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
farlex85
Yeah I mean change is a good thing, it should be embraced. More options about how to game can't be a bad thing, and this definitely shows some exciting potential. Perhaps it will drive down market prices of gpu's as well to keep competition alive.
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#2
Castiel
Signed up for the BETA today. This is really awesome. Will be buying this when it comes out.
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#3
PVTCaboose1337
Graphical Hacker
Cool idea, but will not kill PC gaming by a longshot!
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#4
Easy Rhino
Linux Advocate
i really like this idea, but like every enthusiast here, i will never give up my hardware!
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#5
Mussels
Moderprator
my housemate was ranting about this yesterday.

The way this works, is that its got a little ID box and nothing more locally. The 3D rendering is done remotely, online. You move your mouse left, the signal goes up to these guys, they render it moved left, it comes back down.

While this may not worry some people, the average ping for people in Au is 60ms at best - so even throwing out the high bandwidth usage (and low download limits), controller lag is going to be nasty.
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#6
Easy Rhino
Linux Advocate
Mussels said:
my housemate was ranting about this yesterday.

The way this works, is that its got a little ID box and nothing more locally. The 3D rendering is done remotely, online. You move your mouse left, the signal goes up to these guys, they render it moved left, it comes back down.

While this may not worry some people, the average ping for people in Au is 60ms at best - so even throwing out the high bandwidth usage (and low download limits), controller lag is going to be nasty.
yea i imagine it being a lot like the psp remote play feature with the ps3. even on a LAN there is still controller lag.
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#7
Mussels
Moderprator
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:
i spent 2 years doing networking, and my housemates done 4 years. Trust me, they cant fix this stuff.

Speed can go up, download limits can go up - but they cant fix ping. ping is related to the distance, and they cant do squat about that!

The only way this system will work is if you have a low ping ISP (local datacenter) and these guys datacenter just as close. Otherwise the mouse lag will be nuts.
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#8
Conti027
kool idea but seems flawed in so many ways but if it was true id buy it
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#9
Mussels
Moderprator
pentastar111 said:
Souds lik a great idea. On paper. But the experience would then depend on the reliabilty of their network and their machines and your connection. Those variables, in my opinion anyway, can add up to an experience that has the potential of destroying all fun in a 500 mile radius. If I want to play a single player game I have to download it? And if their system is down I don't play? No thanks!
you're not reading it at all.

You dont download shit. This is all STREAMED.
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#10
CDdude55
Crazy 4 TPU!!!
Didn't see on the front, but it comes out Winter '09 and there will be a BETA in Summer '09 that you can sign up for on the site(onlive.com).
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#11
farlex85
Mussels said:
i spent 2 years doing networking, and my housemates done 4 years. Trust me, they cant fix this stuff.

Speed can go up, download limits can go up - but they cant fix ping. ping is related to the distance, and they cant do squat about that!

The only way this system will work is if you have a low ping ISP (local datacenter) and these guys datacenter just as close. Otherwise the mouse lag will be nuts.
Ping can be a side effect of distance, but more efficient and faster transfer tech would help reduce packet loss and transfer speeds, thus reducing ping.
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#12
PCpraiser100
I wonder if this can take programs like F@H, cause that will be when I will buy it JUST FOR FOLDING.
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#13
MuhammedAbdo
Well , here is a first hand experience :

http://www.shacknews.com/featuredarticle.x?id=1090

The author played through some chapters in BioShock , the menu was responsive , but the gameplay suffered from noticeable lags during fast mouse turns , and above all the picture quality was terrible ,well not that terrible , but not what he expected , he said that the signs of compression really marred the experience .

Besides , What's wrong with upgrading your PC every now and then ? a careful planner could only spend 800$ on an average PC that lasts for 3 Years (one with a decent C2D and an HD 4850 or 9800GTX+ for example , spending more will extend this period even further !
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#14
Mussels
Moderprator
MuhammedAbdo said:
Well , here is a first hand experience :

http://www.shacknews.com/featuredarticle.x?id=1090

The author played through some chapters in BioShock , the menu was responsive , but the gameplay suffered from noticeable lags during fast mouse turns , and above all the picture quality was terrible ,well not that terrible , but not what he expected , he said that the signs of compression really marred the experience .

Besides , What's wrong with upgrading your PC every now and then ? a careful planner could only spend 800$ on an average PC that lasts for 3 Years (one with a decent C2D and an HD 4850 or 9800GTX+ for example , spending more will extend this period even further !
I thank you for signing up to share that, but you got beaten to the punch - that article was linked to a few posts up .
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#15
Basard
when something sounds too good to be true, then it usually is... how does this little box "magically" play crysis? and how will it play future games?

i could somewhat see this working, for turn based games.... BUT, for games like crysis they would basically need a computer to run the game AND send you the "results" of your imput..... maybe i should read more from the source link...
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#16
Mussels
Moderprator
Basard said:
when something sounds too good to be true, then it usually is... how does this little box "magically" play crysis? and how will it play future games?

i could somewhat see this working, for turn based games.... BUT, for games like crysis they would basically need a computer to run the game AND send you the "results" of your imput..... maybe i should read more from the source link...
the games are rendered on a server, and then streamed to you.

Its like playing a game via remote desktop.
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#17
Millenia
Doesn't really sound all too appealing to me - I really enjoy being able to run my games at high resolutions with no lag and most of all, being able to customize them. If something like this would become the new standard, we'd miss out on many, many great mods.
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#18
Basard
Mussels said:
the games are rendered on a server, and then streamed to you.

Its like playing a game via remote desktop.
yeah.... exactly... it seems kind of ludicrous... maybe in like 10 years when computers take over the world... but not now.... i dont think technology is fast enough for it to be playable ( unless you're playing solitair)
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#19
Mussels
Moderprator
The only way this would work is if your own ISP had one of these servers in every datacenter. That would get the latency down to minimal levels.

I can see this being a great tech for LAN use - one server in the house running virtual machines, connected to four of these "mini" consoles for people to use, or for an internet cafe/LAN hall.

The tech sure has potential, its just got some serious flaws in implementation.
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#20
pr0n Inspector
compressed video/audio is compressed video/audio. the compession ratio have to be real shitty if they want to encode/decode it fast. this is just pure bs.
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#21
DonInKansas
MuhammedAbdo said:


Besides , What's wrong with upgrading your PC every now and then ? a careful planner could only spend 800$ on an average PC that lasts for 3 Years (one with a decent C2D and an HD 4850 or 9800GTX+ for example , spending more will extend this period even further !
800 bucks isn't something everyone has laying around. This is awesome for those who don't have the time or resources to keep up with the "latest and greatest." If it works, it'll befinitely have a niche to fill, and it's not really ours.
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#22
Kursah
I think it'll be the way consoles of the future goes, but not PC gaming...I think PC gaming is here to stay for quite a while, sure things might change, but the PC industry is very strong right now, and has a pretty strong outlook into the future.

There's something about building, overclocking, tuning and running a custom-built PC that consoles don't provide and won't, sure this idea is great for the plug-and-play which is nice at times and part of why I keep my consoles, there are just times I just want to game and not tweak with anything at all, but streaming over current interenet probably won't work out too well. I could see this becoming popular in the future though, but I think it'd take out or become the next Xbox/Playstation/Nindendo whatever instead before it hurt PC gaming seriously...just my opinion though.
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#23
Weer
I'd like to see how they can run my resolution of 4960x1600 without lag, through an internet connection, for that estimated price. I think I'll stick with my GTX 295, for as long as this is still what it is - a pipe dream.

And besides! I personally consider building the computer and setting the settings to be at the very least half the enjoyment factor of playing a high-end video game. Not to mention that with this console, all you can do is game. The world has never looked any better with my monitors, and the power to run them even while writing this post, using up about a tenth of the desktop space.

EDIT: Post 666 !
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#24
Wile E
Power User
newtekie1 said:
Me either, it kind of reminds me of Sega Channel. The concept was great, but in the end it died out.
I was just about to bring that up. Also remionded me of the hack to be able to play any Sega Channel game after it was gone by recording the loading screen with a vcr, then just playing it back thru the unit.

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:
Yes, because 5 years ago, my internet connection was actually FASTER than it is now. I was with @home, and they didn't cap you to a certain speed like today's ISPs. I pulled a consistent 10Mb back then during peak hours. Comcast, the current owner of the same network, now only offers up to 8Mb in my area, and that's much more expensive, and doesn't come close to happening during peak hours. The common connection has actually gone backwards in my area.
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#25
Nyte
AMD is working in close connection with OnLive. That's about all I can say.
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