Another Reason For Us To Want OnLive

Another Reason For Us To Want OnLive
Another Reason For Us To Want OnLive

We know it’s not available in Australia and, to our frustration, there’s still no word on whether it will hit our shores any time soon. But OnLive is continuing to make waves overseas with its technological advancements, and with the recent announcement that it is now capable of streaming next-gen visuals through the cloud, it’s definitely something we want to keep an eye on.

According to OnLive’s CEO, Steve Perlman, next-gen gaming visuals are already possible on the cloud gaming platform. He showed off a tech demo that he said offers a preview of what will soon become “the standard sort of video game that you’re going to see on OnLive.”

“It’s far and beyond [current console hardware] ,” he said.

“It’s not just higher performance in terms of graphics capability, but we have higher performance in terms of, for example, the disc drives, the networks and so forth that interconnect them.”

To view the demos and footage, head over to CVS.



      • Yeah, a $10,000 2005 PC maybe. The architecural structure of the PS3 is still pretty advanced. It was way ahead of its time and still kind of is. The future is more cores per processor, not a higher clock speed per processor – with more cores comes more processing power. Which makes programming for multi-core achitectures even more interesting in terms of sucking out maximum performance.

        I think this is the future of gaming. I’ve been talking about this for a while now. I’m all for a service that has dumb terminal in the lounge room and an elastic virtual machine in the could. I could see this scaling up and down depending on the hardware requirements of the game. Premium services could offer higher spec virtual machines for a fraction of their actual cost – a machine that an end user could never afford (i.e. in the vacinity of $10,000+).

        You’d still own the games, they would just be digital copies. In theory, you could even buy games in store and have them “install” onto your virtual machine across the network. The hardware manufacturers would not really need to role out a new generation of hardware and if they did (more USB ports, upgraded network cards etc), they could do it at a fraction of the cost.

        The NBN would make this possible. We could even do it now, if you can stream HD movies, you can stream HD graphics. If you have a 14400 modem, then forget about it.

        • Not really, the Xbox GPU is a tweaked Radeon X1800 and the PS3 uses a modified 7800GTX. The CPU’s at the time were pretty neat (who doesn’t love a little RISC native PowerPC architecture here and there) but there was nothing inside either machine that would match your “$10000 PC”. He’ll I don’t even know how A person would spend $10000 on a PC in 2005.

          Actually Cell these days has quite a lot in common with the current generation (and the not to far off) ARM9 based CPU’s going into tablets and smart phones. They also make use of certain singular tasked co-processors instead of feeding everything though the general purpose cores.

        • hah more cores per processor, that’s hardly what the future of gaming needs. Bigger Caches? Hell yea. More VRAM? Damn Straight. We need to move to at least a 64bit environment (PS3 is 128), and be using more RAM, we don’t need more processing units, we need to make sure we can grab as much data as possible every tick.

    • You tell us, he must have gotten it from you.

      Seriously, while there are three consoles in this current generation all have undergone hardware revisions (you can count the 360 in double digits).

      And while PC hardware advances more quickly, it does not mean it is better because games are mostly about the design of there elements. NOT the transistors needed to run them.

  • When we’re talking about “next gen” here, are we thinking of the past definition of “next gen” which basically means this current generation of technology or are we talking about a future generation of technology that hasn’t really been demonstrated yet and provides no real point of reference?

    • Yup, theres also a very real risk that if services like this take off the new form of DRM would be to only give the game to onlive, thus preventing users from ever getting their hands on the game and cracking it for piracy.

      now while im all for a reduction in piracy the lack of release of game files presents a very real problem 5 years down the track when people can simply not play the game ever again because onlive no longer host’s the game. And their is no non cloud copies available

  • I don’t see how this will be remotely possible in Australia with our antiquated infrastructure and generally slow and usage-capped internet plans. Maybe in a few years when (if?) the NBN gets rolled out properly.

  • So, in exchange for not owning even a license to the game, but a rental of said license, we get… slightly improved hardware performance? Oh, and we need to pay a jillion dollars a month in bandwidth because this is Australia? No thanks.

  • My ADSL2 connection runs from an exchange 2.9km away from my house, on a line that might be at least 40 years old and (from what I’ve been told by my ISP) has 4 connection(?) points that each degrade the signal as it passes. Add to that my suburb might have the most cluttered telephone poles in Melbourne (I’m also a 10 minute drive from the city CBD.)

    Because of all this I get a speed of around 4.7Mbps – 5.6Mbps.

    Why would OnLive even bother rolling out in Australia, when a large amount of the inner-city suburbs are running on archaic phone lines?

  • Sorry there is no way to speed up latency from Australia to the other parts of the world.

    Ok for arguments sake forget about server hops for a moment…The simple physics of an electrical signal travelling via ocean cables at near the speed of light creates a minimum threshold for latency of over 150ms.

    That is a lifetime in gaming or online game streaming.

    In reality including say a minimum of 7-14 server hops from Australia to USA then you have a more realistic latency figure of between 150-300ms.

    Unless a local OnLive datacentre and actual delivery servers are in Australia then forget about OnLive being any good…period.

    • Further OnLive would not setup servers in each state due to –

      1. The sheer size of Australia which creates latency from say WA gamer to Sydney based OnLive servers.

      2. Our population and uptake rates would never warranty the server costs/maintenance for OnLive to ever deliver state based services like they would for the rest of 1st world countries.

  • Be nice to see if it was actually rendering that. instead of rendering a video of it.

    Unless their is a real time render which that shows no sign of, it’s rather useless.

    That combined with the fact that their is no benefit to the cost’s associated with that kind of work even if rendered in real time as opposed to what we currently have.

    You’d be talking about taking all that Capture work from something like LA Noire and massively overhauling it. Sure it looks nice, but i doubt the doubling of the budget to get it to work is worth the potential sales generation

  • I actually like the potential that a service like OnLive has. I mean, yes it’s impractical until they put a server here, and (at least until we get the NBN) only the more lag-tolerant games will be very playable, and of course pricing & quota will always be issues, but once these reach acceptable levels there are advantages too.

    The cheap, thin-client, no-need-to-upgrade hardware, easy/instant access and online rental model is not just good for games. It makes even more sense if they start offering rental of high-powered, high-cost software too.

    Imagine a 24-core, dual-GPU workstation with 32GB of RAM, running Photoshop or Maya or any high-end professional software, at your fingertips whenever you needed it for (say) $10/hour. Not everyone’s needs justify spending $5K on a high-end box and another $5K on software, and it’s not practical for all uses either, but many could use it occasionally.

    Now imagine having on-demand access to this high-powered hardware & software through your tablet, wherever you happen to be (via LTE perhaps, and using bluetooth mouse/keyboard). And games, too.

  • Wow, something worse than UBISoft DRM.
    That IS impressive!

    (Hey, who wants to actually ‘own’ things they pay for… such an archaic concept…)

    • And how is that different? With games for all platforms, we don’t own them either. Even the hardware, that too is lisenced to the consumer.

      Seriously, read the EULAs – contrary to popular belief they are form of contract recognised by law. The *ONLY* way they cannot be enforced is if they are inside the box and one has to break open a seal.

  • Gaikai Boss said in a interview that they are looking into teaming up with a developer to develop a game that has no limits. Since cloud is done of server farms with 100s of thousands of processors and 1000s of TB of Ram this allows a developer to go all out.

    A game that i would create with this in mind would be 2 games, both huge online mutliplayer games, one would be set in ancient battles where thousands of players can team up to fight 1000s of other players. I want you to picture that, 1000-10,000 players standing to your side with an equal amount on the other end.

    The next one would be one set in modern times with battles that last days with huge continuous battles with huge armies a maps where during a game a convoy of humvees and tanks can be mustered up to attack a town while the enemy drop 100s down with helicopters.

    With cloud the sky is the limit.

  • I’m not really seeing this working. Theoretically, you need a machine just as powerful on the other end to stream the content to you, thus asking the question, why not just buy the machine yourself?

    To be able to justify it, it seems like it would be stupidly expensive.

    No offense, but I actually like to own the games and the system I play them on, instead of just rent them.

    • Steven, PCs are expensive and also require significant know how to get right.

      Most users do not have that knowledge.

      I admit, I had it wrong for quite some time and I have since revised my figure down to $1500 (it turns out I’m being nuts thinking a gaming right requires a RAID and an i7) there is still the cost of of later upgrades (if one is luck the hardware should last more than six months) and there is still the hassle of getting drivers to work and getting hardware to behave itself and find what component is at fault, and … actually I am going to stop there as I have proven the last point.

      This where cloud computing comes in. You do not have to pay for and build the system yourself. It becomes someone else’s problem. As long as you pay the rental fee, all you do is just play the game. The provider maintains the server, the provider maintains the software, etc.

      This is what gaming should be – hassle free. No driver issues, no disappointments when even following the recommended details on the box turn out be a joke, and (above all) no intrusive DRM.

      Sure there is the issue with needing a constant Internet connection and sure this is a concern if OnLive goes bust – but that is the same for most online services so I fail to see the problem.

      Also, Steven, you do not own the games you play – you have only purchased a license to use a instance of a piece of copyright protected software. Read the EULA when you install your next game – it clearly states you do not own it.

      Or am I going to be deemed an oddball for actually reading those agreements for every game I install.

      I am dead serious, I actually do – especially the privacy clauses.

      • I’ve never adhered to the EULA, I will not accept such a contract. I own the copies of my games and can do what I want with them. I may not have the right to redistribute information I have copied for them, nor own the intellectual property, but I can do whatever I want with them. They’ll take them only from my cold dead hands. I want to see them try and prove that I’m playing a pirate copy of a game I have legitimately in a box, simply due to my lack of acceptance of licence.

        • Actually, you did accept. Installers will bot progress unless you accept.

          And again, you do not own the copy. You have purchased a license to use it. Thus, you are not entitled to do as you please.

          • It does not matter what they include in their EULA, they are not enforceable in Australia and have a spotty record of being recognised anywhere else in Australia.

            I suggest you read up on the new unfair contract law provisions contained in the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 before you come here lecturing people about their rights.

          • Sounds like a good read – thanks for pointing that out.
            But in response to your comment, there have been both success and failures in enforcing EULAs. To say that their track record is spotty at best is inaccurate.

            It depends on the terms and how the EULA is written.

            In the end though, the EULA is indeed a contract from a provider (game developer, etc), which one must agree to before the license is granted thus allowing the user to have rights to the game.

            So to say they are not enforcible is not completely true. I’m even sure it is the case here in Australia but I will read the Act to make sure my facts are still true.

          • Agree that an EULA may not be enforceable and depends on the terms and how they are written. The EULA is drafted by a provider and you must often indicate you agree to the terms before you are granted a license. However, I agree that the enforceability of the terms is a separate issue and the new unfair contract law provisions contained in the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 may prevent a term/s being enforced. The legal enforceability of EULAs came up for decision a lot in the US but wasn’t adjudicated by Australian courts until relatively recently. There are different types of EULAs, and sometimes people refer to them interchangeably (clickwrap, browsewrap and shrinkwrap). There is a lack of true, volititional consent although the rights holder who is trying to enforce an EULA would argue that it is the same as a paper contract. There are different types of clauses in EULAs also so it will depend on what kind of clause/term you are talking about. eg an EULA generally has to comply with all of the other rules relating to contract formation. Terms can’t be too vague, contravene rights embodied in common law etc. I don’t think there is any specific authority on the enforceability of EULAs yet in Australian law however the validity of a contract term would depend on whether it is can establish that it is illegal, whether at statute law or at common law.(This is not intended to constitute legal advice, or create a relationship of Attorney-Client)

          • Actually I didn’t sign or accept anything. I merely clicked a particular part of the screen that is programmed to continue the installation when I click on it.

          • You agree by performing an “act”. In real life, it is signing with your signature.

            In computers, it is the selection “Install” or next. Sorry but that is your concent right there.

            Sorry, Snacuum, but bend it however you wish you agreed to the EULA when you installed the game.

          • It’s good to know that this is how you view the world. By your definition, if I point my finger at you and say ‘bang’ then I agree with violence and war.

          • He is actually wrong. A contract is only as good as it is capable of being enforced. Developers can jump up and down all they want about how they think they are creating a contract with the end user, but the fact of the matter is they are never going to try and enforce it, and really is just an insidious means to rationalise their view that they are providing a service rather than selling a product subject to constraints of IP laws.

            Contracts are a two way street, developers simply inserting what purports to be a contract riddled with legal speak not capable of being understood by anyone but a lawyer into a piece of software that is impossible to return once opened will not be capable of enforcement against a laymen user.

          • Actually, I am still right. An EULA is in fact an form of enforcable contract provided one is able to see it before the the product is unsealed. As most are avaliable online one is able to read before purchase.

            And I have checked the Act you recommended. Next time you go recommending literature, read it. There is no mention of an EULA in there and there is nothing in the act forbidding it as an unfair contract.

            Either way, I am finished with debate. Bend reality however you want but it is not going to change the fact that a Digital Contract, which is what an EULA is, is just as reconised as a analogue (paper) contract.

  • Hey everyone, who likes multiplayer lag?
    Alright, now who likes the idea of multiplayer lag WHILE PLAYING SINGLEPLAYER?

    I’m kidding of course
    there won’t be any singleplayer games in the future

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