OnLive is coming


gh0d (Administrator)
Stupid and bound for failure, for multiple reasons.
  • Lag is the biggie. With "twitch" based games on the current model, a few dozen milliseconds is enough to make the difference between life and death, all other things (skill, hardware, etc) being equal. Under OnLive's system, you get the lag from your terminal to the server, the lag from another player's terminal to the server (in multiplayer games, anyway), and then the server's processing overhead to shuffle everything around, as well as crunch the data for the game itself and the compression of data for transmitting to the end-user.
  • With any connectivity problem between the end-user and the server, the user can't play any of their games, not even the single-player ones they'd otherwise have access to, under the traditional setup of a powerful home PC running a locally available copy of a game.
  • It's a nice "fuck you" to those who pay per minute or per KB of data transfer. "Unlimited" access is hardly universal.
  • While things like Gametap (before it got stupid) and the "old games" service (whose full name I forget, offhand) show there are some who would pay for what's effectively a temporary, revocable license for software (if they close their doors or you get booted from the service for whatever reason, you're out of luck, and out of one or more games), it was only a small portion of gamers overall. And those services didn't have any processing overhead for not only routing data, but also processing the game software input/output and compressing the data stream so it's feasible without access to a T-2 (6.3Mbps, which is available in a lot of places but not exactly universal) or better line.

Unrelated to its issues, it's also further proof that there really is nothing new under the sun. Mainframe/terminals goes back to the 60s or so... and was mainly ditched as a corporate model not too long, in many cases, after it was practical to do so.


Vice Admiral
I would not compare this to the phantum, since the phantom still holds the data locally.

The idea behind this system is that you are actually on a terminal like a Sunray or thin client, or using terminal server/citrix web client in your browser. It could work, given you take demands on the line(my last assignment from my office was working for a company that deployed this kind of service for dentists and doctor practices, using exactly this kind of interaction.. but for business applications, the basic system was built in 2000.

However; we had to make minimum requerements on the lines, basic ADSL can not handle it, so you need at least business SDSL for a stable connection, otherwise something as simple as a print job could hang the connection for several minutes. And simple graphics are all it can handle, it's not faster then RDP and that was not build for games, no matter how many third party optimizers you throw at it. If they said they were able to fix that, i'd take it on a free trial for a month or so to let them prove it works. The technology was build for Lan speed, not to be bothered by the ups and downs from the internet.

But even if the technology works, did you check out the concept, you can play the latest popular games that are on the shelves, so then I started to play this game, for whatever reason I do not play it for 6 months and then I want to pick it up again to find out they removed it from their servers because it got too old?

I would find it hard to believe that this could compete with xboxlive or playstation network.


gh0d (Administrator)
I would not compare this to the phantum, since the phantom still holds the data locally.
The comparison wasn't of the respective operating models, but about how both promise functionality that can't be realistically delivered.