Everything You Need to Know about OnLive -- Is this Your Next Gaming Console?

45

Comments

+ Add a Comment
avatar

Draeconix

A while back I read an article either in Xbox magazine or MaximumPC or even /. I forget which, that talked about a single console replacing everything. I applauded this idea and actually had thought about the concept when I was looking into "enhancing" my first original Xbox. When I saw all the tools avaiable and the applications avaiable I imagined a single box capable of playing any game, movie or other media you through at it. Throw in a streaming capability and you have living room domination. This service along with Hulu and the like seems to be the first step towards this goal. The biggest limitation I see at this time is the ISP's. The infrastructure in this country needs to be improved drastically. Hey I know! Let's start a public works project like FDR did in the Great Depression to rebuild the electrical and telecommunications grid. We would get a better infrastructure and solve some of our economic woes as well.

avatar

balplaya4404

?

avatar

becks

AS long as my ping is low enough, the price is reasonable..say $10.00/month I'm all for it. Glad to hear Hacks (hopefully) will be eliminated !!! Never understood the mentality of people who hack to win.  And if they can incorporate movie downloads...this will answer all my problems. I have played on Steam, enjoyed clans in CS:S, COD and WAW....For the most part Clans are over rated.  Fortunately I do have FIOS and a 120Hz 50inch 1080P Aquos LCD. So for me this is a must have. I have held off from investing upwards of a $1,000 (by the time your all said and done) for a console like a PS3. It is not the cost so much as it is the lack of return for my investment with a console...Especially since they have a life span of about 3- 4 years. Plus I would welcome not having to invest $2,300 (since I can't, and choose not to build my on rig) in a Gamers Rig which, doesn't even include a monitor.  Plus...I won't have to worry about backing up my profile for a paticular game when (Not If) I need to reload my XP Pro OS  !!!

 Bring It On & Let The Games Begin.

avatar

Neckername

 First things first, i know im not the first one to see these problems. One, eventually the amount you spend on service monthly fee (because no service like this will survive for long without charging customers extra) will accumulate to a larger dollar figure than just buying a gaming PC. Second, even Blizzard, Second Life, and even ISPs cant guarantee 100% service reliability. So for the ppl that play WoW on a home P, when the server is down for work, you can just switch to another game to play, if the OnLive server or servers go down, you cant play any games at all if u just use OnLive. Second, 80ms seems high, but you have to remember when you play games online on a home PC, the latency of your connection added to the latency between ISPs, Servers, and the other player to his ISP, what do you get, you get the time it takes for another player to see your actions. The 1.5 MB/s minimum is for the video, while the latency is for the control response. So ppl with the 15Mbit/s connection or faster will be ELLIGABLE to join OnLive. By Elligable, i mean if your community isn't hogging bandwidth that day. For those with Fiber or some kind of expensive connection, you prolly dont have to worry (as long as your latency is under 80MBs). So with all of these flaws and the benefits listed in the article, is it worth buying into? Maybe if you can use it as a service where you can play games away from home, and somehow play the same game you bought with your hard drive on your own computer as well. It is good for those who can't afford a fancy gaming computer, or who just want to play games and not care about quality. However, if you're an enthusiast or a gamer like me, the cons outweigh the pros. However, to see that technology has come this far is amazing, and with the help of the FCC's broadband to everyone plans, and DOCSIS 3.0 (search it on google if u dont know wat it is), this technology could benefit many people in the future.

[url]http://www.gameplayersanonymous.com/[/url]

avatar

etsugua

This is a new beast entirely.  One that can devour them all IF (and that's a pretty big if) they can get it to work.  Technically, you could play Crysis on a netbook with all settings set to high using the mentioned browser option.

 

And that could be a problem.  Think about it -- if they are successful and this idea takes off, whats to stop OnLive from deciding they are going to standardize on one platform -- say AMD/ATI?  It could effectively kill innovation. Game developers would also be more likely to develop for the OnLive platform rather than anticipating the next generation of PC hardware because OnLive doesn't want to upgrade their servers -- and lets face it, we all want to play the newest, most demanding games out there, which will make it silly for OnLive to upgrade only some of their servers.

 

If it wasn't for the compitition between Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo,  we would all still be using Atari's.  Unless someone else comes along (SteamCloud?) and champion's better hardware capability, this could ultimately push gaming, all gaming, to a grinding hault in terms of technical innovation.

 

And one more practical drawback -- no internet, no game.  period.

 

avatar

QUINTIX256

as it is generally described. I'd rather own my computing power than rent it.

You can have your recession. I'm not participating.

avatar

billysundays

Everyone can agree OnLive is obviously not PC gaming, its just that it can play PC games, and you all know the distinction. "Cloud" PC gaming, and cloud personal computing in general, would maybe look more like this - you would subscribe to a service, like Onlive, for the processing power of a virtual x86 CPU and a GPU that runs the latest DirectX/OpenGL, and maybe an online virtual drive, but you would still have access to the program files in your own OS enviroment. You would still have to install a game. In my opinion, the ability to program, write and manipulate code, access program files, is what makes a PC a PC.

Something like this is inevitable, but its still a baby and won't blossom into its own for probably another decade. when it does, "cloud" gaming will replace console gaming. PC gaming will still be seen as "dying" while  still being the de facto technical standard by which all gaming evolves, aka DirectX/OpenGL.

avatar

Pyrophorics

This thing has already failed and it hasn't even been released yet...

 

Reason?? ISP caps.

 

ISP's, limiting the worlds communication one connection at a time.

avatar

Velcrow

IGN has a good writeup about this at http://pc.ign.com/articles/965/965535p1.html

Short take: It will be subscription based (price unknown), and you have to buy or rent the games. Yes, this service will make renting PC games actually possible (legally :p).

Also, IGN states that the bandwith requirements are actually a bit lower than listed, so that might partly mitigate the failure of ISP's to actually provide what they promise. But probably not by much (if even noticable).

avatar

horzo

Uhh...how is this good for PC gaming? Looks to me like a PC isn't even required as the control unit can be connected directly to a TV.

Are you making the assumption that more games will be made for PC because of this? Don't bet on it. The logical outcome of this system is no gaming for anyone outside of the control of the service provider. Games will be made for the service, and won't even be availble for purchase on stand-alone systems.

No thanks. This should scare you, not make you happy.

avatar

billysundays

I agree with your concern. Its probable that as more people gravitate towards the conveniance of "the cloud", there'll be less market incentive to give people the ability to have their own "stand-alone systems". And which do you suppose our government prefers in terms of national security. Join the cloud or have the freedom to stand alone?

avatar

BoxyBrown

This will lag pretty bad if it catches on. I think there was another company who had this idea for second life and it couldn't overcome the issues with lag when there were a lot of users on its service.

avatar

urdead4g

Totally Agree. This is a console, Not a PC.
Save pc gaming with 80ms latency.., makes me sick.

Kev.

avatar

MAJORzer0

Well I'm not sure how to look at this thing. I'm not sure where their getting their estimates but in the past if I went to the local cable company and asked for broadband they would tell me all types of cool numbers that I never got. You would hear the numbers 1.5 or 2.5 but really the only time you would see that is 3 in the morning on a good day. It seems a bit silly to be asking us yo pay higher rates when the broadband companies are not really giving us what they promised in the first place. If their numbers are based off of what companies say they are giving their clients then they have it all wrong and I hope they are prepared to take a hit.

 All in all I want to know where the 71% live so I can buy a new house there. I'm not the only one that would love to have fiber to the home but the companies are too greedy and the economy is in the hole. I'm not seeing this be very productinve for the average gamer unless they host a massive ammount of games and keep everything updated. The biggest cost should be the console and the monthly fees every one pays to play would also have to be minimal if you need to pay for the extra bit for the upgraded broadband bill.

I don't really see this catching on for a wile. Until more people start getting better service from the leeches at their ISP there's no real way for this to step off. Your gonna have to do better then this to pull 75% of the gamers offa their machines (console or pc). I know this is anouther trick to consolodate things and make it easier for the companies and the idea of it gives you warm feelings inside if it was possible. I really don't see the companies meeting the needs to use this new toy unless you pay more hard earned cash that no one has at this time.

 Kudos if they get it to work and press on. I'm sure this will catch on eventually but in todays market you may as well be holding on to the tech for later use.

~No one said it would be easy....they just said it was worth it...~

avatar

roninnder

So where am I supposed to get the bandwidth to play this junk?  The broadband infrastructure in the US is shameful, especially if compared to just about any other developed country in the world.  With ISPs moving away from "unlimited" plans and instating bandwidth caps I have better things to spend my GBs on.  Once there is widespread fiber optic service available I'll be ready to look at this

Besides, my xbox 360 and ps3 already have better graphics, and my wii has its interface. 

avatar

winmaster

Are you joking. On a good day for consoles and a bad one for PC's, the PC's graphics are a least equal to that of the console, provided that the PC is one that should be used for gamming. Your consoles do not have better graphics. 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

avatar

Draeconix

Can we please stop the argument over whether the PC or console has better graphics? What matters is how well the graphics are designed in the first place. It is all on the artists. Sure the hardware can render more or less but when it comes down to how good something looks it is all in how much time the designers want to put into making the textures, etc. Conciveably a game can look just as amazing on a console (assuming HD) as on PC So enough of this debate already.

avatar

konata

New GPUs and technology have advanced since the consoles were released.
Many graphics cards can run higher detailed graphics at much much higher resolutions (1080p is smaller that 1200p, a mid-high range graphics card could run at max detail).

So, no. PC definately has better graphics. Consoles though have the advantage of multiple player support, direct linking to tv (although now most graphics cards come with a HDMI adapter...), a simpler installation (becoming moot...), online service (although steam is advailable on PCs...), and exclusive games (I want FFXIII on the PC...).

PC's price points per upgrade to the equivalent of console graphics are now equal or even lower due to new hardware releases (take a look at two ATI Radeon HD 4770 in Crossfire and it's quite... godly.) Controllers are advailable if you so wish it, PC's can be used for many other applications, and it provide a mouse and keyboard... (mice are much more accurate/quicker than a joystick... there is no argument here).

 So no, PC's have a distinct advantage, hardware wise. The only problem would be pirating, which turns off most devs (However, maintained support such as the updates through steam provide a great insentive to purchase the actual game as well as the online multiplayer servers), and a bit more development required for varience in hardware.

Flame away if you wish.

avatar

LatiosXT

1. Is the latency issue explained? Seriously. If people whine about an input lag of 30ms for some high end monitors, then is it worth this service if my ping times are 50ms+?

 2. This isn't going to help PC gaming when there's only one consumer, unless OnLive is going to pay the millions it costs to make games today.

avatar

pcjoeyd

Are game companies going to sell two versions of the games...one for streaming via OnLive and one for purchasing to play on a PC??   Since these games will essentially be PC Games, will we be able to buy the games in the stores or at least be able to purchase and download it from the internet and install on our PC's like we do via EBgames and Steam??

avatar

pcjoeyd

This is a great idea, but will the games be available for us with uber powerful computers?? I don't want to play on my T.V. Will I be able to buy the games and install on my PC like I do now, or will I have to stream from the internet" to play?? Not quite sure I understand how this is going to be great for PC gaming. I might be in the minority here, but I actually like that I have a physical copy of the game and can install on my hard drive and play even if i'm not connected to the internet. How will this work for PC gamers???

avatar

immersive

Even though the games on this system are "computer" games I still fell it is more of a console. The reason behind that is with computer gaming you are not always stuck with the same game. Most of the time there are meny community mods, tweakguides, enhancement packs that you don't get on a console. How can you use mods with this system? They already said you cant! How can you tweak it to make it look its best and still play smooth? Your stuck with the settings they set! Where are the texture packs that make the game look better 2 or 3 years after its been out? None of this can be accomplished with this system.

 Computer gaming is a hole lot more then just playing games, its a lifestyl. There are people that come home from work and set down in front of the TV to relax and there are people that hop on the computer to play games. Now take the person that sets down in front of the TV how offten do you hear " There is nothing to watch on TV! I'm so bored." Now take someone like me that gets home and sets in front of the computer. If I start to get bored with a game I can find ways to change it and make it more enjoyable. Not only dose the game turn out more fun but there was more time spent doing something I wanted to do. As a plus maybe I learned something like what a certent file extension is or even something as simple as OMG there is a C:\ drive where everything on my computer is stored!

 From such tinkering I have learned how to build my own computer, run my own website, secure my own network, all the way down to basic programing! Don't take that away from future computer gamers. As far as I am concerned computer gaming is a gatway drug to everything computer related.

SO NO THIS IS NOT GOOD FOR COMPUTER GAMING!!!

avatar

workingslob

You are in the minority of gamers. My steam friends list is filled with people who couldn't give two shits about how a game works let alone writing mods themselves. The same applies to their desire to fix their own computers.

 Hell, figuring out how Steam worked and downloading games was challenging enough.  Nothing against these people, they just want to have fun.  To them all the complicated computer BS is as interesting as college football probably is to you.

This is a great move for the PC gaming industry.  They can also capture the console only gamers this way too.  We all know these people.  The ones who just use their computer for myspace and getting infected with anti-virus360.

I think people can enjoy PC gaming without having to subscribe to some nerd lifestyle.

 

 

avatar

immersive

So who will be designing the next gen computer games or even the next gen console games? The people interested in making a spreadsheet or workprocessor? That will do wonders for future games.

avatar

bumchoda

There is going to be a subscription fee similar to xbox live.  How else would the company be able to pay for their hardware and bandwidth? 

avatar

johnny3144

how will this play with ISP with bandwidth cap? say rogers in canada, for 50 dollar a month, you get 60GB a month... if it streams 720p constantly... i think it wont' take more than a week to eat up 60GB for a heavy gamer.

avatar

armada439

720p is okay if its hooked up to an HDTV that I'm sitting 10 feet from.

But what about when I want to use my keyboard an mouse?  New games look terrible at low res.

 Also, I think costs will make people run away.  Suppose I have to pay $5 a month extra to upgrade from 3Mbit to 6 (at&t doesnt have 5).  Then this subscription costs $60 a month (atleast).  $780 a year?  Better off buying a real PC, or a console.  Actually, this is ANOTHER win for consoles since they cost ~$400 every 3-5 years!

avatar

Draeconix

What if you go out and buy a new PC game each month? $50 a month times 12 months equals $600 a year. Only a savings of $180. If we want to talk console games then it is the same as the cost you propose.

avatar

dipfur

From what I got from it, which I may have read it wrong, but it sounds like it's going to be a free service...but you are going to have to buy the games. Once you buy the game you can play it whenever.

My biggest problem with this is, what if the internet goes out and you want to play a game...with no game data saved at your house how will you play the game you want if you are using this as your primary means of gaming? 

avatar

williezzy

 Most AWESOME thing ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I don't care how much it costs to get, I will buy it mean it comes out.

Willie Townes

avatar

zstadt

Say what you want; claim that it's a console and not a PC, complain about 80ms latency (even though the article said hands-on lag proved imperceptible), or that the servers' balls aren't as big as yours are, blah blah blah...  I think this is going to be awesome.  And you can quote me on that.

avatar

I Jedi

I hope it makes it... This could really help boost PC gaming... 

avatar

windbane

I think OnLive will have to change it's name or incur the wrath of Microsoft. The name and colours are pretty darn close to MS's Live service name...

avatar

I Jedi

Maybe M$ should change its Live's name? Seeing as how much their live service sucks anyways...

avatar

windbane

Somehow I don't think thats gonna happen...

avatar

I Jedi

I would like to argue that while OnLive may have its foul ups, like 80ms latency, etc, this really will help out gaming on the PC if it makes it. Think about the thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people out there who have PC’s not well enough equipped to handle the latest game titles? Well, here is the solution to that problem; especially when certain people cannot afford to upgrade their current system, or even buy a whole new one altogether. It really does sound like a wonderful and ingenious idea to do, but will it catch on is the question on everyone’s mind? I think this will look very, very nice to gamers on the PC if the games can be rented and cheaply and if latency time can be drawn down even further. I think giving a trial for a week or so OnLive would help PC gamers decide if this is a good deal or not.

avatar

sasquatch42

dual 8800's

LAME!

avatar

FRAGaLOT

Dual 8800's aren't lame.  Just because it's not the latest and greatest dosen't mean anything older, barely a YEAR older is lame.  Current video capibilities of consoles is a lot LESS than dual 8800's (or even a single 8800) Don't be a hardware snob Sasquatch42.  I'd be highly impressed if they can pull this off with the video quality of an nvidia 7200, and DirectX 8 graphics; seriously!

avatar

Netram

80ms on control response? That's ridiculously high, I can't believe they even come out saying that's acceptable. 30ms is high enough when playing multiplayer games. Work it down to 10ms and it'll be acceptable.

I want this to work, it sounds amazing if they pull it off, but I really think they're bringing out a product like this too soon. Plus, saying that it's the salvation of PC, but then say that it doesn't support mods? Sorry, but part of the PC Gaming expeciance, for me at least, it's building, tweaking and adding hardware to my PC, mods, free patches and DLC. I hope they market this towards the console scrubs.

This is a console, not a PC. 

 

avatar

FRAGaLOT

>> Cutting-edge data servers farms utilize massive parallel processing to
reduce gameplay video into a
>> proprietary compression format that
integrates the randomness of the existing internet broadband
>> architecture into the codec

This is total bullshit.  It dosen't matter how powerful you're going to encode the video stream, it's how well it DECODES on the other side.  I really doubt something the size of a box of cards is going to render HD video games at an acceptable frame rate, and not be lagged by 2 minutes from "real time."

80ms my ass! No ISP can give you that short of a responce time, since it has to travel back and forth for you to see what your responce acctually is. Where the hell are you getting 10ms Netram?  LAN parties over gigabit ehternet?

I sware this has got to be a complete load of bullshit. April 1st is comming up soon you know.

 

avatar

nekollx

you do have to rember for HD the minimum bandwith you have HAS to be 5MBs, SD is 1.5 givign a 5MB pipe BASELINE for HD it COULD be posible.

avatar

HeartBurnKid

Connection speed and latency are not the same thing. Ask anybody who's ever used satellite internet.

avatar

MAJORzer0

Satellite is getting better though it went from about a 5-10 second delay down to about 3-8. It all depends on your provider and where the sun if in relation to your satellite. Plus you have to add in weather and the ammount of activity on just that one satellite. If you look at a land line it's way different but the latency is there. You only really have to factor in useage and the ammount of cabling between you and the source. Really though they are both just about as realiable as the other in some areas. The network in some areas have only been give cosmetic cures to run broadband internet. If I didn't have any other way to get faster internet I wouldn't even waste my money on it at all. At leaste satellite has a reason for being the way it is. Other companies are just too broke or just care about the bottom line and their numbers.

It is possible to get this all to work without fiber to the home but they would have to increase the ammount of sources to limit the ammount of users on one source and the ammount of cable between point A and B. I really don't see any companies doing that. Fiber is starting to get cheaper as it's production is becomming faster and easier. I would think putting fiber down is not as much of a dream as it used to be but I'm sure they'll hold out as long as they can.

 Total side note, have you ever seen them make fiber? It's a very interesting process. They basically heat up the glass and pull it into the proper length. There's alot more to it then that of course.

 ~No one said it would be easy....they just said it was worth it...~

avatar

nekollx

and all i said is it COULD work not that it WOULD work.

Log in to MaximumPC directly or log in using Facebook

Forgot your username or password?
Click here for help.

Login with Facebook
Log in using Facebook to share comments and articles easily with your Facebook feed.