Wednesday, March 25th 2009

New On-Demand Gaming Platform Threatens to Kill Gaming PC Upgrades

We all regard PC games, as an entertainment medium, but spend hundreds to even thousands of Dollars regularly, to keep our PCs up to date, to be able to play the latest PC games. Imagine a medium that rids us of that, and we are able to consume PC gaming like any other content, like the TV or radio. Well, that the potential a new on-demand gaming platform holds – to make you never have to buy/upgrade a gaming PC again.

Called OnLive, the on-demand platform consists of a web service, an internet connection, and a thin-client, called “micro-console” that connects your input (game controllers), and output (monitor/TV/HDTV). You control the game – whichever you’re subscribed to and playing – the client relays your input to the OnLive servers, that do the processing, including graphics rendering, and send back output to your client. The client then displays the output. Sounds familiar? Cloud computing? Exactly, but for PC gaming. The platform is conceptualized to be advanced-enough to handle any of today’s games, Crysis included. The work-model of this platform is what makes it tick with any game, and is far more future-proof than the present mode of PC gaming (where people own expensive hardware that are in requirement of upgrades, the costs of buying games, buying gaming services separate).

For standard definition television quality, a broadband connection of at least 1.5 megabits per second is required. For HDTV resolution, a connection of at least 5 mbps is needed. The service uses patented algorithms that work to counter lag caused by network constraints. The technology is already gaining attention from major publishers, including EA, THQ, Codemasters, Ubisoft, Atari, Warner Bros., Take-Two, and Epic. People can buy or rent a game to play it, the usage fees are expected not to be much more than the subscription fees for Xbox Live.

Source: Kokatu
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246 Comments on New On-Demand Gaming Platform Threatens to Kill Gaming PC Upgrades

#1
selway89
Sounds amazing! Id like to see this in action. But I like my fancy hardware :p
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#2
DrPepper
The Doctor is in the house
So its a console really.
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#3
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: DrPepper
So its a console really.
...that costs less than a Wii, and runs Crysis Warhead at HD resolutions, getting you rid of having to upgrade hardware to get the latest gaming experience - something even consoles can't achieve.
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#4
fenurch
The idea is amazing and if it would work, that would be epic, replace Xbox's, PS3 e.t.c.

But it's not 100% that it will work and that's what worries me.
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#5
DrPepper
The Doctor is in the house
by: btarunr
...that costs less than a Wii, and runs Crysis Warhead at HD resolutions, getting you rid of having to upgrade hardware to get the latest gaming experience - something even consoles can't achieve.
What can I spend my hard earned money on then :confused:
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#6
farlex85
Sounds awesome. No more bitching about games that stress the computer and more importantly no more having to buy a $300 gpu every 6 months if you want to play super pretty games.
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#7
MRCL
Sooo... and what do the game stores sell then?
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#8
rampage
by: DrPepper
So its a console really.
yes, but a whole new take on it, i still would rather my pc, whats the point in overclocking / water cooling one of these :p

as for threatening the gaming pc, i can see it as a real contender in the low/ medium end of the market
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#9
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: DrPepper
What can I spend my hard earned money on then :confused:
Saving up for your castle. I hear they have good ones in your part of the world.
Posted on Reply
#10
farlex85
by: rampage
yes, but a whole new take on it, i still would rather my pc, whats the point in overclocking / water cooling one of these :p
For benchmarking of course. Typically games don't need either (overclocking or water cooling).
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#11
DrPepper
The Doctor is in the house
I just realised that fah will take a major hit

and rofl bta.

I hear there is a good deal on edinburgh caste
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#12
alexp999
Staff
5mbps for HD. Thats what 1280x720?

I would imagine most people around the world wont have a connection of 5mbps stable all day, I know I dont, I get about 7mbps, but not at peak times. I'd be lucky to get SD in the evenings.

I can't imagine a server having the processing power for modern games and pump it out to every one, only costing around £40 a year.

I'm not convinced, this could slow progression of the gaming world too. I like my gaming PC and being able to play at high res.

What about user mods? What about sitting there knowing your hard earned cash and build time has gone into the awe that is being generated in realtime in front of you.
It wont be the same.
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#13
farlex85
by: alexp999
5mbps for HD. Thats what 1280x720?

I would imagine most people around the world wont have a connection of 5mbps stable all day, I know I dont, I get about 7mbps, but not at peak times. I'd be lucky to get SD in the evenings.

I can't imagine a server having the processing power for modern games and pump it out to every one, only costing around £40 a year.

I'm not convinced, this could slow progression of the gaming world too. I like my gaming PC and being able to play at high res.
This of course would not be practical right now, but I could definitely see it working in the near future. Think what we had 10 years ago. This should be feasible in a few. Networks will get faster, comps will get faster, ect, ect. It's not too hard to imagine.
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#14
alexp999
Staff
by: farlex85
This of course would not be practical right now, but I could definitely see it working in the near future. Think what we had 10 years ago. This should be feasible in a few.
But in a few years, games will have advanced even further.

I would say it would be about 5 - 10 years before enough people had fast enough connections all day for it to be feasable. By which time that bandwidth wont be enough for the games of the time.

Catch my drift?
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#15
farlex85
by: alexp999
But in a few years, games will have advanced even further.

I would say it would be about 5 - 10 years before enough people had fast enough connections all day for it to be feasable. By which time that bandwidth wont be enough for the games of the time.

Catch my drift?
Depends on how the scaling goes, you're assuming linear progression of games and networking. Don't they have gigabit connections in Korea? How far have we come since Crysis? Catch my drift?

It's possible this would just end up focusing on casual gamers though, a la the wii. I would like it for sure.
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#16
Atnevon
This will be like the Dreamcast. A piece of hardware with so many new additions, it will be just to ahead of its time and die out. Then 10 years later, something else will come along that will be a near clone, and win everyone over.
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#17
alexp999
Staff
I dont know what it is, maybe call it a hunch or bad vibe, I just can't see this working. :ohwell:
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#18
eidairaman1
sorry this is not something i would put my money in to, because not everyone has 5Mbps Connections, let alone 1.5 for SD, and consoles still dont have the Advancements PCs have had for years, PC gaming has been HD since 2002 TBH. Also only reason PS2 won on the Console wars was because it was being bought as a Cheap DVD player mainly, not really used for games at all, that plan backfired for the PS3. Whats funny is the Casual Gamers Bit, Hello, you have M Rated games for the Console, No More Heroes, Madworld, CODW@W, TBR The Conduit, No More Heroes 2.
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#19
Binge
Overclocking Surrealism
by: alexp999
I dont know what it is, maybe call it a hunch or bad vibe, I just can't see this working. :ohwell:
+1 I call BS.
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#20
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: alexp999
I dont know what it is, maybe call it a hunch or bad vibe, I just can't see this working. :ohwell:
Me either, it kind of reminds me of Sega Channel. The concept was great, but in the end it died out.
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#21
KainXS
phantom all over again
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#22
konj
This is just ridiculous idea. I would rather they try to sell me teleport technology than this cause it's easier to swallow. And the most ridiculous thing is they couldn't sell cloud computing to corporations for office work, where it actually makes sens, now they are trying to sell it to gamers? I think they take us for retards.

Just think about computing power requirements? Come on even your ISP has "fair usage" in your contract. And the least problem for this to work is your internet connection. This idea is such BS i can't think about it anymore without my head hurting!
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#23
pjladyfox
by: btarunr
...that costs less than a Wii, and runs Crysis Warhead at HD resolutions, getting you rid of having to upgrade hardware to get the latest gaming experience - something even consoles can't achieve.
I'm not so sold on the concept even after seeing their tech demo. Just right off the top of my head I see the following problems:

1. How much data is going to be passed back and forth between the client and server? Remeber, companies like Comcast are already looking at bandwith caps for internet service that something like this could easily trigger if you're talking about a game like Crysis Warhead.

2. What if say a million users all hammer the servers at once trying to play a particular title? Can we still be assured a decent experience?

3. What about those customers that have an average latency of about 20ms due to the distance from the MPOE for their DSL connections will the system still allow for a zero-latency experience even under these conditions?

And this is not even going into the overall cost of trying to maintain something like this. Granted, if they can solve the bandwith and hardware costs this would be something that would get more into PC gaming but I just do not see how something like this could ever replace a dedicated system no matter how they try to pitch it.
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#24
El Fiendo
I'd max out my monthly upload and download caps real quick. And all the online gaming would suffer from alot more 'BS LAG' whiners.
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#25
Selene
Cant wait to see it live, and as much as I like building my PCs and buying upgrades, I would get one in a second if it works like they say.
I mean I could get one for me and my kids, this would save me lots of cash each year.
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