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  1. #1
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    Why aren't there more critical articles about Cloud Gaming?

    There's been a few OnLive "Tests" or something like that, but barely anyone has reached for the implications that might follow.

    Personally I'm not a fan, to say the least.

    The thought that something like OnLive (or anything like it) might at some point have the success of Steam is truly outright horrifying, not only do you lose any advantage PC gaming might have over consoles (from being able to Mod your game, to tweaking graphics settings and using any kind of control method you like etc.) and would replace it with a blurry mess full of compression artifacts, banding and input lag at low resolution and with the game on their side running on low or medium graphics settings to save on processing power, but you'd also lose every single consumer right you might still have left when you buy a game as a product (with companies being able to revoke your rights to your entire game library over any reason and physically being able to pull it off).
    I see it as the ultimate form of DRM, worse than anything I could have ever imagined a few years ago and I'm appalled that most people don't regard it as such.


    There's a whole bunch of "Steam-Exclusive" titles nowadays (which would have been unthinkable for most people but a decade ago) with it having become a normalcy and a lot of developers are/were working towards outsourcing their SinglePlayer game code server-side by themselves even though a lot of the implementations so far seemed rather awkward. UbiSoft started with the likes of Assassin's Creed 2 and Silent Hunter V, although it was just a bunch of simple "function calls" that were prompted from the servers and stopped you from playing if the client didn't get any answer. Blizzard is going even a step further with Diablo 3 by outsourcing the entire Loot, Monster-spawn code etc. server-side so they have total control over it. These kinds of companies would be the first to jump on to the bandwagon train of "Cloud Gaming Exclusives" as soon as some service has managed to establish itself and forego any Retail or Digital Distribution Release entirely, and likely more would follow, it is not a good thing in any way I am looking at it, hell they could even terminate games that are unwanted or out-of-date that noone could play anymore after that (out of licensing reasons, image - say Rockstar decides to pull Manhunt or something like that) and the games would be gone forever with nobody owning a copy.

    The only article regarding the issue I've seen so far is from a german gaming magazine (GameStar) and unfortunately translates somewhat awkwardly: http://translate.google.de/translate...ntzaubert.html

    They mainly touch upon following things being lost with these services:

    1. Being able to play all games at all times
    2. Playing with maximum graphics details and antialiasing enabled
    3. Playing high end multiplayer (as far as I know OnLive only hosts Multiplayer between other OnLive players because of latency)
    4. Setting up Multiplayer-servers and hosting LAN parties
    5. Playing offline
    6. Installing Mods
    7. Tweaking Ini files
    8. Cheating (even the Offline kind)
    9. Securing your Savegames
    10. Being able to decide if to Patch or not

  2. #2
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    With some effort, I can see cloud gaming services implementing support for #4,6,7,8,9,10. Also, #2,3 are issues relating to connection speed. In the future with improved connection speeds they should be less of an issue.

  3. #3
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    Location of server is also a huge issue. I have a decent internet connection, but I live in SE Asia. Once tried to play a demo on Onlive, and Onlive severs the connection everytime I try to launch the client because of latency issues.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by nayon View Post
    With some effort, I can see cloud gaming services implementing support for #4,6,7,8,9,10. Also, #2,3 are issues relating to connection speed. In the future with improved connection speeds they should be less of an issue.
    2 is only a connection issue when referring to resolution/compression. I understood Onlive doesn't like running effects on "high" to save their computers doing the number crunching.

    Also, presumably Onlive will get a lot more scathing articles (and articles advocating it for that matter) when it gets forced on us by someone major, or gets popular.

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    onLive will remain forever installed on my PC because watching someone else play a game live was the best thing ever invented.

    Its like being dead in counterstrike, but for any game you care to think of, actually gaming on it is another matter.
    I'm failing to writing a blog, specifically about playing games the wrong way
    http://playingitwrong.wordpress.com/

  6. #6
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    In a bit of shameless self-promotion, I did write an article critical of cloud-gaming.
    http://www.videogameologists.com/201...uture-perfect/

  7. #7
    Lesser Hivemind Node icupnimpn2's Avatar
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    OnLive potentially serves a certain type of customer. This is the type that is not you. You can stay away from it.

    If I had only a netbook and a reliable high speed internet connection, I would use OnLive more often.

    As it is, I have a mid-range graphics card that's a couple years old but still capable and a slowpoke Indian reservation DSL connection, so OnLive isn't the right fit for me.

    Still provides a neat service that I can totally understand people using.

  8. #8
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    I do think this is far more likely to 'kill' console gaming than PC gaming.

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by icupnimpn2 View Post
    OnLive potentially serves a certain type of customer. This is the type that is not you. You can stay away from it.
    Umm, not if it becomes the de facto model, which was the OP's point.
    Last edited by Rii; 14-01-2012 at 11:43 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vague-rant View Post
    Also, presumably Onlive will get a lot more scathing articles (and articles advocating it for that matter) when it gets forced on us by someone major, or gets popular.
    At the point when 5 million+ people are logged into it at once and have extensive libraries with over 40million+ active accounts like Steam and "exclusives" people want to play it'll be much too late to do anything meaningful about it. Just as it would trying to make people stop using Steam all off a sudden or stop playing on "XBox Live" because Microsoft decided to rise the price to 20$/month, it'll be just a few silenced cries in a ocean of people. The only chance to stop anything like this from happening is making it fail/making people realize what they're giving up when it starts. They're trying to grab customers with honey at the moment by "offering" playing games like Saint's Row 3, Deus Ex: HR or Batman: AC, AC: Reveleations for 1$ or whatnot.

    Quote Originally Posted by deano2099 View Post
    I do think this is far more likely to 'kill' console gaming than PC gaming.
    How do you figure? They'll get the "Exclusives", which are the biggest reason for them consoles from Microsoft/SONY's hands over their cold, dead bodies. In the meantime there isn't really any entity or developer buying off developers or literally buying them entirely to develop "Exclusives" and push a certain platform on the PC.
    Last edited by Dexter; 15-01-2012 at 04:15 AM.

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dexter View Post
    How do you figure? They'll get the "Exclusives", which are the biggest reason for them consoles from Microsoft/SONY's hands over their cold, dead bodies. In the meantime there isn't really any entity or developer buying off developers or literally buying them entirely to develop "Exclusives" and push a certain platform.
    Why would they get the "Exclusives"? If the effort goes out of PC gaming people will turn to it. PC gaming is superior to console gaming in terms of visual fidelity and framerate, so if they have a good internet connection the experience will be better than what they're used to on a console. Given that a PC has much better utility than a console, it's not hard to see why they'd swap, especially since the PC doesn't need particularly meaty hardware.


    On the topic of OnLive I can see the benefit in it. I'd love to be able to play games at full fidelity on an ultrabook or underpowered system. But at the same time Australia's internet service (until the new network gets rolled out, which will take friggin' forever to reach most of us) isn't up to the task of handling something like this, and there are no services planning to move here anyway. Also as others say, what happens if we lose access to OnLive, or they decide to stop offering a game? At least if I own it I can keep coming back to it if I want to.

    I think it's remarkable for what it is, but I don't think it's going to be a replacement for gaming anytime soon. There are too many unknown factors, while the only real benefit seems to be "You can play major games on toasters" which is great but doesn't help if you might never see that game again, or don't have an internet connection available.

  12. #12
    Lesser Hivemind Node Kaira-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Why would they get the "Exclusives"?
    Someone at some point decides that OnLive is available for large enough portion of population, and decides that OnLive should be used as the DRM-system. I don't believe Steam was originally designed to be a DRM-system for anything outside of Valve's own games, but here we are now.

  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus SirKicksalot's Avatar
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    A good thing to keep in mind when arguing is that defaulting to the extreme example doesn't help your argument.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dexter View Post
    How do you figure? They'll get the "Exclusives", which are the biggest reason for them consoles from Microsoft/SONY's hands over their cold, dead bodies. In the meantime there isn't really any entity or developer buying off developers or literally buying them entirely to develop "Exclusives" and push a certain platform.
    Because all the good points of PC gaming you talk about are mostly why people do PC gaming instead of console gaming to start with.

    If I want to trade off graphical fidelity, modding, configurability and so on for ease of use, I'll buy a console. Hence why these services are already being sold as TV boxes too. The fact that the PC hardware is on the back-end is a red-herring.

    Although that fact does sort of matter, as the games are running on PCs. Which means if you're developing for OnLive, you're developing for PC. Given the code-base for the online and native PC version will be nigh-on identical, it'd be silly not to launch on both.

  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/20...nlive-built-in

    New Google TVs will have OnLive built-in.

  16. #16
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaira- View Post
    Someone at some point decides that OnLive is available for large enough portion of population, and decides that OnLive should be used as the DRM-system. I don't believe Steam was originally designed to be a DRM-system for anything outside of Valve's own games, but here we are now.
    The post was referring to consoles having the exclusives, not OnLive.

  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Voon's Avatar
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    Cloud gaming could work with just anybody who has a fast enough internet connection. Unlike mine, which is slow as fuck. Also, server location.

    Speaking of cloud gaming, shouldn't Gaikai deserve a mention? I mean, you can play PC games on a smartphone with it, right?

  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus squirrel's Avatar
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    South Korea and Scacdinavian nations suppose to have the world's most well established Internet infrastructure. You mates know how cloud gaming is doing there?

    I dont have a stable (not just slow, it simply is unstable, damn my ISP!) Internet connection so for me cloud gaming is just out of the question.

  19. #19
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    I think there aren't many articles because the press is generally committed to a particular set of formats, and OnLive hasn't really established itself as a gaming platform yet. When it does, the coverage will appear.

  20. #20
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    I don't really share any of the OP's worries. The drawbacks are balanced by the benefits of not needing to spend a fortune on hardware, instant access to demos, etc...

    It's not for everyone, sure, but I'd imagine it's much more likely to make consoles obsolete than gaming PCs.

    However, the dependence on local servers seems to slightly defeat the object to me. Or at least sounds like it'll be limited in the places it will reach. It's sure not playable/accessible in Japan.

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