OnLive Boss Gives Live (And Long) OnLive Presentation

OnLive, an ambitious service which plans to allow gamers to stream games over the internet to their TV - removing the need for a console - has its doubters. Steve Perlman, boss of OnLive, is not one of them.

Here he is giving a 48-minute presentation on the service, covering almost every single aspect of how the thing works. Still doesn't prove it will work in market conditions, of course, but it's nice seeing him provide such detail on the project and its technology.

Steve Perlman -"The Process of Invention: OnLive Video Game Service" [Columbia University]


    Might work for the americans and their awsome internets.

    We puny australians, not so much. Crappy internet speeds and small bandwidth caps.

      Even Americans have trouble playing simple games over remote play on the PS3.

      I've been hearing a lot about this, and apparently OnLive is going to ultilize a type of particle called a tachyon, which supposedly moves faster than light, to transmit data almost instantaneously. To ensure reliable connection they're going to set up server bases in the US, and you have to be within a certain distance to ensure connection.

      It sounds pretty spurious to me, but I remember when Steam came out, the naysayers said "digital distribution will never work", and look where Steam is now. So you never know. Though, I think Australia is at least 3-5 years behind the US in terms of internet coverage, so we won't be seeing this for at least seven years by my reasoning.

      Take a look guys, the Tachyon article's got a lot of physics stuff, but they're both interesting.

        Has this Tachyon business been reported by a reputable source?, where did you hear about it?

        If OnLive are seriously banking on using Tachyon to power their system then this just got a whole lot funnier, Tachyon is a hypothetical theory of Quantum physics. Even if this was proven, it would still be another 50 years before Science lets us use Tachyon in any meaningful way, OnLive want this developed and in people’s homes in a few years?. It’s like that Ford car they made in the 60’s (Ford Seattle-ite) that they hoped would run on nuclear cells. It’s just absurd.

        But yeah, I think Tachyon and OnLive is just something some guy made up on some forum as a joke.

        Lets face it, sometimes the technology to do this stuff isn’t right around the corner, it’s actually in a galaxy far far away.

          I agree - if science had managed to first discover and then harness tachyons, we would have heard about it. A lot. It would disprove certain elements of special relativity, for a start, and open the door to faster-than-light interstellar communication, possibly even travel.

          It would not be used exclusively by a game company to decrease ping times. You, sir, have been trolled.

          (They're not even realistically thinking they'll see tachyons with the LHC, since they never move slower than the speed of light.)

            You're probably right - I've definitely been trolled. Though I figured you guys would want to hear about it, and at least it got the discussion rolling. But it's certainly interesting to see what kind of future technology and gaming is going to hold with advancements like these popping up in the next few years.

            Yeah, I think OnLive definitely needs a lot of the data centers to work, and how they're going to get good latency with gamers all over the US (and Europe, when it launches), but I think it is unreasonable for places like here down under where the majority of us have less than stellar internet.

            But, I'm all for revolutionary gaming, I just don't think we have the technology at present to make this work and accessible for everyone at the moment.

          Yup, as much as OnLive would no doubt love to be at the helm of the first usage of Tachyons, I sincerely doubt their capability to do so. Perhaps in 50 years, but not now (unless they own a DeLorean and a bunch of plutonium).

          As for the rest of the merits of OnLive, I can see it working, and I can absolutely see stuff like puzzle games, turn based RPGs etc, but if people will rage quit and post on 4chan over temporary lag in the 360, imagine the outcry over OnLive if they can't get it working perfectly.

          The thing I don't like the most about it is that more and more of our data is being sent to the cloud. Emails, photos, backups and now games. The convenience is great, but when the cloud fails, all my data is gone. Xbox Live has had several outages and they don't have to deal with anywhere near the data OnLive would have to process.

          If it works, fantastic, but there's a lot that could go wrong with this kind of setup. Great to see someone trying to innovate however, and the potential to be playing Crysis on a netbook is rather amusing.

    What would you call this, digital distribution?, anyway I have no doubt that this will be very popular, but this technology is a long way from being good enough to be a serious product. The one thing OnLive needs to function well is a gigantic amount of servers in a building somewhere running these games lag free 24/7/365. That’s a huge cost to cover, how will this company cover it?, if these games cost just as much as the physical media then I don’t see why anyone would want this over the actual disk.

    The internet certainly isn’t at a level where this would be good enough. People need to remember that a button click has to go from your controller across the world to some server to process then move back to your screen, can these guys really do this at 60 FPS in HD?, Any lag and the whole process is screwed. I honestly can’t see thing being a reality for at least another 10 years.

    Its an appealing idea that you just plug in a tiny box into your TV and have someone over the other side of the world do the rest, but right now this is a pipe dream.

    Why don't we just focus on seamless online gameplay for our already existing consoles if the technology supposedly exists?

      Totally agree, I've never played an online multiplayer game that didn't have lag. How about we do our best to minimise that before we start upping the bandwidth needs for technologies.

    It's certainly and interesting piece of technology with many implications for what we can expect in the future, but I feel there's something to be said for owning your own copies of the games rather than renting.

      Yeah, I too prefer getting a disc for my console, and having a physical copy. In a few years if OnLive manages to pick up, I think most of us will have to bite the bullet and go with it, as consoles will become obsolete if the tachyon stuff becomes a reality. Devs will only want to make games tailored to OnLive, and they'll have a grasp on the market that services like Steam have today.

    Love to watch the full thing, but Kotaku auto refreshed after 10 mins, and neither this player nor the sources website player allows me to jump ahead to where I was before.

      nvm, found the video on Youtube, it's split across 5 parts.

      Enter some text into the comments field and the auto-refresh will turn off.

        Thanks for the tip David! I'll note that for future Kotaku browsing.

        Now this is a great pro-tip! I've been wondering how to do that for months now, I just never got around to asking...

      I've been stung by the auto refresh on the page too. It forced me to go search through Firefox settings to disable Javascript reloading pages without my permission.
      Handy thing to do anyway even purely from a safety perspective.

      They'd really need local servers everywhere for this to work but even then it'd be hard to get less than 50ms meaning for a 60fps game you're still getting a minimum 3fps lag (you'd be looking at double that more than likely) which makes doing anything requiring precision really difficult.
      Having worked on an online game I can tell you unless they can find some way to bend the laws of physics this service will never be good for action games.

      I'd happily use it for Peggle though.

    It's good to hear about how OnLive will actually work. I wonder if this will transmit well to the broadband connections of our day.

      I don't think it would transmit well at all; most of us have capped internet, and when that runs out OnLive would be slow as hell.

      Yeah, that Tachyon stuff is probably hearsay, but I figured I may as well take the risk of looking like an idiot and posting it anyway. Though I'm looking forward in a few decades when they've actually managed to use tachyons, then I think services like OnLive will become the main provider of gaming. I just can't see it working at the moment.

    Why are adults bloody talking about tachyons? My God. MY GOD. Its literally just a theory about a particle that can travel faster than light. Ie, impossible. If we could use tachyons, we would not be playing videogames, we'd be exploding stars in distant galaxies.

    We could also try and cure cancer first?

    Lol aren't Tachyons the theoretical sub-atomic particles encountered within string theory... this is ridiculous.

      I always thought a tachyon was a particle which carried the property of time, rather than having anything to do with speed.

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