OnLive Founder Defends Game Changing Service: It 'Will Work'

Steve Perlman, one of the founders of the OnLive streaming video game service unveiled at last week's GDC, has defended the innovations powering the PC gaming service, dismissing articles calling the technology "unworkable" as "ignorant."

While Perlman used that term specifically in regard to a Eurogamer editorial—"Why OnLive Can't Possibly Work"—the outlet isn't the only one questioning whether OnLive can deliver high-definition, perceptually real-time video game experiences without a console or PC. He tells the BBC that critics have not yet used the system, nor do they understand the technology behind it.

"We have nine of the largest game publishers in world signed up," Perlman said. "They have spent several years in some cases actually going and reviewing our technology before allowing us to associate with their company names and allowing us to have access to their first-tier franchises."

If publisher faith doesn't convince you, then Perlman has numbers, saying that "tens of thousand" of man hours went into developing the algorithms that make the streaming possible.

Just don't expect it to be a perfect substitute for playing on a local machine, Perlman concedes.

"The round trip latency from pushing a button on a controller and it going up to the server and back down, and you seeing something change on screen should be less than 80 milliseconds," he says. "We usually see something between 35 and 40 milliseconds."

That should only improve over time... right?

OnLive games service 'will work' [BBC]
GDC: Why OnLive Can't Possibly Work [Eurogamer]


Comments

    "The round trip latency from pushing a button on a controller and it going up to the server and back down, and you seeing something change on screen should be less than 80 milliseconds"

    Unless you happen to be living in a country where there arent any local servers. Or if you've blown through your data cap in a week by constantly streaming 720p 60fps video and picture and are now capped to 64k/s.

    There are way to many variables to ensure everybody can enjoy this service. How many people do they think would be willing to jump back to 480p SD graphics from the 720p output of their consoles just because they dont have a 5 meg internet connection? What about if they have server farm problem ala an xbox live crash, now you have millions of users unable to play their game library's?

    @Korwin

    There are similarly related issues in current PC gaming. Is your GPU good enough, have you got a fast enough CPU, enough RAM. Essentially, assuming the target demographic are those that are unable to upgrade their machine, they are swapping one set of restrictions/concerns with another.

    I think this technology is a great step forward in making high end gaming more affordable and accessable. Hopefully the technology will continue to improve.

    In theory it's not a bad idea, I just don't see it taking off. Not everyone in the world has a 24 megabit connection.

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