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OnLive cloud gaming service launches September 22

by Steven Williamson on 11 August 2011, 09:46

Tags: OnLive

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With over 100 titles available from the out-set, OnLive will launch in the U.K. on September 22, 2011.

The OnLive game system and controller will be compatible with various platforms, including PC, Mac, iPad and Android tablets. Via a set-top box, users will also be able to play games on their HD T.V.s

Subscription to the service will be free and users can then rent and buy games from the official website, or opt to buy an OnLive Pack Bundle which will give unrestricted access to certain games. U.K. prices have yet to be confirmed, but it’s expected to be approximately £9.99 for a monthly pass.

Electronic Arts and Activision has yet to put their name to the service, but the likes of Ubisoft, Square Enix and THQ should ensure there’s a strong launch line-up of games, which will include Batman Arkham Asylum and Assassin’s Creed.

The OnLive service requires a broadband connection. Games are stored on the OnLive servers and streamed in real-time, so there’s no need to wait for lengthy downloads.

"OnLive will utterly transform gaming in the UK," said OnLive founder and CEO Steve Perlman. "No discs, big downloads or specialised hardware needed. OnLive gives you the latest games instantly, anytime, anywhere on HDTV, PC, Mac, as well as iPad, Android tablets. High-performance gaming as accessible as streaming video, with unique social features such as massive spectating with voice chat and Facebook integration."

HEXUS Forums :: 7 Comments

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Potentially this could be a success, could work out cheaper for people that buy loads of games every year. Only major downside is the state of broadband in a lot of UK areas. Streaming the required amount of data on slower connections is going to really downgrade the quality of graphics. Lucky if I get 1.5 Mb speeds where I live at the best of times. Streaming something like Splinter Cell or Assassins Creed for example is really going to be poor as the connection speed required to get the data in quickly enough for high quality visuals just isnt there.

Its ok for people that live close to a BT exchange but a few mile away and the speed is extremely poor due to BT's archaic infrastructure and wiring that in some cases date back to the 50's if not longer. Then you have Virgin media which isnt available everywhere in the country so not everyone is going to benefit from their fibre connections.
And, with throttling, even VM wouldn't be ideal for this. Only way it would have a chance of working is if they set up some sort of peering agreement with ISPs and ISPs offer this un-capped. They are (or were) claiming low latency compared to normal gaming - well yes, between the game servers because they are sitting next to each other but did no-one there consider sending big packets (i.e. the HD video stream) have a much higher latency over the same connection than a small packet used in normal online gaming?

OnLive was meant to be released years ago, they've been plagued with said problems and been working on it. It would be too much of a loss to just scrap it so it's better for them to just release it as it is and hope enough people use it for long enough to repay the money they've wasted…

Edit: Oh and ‘no big downloads’ is a bit of a fib. :P
It depends on the technology but with Windows 2008 and its RDS services with Remote FX, watching hd videos on a remote desktop is possible and the download rates are not that high. I know that Citrix and its HDX connections offer the same thing.

I guess it does depend on the amount of gaming and the bandwidth caps of the UK ISP's but I cant see this being any worse than downloading games in stream for example, as long as the gameplay lengths are not too long or stupid.
Latency and frame rate still applies though, I mean I know console gamers are used to ~30fps but quite a few games are borderline uncomfortable, especially shooters. And remote desktop over a LAN isn't the same as trying to stream HD video at a decent frame rate with a bearable amount of latency (imagine 100ms input lag!) over dozens of hops over the net. I'm not saying it's impossible, rather it's been naively designed on a LAN and might not work as well as they'd hoped.
I fully agree. Latency will be the major issue I think. FPS is an issues but the technology exists to help with that.

The other item with be QoS on home connections. Imagine gaming through this and then someone else starts to watch Iplayer or downloads a film or album.

Guess its wait and see until it comes out.