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Onlive - Revolutionize PC Gaming?

lilEmber

Small Dragon
Onlive is basically useing your web browser to play games. You can buy or rent games in the OnLive library, the severs actually play the games and send the images to you through the browser and you input the controls, the server does to computing and sends back the image if the game.

If you want to play on your TV and not your PC you can get a MicroConsole that sends the image to your TV instead (through HDMI or other means). You don't need to buy the MicroConsole if you want to play on PC or Mac, that's only for TVs.

So basically somebody with a shitty PC or a Mac can play crysis on the highest settings and get no issues, I think this is amazing for casual players but you won't be able to get full quality through stream, basically your image will be of lower resolution and quality than if you had it on you PC itself. But on the TV this is amazing, I might even get this myself depending how good it actually is. Imagine playing any game at all with no installation, just released turn on the TV, purchase the game and play to your hearts content instantly.

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Videos:
http://www.gametrailers.com/player/47079.html
http://www.gametrailers.com/game/11029.html
 

CaptainCool

Lady of the lake
wow, sounds pretty cool! we will see how this will work and whether there really wont be any lag at all.
but the idea to play any game on any PC or on a TV screen sounds really amazing, if this really works well ill probably check it out!
 

lilEmber

Small Dragon
They say there's no lag on TV's with a 1-2mbit connection, and on PC's (with higher resolutions being the reason) no lag at about 5mbit connections.

If this works, I might get this instead of a new videocard.
 

ADF

Member
Looks like they are releasing new information on this. I heard about it a while back. They have been theorizing the idea for years but latency and Internet connections were just not ready, it will be interesting to watch them try to apply it.

What I personally find very amusing about the GDC announcement is it was done on March the 23rd, the exact day I handed in my assignment on a cloud computing based laptop.
 

CaptainCool

Lady of the lake
crysis on a macbook on full details and high resolution? wow, thats impressive^^
looks like the service is working like a charm, we will have to see how they handle a bigger amount of users.
but i bet they took that into consideration. they wont release a service that depends so heavily on bandwidth without having a proper connection and proper servers
 

Runefox

Kitsune of the PC Master Race
A novel concept.

Won't work, though. At minimum, you're looking at a 50-100ms ping to that service, and that's a ping packet. Sending things like keyboard input, mouse input (especially), joystick input, and more would completely obliterate it. He talks about how they spent seven years developing "technology to make it work", but it's infeasible. Seriously. It's a brute-force algorithm that's basically running the game, compressing the video/audio on the fly (ouch! video quality will suffer greatly) that shoves that data down the tubes and onto your computer screen. Some games will be OK, but things like first person shooters, racing games, and anything that needs fast reaction will be completely useless. On the plus side, multiplayer games won't suffer from as much lag, since they will (supposedly) run in the LAN at the data centre. The biggest problem is going to be input lag. Even a few milliseconds is more than enough to throw someone off, and in a frame-sensitive fighter game where everything you do is sensitive down to each individual frame? Impossible.

He also talks about 360 games... Where are you going to get a 360 controller that will plug into that microconsole? A Games for Windows 360 Controller? Ouch. If you already have a 360, that's a slap in the face. They do say that they can handle Bluetooth, though, so a PS3 controller wouldn't be so bad.

I can see MMORPG's being very good on this platform, however, where the pace is slow.

Who wants some "Buffering... Please wait..." messages while playing Killzone 2 online?
 

ADF

Member
Frankly even if they did somehow get it to work it still wouldn't interest me. PC gaming allows you to customize the experience to your personal tastes; such as tweaking and modding as well as the graphical quality. This is essentially a console like experience for PC games turned into a service, if I wanted a console experience I wouldn't be a PC gamer.
 

Doubler

Member
Not interested myself. I like to customize my experience. Modding, tweaking and such things. Besides, I like physical copies of my games. I don't want to be completely reliable on the continued existance, quality, etc. of such a service or my internet connection.
For that matter, bandwidth isn't exactly free or in limitless supply. I really wonder how that works.

I actually dread the idea that they'll get this to work. Like Steam or GfWL it will probably end up being forced on us.
 

ADF

Member
This has turned into quite an amusing topic over at GameSpot, arguing got so fierce they had to create a dedicated thread and lock all those outside it on sight :lol:.

It's the usual sceptical arguing but for those that believe in it they're trying to decide who is this a bigger threat to, PC or console gaming.

As I said earlier if it did somehow work I wouldn't consider it a threat to PC gaming, at least not to the PC gamers who are on PC precisely because they prefer it over the console experience.
 

Kuraggo

Ultrakill
This is going to work.. when we all have 100 Gb connections. I think it's still too early for things like this, because with actual connections/technology it's going to lag all over the place. Time will tell.
 

lilEmber

Small Dragon
A novel concept.

Won't work, though. At minimum, you're looking at a 50-100ms ping to that service, and that's a ping packet. Sending things like keyboard input, mouse input (especially), joystick input, and more would completely obliterate it. He talks about how they spent seven years developing "technology to make it work", but it's infeasible. Seriously. It's a brute-force algorithm that's basically running the game, compressing the video/audio on the fly (ouch! video quality will suffer greatly) that shoves that data down the tubes and onto your computer screen. Some games will be OK, but things like first person shooters, racing games, and anything that needs fast reaction will be completely useless. On the plus side, multiplayer games won't suffer from as much lag, since they will (supposedly) run in the LAN at the data centre. The biggest problem is going to be input lag. Even a few milliseconds is more than enough to throw someone off, and in a frame-sensitive fighter game where everything you do is sensitive down to each individual frame? Impossible.

He also talks about 360 games... Where are you going to get a 360 controller that will plug into that microconsole? A Games for Windows 360 Controller? Ouch. If you already have a 360, that's a slap in the face. They do say that they can handle Bluetooth, though, so a PS3 controller wouldn't be so bad.

I can see MMORPG's being very good on this platform, however, where the pace is slow.

Who wants some "Buffering... Please wait..." messages while playing Killzone 2 online?


Well they have their own controller, actually.
As well other really neat features such as the recording and spectating, I doubt there will be much lag issues on TV's at 720p which is what HDTV programming is at and that's lag free.

I don't think lag will be the issue here, I'm thinking keeping these servers upgraded with enough of them to supply the demand.
 

Runefox

Kitsune of the PC Master Race
Well they have their own controller, actually.
Which does look oddly similar to the 360 controller, if a little misshapen.

I doubt there will be much lag issues on TV's at 720p which is what HDTV programming is at and that's lag free.
Uh. No. Standard analogue broadcasts have a 1-2 second head-start on digital broadcasts, and that's standard-definition. Also note that digital content (including HDTV) is heavily compressed, and what you're looking at is very far from the original source material. Block and ring artifacts are noticeable even on standard TV sets, and basically what you'd be looking at is something similar to 720p Gametrailers videos. Which aren't terrible, but still have bad artifacting, worse than I'd like to see on my games. On the plus side, anti-aliasing wouldn't be necessary.

There will be lag introduced by the rendering of the screen - this is always the case, and input lag can be bad in some games, especially where VSync is turned off. Then, there's lag introduced by the step of encoding it into video and yet more in the step of compressing it. Then, it has to be sent down the wire to your screen, which is an instantaneous addition of at least 50ms of latency regardless of your network connection. Finally, it has to be decoded by your PC and displayed on your screen. The claims of "1ms of lag, imperceptible" are inaccurate at best, and outright lies at worst. Add in that your inputs have to travel that same 50ms back to the server, and you've easily got at least 100ms of lag in your controls alone, even without factoring anything else in. There is simply no way possible to reduce this time down to the claimed 1ms, or anywhere nearly imperceptible levels. This simply won't do for anything other than games like WoW.

Plus, remember all those times where Gametrailers or another service streaming media required buffering even on our 10mbps connection? If the latency is to be kept as low as possible, that means minimal buffering (as in, none; Buffering adds latency equal to the length of the buffer), which means at those times, it will either skip or disconnect altogether.
 
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Kryn

Flyin' Sooo High
I totally don't believe this will work, i totally KNOW it won't be lag free. Runefox explained it well, this is impossible. Maybe when we have quantum computers it will be.
 

Sunny_Otter

Whatsa Motter?
What kind of bandwidth would they be talking about for this? Would places with bandwidth restrictions be an issue?

It's an interesting idea, although it wouldn't be something I'd want myself, PC gaming isn't my preference unless it'd spruce up graphics in MMORPGs.
 

BloodYoshi

Member
Well, this gets big points for being accessible, and hell, if they can make these work without compromising visuals and resolution too much, then I'll totally be on board.
 

Runefox

Kitsune of the PC Master Race
What kind of bandwidth would they be talking about for this? Would places with bandwidth restrictions be an issue?

They're saying that a minimum of a 1.5mbps connection is going to be required, and that would be for standard-definition (640x480@~30fps). A 5.0mbps connection is required for the full 720p (1280x720@60fps) resolution.

This brings to mind another issue; The game will be running at 1280x720 at all times, yet, when the bandwidth gets low, it suddenly switches to 640x480. This introduces yet another processing step of reducing the image size, which will again increase lag and decrease image quality.
 

Aurali

Banned
Banned
A novel concept.

Won't work, though. At minimum, you're looking at a 50-100ms ping to that service, and that's a ping packet.

I'm at GDC. I've been to the booth. It works. It also takes a fucking huge connection... and the graphics reminisce of golden eye.
 

Kryn

Flyin' Sooo High
I only have a 1.5mb down connection anyway, plus I can already play Crysis on high so meh :cool: I still don't think it will work like they say.
 

Aurali

Banned
Banned
I only have a 1.5mb down connection anyway, plus I can already play Crysis on high so meh :cool: I still don't think it will work like they say.

Meh.. it will work at first.. but the more it catches on, the more lag it will get.. and they know that. They are just hoping the money comes in faster than the players.. BTW.. Quake Live.. game tap.. same concept. :3

btw... >.> err.. nice choice in avis...
 
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Kryn

Flyin' Sooo High
Gametap still makes you download the entire game doesn't it? I honestly haven't used the service in a couple years but when I did I remember having to wait till the whole game was finished. This supposedly plays the game on the onlive servers, records the video and streams it to your computer or tv. I just don't understand how they are gonna pull this off without there being a delay from your input in the game to what you see on screen.

btw... >.> err.. nice choice in avis...

thanks :mrgreen:
 

Aurali

Banned
Banned
Gametap still makes you download the entire game doesn't it? I honestly haven't used the service in a couple years but when I did I remember having to wait till the whole game was finished. This supposedly plays the game on the onlive servers, records the video and streams it to your computer or tv. I just don't understand how they are gonna pull this off without there being a delay from your input in the game to what you see on screen.

really fast connections and multiple server farms.


thanks :mrgreen:
>.> just don't show the rest of that pic.
 
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