an upgrade/new computer ever 2 years-if you could play all the high end games without lag would you buy another computer? I built this computer i have now for games i thought i would like but dont and now i play the games i played on my old computer which means i wasted money lol. oh the games were crysis and cod4 lol

Another plus is you will save space on harddrives now lol.

Instant gaming, no worring about the right patch, if you have the right requirments, it just works.

Heres how i see how its worth getting. If you spend 1500 for a computer. If online service was say 40 a month for 12 months for 2 years (life of another upgrade/new computer) that would come out to-960 bucks for 2 years for access to the service. So that would leave 540 for games at 60 bucks a pop that would be 9 games you could get for the price of getting a computer and the price of getting the same games. I dont know about you but i got sick of upgrading ever 2 years just to play a few game.

Developers-
Cost of making games would be less-
Considering the cost of making sure they try to support all the different configs out there for pc. If you know you are developing on a very hi end server machine then you know that the limits are, which what make consoles good for developers. You get it working on a test machine and your pretty sure it will work on the rest of them.

Your potential user base increased a hell of a lot-
Considering now ever pc,tv,mac,laptop and maybe even consoles themselves can run the games only thing stopping is the internet speed.

Piracy is pretty much stopped-
Considering theres no game download on the clients machine and the only thing the user gets is a streaming video of themselves, i guess you can try to capture that but why? they do it for you lol

ISP:
If it does take off it hopefully will make isps make sure their service is good.
Might give them a reason to expand their service areas too,maybe games makers will help them do that.
Might push the isps to bring on faster speeds to compete with each other and maybe bring on internet 2.


Cons:

Lag-
The biggest problem they face. I mean they could make it free service but if it lags bad then they are in big trouble.


Pricing-
Of course nobody knows how much but i bet you can be pretty sure that games will be 60 to buy just like console games.
Access service could be at anything right now. If i had to guess i would think it would be around 40 a month.

Ownership of bought games-
A lot of people still want the physical copy and i was like that too until i started to use steam. Dont have to drive anywhere just buy it download it and play it,simple. Like everybody else i worry what if steam goes out of business(if you can see that happening)? What then do i have to repay for games i already bought somewhere else?

What Happens to consoles?:
Nintendo-
Considering their whole business is based on consoles and portables and they have nothing to fall back on like microsoft and sony do they might not make it if this takes off.

Microsoft-Sony-
Im putting them together cuss they are in the same boat. Both have something to fall back on, it would hurt sony more then microsoft though. We have to remember why their are consoles in the first place? Pc gaming user base is too few, cost to develope games to support so many different configs cost a lot so they make consoles cuss people have more tvs then computer(usually??) so they have a platform for game makers to sell to a bigger user base.

Consoles cost a lot of money for RD, test, support,make. Even more so considering most console they sell a lost (not nintendo) for a few years then they start making a profit and guess what, here comes another new console. You have to ask the question? Why dont microsoft and sony save all the money on rd,test,support,making and support onlive and become that sega did, just a game maker. For microsoft it makes since if they get out it wont hurt them as much and hell they could even buy into onlive, they got the money.

Makes me wonder if these games or going to be run on hi end servers why wouldnt make a game made just for those servers just think of what they can do then? Here me thinking of on big ww2 world with fully destructable environment LOL. Just let your dream game come to mind lol



March 27, 2009 5:10:45 PM

This is going to die a worse death than sega channel.

Think about it, what is so much better about this than a console to begin with? its only a matter of time before consoles have an "on demand" rental system similar to cable tv. So at that point would good is this?

This ideas strengths toward PC are no different than a consoles advantages over a PC. And a PC's Strengths (Mods Mods Mods) still outshine, this idea.
March 27, 2009 5:21:43 PM

Well, more information have been coming out from the GDC regarding the Onlive service, and people have actually been testing it. They have run games like Crysis, Mirrors edge etc from a server 80 kilometers away fromt he actually convention center, and that without a hitch.

It is looking promising.

Now tsd16 says that consoles will in a while have a rental system similar to cable tv, but that is not really the point now is it ? With a service like this you will never have to buy a console again. You will be able to play all games, from all consoles. Hell, it might even stop the console war all together.

Of course, the largest flaw in this is how it will handle a large user base. But the idea is still an intriguing one.

No more costly updates to your computer just so that you can play that one game sounds like a good idea. Or at least I think so.

Check out gametrailers.com for more information and video's of the system in actuall use.
March 28, 2009 9:13:23 PM

It will prolly work for some types of games but not all in all regions.

I just noticed something. Maybe part of thier system uses the Windows Azure cloud computing platform. Those multiple video menu systems with videos on different surface angles is characteristic of Windows Presentation Foundation. Unless there's another development environment that does this or they made it from scratch, this looks a lot like WPF applications.
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