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Cloud Computing Games via Onlive: Fact or Fiction?

Discussion in 'Games' started by EastCoasthandle, Jan 1, 2010.

  1. EastCoasthandle

    EastCoasthandle New Member

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    [​IMG]


    There is a lot of controversy around some forums regarding the use of on demand gaming from Onlive. In particular:
    • Some are skeptical about the service actually working as intended.
    • Some think this is for single player games only.
    • Others are not sure if it will be all console type games or PC games
    • Etc
    However, others are waiting to see if this service is legit and how much it's actually going to cost consumers. Price structure isn't really clear yet however, there appears to be a Xbox live type of payment system. Were you pay a base price and certain games are another price. The whole premise of Onlive using cloud computing is to allow the convenience of on demand gaming. In particular for those who may not have the hardware necessary to play it. This service (if it does indeed work) removes the need to download or mail order games for what I term for the casual user.

    I don't believe that this service is targeting hardcore gamers in particular who've spent the time, obtained the resources and pay premiums on particular services (ISP, etc) to download and play games at their desired resolution with most (if not all IQ options enabled). But for those who fall just below that category of gamer. From my research on this so far it does come off as impressive if it actually works. However, that IMO still remains to be seen once you have 100's (if not 1000's) of users using the service.

    There is a lengthy video demoing their service, you can watch it here. Here are a few points taken from the video:
    • You have to be within 1000 miles of the Onlive Data Center. At 1000 miles there is roughly 80ms lag. The lag should get better the closer you are to their data center
    • They use their own compression hardware which was termed "compressor board". Originally, they developed their algorithm on dual quad core xeons ($5k 8 core machines using 350 watts). Which ran their compressed algorithm just below 60 FPS. Now they've reduce the cost to a $10 chip @ 2 watts using 2 of them per "compressor board".
    • Only one SKU is used for the game played. It wasn't clear to me if this will be PC or console based games.
    • SDTV you need 1.5Mbps. HDTV needs 5Mbps
    • They can lease servers and/or update servers to have the hardware needed to support the games. Also you can participate in betas.
    • You can try before you buy via demo. Or you can rent or buy.
    • The video shows a demonstration of Crysis Wars.
    • While playing people can spectate. Or you can spectate others while they play.

    Ultimately, the question remains if this is legit or not? If it is legit and it works as demonstrated what will it cost for people to use it? These questions are not as clear as it could be however, the concept of such a thing has the potential to attract a lot of people be it PC gamer or console.
     
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  2. Phxprovost

    Phxprovost Xtreme Refugee

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    Huh didn't know they were using custom hardware, though I'm afraid I'm going to have to stay behind the "ill believe it when I see it" stance
     
  3. zithe

    zithe

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    I'll see it when I believe it. :laugh:
     
  4. CDdude55

    CDdude55 Crazy 4 TPU!!!

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    Onlive is slowly picking up momentum, it really is a great idea and they just got more funding for it...but it comes with a lot of issues that i don't know if they will be able to iron out.

    If Onlive takes off, it would cripple a lot of companies and i don't think those companies will take that, gaming is a huge segment of their company, which rakes in tons of money all the time . Intel, Nvidia, AMD/ATI, Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft would take enormous hits if Onlive takes off. Onlive gets rid of the need for expensive hardware while replacing consoles at the same time.Guarantee those companies mentioned above will try anything in there power to stop Onlive in it's tracks.

    And as you said, ping is still an issue. Hell, im still in running at kb/s, what about those people?, they need to wait for the speed standards are set higher.

    It'll be both, but it all depends on the developers that jump onboard, so far they have a pretty good amount on board with them. With a good mix of notorious PC devs and console devs, from Activision to Crytek have jumped on.

    I like the idea of games being played on a separate server, but i love PC hardware to much to much to have that happen.

    But it has been shown off at a conference back in '09. Heres a demo of it:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5oIr4o_MIk
     
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  5. Castiel

    Castiel

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    For the ones that new about this, did anyone get any information on the Beta? I signed up 3 times and they were suppose to do it this summer but it seemed it didn't happen. The whole system looks nice, but I would hate to be the network engineer for the company.
     
  6. EastCoasthandle

    EastCoasthandle New Member

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    If this actually works the 1st company it would affect 1st and foremost is Steam IMO.
     
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  7. zithe

    zithe

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    Not if valve doesn't go onboard. Valve owns steam lol
     
  8. erocker

    erocker Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    I signed up for the beta. :)
     
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  9. EastCoasthandle

    EastCoasthandle New Member

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    Steam would pretty much be part of Onlive in that case. It's not impossible but I don't want to get ahead of myself here. Onlive has to prove that it does work with a high capacity of users playing games.
     
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  10. CDdude55

    CDdude55 Crazy 4 TPU!!!

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    I signed up for it when it was first announced. Still got nothing.:shadedshu
     
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  11. crazyeyesreaper

    crazyeyesreaper Chief Broken Rig

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    same here i applied months and months ago still nothing
     
  12. EastCoasthandle

    EastCoasthandle New Member

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    This appears to be a reoccurring theme with them. I too applied way back when they announced this and never heard so much as a peep from them. This isn't the only forum where people have posted that they never heard back from them. Also, no one has ever posted they were in the beta.
     
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  13. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    short version: way too much controller input lag, no one will use it.

    The only way this would work is if you had a really low ping connection to the servers - like the onlive server was hosted on your ISPs network, or locally in a LAN style event.


    There is a really big flaw with that 1000 mile crap as well.

    Heres an example:

    I'm about 200KM away from my ISP's data center. i get 35ms ping just to them. What that means is that the distance from my ISP to this onlive is what would matter - and theres 35ms as a MINIMUM starting point.

    And i dunno about you guys, but i can sure feel the lag in MP games at say... 150ms. how do you think its going to feel with 50-100ms PER BUTTON PRESS
     
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  14. A Cheese Danish

    A Cheese Danish

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    It is a well thought out concept and I remember reading about it. But as far as the likely hood of not having some
    bad lag at times, I'm not sure. I think Mussels hit it on the head.
     
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  15. Sensi Karate

    Sensi Karate New Member

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    I do like the concept but I don't think it'll work, nor do I want it to. :p Mussels has said everything I would've said plus more, its just wont work.

    I hate to think of my technology being obsolete in gaming with everyone essentially on an even playing ground. The reason we build computers is to be above the standard par and to be able to do things faster and more productive then rest of the bunch. If this technology were to take off, every gamer around the world, casual or hardcore could essentially plug this bad boy in and play at a (so called) good ping and FPS. Computer hardware would slow down ENORMOUSLY because of this and most likely one or more of the major computer hardware companies would go broke leaving no competition for the other company to compete with and giving us a static computer, never changing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2010
  16. kid41212003

    kid41212003

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    From West to East coast (2400 miles)
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    They mentioned about using multi-ISPs for their servers, and find the shortest route to you then switch to that one (depend on your location).

    Ping <100ms for FPS game, and :love:00ms for most other types are acceptable.

    This can be done in US, maybe just not at this moment.

    My questions are:

    How many clients per host?
    Did they compress the video before sending it out?

    The video is way too long, and I prefer reading...
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2010
  17. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    kid:

    you say 100ms for FPS, 300ms for others.

    thats client->server.

    we're talking INPUT delay. 100ms before your mouse click registers, which then has to go from onlive to the game host, back to onlive, then back to you.

    you're literally running the game via a proxy, another step to increase the ping - only this time, not just the game but the "PC" is remote as well.
     
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  18. Fourstaff

    Fourstaff Moderator Staff Member

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    I am on the "Ping will limit its effectiveness" camp too. Sure, countries like japan, South Korea where by law you get 10mbps will be able to run this successfully, but for most it will just be a passable gaming experience. Which hardcore gamers will suffer through 100+ ping? Might as well get the copy and run opn our own computers. Casual gamers will just buy wii and be happy.
     
  19. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    bandwidth and ping are unrelated. you can have 50Mb FIOS, and still have 200ms ping due to distance.

    Onlive:
    Your PC -> ISP -> Onlive server -> game server -> onlive again -> ISP -> you


    bascially the way this is going to work is:

    Your ping to onlive determines how much input/controller lag you have.

    The ping between Onlive and the game server, depends how laggy the game is. So if they host the game at their datacenter - sure, that wipes out 'ping' lag as far as their marketing will care (look, 2ms ping to server!) - but 80ms from you to onlive, thus laggy unusable controls.



    I know in many RTS games i play, once you pass 200ms ping its unplayable (those who say otherwise, are on crack) because you click and tell a unit to go somewhere - and the game enver registers the click, or it happens half a second later when the mouse is somewhere else, or the screens scrolled or whatnot.

    Imagine that you've lined up a headshot, you fire, and the guys already off screen - thats what a 100ms delay between button presses/mouse movement and onscreen reaction is going to be like.


    More or less, in any competitive style gameplay - those using onlive will always be at the bottom of the pile due to the disadvantages of lag. and once it gets out that "onlive = always losing" it'll die horribly for competitive online play leaving just SP games behind.
     
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  20. Fourstaff

    Fourstaff Moderator Staff Member

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    I understand what you said mussels, but you missed my point that those countries provide the best internet, ping and bandwith wise. Also, you need substantial bandwith to stream the video in.
     
  21. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    its more about the smaller countries having the most advantage, than anything else.
     
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  22. Fourstaff

    Fourstaff Moderator Staff Member

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    Its much easier to wire up a small country than a big one, but a small country might not have enough customers for onlive to be successful. I think the keyword here is density. If the customer density is high enough, it is feasible to run it, but if not, then too bad.
     
  23. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    no i mean laws of physics.

    ping is directly related to distance. smaller countries have less distance, therefore less average ping - making it more feasible
     
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  24. Fourstaff

    Fourstaff Moderator Staff Member

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    Not necessarily that case, the server and ISP in a huge country can be next to your home, giving you an amazing ping, but you are right that in small country the average distance between the ISP and home is much shorter therefore better ping.
     
  25. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    yes, you could live somewhere with an ISP right nearby. but would onlive be right near your ISP?

    again, smaller country, better odds.

    and dont think of this in a USA standpoint, i'm thinking aussie standpoint. it has zero chance of working here.
     
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