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Onlive - Revolutionize PC Gaming?

Runefox

Kitsune of the PC Master Race
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.

Heh, you honestly believe that they're connecting you to their servers in (x)istan for their big debut? They're streaming that locally as a proof-of-concept to gather interest and investors. It is physically and theoretically impossible to do this the way they're talking about. It doesn't matter how much bandwidth your connection has, it doesn't have the speed to keep up with such a thing, and it never will, until we develop faster-than-light communications, and especially such communications that don't require routing/switching.

It's a scam, as much as people would love it not to be. Sort of like the Phantom, only more and less ambitious all at the same time.
 
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WolvesSoulZ

Member
Wouldn't that constantly eat your bandwith? And as runefox say, it would lag, if their server are full -> Buffering... Please wait...

'neway, this fail.
And for PC gaming -> Customisation FTW.
 

Sunny_Otter

Whatsa Motter?
Wouldn't that constantly eat your bandwith? And as runefox say, it would lag, if their server are full -> Buffering... Please wait...

'neway, this fail.
And for PC gaming -> Customisation FTW.

Yeah, that's kind of what I was thinking -- I don't know about elsewhere, but we only really have 2 companies to choose from for net access and they both have bandwidth caps, anything over and you pay a disgusting amount of money per month. My internet's $25/month for DSL and I play WoW and such with no issues, but the next tier up with higher bandwidth usage is $75/month. There is no middle ground. D:
 

Aurali

Banned
Banned
Heh, you honestly believe that they're connecting you to their servers in (x)istan for their big debut? They're streaming that locally as a proof-of-concept to gather interest and investors. It is physically and theoretically impossible to do this the way they're talking about. It doesn't matter how much bandwidth your connection has, it doesn't have the speed to keep up with such a thing, and it never will, until we develop faster-than-light communications, and especially such communications that don't require routing/switching.
It uses a ultra high compression algorithm for video compression, and three server farms in the US for transmission of Data. I'm not gonna say it's gonna be the best thing out there (Especially since I was probably one out of say... 5 people to be on at that time). but I'm not gonna say it don't work.

Everyone is expecting lag.. I'm expecting it to play well.. but look like absolute shit.



It's a scam, as much as people would love it not to be. Sort of like the Phantom, only more and less ambitious all at the same time.
We'll see.
 

lilEmber

Small Dragon
It uses a ultra high compression algorithm for video compression, and three server farms in the US for transmission of Data. I'm not gonna say it's gonna be the best thing out there (Especially since I was probably one out of say... 5 people to be on at that time). but I'm not gonna say it don't work.

Everyone is expecting lag.. I'm expecting it to play well.. but look like absolute shit.
Well exactly, but on a TV you won't notice much, and on a Mac and older computer it's better than nothing.
 

Runefox

Kitsune of the PC Master Race
It uses a ultra high compression algorithm for video compression, and three server farms in the US for transmission of Data. I'm not gonna say it's gonna be the best thing out there (Especially since I was probably one out of say... 5 people to be on at that time). but I'm not gonna say it don't work.
It... Doesn't matter how much compression is used or how much bandwidth is available. The amount of time it takes the data to move is going to be the limiting factor. The fact remains that it takes time for ANY information to move from point A to point B on the internet, no matter how many megabits per second you can download. There is a delay and that's what I'm talking about. At absolute minimum, by virtue of the way the internet works, you're looking at about 100ms or so, which is OK for low-intensity games. But it also takes time to record, compress, and decompress as well. More than likely, you're going to be looking at around a quarter of a second lag between your button presses and what happens on-screen.

I'm expecting it to play well.. but look like absolute shit.
It'll play well for RPG's, and slow-paced games, and it will also look like absolute shit. "Crysis with all the stuff turned up" won't really matter with all the compression artifacts, and good luck playing a fast-paced game with that.

Well exactly, but on a TV you won't notice much
Notice much what?
 

Aurali

Banned
Banned
you're going to be looking at around a quarter of a second lag between your button presses and what happens on-screen.

pretty much. I'm wondering how they are gonna account for this myself.. but I doubt that so many high end people would be behind it if they didn't figure it out.

maybe they'll make some quantum entanglement device to send the relays :p
 
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Runefox

Kitsune of the PC Master Race
pretty much. I'm wondering how they are gonna account for this myself.. but I doubt that so many high end people would be behind it if they didn't figure it out.

maybe they'll make some quantum entanglement device to send the relays :p

Unless they have, I'd be very surprised if this works anywhere nearly as well as they claim (they said 1ms of latency in one particular interview; Wha?). I honestly don't understand why people think this is any more viable (or any more worthy of attention) than the Phantom - Actually, at least the Phantom wouldn't have had the latency or graphics quality issues. Has anyone ever heard of OnLive before? How about that website? A Flash applet (which is basically a movie player), plus unformatted HTML, for a project like this screams fly-by-night.

My prediction: OnLive won't launch this year. In addition, the company won't be around this time two years from now (maybe that's too liberal; Phantom is still around after all this time).
 

Garrus

Samuel L Jackson's Nightmare
I keep getting told this ain't gonna work until they get the funds to maintain supercomputers and everybody has faster-than-fiber-optic connections.
Garuntee that Europe won't be in thier customer list much then considering how much faster speeds are generally in the US.
 

Foxstar

lol reggin
Nothing of any use will come of this.
 

Aurali

Banned
Banned
Unless they have, I'd be very surprised if this works anywhere nearly as well as they claim (they said 1ms of latency in one particular interview; Wha?). I honestly don't understand why people think this is any more viable (or any more worthy of attention) than the Phantom - Actually, at least the Phantom wouldn't have had the latency or graphics quality issues. Has anyone ever heard of OnLive before? How about that website? A Flash applet (which is basically a movie player), plus unformatted HTML, for a project like this screams fly-by-night.

My prediction: OnLive won't launch this year. In addition, the company won't be around this time two years from now (maybe that's too liberal; Phantom is still around after all this time).
I have Runefox.. only cause my teachers constantly talked about it for the past few months.. >.> One of them knows the programmer personally. So yeah.. I'm gonna be a little less skeptical.
 
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Stratelier

Well-Known Member
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.

Siding with Runefox here, as I made a similar response on a completely different forum. When your minimum round-trip latency is a measurable amount of time, a lot of weird things can start to happen. Internet connection 'speeds' are measured by their one-way, asynchronous data transfer rate, they are not measured by the time it takse for your data to physically get to and from the servers. Light speed travels at a rate of approximately one foot per nanosecond.

If the server is even 3,000 miles away from your client end, a game of "ping"-pong (pun intended) would cap out at 30 fps because that represents the physical distance it has to travel.

(Or in racing terminology, sure that car has a great top speed -- but what about its acceleration from a dead stop?)

You can't play a fast-paced game (such as FPS or racing, or even certain puzzle games) across an Internet connection where you have to make decisions in split seconds. Heck, in a game of Mario Kart a split-second can mean the difference between hitting a Fake Item Box vs. a real one, missing or hitting that green shell somebody lobbed at you, or drifting right into a banana peel on Rainbow Road causing you to slide right off the track into deep space.

Or an analogy I used on another forum: You've pulled out your sniper rifle and are scoping out a target at 10x zoom. You've taken everything into account -- range, wind, and the guard has stopped for just a moment. One shot, one kill, right? You pull the trigger, but in the 100ms that it takes for your game console to inform the server that you're shooting, the damn guy sneezes. The server calculates that your bullet whizzed over his head by three inches and blew the head off a nearby fountain lion (pun intended). Joy. You've just given away your position, and pray that he doesn't have a sniper rifle of his own because if he does, he ain't going to miss.

Also, what happens if your connection momentarily blows out, or a packet gets dropped along the way? In a traditional online game, not much. Your opponents go out of sync (or suddenly vanish) for a moment, but otherwise your gameplay is not affected. But in a 'streaming' videogame service, if a packet gets dropped then your gameplay vanishes entirely until the next packet comes in.

If you want to know what OnLive would feel like with network latency taken into account, just go play Super Smash Bros. Brawl online for a little, where it takes a half-second for your onscreen character to respond to whatever buttons you press. This isn't because of the controls, it's because of network latency and that the game displays everything from the server's timeframe.
 
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Runefox

Kitsune of the PC Master Race
I really am sorry, but it really isn't physically possible for it to practically achieve latency of less than around 250ms in anything but ideal conditions. Reserving judgement might be what a smart person would do, but a person who understands networking in general can easily (and accurately) judge it right away.
 

Stratelier

Well-Known Member
I really am sorry, but it really isn't physically possible for it to practically achieve latency of less than around 250ms in anything but ideal conditions. Reserving judgement might be what a smart person would do, but a person who understands networking in general can easily (and accurately) judge it right away.

Ideal conditions such as the GDC booth.... When they advertise video compression taking only 1ms, that still doesn't take into account the time required for the video to physically go from server to client, nor does it reflect the insanely complicated mass of routing/switching from server to server to server along the way, which unless you want to fundamentally (and physically) rewire the whole damn Internet, is just plain non-adjustable.
 

lilEmber

Small Dragon
Guys, it's not even out yet and all videos showing it being played have no quality issues or anything, and that was 50 miles away from server.
 

Runefox

Kitsune of the PC Master Race
Guys, it's not even out yet and all videos showing it being played have no quality issues or anything, and that was 50 miles away from server.

The videos that I've seen of OnLive aren't actual gameplay videos. :p Not having been at GDC, I can only go by what those who have been. Still, lag will be an issue (it's simply impossible for it to work as well as they say), and there will be compression artifacts regardless, especially if they're favouring compression speed over compression quality (high-quality encoders require multiple passes, higher compression time, or both). In addition, I have trouble believing that anything they display(ed) at GDC was anything other than ideal. After all, the whole idea isn't to gain gamer hype, but to gain investors and support.
 

TehSean

weasyl.com/profile/naoki
Guys, it's not even out yet and all videos showing it being played have no quality issues or anything, and that was 50 miles away from server.

How many people are going to be 50 miles away from the server?

Look at it this way, if the system is behind a remote, then what's happening is this:

You move your mouse to look left in an online shooter.
Your terminal sends the left movement to the server.
The server sends back the data AFTER receiving the input information and renders the turn on your terminal's screen.

If ping is constantly under 50, that's fine, but then you have to add on the lag to the other players and the GAME SERVER, too, so the latency starts adding up quickly.

Lag compensation does its best to correct for those faults, but with that enabled, it adds a bit more latency to everyone on the compensation-enabled server. It's why you sometimes get shot when dodging behind walls. That's lag comp in action.

Let's not forget about the big spectre nobody's really talking about: Video compression.

It'll reduce the filesize and reduce the latency required to transmit the signal.

You're going to feel the lag constantly. It won't be like Xbox where at least your movements respond instantly. Remember. All the input data has to bounce back and forth from your hand to the Onlive Central Server.
 

Runefox

Kitsune of the PC Master Race
Video compression.

It'll reduce the filesize and reduce the latency required to transmit the signal.
Video compression will actually add to the latency, since the extra step of recording and actually compressing the video costs precious time, as well. It can't be done in true real time, and similarly needs to be decompressed on the other end. The lower filesize also doesn't have any bearing on the latency, since latency is about the real time difference between the image created on the server and the image displayed on the client.
 

Aurali

Banned
Banned
Strata. Don't take this the wrong way., but your bolding of words shows less emphasis and more assholeness.

I really am sorry, but it really isn't physically possible for it to practically achieve latency of less than around 250ms in anything but ideal conditions. Reserving judgement might be what a smart person would do, but a person who understands networking in general can easily (and accurately) judge it right away.

You do realize that if you ARE wrong... that all your smugness and gloating will be brought back against you in future events right? Don't add another blemish to your record. I'm only reporting what I saw at GDC. I could care less if this succeeds or not. I've seen some pretty radical changes in gaming in the last few years, so something that breaks all of what was previously thought impossible is something I'm willing to let have a chance.
 

lilEmber

Small Dragon
Listen to the people who know what they are talking about, bud and stop eating PR cookies.
I find it funny that it's not even out yet, yet you're insulting me about not knowing anything about it. Good job, moron.
 
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