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OnLive CEO On Post-Launch Status, Game Licenses 121

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

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  • Uh... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sonicmerlin (1505111) on Friday July 16, 2010 @05:58AM (#32924472)
    No no, the problem is exactly the licenses evaporating, or rather people's accounts being closed and a user subsequently losing out on all their purchased games. I think a simple, extremely reasonable solution would be to allow users to download and play the game locally if they wish a la Steam. Give them both the option to play in the cloud (much more convenient) and locally (sense of security and ownership) and you have an award winning service that destroys your Valve-hosted competitor.
    • Sorry to double post, but I just thought this comment in the interview was extremely stupid: "We have to put a stake in the ground somewhere. We could put five years, we could put two years." Why do you have to set a limit on a license for a fully purchased game? That's got to be the stupidest thing I've ever heard. How can this guy not understand the frustration of consumers whose money goes into a "three year Playpass", rather than wholly owning the game?
      • I assume that the game license isn't really at issue(given that anything but a super-popular AAAAAA title will be selling for just over the cost of disc and distribution out of the bargain bin in two years, it isn't as though OnLive is going to be able to make money selling the licences off or anything, even if their contracts with the publishers allowed that). I'd imagine that it is the fact that, for OnLive to allow you to "own" a game, they still have to have at least one server up in your area with the
        • by drc003 (738548)
          "Assuming the punters are still happy to play, and the game is still working with their systems, they would be nuts to arbitrarily pull old games out of circulation just because they can......" Yes, but at what point will they decide that the number of people still happy to play the game isn't enough to incur the costs of keeping that game running? If I pay for a game I expect to be able to play it as long as I would like. I still love playing Red Orchestra via Steam. However, it is well past 3 years and t
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

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

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

            However, as be
            • Luckily, we're about to see if there are more people who agree with you, or more people who are casual folks who don't care if they own the game or not. An awesome real-life experiment it'll be.
          • "I'm sorry but for me it is imperative that if they want to set this 3 year limit" They are not setting a 3 year limit, they are saying that they guarantee that the game will be there for at least 3 years. As they said in the article there is a 99.9% chance that the game will be available much much longer than that but it is conceivable that they will not be able to keep it up after that. Once they get new servers, if the game still runs on those servers the game will continue to be available. I do thin
            • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

              by drc003 (738548)
              Yes, they are setting a 3 year limit. I'm not talking about what they are "SAYING", I'm talking about what they are setting up to support in legal terms. People can say whatever they want. You can sign your house over to someone in your family while they are "saying" they will never kick you out and sell the house. However if at anytime they decide to do so they can and will.
      • Re:Uh... (Score:4, Informative)

        by grumbel (592662) <grumbel@gmx.de> on Friday July 16, 2010 @06:51AM (#32924650) Homepage

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

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

        • by delinear (991444)
          Exactly, personally I already knew their service was not for me, but if I was one of the people considering it, I'd rather be told up front that they'll support the game for a minimum 3 years and there's every chance it will go offline at that point than them keep quiet, build up a big subscriber based then enact a few clauses buried in the terms and conditions to the same effect. It was always obvious this would be the case anyway (to anyone who understands how games can be tied to a particular era's archi
      • by Surt (22457)

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

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

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

      Presumably, since a game that you must be connected to a fast, low-latency internet connection to play at all, even single-player, has lower utility than a game playable standalone(and such a game is pretty much immune to piracy, and revocable at any time) the OnLive people can negotiate lower per-unit prices from the publishers. That and they can presumably do some license sharing, since not everyone will be playi
    • Not to mention that in 5 years* there's a fair chance your low budget computer will be able to play the game you played on their system this year. If they let the key/license transfer to a local copy of the game it would help keep its value.

      *maybe not 3 years. and maybe not in 5 years for Crysis type games that you want to keep playing on your mobile, but not all games are super graphics intense.
      • Particularly since the game you played on their system was 1280×720(with some compression artefacts; which more or less add up to the equivalent of playing on "low" or "medium", depending on the specific game's settings system)...

        You can bring almost any system to its knees by demanding enough pixels(and, if your monitor isn't that big, demanding that they be 16x anti-aliased, buffed, and polished before delivery, to bump the effective resolution that needs to be rendered); but if you are comparing
        • by grumbel (592662)

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

          Compression artifacts add a bit of blurriness, but you still have all the benefits of HDR rendering, shadows, post-processing and stuff that you won't get on low settings.

          The interesting part however is that not all OnLive games run at high quality, its only some games that seem to get the high quality settings, while others such as Red Faction [techspotlight.net] run on rather low settings, lacking bloom and shadows.

    • by Golddess (1361003)
      Now I'm not saying I agree with this, but alternatively, couldn't it be said that the problem is people are looking at this like a purchase rather than a rental (ala GameTap)?
  • Is it just me? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ledow (319597) on Friday July 16, 2010 @06:16AM (#32924538) Homepage

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

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

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

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

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by XnavxeMiyyep (782119)

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

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

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

        • by delinear (991444)
          They likely wouldn't uprade capacity anyway, they'd just give higher caps but throttle the service so much that OnLive games (and pretty much everything beyond basic web browsing) would be unusable.
        • Well, OnLive alone probably won't, but it's just one of many new legitimate streaming services, including Hulu, iTunes movie rentals, High Def YouTube, NetFlix streaming, and streaming sports games, that will increase the bandwidth demands of regular users. This could hopefully bring about improved Internet service, when it's the regular users, not just us, who are complaining.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Svartalf (2997)

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

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

        • Sorry, I'm only in the market for bridges at the moment. Got any of those?
        • by Surt (22457)

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

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by BForrester (946915)

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

        For many of us, this is already status quo.

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

      • by delinear (991444)

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

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

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

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

        As far as I could tell, the only thing the service ever offered was not having to have a cutting edge gaming rig. The fact that it's hardly offering taxing games and they're at a pretty low resolution any

        • by Beardydog (716221)
          Demand is only where it's at because they're waiving the service fee for the first year as a "bonus" to everyone who's willing to give them a chance. The fact that you can't demo the system on their site ( the fact that this is possible is pretty much the strongest point of their operation ) is insane. The fact that your gaming is limited to the library of games they've adapted ( instead of the library of games your rig can support ) is insane. The fact that you can only sign up by raffle is insane. Everyth
      • by Joker1980 (891225)

        I love steam, i spend more money in a month on pc games than i used to in a year (but get a hell of a lot more for my money). If i have one complaint though it is the classic games sold on steam, they hardly ever work first time, in fact they usually require a lot of messing about with config files and various other tweaks and still rarly run as intended. Ive bought a lot of old games i loved when i was younger simply because steam is so cheap and convinent but ive learned my lesson on that score. Its partl

    • by Rogerborg (306625)

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

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

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by tbcpp (797625)
      Have you actually used the service? I tried it out (I'm a founding member whoop-dee-doo). And it's exactly the opposite of what you state about World-of-Goo. I found UT3 perfectly playable, with very little noticeable lag. In fact on my second Team death match, I ranked at the top of the list for kills. It's about the same sort of lag I'd expect from using the average bluetooth mouse. World of Goo (and other 2d games) on the other hand was unplayable, the mouse lags so much that it's almost unplayable. So
      • by ledow (319597)

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

    • Maybe it's different now, but when I lived in the UK (2005-2008) my provider had no bandwidth cap. Perhaps you should shop around?

      • by ledow (319597)

        There are no "no-cap" providers any more. The most there's been lately is "unlimited" (subject to terms and conditions, fair use policy, we will cut you off if you use too much, not-really-unlimited but nobody's bothered to take us to court to clear up the definition and Ofcom don't care...).

        If you get 50Gb a month, that's a *GOOD* package. Some consumer ones are as low as 2Gb/month.

  • Utter crap (Score:5, Insightful)

    by crossmr (957846) on Friday July 16, 2010 @06:30AM (#32924584) Journal

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

    • by grumbel (592662)

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

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

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

        The real problem is, hardcore twitch gamers aren't going to be happy; but the further you get from twitch gamers, the less valuable the "cloud gaming" features become. Were it possible to serve them, twitch gamers would benefit the most; because they require the most expensive hardware, upgrade the most frequently, play the newest games that may not have been ported yet, etc. The further you get from them, the less valuable the service is. At the other e
        • by grumbel (592662)

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

          • by CaseM (746707)

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

            It's fairly simple, really:

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

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

            • by grumbel (592662)

              Do you work for OnLive?

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

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

              Yes, there is a market saturation issue and the success of th

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

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

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

            Seth

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

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

      • by Svartalf (2997)

        It's not FUD.

        The quality is suboptimal as was shown with the review.

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

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

        • by grumbel (592662)

          The quality is suboptimal as was shown with the review.

          This one [eurogamer.net]?

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

          • by nschubach (922175)

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

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by crossmr (957846)

            Yes.
            That one.

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

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

            The varying quality of the graphics is questionable, and the lag is best described as "better than expected" - nowhere near the claims that have been made for the system, and still

            • by grumbel (592662)

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

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

              • by crossmr (957846)

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

                not even a little bit. The review clearly states that they didn't meet their goals. They said they came close, they didn't say they met them. I know all those pennies they're throwing your way is blinding you but give it another go over. So no it doesn't remotely bust my claim since "close" means what they claimed still isn't tec

                • by grumbel (592662)

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

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

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

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

                  Give me a solid reason why OnLive can't successed and I might listen,

                  • by crossmr (957846)

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

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

                    • by slim (1652)

                      Trying to deny it doesn't make your astroturfing any less obvious.

                      I remember a while ago, I too was accused of being a paid astroturfer, just for saying that OnLive showed some promise. Stop doing it. It makes you look silly.

                      OnLive has worked out pretty much as I expected - not quite the miracle they promised, but good enough for many non-hardcore gamers; showing potential to improve as network capacity improves in future; hopelessly mispriced.

                      I'd sign up, if the price plans made sense, but they don't. (Specifically I'd sign up if there was no subscription fee, and I coul

                    • by crossmr (957846)

                      The price doesn't make sense, the quality is not great and the performance isn't as expected. How is that "working out"?
                      It is far from "not quite the miracle they promised" it is an utter failure of a product. There is no compelling reason for anyone to invest in this product. It is cheaper and better to even build a low end gaming machine which will still produce better looking games than this.

            • by hkmwbz (531650)
              Seriously, what's with the aggressive tone? Can't you express your opinion without bashing the service and throwing accusations all over the place?

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

      • by Cederic (9623)

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

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

        The irony is that I'd love this service to become viable and effective. The Arena looks magnificent (although raises privacy concerns for things like in-game chat), the ability to play demos is desperately needed an

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by delinear (991444)
          Agreed, I don't think anyone here, even the hard core doubters, are willing this to fail, I'd love to be able to log into my entire games catalogue and play it from pretty much any computer I happen to be sat at, it's just that people recognise the massive limitations at the moment and find it incredibly difficult to believe this will take off. There would have to be a sea change in the availability of cheap, high speed, uncapped or at least very high capped broadband before this could be viable (even then
  • Yeah right.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Friday July 16, 2010 @06:57AM (#32924672) Homepage

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

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

    • by grumbel (592662)

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

      Full: Provides unlimited access to the selected game throughout its supported lifetime on the OnLive service. We expect to keep all games supported for as long as people conti

      • by geekoid (135745)

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

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

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

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

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

    • by Svartalf (2997)

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

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

    • by ledow (319597)

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

  • by xmorg (718633)

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

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

    To then charge, near?, full price on top of a subscription for a service that already requires you to have a computer, ISP connection, and all the rest is downright asking for failure. I'm sure their startup costs are substantial but only the really real

    • by Cythrawl (941686)
      I agree, The pricing should be more like a Netflix account, because in reality you are not owning the games you are renting them, via a streaming service... $39,99 for a (potential) three year licence for Assassins Creed 2 or buy the original game for $39.98 from Fry's.com that doesn't have a lesser resolution (AND the ability to change the detail level), latency issues, etc etc etc... Really which one would YOU take?? DRM aside I know which one I would rather have.... The pricing is all wrong, and that m
    • by gad_zuki! (70830)

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

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

      When you consider this, not only are gaming computers expensive (

      • Gaming capable computers aren't that cheap.

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

        • by gad_zuki! (70830)

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

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

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

            • by grumbel (592662)

              There is nothing special about the hardware

              Depends, the Geforce 7800GT was a top of the line card back then, not exactly the average junk that you get when you buy an average PC. A current card that can compete with the 7800GT such as the Geforce GT220 still cost you like 70€.

              For comparison, my PC is three years old and an average PC, not a special gaming machine, fall into the 800€ price range back then, and it has a Geforce 7600LE in it. That card is barely able to handle Crysis or Mass Effect 2 at the lowest possible detail level in the

          • by nxtw (866177)

            I mean the ability to buy ANY game and play it without it looking terrible or being at a competitive disadvantage. With consoles this is true out of the box.

            Games on consoles look terrible. While the Xbox 360 and PS3 are both capable of outputting/scaling to 1080p60, most games are rendered at a much lower resolution and sometimes at a lower framerate.
            I have a video card that was $90 when I bought it in 2008, and it outperforms the Xbox 360 at playing the same games.

      • by geekoid (135745)

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

        " huge hassle of replacing your existing ps."

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

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

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

        • by gad_zuki! (70830)

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

  • by MiceHead (723398) on Friday July 16, 2010 @08:45AM (#32925444) Homepage
    Sooooooo! So. We're Dejobaan Games, a small indie (redundant?) studio responsible for a game called AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! -- A Reckless Disregard for Gravity [dejobaan.com]. If you've used OnLive, you've probably seen the damned thing listed at the top of their games selection because they sort alphabetically. Our next game will probably be called something annoying like !!!00000LoL and be even higher on the list.

    I digress.

    I like OnLive; I like the guys I've met that work for OnLive; I'm also the Hair Club President. I want them to succeed, because the more ways for folks to get games, the better. Here's our guarantee: If you pick Aaaaa! up on OnLive, and they stop carrying our game in 3 years, we'll give you an offline copy. I'm not sure if folks are having tech issues, but honestly, the licensing issue is really easy for us to fix. :)
    • by geekoid (135745)

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

    • by Reapman (740286)

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

    • by Tolkien (664315)
      Indie developer and member of slashdot with a reasonable ID posting about a gameplay delivery platform who also has a sense of humour and is interested in his playerbase.. okay, you've just gained my respect and I'll try to keep dejobaan on my gaming radar in the future. Thanks for posting. :)
    • by Tolkien (664315)
      Oh! By the way, have you ever thought of refactoring the names of your games? eg. AaAaAaAaA Reckless Disregard for Gravity. :) Picture a skydiver screaming the title as he falls and you know what I'm picturing!
  • How long will comcast like this? Till nodes max out? Till uses hit there download cap real fast?

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

    • by Anonymous Coward

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

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

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

      Basically it's about control, and the ISP's will keep this service running. They only want big businesses to run games (I.

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

    That's too many negatives.

    Here is what think they could do to counter the nega

    • by Reapman (740286)

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

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

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

  • The subscription fee in addition to having to buy each game is a deal-breaker to me. They'll also be struggling with bandwidth and latency.

    However, technology moves quickly, and bandwidth (and perhaps latency to a certain degree) will certainly be less and less of an issue. And the pricing could be adjusted in the future. I personally would like to see a higher subscription fee where I can play any game (more like rent than purchase, and up to X games each month or so perhaps), and then the alternative, w

  • The summary says the link is an unbiased review, but I pulled this gem from the review:

    OnLive is piracy-proof because no game code ever leaves the datacentres housing their servers - great for the publishers and developers, but perhaps not so appealing to the customer.

    That is very loaded/biased language. I think I'll use this as an example in my next class (as a good example of biased language).

  • Latency, frame rate issues, licensing, lag, etc etc etc. So what? If I had a laptop with a crap Intel graphics card that can't play the game I want with the physical disc or Steam, OnLive is great. Don't play the game or play the game that looks a bit worse than "it should", I'll play the game. OnLive isn't for the hardcore gamer (like me with my desktop), but for the casual gamer (like my sister with her college laptop). Don't like it? Fine, just leave the "subpar" gaming for the rest of the world, t

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