If geeks love it, we’re on it

A look at OnLive

A look at OnLive

OnLive is a new game streaming service that was announced at Game Developer’s Conference 2009 and released on June 17th to the general public. The concept behind OnLive is simple: games are rendered in the cloud, and delivered to your computer or television via broadband where they are displayed. Since all the processing is done in the cloud, you don’t need an expensive video card or CPU to play any games, nor do you need to worry about upgrading your PC when new games or technology comes out.

It’s essentially “VNC” for gaming: Your controller/keyboard input are sent to the OnLive servers, and the game’s screen output is sent to your PC.

The fee for the service is $14.95 a month, although AT&T is sponsoring a “Founding Members” program that makes the first year free and locks a member in at $4.95 a month for the second year. The fee essentially buys you access to the service, but no games. Games are an additional cost—you pay additional fees for a “PlayPass” which grants you access to the game on sort of a rental basis. For example, you can buy a three-day PlayPass, or you can buy a “lifetime” PlayPass for something like $30 or $40 (depending on the game).

I tested out OnLive recently and had a set of questions ready to be answered. Most importantly, I wanted to know how the games looked, and how they played.

I used a demo of LEGO Harry Potter Years 1-4 as my test bed. The test system is a high-end gaming PC: AMD Phenom II X4 965 CPU, 4gb of RAM, and an ATI Radeon 5870 GPU. The internet connection is 24mb AT&T U-verse.

The OnLive service loads quickly, does a test to see if your computer and internet connection qualify, and then launches the admittedly awesome UI. The menu system used here is extremely smooth and slick, and makes finding games to rent a breeze—although some of that may have to do with the fact that there are only about twenty games on the service right now.

The OnLive game market interface. Here I've sorted games by Metascore rating.

Once a game is selected, you can choose which PlayPass to buy for it, and then launch it immediately.

It’s not exaggeration to say that games launch immediately—the moment you click launch, it’s go time. It’s a bit unsettling, actually—especially if you’re used to waiting for games to load or disks to spin up.

But how do they look?

Now comes the difficult part: the visual quality.

The moment LEGO Harry Potter launched, the intro movie started. I purposely chose LEGO Harry Potter for our visual tests because the solid colors would be good to show any artifacting that results from compression used to send the images to us.

I’ll let the video speak for itself; in order to see exactly what I saw, please view this full screen at 1080p quality:

The compression artifacting is significant, as you can see. It’s exceptionally disappointing to witness. It’s like playing a game through YouTube.

Here’s another clip of actual gameplay. Again, view full screen at 1080p:

And how do they play?

There was absolutely no lag at all; it was as if I was playing the game locally. The OnLive service currently supports an Xbox 360 controller plugged in via USB as well as keyboard and mouse.

Who is OnLive right for?

The idea that OnLive will be cheaper than standard gaming is debatable. The service fee in addition to the cost of renting games is only slightly lower than just buying the game itself; whether or not this is a good way to offset the cost of building and maintaining a gaming PC remains to be seen. As it stands, the OnLive service has surprisingly steep system requirements: A dual core CPU, a lot of RAM, and a very high quality internet connection. The equation will change significantly when they release their “Microconsole”, but no details are known about it yet. The ease of demoing and screwing around with multiple games is appealing, and makes jumping into games simple; but if you’re used to high-def PC gaming, you’ll probably have a hard time getting over the compression issues.

Comments

  1. QCH
    QCH Either I'm blind or the pixelation doesn't show on my end. Can you give a time mark on the videos and maybe where in the picture the pixelation is occuring?
  2. primesuspect
    primesuspect It's not pixelation, it's artifacting, such as you'd see in heavy JPG or MPG compression on movies or images. Look at the edges:

    image

    Those are NOT crisp like they are running natively at 1080p.

    You get blockiness and blurring along edges of objects. It's ugly.
  3. Bandrik
    Bandrik Considering what they're trying to do... pushing game rendering through internet pipelines as streaming video, while offering very low lag... I'm actually fairly impressed. It certainly looks better than a non-gaming rig could produce. I'll have to try it out soon.
  4. mertesn
    mertesn
    primesuspect said:
    It's not pixelation, it's artifacting, such as you'd see in heavy JPG or MPG compression on movies or images.

    Those are NOT crisp like they are running natively at 1080p.

    You get blockiness and blurring along edges of objects. It's ugly.
    I agree with Q on this one. I wasn't able to pick it out. Your pointing it out helped, but I guess my eyes aren't that good on things that are moving on screen. Maybe it'd be different watching on my TV, but on a 22" monitor it just doesn't bother me.
  5. Thrax
    Thrax Just watched the videos, Prime, and I agree that it is supremely irritating to see macroblocking in a game. Do not want.
  6. shwaip
    shwaip
    The compression artifacting is significant, as you can see. It’s exceptionally disappointing to witness. It’s like playing a game through YouTube
    How are we supposed to judge this while watching a video through youtube?
  7. QCH
    QCH
    mertesn said:
    I agree with Q on this one. I wasn't able to pick it out. Your pointing it out helped, but I guess my eyes aren't that good on things that are moving on screen. Maybe it'd be different watching on my TV, but on a 22" monitor it just doesn't bother me.
    Prime? What size monitor/TV where you viewing this on? I viewed it on a 19" wide screen monitor and even looking at it a second time I did not notice anything glaringly out of place.
  8. primesuspect
    primesuspect
    shwaip said:
    How are we supposed to judge this while watching a video through youtube?
    That's why I'm asking to watch it full screen 1080p; the experience that you get from that is the exact same that you get from playing OnLive. I compared the two several different times.
  9. primesuspect
    primesuspect
    QCH said:
    Prime? What size monitor/TV where you viewing this on? I viewed it on a 19" wide screen monitor and even looking at it a second time I did not notice anything glaringly out of place.
    24" 1920x1200 Samsung

    It's not an eyesight thing; you either notice it and it bothers you, or you don't.

    Consider yourselves lucky. I can't un-see it.
  10. Cliff_Forster
    Cliff_Forster The artifacts are definitely there. In motion is it horrible? I'm not sure it bothers me that much, but guys, I grew up playing stick figures on the Atari 2600 so my standards are a little lower. Still its pretty obvious that they have to do it to compensate for bandwidth limitations. This is the future, and frankly, I'm amazed they got it this far already. I figured we were at least a couple years away from a service like this.

    We just need to have reasonable expectations. The average broadband connection in the US is at 3.9 mbps. That goes up, artifacts go away as they can stream more data per frame.

    Think about this guys, its AAA 3D gaming on demand, no download, no trip to the store, a consistent experience without hardware, as broadband speeds improve and this concept matures its going to change everything.

    Everyone wonders, why no new consoles at E3??? This is why, consoles as we know them today are not the future of gaming content delivery. Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo are already keen to this reality.

    Folks, the last generation of console hardware is here, there will never, ever be another dedicated home gaming console. No PS4, no Xbox 720, no Wii 2, nope, this is it. Sure, there may be a box, that gets you online to receive certain constant that operates using certain peripherals, but its all going to be based on this model. It eliminates their inventory expense, it gets rid of the middle man and it gives them real time marketing data, heck in some cases it may get rid of multi-platform development costs. Its a brilliant model for them, there is zero reason why they would want it to continue as it is. Sure, there will be some expense for them up front in developing the cloud, but they all sort of have it now with various online services, and building a super computer does not cost what it used to... Everyone who wants a future in the gaming business will do this.

    In fact, I'd bet in ten years, this kind of functionality will just be built into every TV people by. It will just be in the TV, wanna download a game from Nintendo, have their controller, an account and a broadband connection, no need for serious hardware on the client end, it will all be in the cloud.
  11. Thrax
    Thrax Sony and Microsoft have already committed to another console when the 10-year lifecycles of the current generation is up. No new consoles were announced because we're just barely half way into the lifetime of what we have now.

    There will be more consoles. The world does yet have enough edge servers or bandwidth to make this a reality for eleventy billion console gamers.
  12. primesuspect
    primesuspect Cliff, I think your predictions, while ultimately feasible, are off by at least 10, more likely 20 years. Console manufacturers think globally; only the very top tier of the developed world has the broadband infrastructure to get the kind of market penetration they currently have with hardware consoles.
  13. Cliff_Forster
    Cliff_Forster One word, Google.

    We are standing at the edge of a broadband revolution and Google wants a cut of everything that runs through it. The investments will be made, broadband speeds will sky rocket and prices for access will fall. Broadband is going to be like a utility that people take for granted.

    Do I know exactly how long that will take? I'm not 100% sure, but I think its sooner than later. I really do, call me an optimist, but controlling this infrastructure is going to guarantee decades of outstanding business prospects. Top men are looking into it, top men.....
  14. Thrax
    Thrax Google has about as much bandwidth to give to the public as death valley has fresh water for the dehydrated children of Africa.
  15. mertesn
    mertesn
    primesuspect said:
    24" 1920x1200 Samsung

    It's not an eyesight thing; you either notice it and it bothers you, or you don't.

    Consider yourselves lucky. I can't un-see it.
    It's a similar situation with DVD upscaling. I cannot watch DVDs on my TV because the upscaling still leaves large blocks in the video. Ruins the movie for me, but not for the wife.

    I guess for games my focus is on different things.
  16. Thrax
    Thrax Now Brian knows how I feel about the AMOLEDs on the Incredible and the Nexus One. :(
  17. Bandrik
    Bandrik
    Cliff_Forster said:
    Folks, the last generation of console hardware is here, there will never, ever be another dedicated home gaming console. No PS4, no Xbox 720, no Wii 2, nope, this is it.
    Your list of benefits for cloud-based game computing are all perfectly legitimate. It does offer a consistent experience, extremely fine graphics for a budget, etc etc.

    What you fail to realize is why the current console generation we are currently on is having a much longer lifespan than ever before. It's not because there is no more consoles in line. It's because gamers just aren't as demanding for hardware upgrades as they have been before.

    Think about it. The jump from the Atari 2600 to the NES was huge. The next leap to the Genesis and the SNES was also big. Then came the leap to 3D, which the PS1 and N64 did an adequate job of. PS2, GameCube, and Xbox brought 3D to a level that looked fairly realistic. The current generation brought it to a whole new level of shine.

    But then what? What's next? A few more levels of anti-aliasing? You can't bump the resolution up, 1080p is as high as TVs go right now. You can't up the number of colors on them, either. Sure, you can increase the poly count, maybe have a few more on-screen particle effects. But at the end of the day, the discernible upgrades that the average gamer will notice is dwindling. There are marginal diminishing returns for graphics hardware compared to the visual effect on people.

    And that's the reason I keep hearing for why we don't have a newer set of consoles just yet. People paid through the nose for their PS3's, and they aren't quite so willing to plunk down another $600 for the next wave if it came out just a few years later if it's not going to have as noticeable upgrade as before.

    Back to "consoles are dead", they aren't. Speaking for myself, I will not buy into a service that is totally dependent on them existing to survive. At least with Steam I can download all the games then go offline if Steam ever died. I like owning physical hardware. I like the idea of going back and playing older classics without paying for them again. Because it's physical and I have it in front of me.

    Plus, what about people with poor internet connections? People in Arkansas can still play Final Fantasy XIII just as well as someone in silicon valley. Couldn't have the same thing if games went fully internet-dependent. Even though a good percentage of gamers do have broadband, and some companies may settle for leaving behind potential customers with poor internet solutions, consoles today can still penetrate to get anyone with a TV and live power outlets.

    Again, your points about the benefits of cloud-based AAA-title gaming are indeed good. But do not discredit consoles as forsaken so quickly.
  18. Cliff_Forster
    Cliff_Forster
    Bandrik said:

    Again, your points about the benefits of cloud-based AAA-title gaming are indeed good. But do not discredit consoles as forsaken so quickly.
    This completely ignores my arguments for the business model being better long term.

    We have to think about the future here. 100 megabit internet, its going to happen, and I honestly believe (some would say optimistically) that this is going to happen in the next five years, there are just too many good reasons to make the infrastructure investments. If not Google, the fear of them doing it will drive Verizon, AT&T and/or John Q Taxpayer to foot the bill. A competitive economy as a whole is going to largely be dependent on the growth of internet commerce, and the increased computational power that the cloud is going to afford the world. Heck the future of the whole global economy is at stake. When you think about it, its the solution to Moore's law no longer holding weight (a major economic driver the last 30+ years). Scalable cloud computing, for everything, and when people can have it on demand in real time, its going to change everything.

    When this happens, the console business model will die because it will no longer be the best model to make maximum profit. Don't think the people at the helm of the gaming industry will be as slow to adapt as the people that run music and film, they will be on the ball and ready to move where the market takes them (its just a more forward thinking bunch), and everyone will make more money by actually charging less because the delivery model will support it on multiple levels. Its going to make everything easier, delivery of content, no hardware to sell as a loss leader, no need to pay a middle man to carry product, no inventory cost, no warranty centers to support millions of red ringed consoles, less development cost, more efficient development systems supported by the same cloud people will play on, its a forward thinking businessman's wet dream. A penny saved is a penny earned. It will make everything better.

    Maybe five years is a little optimistic, but if onlive can do this with crappy broadband, what do you think is going to happen in five or ten years? More consoles??? For real???

    Everyone is a skeptic when we are talking about real advancement, Itunes had its critics, God, remember the Steam Launch with Half Life 2, the only people that saw the potential were working at Valve, I mean everyone, absolutely everyone hated Steam at first.

    I stand by my prediction, consoles as we know them are on their last leg. Now, there may be different competing content delivery systems, but they are all going to leverage this cloud gaming model as soon as there is enough bandwidth to support it. Its not going to take 20 years, because global broadband and cloud based computing systems solve problems that are far reaching and they are problems that will simply make or break the global economy. Its that important, and there are allot of investors that know this. The infrastructure needs building, its just a matter of who will foot the upfront costs. As far as gaming goes the US is the largest market, and we are #17 in the world in broadband speed. So you do the math, trust me, every market that really matters to the gaming market will have it because they are all in the same boat, unlimited broadband is critical to future economic development, it just has to happen.

    Until then, your right, people are plenty happy with the current crop of consoles because they are all pretty fantastic (even the 360 when its not on the fritz). But I'm telling ya, mark this post, when they finally announce what they are going to do next, don't be amazed that its a cloud based content delivery system because you saw it here first.
  19. Thrax
    Thrax Prediction: in the next five years, the average bandwidth of a broadband connection will have increased less than 20%.
  20. Cliff_Forster
    Cliff_Forster
    Thrax said:
    Prediction: in the next five years, the average bandwidth of a broadband connection will have increased less than 20%.
    You don't really believe that. Troll harder :wink:
  21. Thrax
    Thrax I really believe that. American ISPs are going to fight tooth, claw and nail to keep our infrastructure in the dark ages; it suits their bottom line and philosophy perfectly.
  22. primesuspect
    primesuspect Cliff, I agree with Thrax wholeheartedly on this one; Our broadband infrastructure absolutely sucks. Competing standards, competing companies, no national leadership on the matter, and a freaking ENORMOUS country that just so happens to have two states that are thousands of miles from the mainland. Add to that a group of policymakers who think the INTERNET IS A SERIES OF TUBES, and what you end up with is a nation in the broadband infant stages who is sitting there with a shitty digital diaper while smaller, more progressive, more agile nations leap lightyears beyond us.
  23. Cliff_Forster
    Cliff_Forster Who's the Icrontic optimist of the day,,, this guy... :bigggrin:

    We will get it done, because we have to. In a few years we are going to hit a wall on silicon chips. We just wont have a way to make them go any faster. Nanotechnology is the next step, and honestly, thats more in the twenty year time frame than 100 megabit broadband for all. Universal 100 megabit broadband is necessary to advance computing power and re write Moore's law so we don't grind to an economic stand still. Economists know this, world leaders know this, even the bureaucrats that cater to the special interests know this. There are too many potential pitfalls to just ignore the problem.

    Trust me, someone is going to flinch. Google may not want to make the infrastructure investments, but have them make a small investment to get into the game, and watch how fast Verizon and AT&T freak out and start upgrading the infrastructure, or effectively make the case that the government needs to have a unified infrastructure project that flows across the same fiber for all networked traffic. I once read a report that the cost for 100 megabit universal broadband access essentially comes down to an investment of a little less than a hundred dollar bill per taxpayer. Sounds massive? Really, when you think about it, its not, its what I pay for two months of Verizon FIOS at 20 megabit.

    I don't deny that there are not special interests that are terrified of what the changes might bring to their current business model, but when you weigh all the potential risks of sitting still on this issue (I'm not kidding here, I'm talking total economic meltdown) then it becomes clear, even to the current powers that be that something has to be done.

    Its the logical next step in advancing the computing industry. Silicon is nearly tapped out, nano-tech is not ready, so a bigger pipe for the cloud is our only realistic option. It will happen sooner than later because it needs to. Our economic growth depends on it.

    Have some faith guys :wink:
  24. Thrax
    Thrax The United States has spent 130 years failing the public when it comes to telecom. The next five won't be any different.

    Lobbying has won.
  25. Shorty
    Shorty Cliff,

    Nice to be an optimist but you are missing the big picture. Access, transit and peering & global reach. The technology is not restricted by moores law or any presented limitations in existing DWDM/transmissions systems, it's down to cost. Lots of costs. Costs you don't feel or even see.

    1terabit transmission systems exist right now. Beautiful layer 1 optical core transmission systems by ciena, nortel and the like. Accompanying core routers at layers 2 & 3 exist (cisco CRS-3) for wireline and IP routing services. But it's not just about running fiber to your door and giving you a £50 router.

    Building a massive transmission network can be done. Great until you look at logistics of permission to dig where no ducting is available. Who owns the fiber if unlit fiber is there? Commercial lease required and not all fiber will belong to a US company wanting to sit in your proposed national consortium. That's at the core of the network.

    Contract terms? Who is the designated owner? How do you want to split the ownership? Geographically?

    Now consider that all service providers will need to upgrade optical transmission, core routing (P routers), edge routing (PE routers), access loops (copper won't cope so replace all with fiber and HFC mix). Then all peering traffic exchanges need updating. Add in some new submarine cables..... And then ask everyone to agree to take a hit by peering (mutual agreement to swap traffic between autonomous systems) and not sell wholesale transit to each other (wholesale transit is gonna be pricey to get the money back on the hundreds of millions of dollars investment)....

    ... And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
  26. Cliff_Forster
    Cliff_Forster We got a little off topic, with my "pie in the sky" predictions about broadband, but lets just see if we agree on this.

    OnLive did this with pretty crappy broadband, even with compression artifacts, aren't we all pretty impressed? From a technical standpoint this is pretty impressive stuff.

    That was more or less where I meant to go with it, if they can do this today with crappy broadband, just imagine what the future will bring. It will get there I say sooner, some say later, but it will happen. Just look at what they did here with crap tools? Its very impressive (at least to me).
  27. AlexDeGruven
    AlexDeGruven I've been playing Borderlands for a couple of weeks now on 2 different systems, and haven't noticed any significant issues with either of them:

    System 1: C2D E7200 (clocked @3.1GHz), 8GB RAM, Radeon 4670, Win7 Ultimate x64
    System 2: Dell P4 3.2GHz, 2GB RAM, Intel GMA, Win7 Ultimate x32 (no Aero).

    There is no discernible difference in quality during gameplay between the two (aside from System 1's 25" 1080p LCD vs System 2's 17" 4:3 LCD) systems for me.

    While I do see artifacting now and then, it's nowhere near as significant as what Brian is seeing, and completely invisible at least 90% of the time.

    For a service I won't be paying more than $50 for over the next 2 years (founding member, what?), that's pretty impressive.
  28. primesuspect
  29. CyrixInstead
    CyrixInstead Cliff, think outside the box (the 'box' being the USA) and you will see that a prediction of 100Mbps within 5 years is wildly off the mark, certainly on a worldwide scale which is the only scale you can consider when talking about the death of the console.

    Until most i.e. nearly everyone in the developed world, people in the world have a super fast connection there is absolutely no chance of the console dying.

    One question from me, in the "Is Console Gaming Dead?" article, why does it say "People in rural Wyoming" instead of "People in Arkansas" as in this thread???

    ~Cyrix
  30. primesuspect
    primesuspect Cause Ryan clearly has pity for people who live in either ;)
  31. Linc
    Linc
    Thrax said:
    Google has about as much bandwidth to give to the public as death valley has fresh water for the dehydrated children of Africa.
    A bit off-topic, but didn't they buy up huge quantities of fiber optics lines a few years back?
  32. Bandrik
    Bandrik
    CyrixInstead said:
    One question from me, in the "Is Console Gaming Dead?" article, why does it say "People in rural Wyoming" instead of "People in Arkansas" as in this thread???

    ~Cyrix
    I did that just to shake things up and catch you off guard. You scratching your head now is all a part of my master plan.

    Or I wanted to one-up Arkansas and pick a state that's even more empty and behind-the-times. No offense, Wyoming, I love you, but I could never live there.
  33. Snarkasm
    Snarkasm
    Lincoln said:
    A bit off-topic, but didn't they buy up huge quantities of fiber optics lines a few years back?
    Yes, but that was, at the time, rumored to be to create high-speed interconnects between their node datacenters, since they were starting to branch out of hosting everything out of Google HQ, if memory serves. Dunno how much is still around.
  34. Thrax
    Thrax Apropos: Ars Technica just had an article today, which illustrated that the FCC's National Broadband Plan was aspiring to give rural and urban America 4Mbit and 100Mbit down, respectively, by 2020.

    Urban America will be 10 years behind other western nations, while rural America will be almost 20 years behind.
  35. Bandrik
    Bandrik
    Thrax said:
    Urban America will be 10 years behind other western nations, while rural America will be almost 20 years behind.
    Damn... very sobering news, even though I'm not at all surprised.
  36. Shorty
    Shorty Can we all consider a key factor here. You can have 100mbits data rate now on some technology. It's not new. But it will be throttled back because your few dollars or pounds a month won't cover the wholesale transit costs to the tier-1 carrier your ISP buys bandwidth from. Your ISP is an AS (autonomous system). So each AS needs to peer (mutual agreement to swap traffic and advertise summaried networks) to multiple other AS providers for upstream access to other networks outside of their own (thus giving global reach). The tier-1 vendors with global reach don't peer to anyone but themselves, they charge transit to all the other networks that are on the Internet.

    Internet is not just about interface speed. It's about a complex set of agreements to define who pays for what to provide what to who at what. Lots of unlit fiber means nothing at all, lots of transmission means nothing. Not unless you have the connections into the key public peer points, geographic peering and tier-1 wholesale transit. All which has its costs.
  37. primesuspect
    primesuspect I'm sitting here with Wax and he wanted to take a look at OnLive, so we fired it up and played a bit of Just Cause 2.

    He has the exact same opinion as me: The graphics are sub-par, and you can clearly see the compression artifacting at 1920x1200.

    It looks bad, plain and simple.
  38. Cliff_Forster
    Cliff_Forster In another chapter of I love being right...

    Thats a gigabit a second in TN. Yes its expensive, yes its in a limited market, but I think it shows that my optimistic view for the future of broadband in the USA is not completely unfounded.

    Big minds are working on it. It will happen, and sooner than you think.
  39. Snarkasm
    Snarkasm It's three hundred and fifty dollars. Per month.

    I rest my case.
  40. Cliff_Forster
    Cliff_Forster
    Snarkasm said:
    It's three hundred and fifty dollars. Per month.

    I rest my case.
    It won't be forever. They roll it out in more places, it will drive some competition.

    I'm just saying, its a small reason for a little optimism for America's broadband future. Its good news.
  41. ardichoke
    ardichoke 350/mo for Gb/s connection doesn't seem so bad really. I mean, that breaks down to $0.35/mo per Mb/s... By comparison my AT&T DSL connection is $25/mo for 1.5Mb/s which comes out to a whopping $16.67/mo. per Mb/s. If nothing else, hopefully this will inspire some ISPs to offer a competitively priced middle ground service.
  42. Bandrik
    Bandrik Hey, even if it's a long shot, I'll take good news wherever I can get it these days. At the very worst, it's wishful thinking.
  43. Snarkasm
    Snarkasm There was a study out recently that showed while speeds get faster, the rough cost of broadband has stagnated across all providers. That's why I love corporations... price competition hasn't happened in decades. It may happen eventually, and probably will, but it'll take a long time for true adoption of ANY level of broadband across the nation, never mind this glorified tech demo.
  44. Cliff_Forster
  45. Thrax
    Thrax A pitiful handful of cities have had fiber for years, but a few thousand customers does not an accurate prediction make.
  46. MiracleManS
    MiracleManS As an example of places not wanting to up the ante for areas I lived in Hagerstown, MD for the better part of 4 years. The local cable internet provider JUST RECENTLY started providing 6 mbps connections. Up until that point it was 1.5 mbps.

    This is an area that has something on the order of 120,000 people living in it. About an hour from Baltimore and DC. There was absolutely no service that offered more than 6 mbps down. None anywhere. We don't even have 3G access. (Note: Non-business class access. There are some business class access options available that offer more. They're also $130+/mo)

    I just don't see how we're going to go from 6 mbps (that just got pushed out in the past 18 months) to fast enough to push 1080p content in its entirety in 10 years. This is a fairly urban area, not far from an already existing set of infrastructure.
  47. Cliff_Forster
    Cliff_Forster Listen, if you gave blazing fast internet to Hagerstown, they would use all the bandwidth on tractor pull videos, buying merchandise to look their best for the next dirt track race, and Kix videos.

    Hagerstown just stopped doing their business in the outhouse about ten years ago. It may be a little too soon for high speed internet.
  48. Cliff_Forster
  49. Tushon
    Tushon *looks at the state of internet "competition" in the US (ethnocentric-ally excluding everyone else because we're number 1 goooooo free market weeeee)*

    Just saying ...

    For example, price of FiOS in Dallas has gone up $20 from $46 to $64 for internet only, mostly because they are trying to force you into a bundle at a nearer price point. I can't imagine trying to play this stuff on Time Warner.
  50. Cliff_Forster
    Cliff_Forster But here is the thing @Tushon - If you are a gamer, you are paying for it. Virtually every gamer has some kind of dedicated broadband connection because its nearly a requirement. Sony is going to invest and go all in. The days of going to GameStop to buy a disk will be over sooner than later. Could I make an argument that a fat 75 megabit down 35 megabit up pipe is worth $70 a month to me (current cost of one of the local FIOS options here)? Honestly, for me yes. Sure I'd prefer it to cost less, but I want these streaming services, and I'll pay to have them. It's only going to get better in time.
  51. AlexDeGruven
    AlexDeGruven OnLive and Gaikai should both function fine at around 10Mbit depending on what else you're doing on your network.

    Through Charter, I have 30/3 service and it's more than enough for me to run an OnLive game while my kids are streaming Netflix on 2 portable devices and my wife is browsing or whatever it is that chicks do on the Internet.
  52. Tushon
    Tushon I would pay that much for that service. The FiOS option here for the price I cited is 30/25. "in time" is the key part of your entire post and my point entirely
  53. Thrax
    Thrax Bandwidth caps. More of them and more stringent by the day.

    /thread
  54. Tushon
    Tushon
    Bandwidth caps. More of them and more stringent by the day.

    /thread
    +1 ad nauseum
  55. Tushon
    Tushon http://www.theverge.com/gaming/2012/8/17/3250066/onlive-cloud-gaming-service-closing-staff-laid-off

    Just sayin' :P (not that it necessarily has anything to do with the overall viability of a service like this, but the bandwidth caps/availability is still a huge issue for adoption)
  56. AlexDeGruven
    AlexDeGruven Hopefully they manage to hold it together. I really enjoy the service and use it quite extensively (both through the microconsole and the windows client).

    If we (being those who like and use the service) are lucky, this is just a needed housecleaning and reorganization (with or without the buyout) to keep things rolling smoothly.
  57. Thrax
    Thrax OnLive has filed for ABC. They leased under contract more servers than they needed for their userbase, and the costs ballooned beyond their cashflow.

    A wealthy venture capitalist now controls the company, where the service will live on, but not with the employees or scale it has today.
  58. ardichoke
    ardichoke I like being able to play my (non-MMO) games when the Internet goes out.

    Just sayin'
  59. primesuspect

Howdy, Stranger!

You found the friendliest gaming & tech geeks around. Say hello!