OnLive Reacts to Unauthorized Preview

OnLive Reacts to Unauthorized Preview

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OnLive has issued a response of sorts to a recent critical preview of its cloud-based gaming system, saying it's hardly surprising that an unauthorized, "friend of a friend of a friend" preview of technology in closed beta testing would yield less-than-optimal results.

PC Perspective published an unauthorized preview of OnLive last week, using login information passed on to the author by "a friend of a friend of a friend." The report offered an interesting look at the current state of OnLive's technology, but also hammered it for performing poorly with "fast-paced shooters" like Unreal Tournament 3, Crysis and Call of Juarez. "If you are an avid PC gamer you will likely be very disappointed by the experience, both in terms of image quality and input latency, of playing these types of games using OnLive," the author concluded.

Even at this early stage, with the service nowhere near ready for release, that's obviously not the kind of press coverage OnLive is looking for. Thus, CEO Steve Perlman posted a rebuttal on the OnLive blog, not directly addressing the report but clearly touching on the issues it covered.

"While the production OnLive service will adapt to different configurations each time you connect, during Beta testing each user is setup only to test a specific computer configuration (or MicroConsole TV Adapter version), a single Internet provider and, most importantly, a particular location," he wrote. "If you change any of these factors, OnLive Beta may not even run, or if it does, the lag and/or graphics performance may render games unplayable. OnLive will try to detect these conditions and warn you, but when you are using OnLive in a different location, you are not providing us with usable test data."

"If you are more than 1000 miles from an OnLive data center, then the round trip communications delay ('ping' time) between your home and OnLive will be too long for fast-action video games," he continued. "OnLive has three data centers for its U.S. Beta test, with a blue circle around each showing the 1000-mile range. Your Beta account will only connect to the data center it was originally assigned to. So, if you are assigned to our West Coast data center and then try your Beta account from the Midwest or East Coast, you'll find the lag impaired to the point where most games are unplayable."

Perlman's blog post actually led to a follow-up from PC Perspective, which said, "While I understand Perlman's intent here, that is a blanket statement that just can't apply 100 percent of the time. In a world where my computer has to talk to 14 different systems before it reaches pcper.com, any of those could cause a delay even if I am 100 miles from the physical server. The same is true for OnLive customers. Does being closer tend to help? Sure. Is it a guarantee of great performance (or bad performance outside 1000 miles)? Nope."

PC Perspective is apparently facing legal actions as a result of the preview, "including a DMCA notice given to our website hosting service," although no details were given. Nonetheless, the site appears to be taking it in stride. "It's all about the discussion!" the author concluded. "As I mention throughout this preview, I actually have been more impressed with the performance and experience OnLive has provided that I expected going into the testing period - I would call that a win for the service in this early state." He also acknowledged that he has been locked out of the beta, probably forever, but added that if OnLive wanted to offer him legitimate test access, he'd be willing to accept.

via: VE3D

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Cloud-based rendering is one of those technologies that are just conceptually fascinating, but I'm deeply skeptical that our current network backbone really has the 'horsepower' to make it work the way the pitchmen tell us it will. I'd be happy to be proven wrong though, as affordable PC gaming for the masses that neatly stomps on just about every point in the console fanboy's arsenal of anti-PC rhetoric can only be a good thing.

I knew this would happen. and in a sense im happy and I hope it fails. I just spent a bit on my new computer (a very very good one.) and I dont want to be told "Oh you dont need a good computer anymore..."

It would've been good to hear something more hopeful.
I think console and computer makers need some good competition: look at the choices we have so far.

I'm not giving up hope yet. It's still in Beta and it would solve all of my PC gaming problems if I didn't have to worry about my 128MB video card.

If I lived in a big city in the US, or in Scandinavia, or Japan, I would find that interesting. Unfortunately, TeH InteRnetS in the rest of the world are made of lag and failure and as such this is probably not going to be a viable option in my lifetime.

So people are suprised that a very experimental system still in closed beta isn't running well in places where its not being tested yet?

Seriously, its still in beta, of course its not going to work perfectly.

So, just to summarize...

The author unknowingly used the system incorrectly, thus causing a major problem. The author then goes on to criticize the system because of this major problem. Perlman then steps in and explains what the author did wrong, and why the problem occurred. The author's reply to this is to state that he does not believe that even using the system correctly would result in the the promised performance. But was still pleasantly surprised by the system performing better than the he expected.

Did I get that right?

Edit: Thank you Wasalp.

Du Jour Jaricho:
So, just to summarize...

The author unknowingly used the system incorrectly, thus causing a major problem. The author then goes on to criticize the system because of this major problem. Perlman then steps in and explains what the author did wrong, and why the problem occurred. The author's reply to this is to state that he does not believe that even using the system correctly would result in the the promised performance.

Did I get that right?

but then went on the say it still performed quite well

wasalp:

Du Jour Jaricho:
So, just to summarize...

The author unknowingly used the system incorrectly, thus causing a major problem. The author then goes on to criticize the system because of this major problem. Perlman then steps in and explains what the author did wrong, and why the problem occurred. The author's reply to this is to state that he does not believe that even using the system correctly would result in the the promised performance.

Did I get that right?

but then went on the say it still performed quite well

Well, better than expected...

Korten12:
I knew this would happen. and in a sense im happy and I hope it fails. I just spent a bit on my new computer (a very very good one.) and I dont want to be told "Oh you dont need a good computer anymore..."

yeah, same here.

Although, to touch at end of article at least they offered legit access

I'm sure this will work eventually. But just like cellphones and wireless, it'll work better in some places rather than others.

On a side note, I ended up reading the "Death To All Consoles" article and found the response from people simply amazing. Calling micro-transactions, and subscriptions money grubbing and "milking" because Perry said there was a "moneywall".

Since when did people become idiots? By allowing people to pay what they want for merchandise you really don't set the bar on what's standard. So people like that UK girl with the crazy amounts of pokemon shit can buy her fill.

People really need to get over that their willingness to spend money on something conceptual doesn't make it the norm. Constantly making content that is an optional purchase will be purchased, and people will buy hundreds if not thousands of dollars worth it over it's lifetime. I know I have deeper pockets than some on here, and there are others with way deeper ones than I do. It's the way it goes. You find the DEMAND and fill it.

How much did you spend on magic cards? How much did you spend on Simpsons or Disney shit this year? How much did people around you, even if you hate that stuff?

Exactly. Stuff like this will succeed if they "simply" provide it.

If anyone bothered to actually read the article, the dude was 2000 miles away from the closest server (and keep in mind that you're supposed to be no farther than 1000 miles to get the quality they expect, so the kid was a full 1000 miles out of range), and he still got a somewhat descent performance out of several games. It's far too early to come to any conclusions regarding the service.

Wow, PC Perspective is a bunch of tools.

How is that review of OnLive surprising at all? Didn't everyone on the face of the Earth already know that there would be hellof issues with latency and lag, especially with graphics intensive games? I mean come the fuck on. Its still in beta for Christ's sake.

I'm still optimistic. I have to be. It'd be nice to call myself a PC gamer again. Well, an OnLive gamer I suppose.

I'm guessing if it does work at all it'll only work in the US of A. So, bugger.

Hmm.

This kind of service will work in the cities of the future with fibre to the home - Shanghai, Beijing... It will not work elsewhere in the world. It only takes a bad ISP to have a hell of a time playing games. This might exclude entire countries like Spain, Italy, all of Eastern Europe except Poland, ...

Of course, these cities are where the wealthy people are. They can charge a $50 subscription fee and it will be very popular, and to hell with the rest of the world. They can make more money out of this by serving a few 20M metropolises and decimating their target audience than by selling a regular game to EVERYONE.

So, if you're NOT living in a megacity, I hope you enjoy board games. And if you are, I hope you didn't expect there would be a lot of other people online.

matrix3509:
How is that review of OnLive surprising at all? Didn't everyone on the face of the Earth already know that there would be hellof issues with latency and lag, especially with graphics intensive games? I mean come the fuck on. Its still in beta for Christ's sake.

Well yeah, but he doesn't want us finding out about the truth.
He wants us to believe it will play nearly 1:1 between what we see and what the game processes, and vice versa. He doesn't want us to know that is only achievable under the most finely tuned, perfect environments, and that 5 yards from the special spot the game goes to sh**.

Hell he says it himself, he only lets people in select areas, with certain ISPs, beta his product... IE his family and imaginary friends in his nice big building not even a foot from the servers.

And once again, OnLive rears it's ugly head. I'm able to tolerate digital distribution, but using live HD video feed instead of playing game normally on my PC is where i draw the line in terms of practicality (my Internet connection is not made of distilled liquid awesome) and ownership issues (rent as the only form of ownership? REALLY?)

One and only benefit for me would be easier access to console series i actually give a shit about - console manufacturers will be eager to jump on a bandwagon - but to horribly misquote Benjamin Franklin, "those who are willing to sacrifice openness of PC as a platform for easier reach towards Lombaxes and chainsaw duels deserve neither."

In short, let OnLive be as an option - but don't let it replace PC gaming as a whole.

Okay this is going to sound noobish... but what is OnLive exactly? I checked the site and I;m still not certain exactly what they are trying to accomplish.

So very briefly, can someone please care to explain?

Check out this or this (shorter explanation) for a better look at what OnLive actually is.

I expect that OnLive will work reasonably well and will someday (although not anytime soon) be a mainstream, possibly dominant, form of distribution. Not for me, though. I'm a boxes-and-manuals kind of guy. (Plus that kind of fast, reliable broadband just ain't happening where I live.)

 

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