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Darren Waters

Eurogamer asks: Can OnLive work?

  • Darren Waters
  • 26 Mar 09, 17:45 GMT


Launched at the Game Developers Conference, OnLive is making bold claims about its online streamed gaming service.

Our report on the launch of the service proved incredibly popular with readers, perhaps reflecting the level of interest in this online games delivery system.

Eurogamer has commissioned an article by Richard Leadbetter, who runs games digital video firm Digital Foundry.

It is a great read. In it, Leadbetter questions the technological background to this project, and while hoping it will be a success, he points out many of the obstacles in its path.

Read it here.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    I read Eurogamer every day, and it often has interesting articles such as this, usually at the weekend from the Gamesindustry.biz site.

  • Comment number 2.

    I'm surprised it has taken so long for someone to put together such an article. If you give a vaguely technically minded person five minutes with the concept it will be obvious to them there are serious (if not impossible) challenges faced by such a service.

  • Comment number 3.

    It does seem too good to be true. That article makes some interesting points. I struggle to get lag free online gaming with my 3Mb connection at times, it's hard to think what it would be like with all that video coming down.

    Still it's a good idea, for now though I think it ranks along side perpetual motion and cold fusion!

  • Comment number 4.

    my first thought when I read about OnLive, was that it was very nearly April the 1st...

  • Comment number 5.

    I'm open to the idea that this indeed possible, due to the fact that Steve Perlman isnt a mug. Also, for so many games developers to come out in support of it at launch, makes me curious as to why they would indeed want to be associated to a pipe dream. Even if, as was stated in the GDC presentation, you are limited to people in a 1000 mile radius of the data centre, i.e. no more playing with our american cousins, it would still be an attractive proposition to many. At least we in Europe will be able to use North America as lab rats before we sign up.

  • Comment number 6.

    I'm sure it can work. For proprietary platforms.

    Once again, Linux and other free, open-source operating systems are left in the dark to the whims of the corporations who insist blindly that no one (worthwhile) uses Linux. Many do, and perhaps an alternative OS such as Linux would be more feasible to the consumer if a greater selection of video games were available. This certainly keeps my peers fixed to Windows.

    It is rather ironic - the greatest competitor to OnLive is, arguably, Microsoft, with the Windows operating system and XBox 360 dominating their select markets. Yet they are ensuring that PC users are stuck using the one product keeping their rivals in business!

    To me, the OnLive solution, with potent similarities to a VNC client, seems as if it could be totally platform-agnostic. And with many firms following suit with such a pleasing trend, I feel OnLive has a similar responsibility in providing a choice.

  • Comment number 7.

    Anyone tried quake live? me and my most basic of basic cable from Virgin play on that lag free most evenings. However I wish it DID lag then I would have something to blame for my poor performance!

  • Comment number 8.

    There is a service providing a proof-of-concept for this service, and best of all it's free (with basic functionality). www.streammygame.com allows a user to install it as a server on a Game Capable PC and play their games on a thin client running on a laptop via either a local network or the internet. It operates in much the same way as streaming media servers such as WMP, ORB or SlingBox. The proviso is that as the screen resolution increases so does the network speed requirement. 10Mbps is required for HDTV resolution. Considering that the UK average is currently 4.62Mbps (www.speedtest.net) this service is technologically feasible but don't chuck out you overclocked quad core cpu and DX10 dual graphics cards just yet.

  • Comment number 9.

    Gamers seem to strive for ever better graphics, but OnLive seems to be a step backwards.

    To match the crisp quality of a locally rendered game will be difficult, and as some games point out they already play games at 1920 x 1080 resolution (1080p).

    As a cheap and cheerful games service it has a market, but it does tie you to having to use your broadband connection to play. Many console games just pit you against the console or friends on the same console.

    So yes it will work, but the price has to be right, it will compete I suspect against the PS One and PS2 market more than the latest generation consoles.

 

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