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High and Lows of Playing Saints Row: The Third via OnLive

SG: My Sarcastic colleague, Darkwonders, has already written a review telling you how funny this game is and how fun it is to play; Captain Average has already given a full and detailed appraisal of the technical aspects of OnLive. Now I’d like to chime in, as Saints Row: The Third is the first new game I have purchased and played through through via OnLive. This is an account of how well that experience went, the problems I encountered, and why it was in many ways superior to the service currently offered by the console you already have tucked underneath your TV.

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bozebo2978d ago (Edited 2978d ago )

"It would be nice to be able to play a game straight away and worry about downloading it later"

Steam has pre-download, then you get a little 12KB patch or something at midnight. I am fairly sure that solution would be appointed by Sony and MS if they had to move to digital only. However, it might make 3rd party developers/publishers fear for piracy because there would be large swathes of content on people's HDDs available for reverse engineering (though 24-hour preload is relatively safe if the engine/content-packing is proprietary). Infact, digital only games are less likely to be leaked because they don't have to be manufactured and shipped so the game can remain behind trusted closed doors for longer until release.

Downloading a game is often faster than visiting the nearest game retailer anyway for most people. It just seems like ages because you have the idle anticipation (or just do something else, seeing as you are not having to travel).

Though if you were passing a shop anyway and grabbed a game it's a lot more immediate than if you were to begin a download uppon your return so there are two sides to the coin, but in most cases digital is a lot more convenient.

I am wary of OnLive's input lag issue that most people don't seem to notice. (60ms optimum round-trip is a lot when the game already has 100ms or so in itself and it must also be compressed+decompressed at a further ~10ms delay) I played Dead Space 2 with a ping of 40-50ms and there was about 200-300ms of clearly noticable input lag, which makes sense because the game's engine already adds a fair bit when running at 30fps. Had to turn it off after 5 minutes because it felt very strange.

Also the games are not maxed out, that would take far too much computing resources at the server farm; so the future potential of OnLive is restricted to the niche market because games like to make the best possible use of hardware - not share it with other game processing on the same computer/server, next generation OnLive is going to have extremely inferior graphics and they won't catch up to consoles until high-end hardware overtakes console hardware by a large gap again (could be 1 year in, could be 50 years in... more likely 3-4 years in). That leaves OnLive only valid when people can't afford dedicated hardware or don't game enough to warrant the purchase.

andyboy132978d ago

This is very true (about digital beIng secure)! Steam has never had its encryption for preload cracked before the game was released. It's only after the unlock key becomes open does the cracker community have the ability to pirate the steam game. His is weeks better than games that have released recently.

Kamikaze1352978d ago

Look at what Sony is doing with the Vita. It's the first step towards massive digital distribution for consoles. Every game will be up on PSN for grabs the same day games launch. Hopefully the next Playstation and Xbox will follow suit by at least putting up AAA titles for download the day they are released in retail.

TooTall192978d ago

Onlive is fun and cheap. You get a ton of free or 99% off games. I also got 2 free micro consoles.

@ bozebo
Dead Space 2 is not and never has been on the service.

bub162978d ago

How did you get the micro consoles for free! they want £70 on their website :(

TooTall192977d ago

I got one for free when they released cause I was a founding member who made 2 purchases at the time. I got the 2nd when I pre-ordered Homefront. Don't buy one at full price. They give them away with pre orders all the time! They just had one for the new Asassins creed.

bub162977d ago

thanks dude ill keep an eye out!

bub162978d ago

i dont see how you get lag and hangtime on a fibre optic connection?! i dont lag, suffer from any connection issues or get kicked off severs and i only have a 8mbps connection!

being on BT probly explains his lag...