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OnLive CEO On Post-Launch Status, Game Licenses 121

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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  • Re:Is it just me? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by XnavxeMiyyep ( 782119 ) on Friday July 16, 2010 @08:02AM (#32924692)

    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.

  • Re:Utter crap (Score:3, Interesting)

    by crossmr ( 957846 ) on Friday July 16, 2010 @08:58AM (#32925040) Journal

    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 measurably inferior to current standards. It's just a question of how your personal perception level will interpret it as to whether it's a game-breaker or not.

    Let's quote a little more since you seemed to miss it.

    In terms of buying games, the prices for new titles are too high and the selection of games is uninspiring. The notion of paying so much for what is measurably an inferior product compared to the physical disc means that OnLive simply cannot be taken seriously at this point in time - especially when you don't own the games you are buying.

    In other words, it's a joke.

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

    Perhaps by the time expensive next-generation hardware is unleashed upon us OnLive's value proposition will increase accordingly, but until then the value just isn't there.

    and hey who could forget the paragraph immediately after what you quoted

    However, even in this regard, lag doesn't meet OnLive's on-the-record promises, and elsewhere the system comes up short. The claims of 720p60 don't stack up compared to the reality of the service (unless you are describing the technical make-up of the transmitted video stream rather than actual game performance) and the quality of the image in challenging situations is poor and no match whatsoever for playing the same game locally. OnLive generally seems to be a system that can work well for certain games, but really isn't very well suited for others.

    So again, how much you being paid to astroturf?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 16, 2010 @11:24AM (#32926622)

    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")

    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.E. *NO* home servers hosting or running a game). Think of how much Cox would love it if they could force Activision to pay a fee to let consumers connect to WoW? Or how AT&T would need money from EA Games to allow people to connect to the latest Battlefield game? This service stinks, but it's where the big ISP's want things to go. They also want in on the ground floor with OnLive (and subsidizing them) so they have more control over it than Steam.

  • Re:Utter crap (Score:3, Interesting)

    by delinear ( 991444 ) on Friday July 16, 2010 @12:11PM (#32927348)
    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 it leaves the latency question, but it would be suitable for a number of genres that don't require twitch responses), and whether that will happen before OnLive's investors lose interest is the big question.

I have hardly ever known a mathematician who was capable of reasoning. -- Plato