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United Kingdom Cloud Games

OnLive To Launch In UK This Autumn 67

Posted by timothy
from the why-sail-across-the-atlantic dept.
arcticstoat writes "Cloud-based gaming platform OnLive has announced plans to launch in the UK this Autumn, with Onlive.co.uk opening for OnLive player tag registration on 7 June. OnLive runs games on remote servers and streams them back to subscribers, but until now it's only been available in some areas of the US."
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OnLive To Launch In UK This Autumn

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  • This has to fail (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rik Sweeney (471717) on Friday June 03, 2011 @06:27AM (#36329468) Homepage

    The only reason being that if it starts doing well it'll slowly become the new DRM.

    • by Inda (580031)
      How can it not fail?

      My packets take 50ms and five hops just leaving my ISP's network.

      How will everyone cope with the laaaaaaaaaaag?
      • Have you ever tried OnLive? It's incredibly good.
        They do some very smart encoding of the video signal + they work together with ISP's so they have servers within the ISP's network.

        We had a demo at the Telco operator I work at. We were super sceptical about real world preformance and our jaws dropped when we saw what OnLive could deliver. Pretty damn good. Not good enough for hard core gamers. But good enough for a casual user like me and 70% of the market.

        Only bottleneck for the moment is their catalogue IM

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Slowly?

      This is a publisher's wet dream; they'll let OnLive solve all the problems, then jump on it.
      Services like Steam are already halfway there.

    • by Canazza (1428553)

      Any serious gamer won't be wowed by this, Digital Downloads are here to stay as the replacement for brick-and-mortar. If On-live does get popular it will be as an alternative to rental, or game demos. Interactive Streaming video cannot compare to playing locally on your PC, even if the graphics aren't maxed out. Look at the Wii, it trounced its opposition with gameplay over graphics, and the only benifit I can see from On-Live is that you get the best graphical quality while sacrificing everything else, whi

      • by citizenr (871508)

        Any serious gamer won't be wowed by this

        That is the problem, Serious gamers are 30% of the market _now_, and casual gaming is taking over (think farmville). We used to laugh at FPS games with a gamepad ... until COD4 set record XBOX sales and market turned away from Us serious gamers and started catering to handicapped drolling 13 year old couch potatoes with pads.

        • Yeah, but the casual gaming crowd that plays Farmville and similar doesn't need to render them on a GPU farm, any smartphone GPU is enough.

        • Yes, Serious Gamer, it's US smart foamy mouthed PC gamers versus THEM, the gamepad-wielding idiots!

          Really, "Serious gamers" who "laugh at FPS games with a gamepad"... what do serious gamers actually do? I mean I play a lot, own hundreds of games, all consoles, a capable PC (though I rarely play on that platform anymore). But I still don't know what to do to become a serious gamer.
          • by Canazza (1428553)

            I class "Serious Gamer" as someone who has Video Games as their primary hobby. Regardless of skill and/or amount of games owned.

      • by Shrike82 (1471633)
        As a poster below mentioned, casual gamers are taking over. OnLive theoretically eliminates a huge proportion of cheaters, something that sounds pretty attractive to any sort of gamer, but probably even more so to someone who just wants to jump into a game and have a bit of a laugh after work.
        • by MogNuts (97512)

          Thought that too. That's why I was thrilled when Homefront was released on it. Imagine! Cheating just isn't possible!

          Except it is.

          Homefront has a kill-cam that even shows the path where the bullet that killed you comes from and zooms out and shows the path. I was on the largest map and it shows an individual kill me from across the *entire* map, through walls and through picket fences, with a *SMG*. This simply isn't possible.

          1) There is no way to see me
          2) SMG's just don't have that range
          3) You can't even s

    • Are you against Netflix streaming, too?

      • by Stormthirst (66538) on Friday June 03, 2011 @07:41AM (#36329680)

        Do you mean this from a DRM point or a technical point?

        DRM: Well, apart from the fact that Blockbuster went bust, people still want to be able to rent movies. Not everyone wants a massive DVD/Blu-ray collection cluttering up their houses, and most people are turning away from $15 theatre tickets in favour of $8 per month for Netflix. The cost is incomparable. It is also conceivable that not everyone wants to pirate the stuff they want to watch.

        Technical: The difference is the lag time. Netflix can do a lot of buffering, but with games it's interactive - how do you buffer when you don't know what is coming up?

        Either way, your comparison isn't one.

        • by KarrdeSW (996917)

          Technical: The difference is the lag time. Netflix can do a lot of buffering, but with games it's interactive - how do you buffer when you don't know what is coming up?

          Maybe the reason this works is because our button mashing is just becoming that predictable? ;P

        • Oh come on, that's a completely different answer from the topic we're on. He's saying that On-Live is the new DRM, he isn't talking at all about the streaming quality. He's talking about no longer 'owning' the game. You're not getting a different scenario with Netflix. So why is his comment about On-Live streaming becoming the new 'DRM' a +5 Insightful when we're so happy about Netflix streaming?

      • Netflix streaming is fine as long as studios don't start releasing movies exclusively to streaming and not to DVD. The problem would come should someone ever come out with a Netflix exclusive or OnLive exclusive.
  • I notice the difference between playing FPS games with wired and wireless mice. I would not react well to anything like this -- especially while I'm busy downloading my err.. creative commons.. music and movies.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Most people either don't know or care, would land in similar ping times as others, or just plain wouldn't use it (the tiny hardcore-gamer group that would hate it for other reasons). That leaves them with a considerable number of potential customers who'd like a Steam-esque experience on their TV, without the cost and various problems of a console. That's not to say I think they'll succeed, just that they might yet have a workable product.
    • by mwvdlee (775178)

      Not everybody is a hardcore twitch-gamer. Obviously this technology isn't yet suitable for all types of games and gamers, but I can definitely see this working for many games and it should be possible for most game types to adjust to a small lag.

      • by Luckyo (1726890)

        Small lag, yes. HUGE lag that this causes - no.

        Have you ever tried walking when submerged in the water up to the knees? Remote playing is a somewhat similar experience.

    • I notice the difference between playing FPS games with wired and wireless mice

      Seriously? The delay for a wireless mouse is under 1ms. It takes something on the order of 20-50ms for a typical update to be delivered to the screen. Even if you could perceive an extra 1ms of latency in the control input, it's dwarfed by the latency of screen updates to such an extent that it's not practical to perceive it - the framerate jitter within one second is going to be larger than the increased latency by at least one order of magnitude. Or are you another one of these people who claims that t

      • 20-50msecs? Not all of us ditched our CRTs for crappy LCD panels...
        • by Luckyo (1726890)

          Even "crappy" panels had a response time within realm of 10ms. Good TN panels are 1-2ms nowadays.

          And it's often not so much about image getting there as the game actually reacting to your action. On the screen, you see the result of reaction, not reaction itself.

        • 20ms latency is 50 frames per second, assuming that the game loop takes no time to run (typically, the rendering loop is a frame behind). That's pretty reasonable for most first-person shooters.
        • I'm pretty sure he's talking about the amount of time it takes the game loop to update the current frame on screen. You don't actually think game frames are rendered instantly, do you? The "latency" inherent in the game loops dwarfs the latency difference between wired and wireless mice which even at worst is a millisecond or two unless you have some weird source of interference between your mouse and base station.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        For the typical wireless mouse you can have quite a bit more latency. Most bluetooth mice add a ton. Logitech and others have lower-latency wireless stuff, though. You have to realize that twitch gamers are affected by having a couple extra processing stages in their television. The brain really is capable of making use of that information. After a few thousand hours of playing a single FPS (I don't think I have more than a few hundred into any myself but even I've seen this happen) your brain gets trained

        • For the typical wireless mouse you can have quite a bit more latency.

          And by "quite a bit more" you mean in general 1-2 ms, right? If you are getting more latency then that you have some sort of issues with your system or you have interference effecting the mouse talking to the base station or you bought a really cheap ass mouse.

          You have to realize that twitch gamers are affected by having a couple extra processing stages in their television.

          No, they've just conditioned themselves to believe that they are affected by that. Just as audiophiles believe that not having $4000 interconnects in their HiFi means they will get dramatically worse sound quality. Or videophiles who think that $20

    • by Lunix Nutcase (1092239) on Friday June 03, 2011 @09:52AM (#36330606)

      I notice the difference between playing FPS games with wired and wireless mice.

      No you don't. What you have is a case of confirmation bias. In a proper double-blind test you wouldn't notice the difference as the difference is well below a human's response threshold.

  • Basically you're solving a load of issues like game patching, licensing, piracy etc for some other ones; mainly latency related.

    I think it's a great idea. Publishers could set up rental periods, pay per play, outright purchases etc. Players will always be connecting to the latest patched version of the game. AI engines and game physics could be improved throughout the lifecycle.

    My biggest concern is the client end. I'd prefer to see a local render engine capable of displaying the entire scene. The curr

    • by mwvdlee (775178)

      Local rendering would mean by far the largest part of a game measured in memory, processor resources and storage would have to be local. And more hardware cost as well. Basically there wouldn't be much benefit to having part of the game online. Besides, I think the bandwidth of all that scene data for each frame is much greater than the bandwidth of a video frame but perhaps somebody more experienced with this matter knows for sure?

      • by drunkahol (143049)

        Thing about scene data is that it gets sent once. You then perform transforms on the models, textures & maps etc. I'm figuring that although there will be an initial load phase for complex scenes, textures and the like, there wont actually be an enormous amount of traffic from that point on.

        Although graphics rendering is the largest part of a game at the moment, physics and AI are being pushed harder and harder. There are also games out there with huge AI & Physics requirements that are extremely

        • Thing about scene data is that it gets sent once. You then perform transforms on the models, textures & maps etc. I'm figuring that although there will be an initial load phase for complex scenes, textures and the like, there wont actually be an enormous amount of traffic from that point on.

          And people complain about long load times from slow(ish) harddrives (and abhor the load times from optical media)! Imagine if every load period had to come from the internet. You're talking about giving up the last couple decades of progress for the only purpose of giving the, already asshole, publishers more power to be assholes.

    • by Smirker (695167)

      AI engines and game physics could be improved throughout the lifecycle.

      e.g. Black Ops.

  • Since when is it only available in the US? It works very well for non-FPS games in Luxembourg, Europe with like 100ms lag total and slight but not critical delays in shooters like FEAR. Last time I checked (a few months back) the Onlive client communicated with a server farm in the UK.
  • by wjh31 (1372867) on Friday June 03, 2011 @07:08AM (#36329590) Homepage
    My attention was drawn a little while ago to the beta of this being around in the uk I downloaded it, and gave it a go and was pleased with the results, but wouldnt use it myself. Pro: The video quality was very good, and i had no latency issues, i tried out a racing game and an action game, both fast paced and i had no issue with input latency. It's clearly a fantastic way for those with lower end graphics cards to play games, You can also pay less than full price for games in exchange for access for a limited period, i.e rental for games you might only play through once. Con: You have to buy your games again to use within OnLive, which can then only be used in onlive. So you may have to pay again fro games you already own, and if you ever leave onlive youd have to buy again to regain access. Bandwidth. The video resolution was good but used every byte of my 10Mbps connection, rendering it unusable for anyone else, or if others used it i'd see a reduction in quality. Note the implications of 4.5+GB/hr for those with caps When my provider throttled me to 2.5Mbps, quality was noticably reduced (though latency was still good) and eventually onlive game up, stating i had insufficient speed. This is a fantastic concept, but as others have highlighted it effectively becomes another form of DRM, but allows gaming on non-gaming machines at good cost
    • by MogNuts (97512)

      I second this. Don't listen to all these BS /.'ers saying this and that. I bet you 90% haven't even used it. I never listen to armchair quarterbacks. Seriously people, you don't even have to buy any games. Make an account, play 30 min of gameplay for any of their games for free, see for yourself people.*

      Anyway, I personally used it. I thought the whole latency problem would be big too. Honestly, at the end of the day, it works pretty damn good. For 90% of gamers, as long as you're not playing twitch FPS MP

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Last I checked, UK broadband speeds were pretty dire unless you live next door to the exchange. Add to that the bandwidth caps and throttling that is commonplace during peak hours and I think I can safely say this will not take off.

  • ...and I just registered and played Assassin's Creed II for a couple of minutes. Is it autumn already?
  • I've been using it in the uk for 6 months or so using virgin as my isp. Works brilliantly.
    Never bought anything though, just use it to trial things to see if they're worth buying!

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