Author Topic: OnLive - what are your opinions?  (Read 12253 times)

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Offline JonLeung

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OnLive - what are your opinions?
« on: March 26, 2009, 10:37:40 am »
Opinions on the recently-announced OnLive?



OnLive's official site

OnLive on Wikipedia

Kotaku's take on OnLive



Announced at GDC, basically it's a service whereby using a computer capable of full-screen video (ie. any entry-level PC or Mac), you would be able to play games stored and rendered on remote servers.  If you don't have a computer, you can buy a "microconsole" for your TV, basically a small device that delivers the live video feed of your game to your screen.



Since the game is stored and rendered on another computer elsewhere, and you're essentially just playing through a video feed, it doesn't matter how powerful your computer is, as long as it fulfills the minimum requirements of being able to play full-screen video.  The only real issue is bandwidth (though they brag that with special technology that has had "seven years of development", the concern for lag will apparently be seen to be overblown).



PC games will be on the service, they say console games can easily be ported for use on OnLive as well.



OnLive is slated for a Winter 2009 release, after a beta phase in the summer.



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Advantages:

-no longer need a powerful computer to play the latest games

-don't even need a computer at all, really, just as long as you have a screen and an Internet connection and a controller

-distinctions between being a PC gamer, Mac gamer, and console gamer become insignificant, since any screen would be capable of playing any game on OnLive

-won't have to buy a physical copy of a game, and unlike download services you wouldn't even need to have the hard drive space to download/install it

-for games such as MMOs, cheating probably won't be an issue

-live community features (such as "Brag Clips", where the last fifteen seconds are recorded for others to see) are interesting

-you can spectate other players to see if the game they're playing is something you'd consider buying

-for game developers, piracy won't be an issue if their game is exclusively on OnLive

-game developers won't have to worry about modders/hackers either



Disadvantages:

-sounds like it might have heavy reliance on having a lot of bandwidth

-for modders/hackers, it might be more difficult, if not impossible, to play around with a game's code

-for PC hardware makers, people might not be inclined to buy the latest video cards if they're no longer required

-for console hardware makers, this may lead to the so-called "one-console future" which would not be to their benefit



Other concerns:

-prices for games haven't been announced yet, at least not as far as I've seen



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I'd like to hear your thoughts on it...personally, I'm looking forward to it.  It's a good idea and I can see myself getting on board, just as long as the only two concerns, bandwidth and price, don't turn out to be problems.  As for this fear of a "one-console future", that won't happen if console-makers do something to keep their experiences unique, whether by an exclusive library of games or the means to play them.  You know that's why I'm a Nintendo fanboy - and as long as they keep on focussing on hardware interfaces (instead of hardware power), they'll be fine.  Things like motion control, the Balance Board, and touch screens are what will keep them alive, and if the one-console future is a real fear, even Sony and Microsoft will innovate (or continue to "borrow" ideas from Nintendo) to keep their PlayStations and Xboxes going.  Spoken like a true Nintendo fanboy, right?  But the OnLive service will be great, for the majority of generic games where all you do is sit down and push buttons to play.  I've been good about keeping my computer up-to-date for games, but if I wanted to play something like Crysis, there's something to be said about just being able to load it up on the fly without having to install it and then juggle settings like resolution and graphical effects for optimum performance.



As long as this doesn't become another Phantom, I'm definitely interested.

Offline DarkWolf

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RE: OnLive - what are your opinions?
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2009, 10:46:37 am »
When they decide to drop support for a game, you can't play it again.  Unless they have some sort of policy where they'd release copies after support is dropped.  But that is unlikely.



Also, I wouldn't want to deal with the lag or possible dropped connection if I'm playing a single player game.  I don't care what they say; lag and dropped connections will happen.

Offline RT 55J

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RE: OnLive - what are your opinions?
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2009, 11:20:48 am »
Latency will always be an issue with this service, unless they manage to subvert the laws of physics.



And server maintenance is bound to eat up a lot of time and money. While you might not need high-end hardware to play the latest games with this service, the servers would need to be constantly upgraded if they want everybody to play the same catalog. I can imagine the subscription fees being quite high if this is the case.



Also, I bet the video compression scheme will probably make a non-trival hit on the graphical quality of the games. Don't expect Crysis to look as good as it would on a PC you own.



So yeah, don't expect this to become anything more than a "fourth console."

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Offline Revned

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RE: OnLive - what are your opinions?
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2009, 11:23:46 am »
No thanks. Sounds good for casual gamers, but like RT 55J says, latency will always be a problem. That's what killed SSBM's online play for me.


Offline JonLeung

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RE: OnLive - what are your opinions?
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2009, 09:59:23 pm »
I figure there must be something to it; doesn't seem very likely to me that the guy who created QuickTime and WebTV, among other things, would spend seven years and millions of dollars on something that won't work.



Either way, I guess we'll see soon enough; it would be cool if someone could register to possibly be a part of the beta.



I can't because I'm Canadian...  >_>



And I suppose that's another wrench in this whole thing...if by magic this works, perhaps with enough servers located physically close enough to everyone, like a-bunch-in-each-state kind of thing, that probably means us Canadians will be screwed until the service comes to Canada, if it ever does.