InstantAction CEO Questions Future of Cloud Gaming

InstantAction CEO Questions Future of Cloud Gaming

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Louis Castle isn't sure that services like OnLive and Gaikai will ever be appropriate for all videogames.

When Louis Castle isn't raging against the used games industry, he's busy as the CEO of InstantAction, a unique digital distribution portal that basically streams game downloads to customers' computers. It's sort of like a mix between Steam and OnLive. However, Castle recently talked about how InstantAction differs from cloud gaming, and why he thinks that services like OnLive and Gaikai aren't really made for the games of today, or the future.

Speaking to GamesIndustry, Castle said: "Gaikai and OnLive are great technologies, but it's going to be a while before they're a good experience for everybody." He believes: "It'll certainly be a long time, if ever, that they're appropriate for all games."

His reasoning boils down to latency, and though broadband is making its way into more and more homes daily, that doesn't necessarily mean that network speeds will increase for consumers. "I think that the idea that the network speeds are going up all the time and latency is going down... that's true on average, but the actual latency is getting worse and worse because there's more and more people online," he says. Castle does believe that everyone will eventually have "ubiquitous high speed connections," but isn't sure modern videogames will always work with cloud gaming.

On one hand, Castle has good reason to question services like OnLive because they're one form of competition to InstantAction. On the other hand, he could have a point. OnLive works pretty well right now in my own experience, but it'd be extremely frustrating if latency issues came into the mix.

And latency issues might be something that OnLive or Gaikai have no control over. Even if these services are able to provide a perfect connection that never drops from their ends, they have no control over the internet connections of their users. While there's no guarantee that latency will eventually become an issue as Castle says, he does make a fair argument that the biggest releases could someday not be appropriate for streaming play.

Source: GamesIndustry

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Can someone please explain, in detail, what these services do and exactly how they differ?

You will be rewarded in something from the internet.

I iz confuzzled.

a good (I mean a brilliant) connection in the UK wont happen until 2210 in which case I would be dead by then.

so it's rather clear on what my stance about cloud gaming.

Onyx Oblivion:
Can someone please explain, in detail, what these services do?

I iz confuzzled.

Onlive

Essentially, you have a small application on your computer that takes input such as the wasd look, shoot e.t.c. It sends that information to onlive servers, it then sends back essentially what you've done. You're playing a game on a server far away, and you're controlling it from here. The simplest explanation would be that the TV and the controller are in your room, but all the processing is done far away. Except this is for PC. Meaning that if you have a good connection, you could play games on your computer that normally could not play the game for either processing, gfx, or both. All you're doing is downloading a video stream of the game.

Not sure about gaikai, and I don't have the faintest fuck what instantaction is.

Now that there's no monthly fee, I'm going to sign up to Onlive but what will be holding me back from purchasing anything is the ability to mod the game. Is that at all possible on these services. For me, that's the draw of getting a game on the PC as opposed to a console version.

dududf:

Onyx Oblivion:
Can someone please explain, in detail, what these services do?

I iz confuzzled.

Onlive

Essentially, you have a small application on your computer that takes input such as the wasd look, shoot e.t.c. It sends that information to onlive servers, it then sends back essentially what you've done. You're playing a game on a server far away, and you're controlling it from here. The simplest explanation would be that the TV and the controller are in your room, but all the processing is done far away. Except this is for PC. Meaning that if you have a good connection, you could play games on your computer that normally could not play the game for either processing, gfx, or both. All you're doing is downloading a video stream of the game.

Not sure about gaikai, and I don't have the faintest fuck what instantaction is.

Instantaction is a game service made up of ex-Dynamix and Garage Games devs. Basically they have full client based games that run from the browser, one of which is Legions, a clone of the game that put Dynamix on the map: Tribes.

But it seems like lately that Instantaction is full of hot air, and is sitting around waiting for things to happen. They announced ages ago that they would be updating Tribes to run off their site, which many people praised them for... and then nothing came of it, except a leak of the beta client that wrecked the current Tribes community because it allowed major exploits that had been fixed by a community patch years ago.

It not latency I'm worried about with my beloved OnLive. It is ISP interference with Bandwidth caps or throttling.

Taking these concerns under consideration and the overabundance of emphasis placed on having a broadband connection for console gaming, video streaming, and eventually a lot of television interaction, latency problems will continue to increase exponentially. I, being a customer of TWC, noticed a large increase in latency over the last couple of years just here. Brownouts happen throughout the year, and systems are sometimes overloading because too many users are online at the same time. We never hear much about innovation in the field of broadband technology, just more devices want to make use of an system that is falling behind in the race. Cloud gaming isn't such a horrible idea on paper, I feel that technology itself is going to be one of the major limitations that will be holding it back. Speed boosts or not offered by cable companies, how long will it be before gaming starts to really impact your bandwidth? I'm sure the cable companies are waiting for this to become something they can use in their defense for both increasing connection costs and lowering your residential bandwidth use before creating some sort of new classification to homes simply for gaming so they can charge you more for the same service.

 

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