OnLive Arrives In UK 22nd September

By Jim Rossignol on August 11th, 2011 at 12:01 am.


Just to be clear – in case you’ve just returned from five years living in the jungle – OnLive is a cloud-gaming service. That’s a clever thing whereby you stream the game’s visual data from a remote server over the internet, rather than rendering it on your own PC. We’re all a bit sceptical about how well it will work, but we could soon be in a position to test it for ourselves. It’s going to launch in the UK next month, and sign up will be free. It’ll allow you to play any game for 30 minutes (goodbye lack of demos, at least) and spectate “from the arena”, whatever that means. It’ll apparently launch with 100 games, with more to follow. Those games can be rented or bought outright, depending on your wallet and taste.

It’s going to be interesting.

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92 Comments »

  1. GT3000 says:

    Use hardlines if you want to use Onlive. Wireless suffers horribly on it. Excellent rental system, trying a game for three days is great if you’re unsure. A little slow on the new releases but they’re growing. Playpack bundle is best value for those who want to play a variety of games (of vastly different qualities) for one fixed monthly price. (10 bucks in Americanos.)

  2. CaspianRoach says:

    Do note however that OnLive requires 2 Mbps minimum and 5+ Mbps internet connection recommended.

    • James says:

      There’s also bandwidth caps to consider. Feels like the rental/demo service of the future, though. Maybe.

    • Premium User Badge

      P7uen says:

      I’m boycotting OnLive until they provide an offline mode.

    • ArcaneSaint says:

      You are being sarcastic right? It’s impossible to provide an offline mode, that’s like requesting YouTube to let you watch movies without connecting to the internet. It just doesn’t make any sense o_O

    • mrjackspade says:

      Lol…Arcane failed

    • Kazz says:

      Oh dear

    • Teddy Leach says:

      I can not believe ANYONE took that seriously. Even the five year old next door would have got that.

    • PunisherPlummer says:

      now lets not be rude…..its actually very hard to get sarcasm right on the internet…..

      … /s …

    • bowl of snakes says:

      HAH, Arcane got yall, no way he was serious, see how he used italics??

  3. Juiceman says:

    Needs more AAA titles before I buy into the service

  4. mondomau says:

    “Do note however that OnLive requires 2 Mbps minimum and 5+ Mbps internet connection recommended.”
    I hear you need considerably more than this to make it actually worth playing though, can anyone with actual experience comment?

    • GT3000 says:

      Confirmed. I have a 10Mbps connection and it looks good but it dips in quality as your speed fluctuates.

    • mondomau says:

      Figured as much. Cheers.

      Reckon this is going to be a bit of a flop over here, especially with the huge gulf between advertised and actual broadband speeds.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      I have a 3mbps connection and it’s pretty much worthless. There are constant dropouts and the quality is about on par with youtube circa 2005. So those specs are definitely too optimistic.

  5. godgoo says:

    methinks it’ll be a few years still before this is feasible on a large scale

    • Premium User Badge

      Cinek says:

      Connection speed is what’s killing it. No way cloud gaming could replace standard in 10 years or so IMO. Not with constant increase of resolutions, 3D coming in and games requiring more and more from computers (what puts much more costs for OnLive owners)

    • godgoo says:

      well ive just played about 15 minutes of fear 3 and the connection was fine but the blurry gfx were genuinely giving me a headache

  6. meschio94 says:

    I can’t wait for “SteamStream”

  7. ChainsawCharlie says:

    This with the BT DSL lines? Righty….

  8. Vague-rant says:

    I’m another one of those with too slow an internet connection to make this work. Although, I do have a good enough PC to run all of the things I want to and if I continue upgrading my PC every few years or so, that’s unlikely to change. Only benefit I can see, for me, would be if they let you play console exclusives on your PC, which I don’t think is available just yet.

    • James says:

      That’s an interesting point, about console games on a PC. I wonder how much that’s been considered by rich people, seems like something they would want to argue about.

  9. Dominic White says:

    I remember when this was first announced and people were very, very angry. Apparently it was a total hoax, could never work, and would actually need to DESTROY THE LAWS OF PHYSICS AS WE KNOW THEM for it to function at all, and anyone who even suggested it was possible was a shill and/or a moron.

    Oh, internet. Never change.

    • jon_hill987 says:

      When it was announced we were told that it would look as good as an Xbox 360 and there would be no lag due to their patented technology so it is hardly surprising people started quoting a certain Scottish Starship Engineer.
      Those people were right. There is transmission delay and encoding delay and to stream the data it has to be compressed to look like a youtube video from 5 years ago.

    • Simon Hawthorne says:

      But…but…Dominic….your post is about how the internet does change…you want it to never change from a changing internet?

      I’ll need coffee before I start on this.

    • Kaira- says:

      But… those pics look just fine?

    • dux says:

      @Kaira- O_O

      I seriously hope you are trolling. Maybe someone should put up some full resolution screenshots of AC @ 2560×1600 so you can see the difference. Failing that, I think a visit to the optometrist might be in order….

    • Kaira- says:

      I mean sure, they aren’t best of the best but they seem perfectly playable. But then again, I’ve never been too keen on ultra-hyper-shiny-graphics.

    • Bluebreaker says:

      The idea was that you would save on hardware and get high quality. But those screenies are really blurry.

    • godgoo says:

      apparently you can currently play in the uk, just gave fear 3 and shaun white skateboarding a crack, I have sky 20mb broadband (London) and the connection was fine but for the FPS it was too blurry to the point that trying to hunt smudgy brown pixel men through iron sights hurt my eyes enough to give me a headache after 10 mins. The Skate game was fine (though terrible) as I was sat back with a gamepad.

      interesting experience though, if they could get it coming through at 1080p with a decent connection the gpu companies would have to shit themselves a little.

    • aiusepsi says:

      It’s more that the laws of Physics put really stringent limits on what’s possible, and how difficult that is to achieve in practice, for instance they’ve got to put their servers really, really close to the edge of the network or they’re going to incur hideous input lag, due to the time it takes for the signal from your keyboard to get to their servers, generate a frame, compress it, send it, decompress it, and then display it on your monitor.

      All games have some amount of input lag, given that they have a finite frame-rate and your monitor doesn’t respond instantly. How much input lag a game can sustain before it drives you utterly mad is pretty game dependant, though. Some really twitch gamers already have problems with low-quality LCD screens, for instance.

      All this sort of stuff means that for their system to work at all, their capital costs in setting it up to start with are enormous, and then their capital expenditure in keeping it all running must be pretty high too.

      Without spending a lot of time researching this, I’d say it’s perfectly plausible that they could make money, but that they’ve probably got quite a narrow window of profitability. For instance they really have to hope their their subscriber characteristics are right; if they attract subscribers who spend too much time playing high-performance games, they’ll have to overspend on infrastructure to support them all.

      Which would make me really, really nervous about “buying” a game on their service. They could be cash-flow positive, or they could be burning through VC cash and it’s all going to go very badly wrong in a year’s time.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      I definitely also remember all the comments saying “I’ve worked in blah blah blah technology field for 39 years, so I know for a fact this is impossible. They must be 10,000 years ahead of the rest of the world’s compression technology to process the video that quickly, it’s investment fraud, it’ll have 3 seconds of lag, it’ll literally kill your grandmother, etc.”

      It pretty much works how they said it would, except you need a faster connection than the min specs. When I had a 20mbps connection it worked excellently, but there were still obvious compression artifacts and washed out colors — which we knew going into it, since we knew it was streaming video.

      That said, I definitely see more of a future for this tech in the living room than on PCs, where we’re used to incredibly crisp visuals. Especially since we’ve learned with mp3s and Netflix streaming that most of the population seems to prefer convenience over fidelity.

      If our bandwidth and connection speed issues solve themselves in a timely manner, I could easily see something like this becoming a major player.

    • Pointless Puppies says:

      @D3xter:
      Have fun playing xD

      I’m having plenty ‘o fun playing, thank you very much:

      http://img850.imageshack.us/img850/6955/onlive.png

      (Taken from my desktop directly. No noticeable input lag either, on a 10 Mbps connection)

  10. Premium User Badge

    P7uen says:

    Does that mean people can spectate on my game?

    I don’t know, it feels a bit personal, is that weird?

    Maybe it’s just me. I don’t like watching other people play games on video either, they always seem so twitchy and impatient. Slow down guys it’s not a race!

    • Premium User Badge

      Jubaal says:

      I know what you mean. I just installed the app and when in to the free trial of Batman Arkham Asylum just to see what the service was like and almost immediately a window popped up to say that someone was spectating me. It made me feel very self conscious. I’m sure there will be a way to turn it off though.

  11. Premium User Badge

    Makariel says:

    Can you play Diablo 3 on it?

  12. Matt says:

    I thought this had been available in the UK for a few weeks now? I signed up and tested it last month. Amnesia and Assassins Creed Brotherhood were all I tried, but the service seemed very good. Had both games running on a shitty laptop, on a wireless connection too, and it ran very smoothly.

    You don’t get any graphics options though, which disappointed me. Maybe that’s just because it was the 30 minute trial and if you subscribe you get more options?

    • Premium User Badge

      P7uen says:

      Surely the graphics options depend on what is compatible and what runs well on their hardware? Do you mean personal preferences like bloom and things like that?

      Aside from the resolution that is, how does that work with OnLive?

    • dux says:

      I thought the same thing, I signed up for an account a couple of months ago and was able to use all the services and try out a number of games, so I don’t know what the article means when they say it’s ‘coming to the UK’.

      My experience was quite different however. My connection is pretty decent and can achieve a sustained 1.2MB/s (roughly 10Mbps), however I still found the controls sluggish with very noticeable input lag (which made playing FPS games damn near impossible for me) and when I tried Assassin’s Creed 2 I got some pretty severe graphical glitches just on the menu screen which wouldn’t go away. The only thing I like about it was the ‘Arena’, where you could watch other users play in real time and even interact with them through chat. I believe you can turn this option off if you choose so people can’t always watch you play if you don’t want them to, however I think it’s a pretty neat feature.

      The main problem for me though was the resolution. The application runs at a maximum resolution of 1280×720, and as I have a monitor with a resolution of 2560×1440, that means I either have to play the games in a tiny window on my screen, or increase it to full size which makes it look horribly blurry. Needless to say this ruined the experience; I don’t consider myself a graphics whore but compared to playing games at my monitor’s native resolution there is just no comparison. So, I think I’ll pass on OnLive, at least until they figure out a way of reducing the input lag and letting the user choose resolution settings (though streaming a game at 2560×1440 seems highly unlikely at the moment with the current Internet connections both in the UK and USA).

    • ComradePenguin says:

      I think you guys were probably using the US service but from the UK. I’ve managed this before and it’s surprisingly okay though not an experience I’d particularly want for playing most things. Hopefully it will improve when they launch the uk servers. It has interesting potential as a demoing/rental service.

    • Matt says:

      Ah I guess it could have been accessing the American servers.

      Despite it seeming like a decent service, I would have no intentions of paying for it based on that. Instant access with no installation time is nice, but it doesn’t make up for the low resolution and lack of options. Playing the game on my own PC just feels better.

  13. Premium User Badge

    davidgilbert says:

    I can’t see this working fully in the UK until all the ADSL speeds are upgraded or cable is installed everywhere (Virgin Media Cable, BT Infinity and the like).

  14. Juan Carlo says:

    I could see this being cool if they gave you an option–i.e. if, say, when you bought a game on steam or wherever you had the option of downloading it or streaming it.

    Otherwise, unless the games of the future are going to be run on centralized supercomputers (in order to process graphics that home computers can’t handle) it doesn’t make much sense to me.

  15. atticus says:

    What initially struck me as perfect with this kind of service, is playing management sims like Football Manager etc. and strategy games like the Total War-series on netbooks and perhaps tablets. Games which aren’t too dependent on quick response times, but still need quite a bit of processing power when you play.

    At least when the next generation of mobile broadband, 4G, becomes available I can picture myself slaughtering barbarians on my tablet on the bus home. Anybodys guess when that kind of tech will be available though.

    • thebigJ_A says:

      The only strategy game of that sort they have is Patrician 4. Trust me, playing a game like that with a mouse that floats a second or so behind is no fun.

      I tried it when it came out in the US and it wasn’t great (not terrible, but not great). The biggest issue was the tiny library. I just launched it again for the first time since getting it, and it isn’t much better. There’s something like 80 games, and it’s completely random. It’s like they threw in one or two of every genre they could think of. Which is actually pretty awful.

      Do you like CoD style shooters? You get Homefront, that’s it. Simulations? Silent Hunter 5 (i.e. the crap one). Try plotting a course with a laggy mouse. I just did, and yuck. That’s it. RTS? That newish Dawn of War game and I think one other. Etc. etc.

      In other words, If your a fan of a genre, you better hope they picked the one you liked. They also make the mistake of listing the metacritic score right on the main list. This wouldn’t be bad, except you see primarily orange and red numbers. It just highlights the low quality of the selection.

      tl;dr: meh.

    • atticus says:

      Offering poor games along with their metacritic-rating sounds like a really terrible choice for the layout of the site. I guess most people can and will check reviews online before purchasing anything, but giving customers the impression that most of your collection is shit…. tsk tsk.

      The more I hear about the service and the feedback from those who have tried it, the more I get a feeling that OnLive is a little early to the party. The concept is good, the execution is mediocre, and the level of technology needed for it to succeed in general isn’t widely present yet.

      Wouldn’t be surprised if OnLive had to shut down due to financial problems eventually, and then some other company coming along in a few years time being really successful with basically the same concept.

  16. Dhatz says:

    i just hope when it reaches czech republic there is way to switch off my gameplay being shown to anyone else.

  17. Premium User Badge

    Vandelay says:

    I tried out OnLive a while back, when it was still just in the US. I was surprised to find it worked. Not actually playable, but it did work all the way across the Pond, via a 5Mbps line on a wireless network. Now it is in the UK and I’ve got BT Infinity, I can imagine it working reasonably well, particular for games that are played with a pad rather than a mouse.

    However, I like owning my games (or as much as you can these days.) The death of mods and tweaking graphics or other options would be a loss that doesn’t out weigh the pros. Good way to demo games though.

  18. rclesham says:

    Wow, I remember when this was first announced years ago and I was excited as hell for it. I reckon this won’t work until fibre optic becomes the norm.
    Glad it’s coming to the U.K finally though, will watch this with interest.

  19. Dyst says:

    I’ve played OnLive games from the American servers through my connection and it’s actually been totally playable (Red Faction: Armageddon, mainly) so I’m looking forward to this. I probably won’t adopt it as my main source of purchasing but I’ll certainly consider renting big games instead of buying them now.

    Also, there is that PlayPack thing where you pay a fixed fee and get unlimited use of a bunch of different games.

  20. googoogjoob says:

    this would be neat only it’s the logical endpoint of drm

    i don’t see how anyone who gets upset about ubisoft games or diablo 3 needing a constant connection can be anywhere near excited about this, where not only do you need a constant connection, but you don’t actually own the game at all, just a window to watch the game through

    so i mean i guess this could work if you want to just rent otherwise expensive games, or just demo the first little bit of a game, but buying full games on onlive is the stupidest idea

    • smoke.tetsu says:

      As you can see from my post below yours I agree…. totally ;) Especially about buying games on onlive… there’s no way in hell I’m doing that especially when other services offer them cheaper and you can actually *gasp* download them to your hard drive.

    • Optimaximal says:

      OnLive, is a subscription service. You know, just like Steam (or any other digital service).

      You don’t own anything on any DD service, so if you prefer Valve’s service over OnLive for that reason, you’re deluded.

    • magnus says:

      Or you don’t have a tin-foil hat!

    • Simon Hawthorne says:

      The difference here is that being constantly online is of benefit to the player. It’s a cost, sure, but it’s outweighed by the benefits of playing a game that your computer otherwise would not be able to handle due to hardware restrictions.

      Ubisoft DRM keeps you constantly online – a large cost to the player – with no appreciable benefit to the player. It’s NOT an integral part of their service or of the game. That’s shown by the fact that pirates will be able to play Ubisoft games without being constantly online.

      OnLive: Being constantly online = an improvement in the player experience

      Ubisoft DRM: Being constantly online = a degradation of the player experience

      The two aren’t the same.

    • googoogjoob says:

      if you at least have the files installed like with ubi drm, you could conceivably crack the game so you could run it offline

      if all the files are on a server a hundred miles from you, you can do exactly nothing with them

      also steam has an offline mode and doesn’t charge subscription fees so i don’t see how it’s remotely comparable

      i’ll concede that being able to play games beyond your hardware’s capability is a benefit, though in the long run (if you play lots of games) it’d probably be cheaper to buy a better computer than to pay for the subscription and for the high-speed internet required to make use of it over a period of time

    • Simon Hawthorne says:

      Sure, there’s a difference between saying “OnLive’s costs outweight its benefits” and “OnLive = Ubisoft DRM”.

      I agree that OnLive’s costs outweight its benefits – it doesn’t seem like it is a good deal right now; the increase in player experience doesn’t justify the requirement to be constantly online. But at least the reason behind the requirement to be constantly online is to improve the player experience. It’s an integral part of the service, not something that’s been tacked on that degrades the experience in the name of anti-piracy.

    • smoke.tetsu says:

      From a licensing standpoint it’s true.. you don’t “own” the games on steam more like license them.. and they are tied to an account… but the ownership part could be said about boxed software and other media like movies these days as well. Just check the EULA.

      From a technical standpoint you are absolutely wrong. Steam is not a subscription service you don’t pay subscription fees in order to access the games and they are run locally on your computer. You don’t subscribe to Steam. Steam games could played offline and even decoupled from Steam. Onlive games can’t.. Apples and Oranges. That’s even discounting the rest of the technical details… there are valid reasons to prefer non-cloud based gaming alternatives.

      It’s not a delusion to recognize this fundamental truth.

      Lastly even if you decided to overlook the drawbacks and have the right kind of broadband connection to make the most of it locally run games are still inherently superior in quality in practically every conceivable way. If you have the hardware to run them you are throwing it away by playing them on a cloud based service.

      BTW I wouldn’t say the online requirement of Onlive “improves” the user experience more than it just enables it. Improves it over what? I say anyway.

    • Kaira- says:

      @smoke.tetsu

      Steam is not a subscription service

      I wouldn’t be so sure about that. Let’s see what Steam EULA says about this. Or as it is called, Steam Subscriber Agreement.

      This Steam Subscriber Agreement (“Agreement”) is a legal document that explains your rights and obligations as a Subscriber
      [...]
      You become a subscriber of Steam (“Subscriber”) by installing the Steam client software and completing the Steam registration
      [...]
      Additionally, as a Subscriber you may obtain access to certain services, software and content (“Subscriptions”) available to Subscribers
      [...]
      Each Subscription allows you access to certain services, software and other content under the terms of each such Subscription and this Agreement
      [...]
      Additional terms provided with each such Subscription (“Subscription Terms”) may apply to the use of a given Subscription, and are incorporated into this Agreement
      [...]

      And that’s just the 1st part of the Steam Subscriber Agreement.

    • smoke.tetsu says:

      It may say that in the EULA but what happens when you stop paying the monthly steam subscription fees? ;) I was talking about a subscription service as in you pay a monthly fee for access to a service and when you stop you lose access to the service and all products therein. Like cable TV or your internet connection… That bit you quoted wasn’t my entire post.

      Notice I said from a TECHNICAL standpoint and you are ignoring most of the rest of my post.

      Either way onlive and steam are hardly comparable except for the fact that they offer games, you can build up a game library and they use the internet. Besides the subscription business model isn’t inherently bad and it’s implemented very differently in Steam vs Onlive.

      I just can’t sit here and agree with the assertion that Steam and Onlive are the same.

  21. smoke.tetsu says:

    I just don’t see why people would rail against and have a strong backlash to always on internet connection DRM and yet turn around and embrace this… the ultimate always on internet connection DRM personified. That’s on top of the other drawbacks compared to “offline” gaming.
    Also at least with other services like Steam you actually have the files on your hard drive so one way or another they could be made to run without the internet. But with this if they yank a game there’s nothing you can do except kiss your games goodbye.. you’re screwed.
    They want you to think of PC games the same way you think of a console game on a disc from a rental store that you just rent and take back after you are done and NO copying or a pay per view movie on cable that’s encrypted and you can’t record.

    The person above me said pretty much the same thing :)

    • skurmedel says:

      I don’t like it at all, and you listed all the reasons why.

    • Azradesh says:

      I loath this and everything it stands for.

    • Premium User Badge

      VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      That’s why I think you’d be daft to “buy” games from OnLive (quite a lot more so than if you “buy” games on Steam, where you still don’t really own them).

      However, I can certainly see myself using this to try out a lot of games, if they lack demos. And perhaps even to rent a game—if the price is right—that I’d be interested in playing once but not forking out the retail price for.

    • Premium User Badge

      VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      Edit: redundant

    • smoke.tetsu says:

      Yes although everyone seems to forget that no matter the delivery for quite some time now software licenses have been such no matter where you get it from you don’t really own the software just a license to use it. They even want to apply that to music, movies and other media as well. This isn’t unique to digital distribution channels or cloud-gaming services it applies to boxed copies of software as well. The only thing you own is the actual disc itself not the contents of said disc. Although that doesn’t stop anyone from saying stuff like “to hell with the EULA I bought this disc and I OWN what’s on it… corporations be damned!”

    • aiusepsi says:

      I can understand the confusion, but if you buy a CD or something, you don’t “own” the music. You own a piece of plastic, not the music encoded onto the plastic, and you get a license to use it under certain conditions. For instance, you’re not allowed to broadcast the music to other people, or play it in a public space.

      Similarly, open source software is owned by the people who wrote it. They give you a license to use it, under conditions. If you break the conditions of the GPL, they’ll use copyright legislation against you. That’s the legal force that something like the GPL posesses.

      We can have an argument about if license terms these days are becoming too onerous; quite possibly they are, but it’s a very different argument to suggesting that buying a movie or a game or whatever at retail ought to give you ownership rights in that product. The concept of intellectual property is a very good thing for a society to have.

    • Premium User Badge

      VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      I wasn’t meaning to conflate the property ownership in the physical medium with the limited monopoly of intellectual property rights; purchasing retail software has never conveyed copyrights, trademark rights, or patent rights, though it has long been held to convey an implicit licence to the use the software contained therein, limited by copyright law, and regardless of the EULA—though this longstanding principle has been challenged recently by cases such as Vernor v Autodesk.

      Nevertheless, I meant ownership not so much in a legal sense as a practical sense: if I have the game on a DVD, and the hardware compatible with it, I can play the game. I don’t need to connect to some remote server for bullshit authentication. I don’t need anyone’s permission to play the game. This is the essence of ownership.

      When a game is on Steam, this is significantly diluted. While Steam does not need to activate every time you start a game, it must do so at least once in order to obtain an authentication token to play the game offline. The meaning of owning a game on Steam is significantly diluted: if Steam servers are unavailable, or Valve decides to terminate my account, I may be left unable to play the games I bought.

      When a game is on OnLive, I don’t own the game in any meaningful way whatsoever. My entire experience of the game is on the sufferance of OnLive. If they terminate my account, I have no alternative means of accessing the games I bought.

    • smoke.tetsu says:

      On the other hand like I noted since you have the game files locally on your hard drive with Steam you could conceivably back them up to disc and if push comes to shove crack them so they don’t even need steam to run.

      Can’t do that with onlive.

      So while if you buy the games direct from steam over the internet you don’t get a physical disc where you can have the files just in case it’s possible to make one and it’s possible to get steam games on disc from retail or mail order where you install from the disc rather than the internet. More and more games that come on disc include activation so in that sense they aren’t much different than steam.

      Onlive on the other hand removes having ANYTHING whatsoever from the equation.

  22. Premium User Badge

    Jubaal says:

    Well I’ve just given it a go and I’m pretty impressed with how slick it look and operates in the menu and watching other games etc. It gives that kinda “Minority Report” feel for me.

    However there are two major drawbacks for me which mean I wouldn’t purchase any games with it at the moment.

    1) Screen resolution – It doesn’t resolution 1920 x 1200 which means I either have to have it running in a window half the size of my screen or run at full screen with fuzzy graphics. However I think it would work well for people with small screens, especially laptops.

    2) Dreaded Input Lag – Playing a quick trial of Aliens vs Predator you can feel the lag as you move the mouse about. It may be that it is streaming from the US and when the UK service launches in September it will be smoother.

    I am impressed with how quickly it loads and smooth it plays however. It is ideal for trying out those games you are not sure about. I’m certainly more hopeful for it now after trying it. It is always good to see companies try something new.

  23. patricij says:

    Gonna give it a try when I get a fiber optic connection…because I am not going to upgrade mah computer for a while now, so it COULD be my ticket to play even more demanding games…

  24. Derppy says:

    Input lag.

    That’s why this will never replace actual gaming platforms. Can’t really transfer data faster than speed of light and if the servers aren’t right next to you, it means there’s really noticeable input lag.

    Extremely potential platform for turn-based games or other games that don’t require constant, accurate and fast input. For stuff like FPS games, it will just feel awful and as far as I know, there’s no way to fix it.

    Also, do they even offer stuff like 1440p, 1600p or eyefinity gaming? That would require huge amounts of bandwidth just to stream the video.

    • smoke.tetsu says:

      A thing that some people seem to miss is that the input lag is in addition to the network latency and the input lag that is already present in the game even when you play it local not a replacement… it’s all additive. You also have to realize and remember the image quality is much much worse via the compression the video goes through converting it into a video stream like a heavily compressed youtube video even when you have a fat pipe.

      No you can’t do anything higher than 720p and NO multi-monitor setups whatsoever.

  25. D3xter says:

    I don’t see any advantages/benefits from this if you own a gaming PC, but a lot of disadvantages:
    - not having bought software on your client/PC, and having no control over it whatsoever
    - company being able to revoke your right to play at any given moment for any reason whatsoever (along with your entire library)
    - added input lag
    - blocky 720p streams with lots of banding that look rather bad e.g.:
    http://cache.gizmodo.de/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/onlivefull1.jpg
    http://cache.gawkerassets.com/assets/images/4/2010/06/onlivefull2.jpg
    - not being able to modify any parts of your games, which means no mods whatsoever
    - not even being able to change your graphics settings or features like FOV, updaterate etc.
    they aren’t even using the highest settings e.g. “We’ll go and scale or adjust or do whatever changes we need to make in order to make it work.”
    - always online requirement, even worse than what UbiSoft or Blizzard are doing and dependant on high speed wired internet
    - it leaves the door open for boundless monetization schemes if it ever manages to be established, from paying more for higher resolutions/graphics settings to getting back to Arcade Machines where you have to put in more money if you want to play another 10 minutes and more…
    - as far as I know multiplayer can only be played within the OnLive network, makes sense as the lag of client PC –> OnLive data center –> dedicated server –> Onlive data center –> encoding/streaming server –> client PC would just be too high

    • Tori says:

      Well, the advantages are very clear – you can play a new game on a crappy laptop. Hell, even a tablet or a phone! They demoed Crysis playable on a phone!

      Also, instant play and no space required on your machine, and some social stuff.

      But, are those advantages good enough to use this? Right now, I say no.

  26. metalangel says:

    House of straw, even more so than any always-on DRM.

  27. Teddy Leach says:

    I wish the internet in Britain was good.

  28. TehMadness says:

    OnLive has been available in the UK for a while now, I believe. A friend of mine was playing the Amnesia demo on there in June. I stopped using it once I realised how much of our bandwith it was taking up.

  29. cpy says:

    I have 2560×1600 Dell i live in EU and for some mysterious reason onlive from USA stopped working for me claiming not supported, it worked for me, but last 2 months it doesn’t.
    It ran flawlessly without any major lags and looked pretty cool for a stream. I don’t know why they dropped support.

  30. Spakkenkhrist says:

    I ran the Homefront demo on my netbook over wifi, no lag on the controls as far as I could tell and I’ve been very impressed with what I’ve seen so far, it’s a good way to try demos without having to download them (if they exist at all for the PC for that matter)

    • smoke.tetsu says:

      If they don’t exist on the PC they don’t exist on onlive either ;)

    • Bilbo says:

      onlive lets you play any title in its catalogue for 30 minutes – hence everything has a demo.

      I’m not going to sit here and pontificate about the performance, having only tried the american version from a UK ip, but the try-before-you-buy aspect of it really is a reasonable enough selling point. Be reasonable.

  31. Azradesh says:

    I swear this thread is filled with paid shills.

    • aiusepsi says:

      I once got accused of being a paid Microsoft shill by people from Reddit because I wrote a blog post talking about how horrible my experience of attempting to install Ubuntu was.

      Would have been lovely if I was getting a Microsoft back-hander for my incredibly low traffic blog, but there we go.

    • Pointless Puppies says:

      Yes, because if someone doesn’t grab torches and pitchforks and loudly proclaiming the death of it, they’re shills.

      What do you want people to say? It runs well enough and what it does, it does well. Does that mean I’m a “shill”? Because I’m satisfied with the service? Does that mean next time there’s a Steam vs. Origin article I’ll yell how everyone who supports Steam is a shill?

  32. bleeters says:

    No thanks, I actually enjoy the existence of fan made mod content.

  33. Bilbo says:

    It’s already available to “test” if you just use the american servers and had you done so you’d know exactly what “spectating from the arena” meant, Jimlad

  34. Vinraith says:

    Ladies and gentlemen, this is the future of always-online DRM. Kill it with fire.

  35. Pointless Puppies says:

    I wouldn’t use OnLive for buying games permanently, but I use it as a rental service (demo, 3-day passes, PlayPack, that sort of thing) and it works perfectly fine (picture and input-lag wise). I don’t care about my entitlement of the games seeing as I’m willingly renting them temporarily, and it’s clear the service is moving in that direction given how the catalog is becoming increasingly PlayPack-only.

  36. Navagon says:

    If my frequently throttled internet connection is anything to go by, UK internet has a long way to go before this is viable.