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Shacknews: OnLive Hands-on Impressions: A Blocky View of the Future of PC Gaming

Shacknews writes: "OnLive has undeniably made a big splash here at GDC. The company announced its new technology on Tuesday, claiming that it would change the face of PC gaming. But what is it, exactly? And does it really work?

With its new service, OnLive is attempting to literally render the PC hardware upgrade a moot point. Users will run a small, lightweight application that interfaces with a vast "cloud" of servers. The servers render PC games in high quality--delivering SD quality on a 1.5 megabits per second line, and 720p on a 5 megabit connection--then output the video to your display of choice: either a PC, or a television with an HDMI dongle."

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Mogabu3070d ago

What I had thought, the service is not going to work just yet. You *know* they had that display running at optimal conditions, VERY fast pipe connected to the serving computer, not your average what, 3mbps line going over the internet. And it was still blotchy and laggy with the input.

I like the idea, it's just too soon for this right now. Too ambitious and it's not going to fail because it's a bad idea, but because the infrastructure just isn't there yet.

FarEastOrient3070d ago

It is the chicken vs the egg problem, especially when internet service providers (looking at you comcast) aren't even sure if they want their customers to get all their content through the internet. They still make more money from showing shows on "TV" for example instead through channels like Hulu.com or others like it.

Plus companies like Verizon and Comcast placing bandwidth caps isn't a good start either.

Tony P3070d ago

"It was an impressive technical accomplishment, but at the same time unquestionably inferior to playing from a disc.

I asked OnLive representatives whether the connection at GDC was indicative of the optimal connection experience, and they replied in the affirmative."

For anyone worried, that right there should eliminate any fear whatsoever that Onlive will invalidate consoles or games natively installed on your PC. What gamer wants to play a game in minimum 480p when it can't even get that completely right?

I won't be calling this a fail just yet, but they've got a lot of work to do to produce a seamless experience. The beta had better be optimal if they want me to consider ditching my current platforms for a service.

ylwzx33070d ago (Edited 3070d ago )

ummm..

mastiffchild3070d ago

Yeah, they have lots of things to address before this can become a really viable alternative to PC or console gaming let alone the thing that ends them. What's the performance going to ne like in MP? Will those nearer to servers havea big lag advantage and so on.

Also, do we really crave the single platform that badly when MS and Sony are pushing devs and games through their competition. Also with the biggest hunderance being the fact that not everyone has/can get decent internet speeds they have a huge problem that's way outside their control.

All this before you worry about whether if you "buy" a game it stays on forever or just til they need the space for another game OR what do you do if your ISP is down.

Maybe we just aren't up to the speeds they need to make this work and seeing as my ISP has been down four times this year(once for a week)AND I'd have to go backwards to SD then I'm not too sure this is for me atm.

RealityCheck3070d ago (Edited 3070d ago )

From what I am reading, given the resolutions per bandwidth and lag issues, I think they should have aimed for the Wii market first: kids, seniors and mini-games fans. All those targets don't mind lower than optimal resolution and small lags. In fact, many of those people would welcome not having a real console. Those groups also don't put in as many gaming hours as core gamers so bandwidth caps would not be a worry either.

OnLive just need to shed that controller and replace it with a wagging wiimote-style controller, then open the flood gates to Wii style games. Sell it under the price of the Wii, and then they may have a chance.

Then later after having gained experience, a reputation and people having better connections, then they could try to aim for the core gamers.

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