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
alexp999
Staff
DrPepper said:
I wish I could invest but I'm just a kid :(
17 is hardly a kid.
Posted on Reply
#2
Imsochobo
Latency, bandwidth anyone ?


its really Cloud computing, i dont belive in that yet.
Infrastructure isnt there, and not in USA, we in norway got pretty good covered fiber connection to most of the population, with offers of 250 mbit.
Posted on Reply
#3
DrPepper
The Doctor is in the house
alexp999 said:
17 is hardly a kid.
I don't want to grow up though :(
Posted on Reply
#4
TheMailMan78
Big Member
alexp999 said:
17 is hardly a kid.
This is true. a 100 bucks can make you a 1000 in less than 24 hours. I've done that and more. If I knew what I know now at 17 I would be retired.
Posted on Reply
#5
alexp999
Staff
DrPepper said:
I don't want to grow up though :(
Who does.

My dad acts more childish than I do some days. :rolleyes:

Anyway back on topic.

I still cant see this working, say we get to the point that everyone has the internet fast enough to do this, even if we could stream a HD feed of a high enough res and combat the lag, we will prob have 3d in mainstream by then or some other tech that will render this useless.
Posted on Reply
#6
Steevo
latentcy would kill this.

Then again if the physics, and the majority of the GPU work was done elsewhere, downscaled, and then sent out ot this, upscaled, AA and AF and finish the graphics it might.


But wiat, it has to phone home, so it my be moraz spying!!!!
Posted on Reply
#7
alexp999
Staff
Spying! Didnt think of that. Damn now they will know if you back the camera into the corner and walk lara croft towards it! :D

Mmmm, pretty pixels. :p
Posted on Reply
#8
DrPepper
The Doctor is in the house
TheMailMan78 said:
This is true. a 100 bucks can make you a 1000 in less than 24 hours. I've done that and more. If I knew what I know now at 17 I would be retired.
Tell me your secrets man of the mail :)

Steevo said:
latentcy would kill this.

Then again if the physics, and the majority of the GPU work was done elsewhere, downscaled, and then sent out ot this, upscaled, AA and AF and finish the graphics it might.
Well think about this press w on a keyboard and the server is in america so at best assuming that the ping is as low as possible it will need to compress send arrive decompress register it compress send recieve and decompress limited by the speed of light.
Posted on Reply
#9
alexp999
Staff
Like I said previously though, some of the great things about latest gen consoles and having a great gaming PC, is sitting there in awe at the detail that is being rendered in real time by that little box down by your feet.

This will be not much more than an interactive film.
Posted on Reply
#10
TheMailMan78
Big Member
DrPepper said:
Tell me your secrets man of the mail :)
PM me if you really want to know. I don't want to highjack the thread.
Posted on Reply
#11
Marineborn
i cant wait to start playing games and have it pause to say (BUFFERING) in the top left corner! hahahahaha...i think this is a good idea but will idealy fail
Posted on Reply
#12
v12dock
It works in theory it works but then put internet latency into play, along with server load
Posted on Reply
#13
aCid888*
I'd sooner cut my left nut sack off then give up my PC or gaming on it....I cant see this concept working for many reasons and the PC will remain dominant in the gaming world for some time to come, I'm sure of that.
Posted on Reply
#14
Silverel
Maybe it monitors your ping rate, and adjusts the gameplay to compensate for it, ever think of that?

Say for instance, your ping is around 55ms (typical for me), and the signal compress/decompress takes 30ms (no farkin clue), the delay from input to output could be adjusted 85ms, and you'd be just fine. Provided both the itty bitty box, and the server itself monitor ping rates, it should be able to adjust on the fly and give near-perfect results. Considering the amount of load that would put on a processor (minimal, very minimal), it could be done.
Posted on Reply
#15
alexp999
Staff
I dont get how you could possibly make up for lag, it cant predict where you're going to go :confused:
Posted on Reply
#16
Silverel
alexp999 said:
I dont get how you could possibly make up for lag, it cant predict where you're going to go :confused:
sorry. i killed my brain. it was thinkin' in quantum again. folding spacetime and whatnot.:toast:
Posted on Reply
#17
pjladyfox
farlex85 said:
I'm not sure why so many people who dabble in computers are so spectacularly unable to even consider that future advances in networking may, just may, be more advanced then what we have access to now. 5 years ago would you have believed me if I told you you could stream HD movies from netflix directly onto you're 1080p television (newer models of TV have this, and blu-ray players as well)? Apparantly not. :rolleyes:
Really, it's not so much the idea of there being more advanced networking tech out there. Heck, they may even actually be able to make this work under a heavy service load without issues and deliver it at a low cost.

However, that said network providers are not going to take too kindly to people eating up their bandwith. There are some parts of the U.S., Canada, and even the European contries that have a hard-set data/bandwith cap on their connections. And I have a hard time swallowing the idea that these people are going to be able to provide the extreme amount of bandwith they would require to host a service across a userbase large enough to make it financially viable.

Before I'll drink their punch I want them to share the numbers and prove that the end-user will not have to deal with the ire of their ISP for playing one too many rounds of Crysis each month. Until then this just sounds like a better organized version of the Phantom that is doomed to follow other start-up companies who have tried and inevitably failed.
Posted on Reply
#18
pjladyfox
shiny_red_cobra said:
This is gonna kill the internet, there's no way it will be able to keep up with so much traffic. 5 Mbps connection for HDTV-quality...multiply that by millions of these "consoles" and we'll be bringing the internet down to it's knees.
That was what instantly came to mind when I saw this.

I just can not see how they can make something like this work, knowing the limitations on bandwith and speed that some areas have, while competing with other consoles, streaming video, and other services that use the internet as well. And that's not even taking into account the kind of back-end they'll need to be able to host this since I seriously doubt they can host something like this on just a few T-3 lines.

But, hey, if they succeed more people will get into PC gaming which is a good thing. But, sooner or later they will get tired of this fisher-price approach and will get a dedicated system especially when they see a stand-alone system can be purchased for a slightly larger investment and will be able to do more.
Posted on Reply
#19
DrPepper
The Doctor is in the house
I think this thing would be better as an add on card within a pc. That way we get to keep our rigs and get the benefit of this thing.
Posted on Reply
#20
farlex85
pjladyfox said:
Really, it's not so much the idea of there being more advanced networking tech out there. Heck, they may even actually be able to make this work under a heavy service load without issues and deliver it at a low cost.

However, that said network providers are not going to take too kindly to people eating up their bandwith. There are some parts of the U.S., Canada, and even the European contries that have a hard-set data/bandwith cap on their connections. And I have a hard time swallowing the idea that these people are going to be able to provide the extreme amount of bandwith they would require to host a service across a userbase large enough to make it financially viable.

Before I'll drink their punch I want them to share the numbers and prove that the end-user will not have to deal with the ire of their ISP for playing one too many rounds of Crysis each month. Until then this just sounds like a better organized version of the Phantom that is doomed to follow other start-up companies who have tried and inevitably failed.
For sure. Again, this would most certainly not be feasible in today's environment. That's a given. With the rapidity the industry changes though, it's not hard to believe in the possibility that things will work differently in the not too distant future. Bandwith capping seems like it will have to be eliminated, if not at least raised, that much seems certain. Everything is coming over the internet, your cap now will not be your cap in 5 years, that you can be sure of.

This is certainly in the realm of feasibility soon, and it's really not even that much of a stretch from what we have now.
Posted on Reply
#21
Exceededgoku
No lies my dad had this proposal of a very similar product back in 2005 and the consensus he received was that the internet was not capable of that kind of load and would not be for at least another 10 years so I'd be interested to see how far this goes!
Posted on Reply
#22
MilkyWay
phantom dl'd the game/software and then ran it but this is live real time streaming
i sometimes have trouble streaming youtube! FFS:shadedshu

there is nothing in that box its just like a network device with an output

they are getting desperate they want to get rid of piracy thats all i can see from it
Posted on Reply
#23
alexp999
Staff
MilkyWay said:
phantom dl'd the game/software and then ran it but this is live real time streaming
i sometimes have trouble streaming youtube! FFS:shadedshu

there is nothing in that box its just like a network device with an output

they are getting desperate they want to get rid of piracy thats all i can see from it
There will always be piracy

You'll prob be able to mod the box or something.

Much like all channels are sent via cable and satelitte and your subscription just determines which ones will be decrypted.
Posted on Reply
#24
MilkyWay
DrPepper said:
I think this thing would be better as an add on card within a pc. That way we get to keep our rigs and get the benefit of this thing.
thats would be pointless they would only need to release the software because all it is an network device with an output to a tv, everything a pc already has!

i prefer distribution systems like steam to this idea
Posted on Reply
#25
OnBoard
Silverel said:
Maybe it monitors your ping rate, and adjusts the gameplay to compensate for it, ever think of that?

Say for instance, your ping is around 55ms (typical for me), and the signal compress/decompress takes 30ms (no farkin clue), the delay from input to output could be adjusted 85ms, and you'd be just fine. Provided both the itty bitty box, and the server itself monitor ping rates, it should be able to adjust on the fly and give near-perfect results. Considering the amount of load that would put on a processor (minimal, very minimal), it could be done.
Well they claim this:
What about lag, you say? OnLive's technology "incubator" Rearden Studios claims that its servers will deliver video feeds that have a ping of less than one millisecond. Its patented video compression technique is also advertised as blazing fast, with video compression taking about one millisecond to process.

and this:
Expected to be deployed by launch will be five server centers hosting the latest and greatest games—OnLive isn't aiming to be GameTap, with no immediate plans to host archival PC games. Server clusters will be located in Santa Clara, Texas, Virginia and elsewhere, hoping to offer OnLive subscribers within 1,000 miles a seemingly lag-free experience.

If in some miracle it would work it would still be USA only and only for those around the server farms. One of these OnLive miracle farms could theoretically serve whole Scandinavia if they'd stick it to like Umeå - Sweden.

Highly skeptical about this, like you all. Firstly all the servers would need to be located in McMurdo - Antarctica, to keep the thousands of servers cool running Crysis 24/7 for thousands of people. Down side would be that only people in the 1000miles range would be the scientist, but at least they'd keep warm :)
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