How much input lag you find acceptable is a matter of personal taste. As a point of comparison, the amount of input lag I noticed playing the two FPSs was probably comparable to that of Killzone 2 in its first week of release. Yeah, a lot of people cried foul at that, too, and I didn't find it optimal myself, but plenty of people were OK with it - and that's on one of the most powerful pieces of gaming hardware in production. Play Crysis on a budget Dell laptop and you probably won't be too concerned by 120 ms of input lag.
Second, look past the standard ownership model of game buying and you realize the true potential of this service. From a personal standpoint, I see this less as a Steam replacement and more as a GameFly replacement. What if you could pay $10 a month and have access to two or three titles at a time from a library of hundreds, even thousands of games, all without having to mail anything or manage a queue from your computer? Stop thinking about OnLive from an ownership perspective and you might find a lot more value there.
My belief at this point is that the economics of the service will make or break it more than the amount of input lag I experienced, but it's still a young technology. Don't count it out just yet.
The input lag is a completely insurmountable obstacle. There are prediction algorithms, but anybody who's played Counter-Strike can tell you those do not work a lot of the times (i.e. "but I fucking shot that guy!"). Imagine playing an action game with a 300 ms lag! That's unacceptable.
See the biggest problem I see with this service is the pricing model. Yes you get access to all these games for free, but at the same time if they did a system like gametap or something along those lines where you could actually download the software onto your computer it could be better. Hell I would pay $15 a month for a service like that, but at the same time if you look at a purely hardware side of the equation if say the price is only $10 dollars a month in a year you spend $120 dollars, two years $240, etc. With just two years you'd have enough money to significantly change the components inside of your computer.
Going away from that I have more questions about this. How many servers are they running? How many locations will these servers be located? Will they have one location in every timezone of the United states and other countries? These are major concerns and quite costly ones at that. Yes it is too early to say if it's a flop or not, but given that this is a new service they are legitimate concerns.
I'm just going to wait for the thing to come out, read up on it, and if it looks good, maybe consider making an investment. I'm not going to be a self-important ass-hat and make my opinions known on the internet.
My only comment on this is; I'm not buying a gaming PC just yet, let's see and wait a year or two ^.^!
Everyone complaining about lag is a bunch of wusses. I sincerely doubt slight lag means 300ms (which is 3 seconds and kinda ridiculous) but more like a 10th of a second or something. Have you all Americans forgotten so quickly what it was like to have a 2mb connection. Sure it skipped occasionally and it was a slight annoyance but seriously the game is still as fun.
Sure, I doubt OnLive really suits those who have $1000+ computers now, If i could afford that I would be ignoring this technology too. However, without saying that this will destroy the hardware industry it does have some great advantages over buying your own beast.
Most have already been stated by someguy on pg 1 but I would like to add that you can try as many games as you would like because you are charged on playtime not number of games, this means that if you tire of a game quickly you would not have to pay much at all.
I'd just like to add in regards to the input lag and the issue with distances to server connection.
This will improve - given time and through beta testing. This service won't ever be 100% perfect with the advances in technology and internet connection speeds, regardless, problems can be found and solutions made. If you play online there is always lag, you can't avoid it even if you don't notice it at first, data is still sent to and from a server. In some games lag actually works to your advantage, unfortunetly for the other player of course - and complaining about 'slight' lag..... one 15th of a second? I think this could be alot worse. I have a 10mb connection, a fairly high-end pc and I still get lag sometimes but it doesn't make games impossible to play. World of warcraft has countless thousands of players online everyday, yes it has some noticeable lag at times but its still very playable.
As for server distances for customers say.. in Australia. Has it not occurred that this service may expand OUTSIDE of the US. If this service is successful then why not build additional Server bases around the globe... could allow people to play with other players just in their region or continent without having to send data to the other side of the globe. there are solutions to problems this service will encounter, its just a case of time and improvement.
How do you think online gaming is what it is today, solutions and improved designs are based on previous creations. For example internet speeds... its go from 56k dial up right up to around 50mb+ connections. I wouldn't be surprised if a newer, similar, improved service will follow this in the future.
I sincerely doubt slight lag means 300ms (which is 3 seconds and kinda ridiculous) but more like a 10th of a second or something.
Actually, 300ms is 1/3 of one second (still unacceptable for input lag). Put the games down and read a book. That said, On-Live will be the sweetest thing to ever happen to gaming IF they can get it to work correctly. I understand being skeptical. If you have a million users playing one-thousand different games, that's going to take some serious hardware. That hardware will cost some serious money. Many people are worried that will come in the form of a high subscription. Even if the mainframe servers can handle the processing load, the country's antiquated cable and phone lines will diminish the experience for many players. As infrastructure improves, so will the viability of On-Live.
There is also the concern of not being able to access your game library during an internet outage or financial situation that leaves you without internet. This is a valid concern and one I think could be answered if they allowed downloads of games software for off-line usage. The service hasn't even been released but the potential is of a grand scale. World of Warcraft had many problems when it was released, but four+ years later it is the single most profitable entertainment entity.
The upside of On-Live pulling off their lofty promises is enormous. All you will need is a good internet connection and a screen with nice resolution to play any game at the highest settings. That sounds like a dream come true for me.
I support what they are trying to do but its not for me.
I prefer owning my video games.
I'm feeling giddy as a giggling girl.
If this works and for a good price...bye bye piracy.
I welcome OnLive with open arms. Please take away 30-40% of the worlds computers, let people fall into false hopes and then send those people to either play WoW or Eq2. I will be waiting with my Geforce GTX 295, Killer NIC M1, Nvidia 790i Motherboard, 4gb ram 2000mhz... sitting there smiling seeing my rank in pvp fly by. Lag is impossible to play with. Definitely Input lag, i don't care how idiotic people are, Lagging when using spells or actions is instant doom. Theres a reason people yell out "Damn lag!" i tip my hat off to OnLive for trying but now they're just creating a timeline for biggest "Hype" to biggest "Failure in gaming history". But hey i don't mind getting free kills.
I'm still asking myself this question: Why are they trying to revive time-sharing, something that went mostly out of vogue in the late 1980s, by giving it a name like "cloud computing"? Time-sharing became obsolete around the time that personal computers finally became able to run business applications, and yet, today's software developers seem convinced that this outdated model is the answer to problems in the current computing world.
You see, the personal computer of today is more powerful than a supercomputer from the early 1990s, and that's just the floating-point performance of the main processor I'm talking about. That's not even counting the graphics card, which can now be used as a floating-point processor in its own right.
Simple answer: PCs are too big to lug around with you everywhere that you may want access to your data (and that includes Laptops). This is why there is more interest in the iPhone right now and Mobile Me.
I, personally, have no use for it. I prefer a nice big workstation-y monitor, even if my computer is only a Mac Mini with an 1.66 GHz Intel Core Duo and 2 GB of 667 MHz DDR SDRAM running Snow Leopard. Games are not its strength, but then I have a 360 for that.