No more games consoles? Onlive system

Discussion in 'Gaming and Software' started by brettarider, Mar 12, 2010.

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  1. Not sure if I'm keen on this,

    The death of games consoles – coming soon!

    Thu Mar 11 04:21PM by Yahoo! UK Games Editor
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    A brand new online service promises to serve games to your living rooms, LIVE, and without the need for an expensive console or a high-powered personal computer. It’s the future of gaming and – potentially – the death of traditional gaming devices as we know and love them.

    OnLive – say it softly and not within earshot of Sony, Nintendo and co – circumvents the need to trudge to the shops, hand over your hard-earned cash and trudge all the way home again with the latest hot game. Instead, this ‘cloud’ service will deliver top games direct to your PC or TV screen instantly, using a small receiver unit that hooks up to your existing broadband connection.

    All the heavy work, so to speak, is performed by powerful remote servers using clever compression routines. Players simply provide the required inputs using a joypad, as normal. The results of their efforts are then streamed back with almost non-existent lag. OnLive will run on a network of server centres placed so that no user is more than 1000 miles from one. In broadband terms that’s just down the road, figuratively speaking.

    OnLive is set to launch on 17 June in the USA, with a worldwide rollout expected to follow shortly thereafter. Users will pay a $14.95 (£9.99) subscription fee each month, plus the cost of either buying or renting each game. In this regard OnLive has several very significant advantages: there’s no need to invest any further in a game you’re not enjoying; you can sample all the latest releases with minimal costs; and you’ll be able to remove some of the clutter from under/behind the telly and clear a bit of shelf space into the bargain.

    OnLive also enjoys the support of many high-profile games publishers – removing the need to manufacture and physically distribute games is an obvious and lucrative benefit to them. Big-name titles such as Borderlands, Prince of Persia and Assassin’s Creed are among the launch games announced so far. Perhaps understandably, the three main console manufacturers are somewhat cooler on the whole idea..

  2. Its strange how the developers and technology companies simply assume that everyone has access to high-capacity broadband, when much of the (UK at least) population has to make do with an unreliable contended service - if they are not in a rural dead zone as well.

    Same goes for the WiFi/3G data industry: lots of vision and breathless marketing, but for the average user on the street, (UK) services are ridiculously unreliable in quality and usability.

    If you possess your own hardware and software, at least you can get on with something if the comms are bad. I think it may be a generation or so before you could trust to rely on access to a "cloud" service....
  3. I saw some footage of a demonstration for this around a year ago (I think it was).

    As 4(T) has said, certainly for the UK I don't think the broadband infrastructure is sufficient to handle this kind of service, especially when you look at the amount of ISPs that have download caps etc this sort of thing could be a problem.

    I did some tests with Eve Online last year when I was looking at changing my ISP. I monitored my useage (logging total inbound and outbound data using a program I can't remember). And worked out I could easily hit a 40Gb per/month cap playing for a few hours in the evening and a bit more at weekends. That was just one game, on one PC, that has fairly low bandwidth requirements.

    If you then add to that multiple machines (PC's, consoles etc.) higher bandwidth requirements for something like this and you are going to be in trouble.

    'Virtually lag free' is an incredibly bold statement in my opinion, there will always be lag and you also have the added time to compress then decompress the data using their 'clever compression routines'.

    Good idea but I won't hold my breath and will wait to see how it is implemented in the real world rather than the controlled environment it has probably been tested on.
  4. I remember reading about this ages ago. Unless things have changed the thing that turned me off the idea was the resolution was only 800x600, which isn't very much at all.

    Also, if your internet goes down, then you don't have access to your games... Although I think this is probably the way things are headed (as it will solve the PC piracy problem), as anybody who is aware of the new DRM implimented by Ubisoft; your required to be connected to the internet in order to play your game, and that's even if you want to play the single player game. Apparently this is already used in Asassin's Creed 2, and RUSE when it's released.

    So personally, I think this is the way PC gaming is headed - it will cut down on piracy, and a such a maximum low resolution probably means the coding is easier, too.

    Oh, and here's version of the technology that allows you to set up something similar at home:
  5. Dont like this idea. I for one live in the mess during the week and use the PS3 to keep me out of the bar. I dont have internet access so I, or someone like me, would be stuffed
  6. My bold.

    The general concept isn't that new, it has been tried on other games. For example, Half Life 2 was directly linked to Steam (even if you bought it totally seperately), Steam had to be running and logged in in order to play the game. However, like all 'anti piracy' / 'security' measures people got around it.

    Ubisoft's idea will be no different, it will work for a while (probably a fairly short while) but someone will find a way around it, they always do.

    If there is structured code in it somewhere to implement the anti-piracy technique (which there has to be), then it can be modified or circumvented.

    The 800x600 resolution might have been demo release of the software, I don't know. I would like to think they aren't limiting it to that although there are pro's to doing so, in that it would greatly reduce the amount of required traffic. I really don't think gamers today would be at all happy with that sort of limit.

    There is also the limit of your TV's resolution, even with 1080p HD it isn't as high as current PC gaming resolutions.
  7. They've appllied this out in testing in America etc. I've seen it work, and it is shockingly good. You don't need fears of it being a lagfest, it is strangely fluid as hell. You pick which game you want to play and it streams straight to you smoothly and in full detail. You don't need a mad connection either. Obviously people with caps will have issues about how long they can sustain, but that's easy to get around - upgrade your package or don't use that ISP FFS, can't or won't do that then don't complain and get over it.

    OnLive Wikipedia

    Oh, and it can be used through the PC, and even the latest and greatest games can be played on a crappy PC since it's technically streamed video rather than being rendered etc on yours.
    To use it through your TV only you'll need to get what they call the "microconsole" which they're going to release later on.

    Also of note, it's not going to be here in the UK for a while at least.