OnLive Revisited: Hands-On the Micro-Console

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slingshotz06

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I tried Onlive on my Laptop at work with 100mbps up and down connection and while it ran fine, the input lag was still very noticable. There's noway I can play competively online in any FPS, but I can see single player games working just fine and will give the new Dues Ex game a try on there.
 
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slingshotz06, you can have a 2mb connection with no lag or a 10000mb connection with terrible lag. You internet speed doesn't determine your latency. You have to check your ping speed and your line quality for jitter. You seem to be having one of those issues.
 

jimslaid2

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On Live is nice, but it does not compare to a gaming PC. OnLive really needs a exclusive game like Gears, Halo, or MGS to make the masses flock to the service.
 

Thunderfox

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It would be nice if the review made some effort to evaluate the latency, as that is the make or break issue with this sort of thing.

I don't know how useful anything like this can be anyway, in the age of bandwidth caps. Streaming games is like streaming movies - who cares if you have 16mbps down if all it means is that you will hit your quota in less than a day if you actually use all of that bandwidth?
 

army_ant7

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If this really takes off, it would be really great. Better for consumers and developers (less system architectures to consider when developing.

It still would be kind of sad to see making your own system build become obsolete. Hehehe....
 

DSpider

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I think I would rather use my own USB controller and their software on my PC for something like $10-15 a month, and to be able to install my own games (within a 50 GB limit), which I already own on DVD.

But I doubt they would sell this service so cheap. I mean, come on, $30 for a component cable ?? What the hell... And fuck yeah, paying retail prices for owning "virtual" games is something I'm not really comfortable at all.

They may not be cheap NOW, but wait till they have some competition. And wait till someone thinks of a way to get console games to play online, using the games you already own.

Here's a thought:

At $10 per month they could basically rent you the functionality of the console over the internet for a small fee, which in 6 months or so it will pay for the console itself. Think about it. That console will stay on for 24 hours a day but you don't rent it for 24 hours. At first you'll have a max 6 hour limit, per day. Which means about 4 people will rent it per 24 hours, $40/month, $240/6 months.

Let's say each console breaks down in a year (hey, it could happen, chances are pretty high given the 24 hour usage everyday). That console generates ~$500 a year. Not bad. Obviously for a flat $10/month fee, but if they charge $15, that means each console would generate ~$750/year ! Not bat at all... They could also rent relatively cheap consoles like the PS2, Wii (which can also play GameCube games), PSP, etc. and DIVERSIFY, which will bring in more costumers and more income.
 

DSpider

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Hey, I think it's an interesting idea and I honestly think it CAN be done, even without opening the actual consoles (except maybe for the PSP, the rest will just need an Arduino-like device that acts like a controller). But there may be some legal issues with renting them like this. I'm not sure if the EULA prevents this or if you actually own the console once you pay for it and you can do whatever the hell you want with it.

And customers may also attempt to install pirated content so there would have to be some form of authentication process, again, for legal reasons.
 

exfileme

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[citation][nom]Thunderfox[/nom]It would be nice if the review made some effort to evaluate the latency, as that is the make or break issue with this sort of thing. I don't know how useful anything like this can be anyway, in the age of bandwidth caps. Streaming games is like streaming movies - who cares if you have 16mbps down if all it means is that you will hit your quota in less than a day if you actually use all of that bandwidth?[/citation]

Yeah we needed to address that plus compare the console to the PC version: which should a gamer use? I was more concerned about addressing the issue of playing on Wi-Fi and how it affects the overall quality the further you move away from the router. Then again, an Ethernet connection with limited bandwidth also shares the same low-quality issue, producing pixilated graphics similar to a low-resolution video clip.

For latency, I've been playing Duke Nukem Forever, FEAR 3, Red Faction Armageddon and a few others and I don't really see a real noticeable latency... if there is one, it's easily adaptable from my hands-on experience. What I HAVE noticed is that even though you may be connected via Ethernet, there are still network issues from time to time which isn't uncommon with online multiplayer games. The lag becomes a definite problem until the issue resolves itself (could be their end, somewhere in-between, or on my end) and the stream resumes its full flow.

When Duke Nukem Forever first hit the service, it was relatively unplayable because (I presume) that a good chunk of OnLive members were playing it or watching others play it. Latency is also an issue when others on your local network stream video, play an MMORPG or do anything network intensive. Typically when network congestion occurs, it starts with the controls and then seeps into the overall visuals.

I personally really like OnLive but it certainly has its limitations: you can't play custom mods and maps, and you can't play other gamers outside the OnLive borders. The selection seems to be growing at a slow rate, but there's a good heaping with the current crop. I asked American McGee if OnLive gamers would ever see the new Alice title and he said this:

"Not up to us. Up to EA. Please pressure them if this is something you're interested in. Tiny developer can't help you in battle against massive publisher." LOL.

The benefits of OnLive are obvious even though cloud gaming just arrived on the scene: PC gamers can enjoy games they can't run on their machines... in HD at that. Using the Nintendo DS-sized console, they can connect it directly to an HDTV's HDMI jack, plug in a mouse and keyboard, plug in an Internet connection, and play like any other PC gamer without having to drag their rig or laptop from somewhere else in the house. Plus, given it's all cloud, there's no loss of game saves and there's no need to reinstall 10 GB+ worth of software if your rig goes down. Hell, you can even rent the games or outright purchase a full-time "pass." And while OnLive offers an all-you-can-eat buffet for $9.99 per month, membership is free. And yes, I know I sound like an OnLive rep. ;)

As for bandwidth caps, that's a really good point. I believe I'll hit them up with a Q&A to see how they plan on addressing that (if possible), and what the company does to address latency. I would think the bandwidth cap issue would be a real kick in the groin for OnLive, but I may be wrong. We'll see.

Got any OnLive questions? Send them to kparrish at bestofmedia dot com and we'll (hopefully) get them answered.

-Kevin P.
 
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Here is the thing about Onlive latency. It's there and it's real. You can't fix it, you can't get around it. It's an ugly imperfection of a very young platform. Onlive is not the platform when you want the utmost accuracy in an FPS title or any game title that requires fine targeting and accuracy.

Secondly, Onlive doesn't want to replace the platforms of hardcore gamers, or casual gamers for that matter. If you have an awesome rig that can play the latest games, good for you. I actually respect and commend that. However, you have to understand there is still a massive segment of gamers out there that like to play games, but would prefer to do without the hardware and discs. The hardcore PC gamers and the casual console gamers will continue using their local hardware for many many years to come. XBOX 360's and PS3's are still flying off the shelves.

Onlive is young and has many years to grow and establish itself. Just give it time.
 

K-zon

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Ok, Check this out, one , right. You are getting a system that doesnt run the games themselves cause the hardware isnt needed to run them? And you dont need better connections to run them either, since the hardware you have or use doesnt run them anyways? Or one or the other?

From playing even MMOs or regular releases with having thousands of things to something that barely does hundreds, on the fact of new to say even less will do more, without any additional cost of more, is placed where?

Onlive has probably great interest but how far from those issues though to make anything better of it?

Onlive is probably going to only have so many interest in for an average gamer probably hard placed to have at , thats for sure for the expense anyways. For interest anyways, my bad.
 

FloKid

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I am still amazed at how OnLive can support so many members at once... It's pretty cool, but sometimes latency is an issue, not much, but it's noticeable. I played Borderlands and it jitters a bit when I look around, other games seem better, but that is the only FPS I tried. I have around 30ms latency to the closes server for my ISP.
 

NuclearShadow

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Onlive will surely fail if more and more ISP's continue to make bandwidth caps. This is the danger of making your service depend on other services that have no interest in your survival.
Streaming such games and one would assume for long periods of time would make these caps hit
and god forbid if the ISPs lower this cap even more.

This is basically a modern day Sega Channel (anyone remember that back in the day?)
I believe it will also share the same fate in the end.
 

upgrade_1977

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I tried it on pc's at work and my main pc at home and the graphics were great but found input lag made it very hard to play. Thought that would have been mentioned in the article. I hate consoles but id rather play a console. Input lag is just not acceptible when it comes to gaming. Try playing dirt 2, at home i come in first 95% of the time, when playing onlive its maybe 25% because uts hard to compensate when taking high speed corners. Sure the same go's for fps. Can pc gamers play against people using onlive?
 
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This article was simply designed to create confusion. No one ever really owned anything but a plastic disk when they supposedly bought a game. Here games are immortal and will remain as long as you ahve $9 in a given month to play with. It also unlocks what no local solution ever could. Onlive has already made the PS4 obsolete - it will never compete on price and never ever on performance.
 

stingstang

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You know, I've been thinking. Onlive would have about the same latency than the average PC through network gaming. If you think about it, the information is send from your computer, through the internet provider network, then to whatever server is hosting. With Onlive, it's sent from the 'router' through the network, then to the Onlive network which will be a server room connected to whatever 'system' is playing your game. It's really just up to your internet provider with the amount of ping you have.
To the issue of security... It's the same thing as gaming online with a regular console. Your information is still in a company server that can and WILL be hacked at some point. the PSN hack didn't prove any point that cloud gaming is going to be worse.
 
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