GDC 2009: OnLive

OnLive

John Spinale, VP of Games and Media at OnLive, talks to us about OnLive.

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It's a good idea. I like what they're trying to do. It's just too bad that it isn't going to work.

This didn't work for WebTV (which this guy also created), isn't going to work for this. I don't like the idea of waiting for a server or running single player games at >500 ping.

See this could be a good idea, BUT what about the modding community?

What happens when I travel?
I can pack up my console now, or laptop, or even desktop and take it with me!
With Onlive, I've got to be sure there is going to be a good internet connection, otherwise: No games.
I like the idea of not having to get a powerhouse PC to enjoy newer games, but I can't see this as a great leap forward for gaming. It's more like a leap...sideways.
New method, new problems.

Yeah, no way thing is gonna work... To much bandwidth. And its impossible to have a decent ping in that manner.

It's a good idea but 45Gigs in 20 hours is pushing it, my ISP has a limit of 25Gigs/month for example...

If its all hosted on a massive server...what a massive kick in the teeth it would be when they crash...

Claiming its haxzor proof is just going to get it hacked faster...

I'll keep to my own consoles and such thanks.

I love how he claims its hacking and pirate proof, I give it 1 hour after the servers go live before the games are cracked and available on Pirate Bay.

As much as this is theoretically a good concept I just can't see it working in the real world where we have fair useage policies, limited bandwidth, contention ratios on phone lines and latency. Look at online games now, latency is the biggest single technical issue they grapple with, you expect that and even forgive them for it to a degree but you wouldn't tolerate that in normal single player games. This may work when you have your server and machines connected on a gigabit network but most people's broadband (at a guess) is probably in the 8 - 16 megabit range, which is far slower. Maybe when everyone is connected via optic fibre rather than the older copper line system and we have better services, until then I can't see it working properly.

And that's before we get to the problem of the servers the games are hosted on. Most servers are only built to crunch numbers and transmit/recieve data, there is no need for them to render graphics any more complex than their OS when the technician checks on them. This will put all of the graphics load onto them, not so bad when there's only a few connections but when you have hundreds or even thousands of people connected to each one the load on them will be enourmous. These servers will have to be all conquering monoliths of machines, and they'll be enourmously expensive, moreso than servers already are.

Like I said, its a good concept but that's all it seems to be, a concept, anyone who's ever worked in the technical side of IT could see the enormous problems this has to overcome before it could ever be a reality.

Darkong:
I love how he claims its hacking and pirate proof, I give it 1 hour after the servers go live before the games are cracked and available on Pirate Bay.

It is pirate proof. Everything is done on their end. You're not downloading or cracking anything ~ it's all done their.

You have an account.

You buy a product.

The product stays on their end.

You play the product from their computers at yours.

However, none of this will work like they want or think it will.

I still think this might be an April Fools thing. But, if it is real it could make consoles obsolete.

Credge:

Darkong:
I love how he claims its hacking and pirate proof, I give it 1 hour after the servers go live before the games are cracked and available on Pirate Bay.

It is pirate proof. Everything is done on their end. You're not downloading or cracking anything ~ it's all done their.

You have an account.

You buy a product.

The product stays on their end.

You play the product from their computers at yours.

If people can hack the Pentagon's computors I think they can hack Onlive's...

It won't work.

You're missing the point about the hack-proof comment. Of course someone will hack the server, or try to. They'll do it just out of spite of him saying that! The point is there's nothing to gain by it. There's no product to pirate so even if they hack they get nothing and eventually they get locked out, much like hacking the FBI website or Pentagon. Hackers might do it just to prove they can do it, but there is no real quantitative point to it.

I don't really get this OnLive thing, seems like the only people who could really take advantage of it are people with really nice internet connections and if they have really nice internet connections already then they already have a reason to need those really nice internet connections, which generally includes a gaming console or computer of some sort that they can already play games on.

D_987:

Credge:

Darkong:
I love how he claims its hacking and pirate proof, I give it 1 hour after the servers go live before the games are cracked and available on Pirate Bay.

It is pirate proof. Everything is done on their end. You're not downloading or cracking anything ~ it's all done their.

You have an account.

You buy a product.

The product stays on their end.

You play the product from their computers at yours.

If people can hack the Pentagon's computors I think they can hack Onlive's...

It won't work.

True, but right now any idiot with a game and a copy of daemon tools can pirate a game. Even if there's all of two or three people who can hack their servers, the decrease in piracy would be massive.

Hack server -> Shut them down -> Lots of pissed off gamers...

Credge:

Darkong:
I love how he claims its hacking and pirate proof, I give it 1 hour after the servers go live before the games are cracked and available on Pirate Bay.

It is pirate proof. Everything is done on their end. You're not downloading or cracking anything ~ it's all done their.

You have an account.

You buy a product.

The product stays on their end.

You play the product from their computers at yours.

However, none of this will work like they want or think it will.

You are actually downloading stuff since you're downloading the data generated on the server but my point was that a hacker (or cracker to use the actual term rather than the Hollywood coined one) will crack ther server, get a copy of the game data, crack it, compile it and distribute it, thus getting around the need to have an account.

Darkong:

You are actually downloading stuff since you're downloading the data generated on the server but my point was that a hacker (or cracker to use the actual term rather than the Hollywood coined one) will crack ther server, get a copy of the game data, crack it, compile it and distribute it, thus getting around the need to have an account.

Exactly.

As to bandwidth, I feel inclined to make a "clogging my tubes" remark and a reference to the internet not being a big truck you can just throw stuff on.

I wonder if any of these people ever used mainframe or minicomputer systems during the 1970s or 1980s. I don't see any reason to revert to a logical analogue of time-sharing, something which became obsolete two decades ago.

Seems to me that this could work eventually, but I don't know about now. You would have to have a ridiculous amount of beastly hardware. While I would love to not have to buy a next gen console, I don't think this is going to be the Jesus of the gaming world, to use a thinly stretched analogy.

Nice concept, but I don't think its possible to do yet, or at least, not in the UK with our crap network. One day, though, it could work. Would be nice to at least get rid of the console wars.

This article pretty much sums up my worries about onlive.

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/gdc-why-onlive-cant-possibly-work-article

I think its a good idea but I don't trust or like it.

I dunno I just get a really bad feeling about it, I have no reason for it though, I suppose its the whole its my game but its not here, I'm not running it thing. At least in things like steam its installed on your hardrive if you want to play it but with this.

They practically decide if you can play or not, also about the whole binding the community thing, If all the people from x-box live constitute a part of that community I'll stick to my P.C

They won't last more than a month. Things like this are expensive as hell. You'd need an income of two major league sports players to keep it running without problems. It's very possible to do, but it's just expensive, and have a few problems such as lag. If you shoot, you'd probably only shoot a half second after you clicked.

The way that they're trying to publicize this is going to want thousands of people to use this at the same time, which will require insane amounts of bandwidth and a lot of high powered computers to run the games.

"blah blah... has potential to reduce piracy blah blah..."

Ha. Ha. Ha.
OnLive won't reduce piracy.

Sounds exciting, I don't want to write it off just yet even though I should...

until it's ready, I'll keep to my Roms
:S

I signed up for beta testing OnLive's service. Hopefully I'll get chosen. I'd really like to see if this thing has what it takes to become a successful medium of gaming.

So I can play any game, on any PC, without having to worry about upgrades? Hows about I dust off my old 386 (500 MB hard drive!) and test that theory.

Also, they clearly have designed this only with the US internet infrastructure in mind. Those of us that live elsewhere don't have unlimited, non-capped internet access. Jerks.

Whether the technology functions or not is not my concern with OnLive. My concern stems from how they'll be charging people.

First, they could ask for subscription fees, which would present the same problem as other subscription fees. If I don't have time to play for a while, I'm paying for nothing.

Or they could charge per game. And, well, I'm not going to give my friend money to buy a game as long as he promises I can play it whenever I want. If I spend my money on a piece of software, I want that software, even if it's just a digital copy.

VentureBeat:

OnLive Inc., a Palo Alto, Calif. data and networking storage startup, has raised $16.5 million in a second funding, according to a regulatory filing cited by PE Wire. Backers include Maverick Capital and Warner Brothers.

Venture Beat

Darkong:

Credge:

Darkong:
I love how he claims its hacking and pirate proof, I give it 1 hour after the servers go live before the games are cracked and available on Pirate Bay.

It is pirate proof. Everything is done on their end. You're not downloading or cracking anything ~ it's all done their.

You have an account.

You buy a product.

The product stays on their end.

You play the product from their computers at yours.

However, none of this will work like they want or think it will.

You are actually downloading stuff since you're downloading the data generated on the server but my point was that a hacker (or cracker to use the actual term rather than the Hollywood coined one) will crack ther server, get a copy of the game data, crack it, compile it and distribute it, thus getting around the need to have an account.

I really don't believe someone can pirate any games from the service.
Your basically getting an HD video stream of content on a remote server and your limited to the game controls.
This is totally different from Steam or Gametap.
More like Go2MyPC or PCAnyware except your remoted into high-end servers running games behind a firewall.
Plus I'm sure they would have 24/7 live security personal monitoring the firewall and pricey servers.

I do think this service is good for the industry, but not a console killer.
To get a clear HD picture and no lag you will need an above average service plan from the internet service provider. Not taking into account for ISP service dependability getting disconnects and DOS attacks on your end.
If you have a low end broadband connection you will see pretty graphic washed out and fuzzy lower res video streams.

All and all it is a great idea, but not perfect. I will definitely try out for my midrange PC to try Crysis etc.

It won't work for everyone the first day, it won't work all the time and everywhere, but slowly it will work better and better for more and more people and not 10 years into the future, hardware will be side by side with the cloud mainframes.

OnLive team is well aware of all the difficulties listed here and they are still presenting the technology, have major publisher backing and planed beta. This is just the beginning.

http://www.ted.com/pages/view/id/266

Really now? "We're deviating this away from hardware, where nobody wins."? Seriously? The only way to get better games is to get better hardware! You couldn't possibly get something like Crysis if everyone just focused on the software, you need hardware to advance software.

if this became successful it would fuck with world's net connection. important stuffwould be slow because people want to play games.

How to call it other than pointless suckage of global bandwidth, indeed?

This is clearly an attack against the PC as a gaming machine. Consoles will survive longer, but the expected result is simple to see: the only machine that remains rather free of editorial content (in comparison to others) is being slowly but surely killed.
And the only time they say PC games are not dead is with MMO shit. Gee.

so this is like Sega Channel on steroids huh?

 

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