Weekend Open Forum: OnLive Games on Demand -- the future of gaming or destined to fail?

By Julio Franco ยท 65 replies
Mar 13, 2010
  1. Richy2k9

    Richy2k9 TS Enthusiast Posts: 515


    i'll come with my usual PROS & CONS with a pinch of salt. LOLOL...


    - this mean, having no media, therefore future proof & eco-friendly (i love this)
    - if it works fine, no need to spend money on high end hardware or consoles
    - piracy will decrease considerably
    - refresh will be easily made, so old games can be put to 'bed' sooner!


    - it requires high bandwidth compared to online gaming of today, for it will be like streaming SD & later on HD content, with videos it is already a big problem & it is the same content being streamed at same or different interval. with onlive games, there can be same game being streamed at different levels to different players at same of slightly different times.

    - the pricing policy is bad, if i need to pay for monthly subscriptions, i'd rather pay 60$/month to play at least 1 game for & all the demos & socialize, than pay 15$ as fee & even 10$ / game for the same period, it's a matter of hour we perceive it, we can spend a lot for all options, but if it's cheaper but we have to pay each time we make a move, it's a no GO!

    - no control over the game, no ownership, another psychological issue, it's not 'mine' & i'm just renting a game at a higher price.


    - If it works, it will mean killing graphic chip manufacturers, i won't see why nVidia & AMD/ATI would bother release another super out of this word GPU that can handle trillions of instructions & load a whole world of textures just to have games like crysis up and running, maybe they'll build higher end pro GFX card that would be used on the onlive servers, but i doubt that the said equipments would stream what their GFX card have to render. the system must be more computational power sending data though several pipes to different users.

    - the internet is still not ready for this, if somehow what i said in former posts (about google going broadband, bette ruse of fiber & the big new CISCO router that will 'change the internet'), yes if it becomes a reality soon, then this whole thing may work just fine, then the ISPs would need to remove the fair usage policy, for onlive is based on streaming, it's not like actual online gamig where fragments of information are constantly being delivered to the servers to update the status.

    - it's too early, most consoles & PC have reached their apogee but not perfection in gaming, so as long as there will be development in these fields, people would keep following. for now onlive can work as an added service to existing platforms, i.e OK you can use it on all equipments with an input device, a monitor & connected to the net, if the service hit the XBLA & PSN, then you will have a possibility to have some curious or adventurous ones to adhere & who knows get stuck to it.

    This is a great concept, that would be great to eliminate piracy & help save our planet, but for this to work, it should be a general service with packages fee or pay to use service (monthly package better for now) & with limited seats in order to prevent lagging sessions. I'm sure somewhere in the future, it may become a standard (10 years more), for now it should become a platform of excellence with true exclusive high level content that will attract some gamers to it, it must be free access without subscription & possibility to try a limited amount of demos free, someone signing up & paying a monthly fixed fee (even if it is around 30-50$/month) can play at least 1 new game every month with all the demos & some trailers) for now i would advise this company to pair with existing systems & make it an added service worth it, it's wont be good going on your own.

    good luck to OnLive & long live the gamer's community ...

  2. jerry53

    jerry53 TS Rookie Posts: 25

    i think it will fail completely of the pc platform but bring more people in the apple fold and stuff like apple graphics cards can be probability .
  3. insect

    insect TS Evangelist Posts: 349   +132

    I don't know if it will fail or not, but I suspect a huge net loss the first year as they try to prove to people they are worth investing in.

    Deep down, I want this to succeed so that PC games will be on-top again in all genres and play styles. The biggest limitation to PC gaming currently is hardware, which would be solved without teaching the world how to build a PC (which is insanely easy now with Plug and Play, super-available drivers, and auto-IRQ settings). Everything else for PC is on-top (multi-player, syncing, number of titles, updates, DLC, game price, performance, graphics).

    Personally, unless I get to keep the games I paid for after dropping my subscription, I won't be using the service. Even then, I'd probably get a one month subscription for the discount (provided it's a lot... like 50%, since Steam already has 50% discounts on a lot of items after about a month), buy a lot of games at once, then drop it simply because hardware costs are not that substantial to me, especially these days when a good gaming rig runs you less than $1000 bucks and is powerful enough to last 2 or 3 years these days when graphics are not getting exponentially better every month.

    Also, I think the connection limitations are not as limiting as people here may think. In the Washington D.C. Metro Area (D.C., Baltimore, Philly or about 10 million people) FIOS is $60/month for 25 Mbps down/10 Mbps up. If only 1 million of them subscribed, that still $15 million a month to OnLive.
  4. drasho

    drasho TS Enthusiast Posts: 62

    I dunno about this... i prefer owning a pc and doing what i want on it then having to play over hte internet. I douth this will be able to run the game as well as a top of the line pc... Maybe now it gonna be able to run everygame with maximun grappic but will they be able to keep up with the upgrades?
  5. It..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... will fail.
  6. TorturedChaos

    TorturedChaos TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 839   +29

    I don't see it doing well with the $15/month fee, then having to rent the games on top of that.
  7. Wolfanoz

    Wolfanoz TS Rookie

    I think it will take a failure from OnLive for another upstart company to prosper with this idea. It's a fantastic idea, I just don't think the pay scheme is going to work.
  8. Relic

    Relic TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,379   +16

    While I don't want OnLive to fail as a lot of money and jobs are at stack, I am not overly keen on what it has to offer and don't think it will succeed in PC gaming overall. I do sadly though see concept heading towards the future as most everything is trying to go towards cloud computing. I'll try and make my points as brief as I can so bear with me :) .

    First as most everyone pointed out they are charging a large premium ($14.95 + tax if your state is poopy :p) for content you can get elsewhere free like demos from gaming sites and social features with Xfire/Steam/etc. They also are not offering any good incentives to reel gamers in to their service such as free rentals or games. I mean similar services such as Netflix or Blockbuster provide decent incentives with a free rental or streaming movie a month ontop of your DVD's. Though as said they have not released prices for the games/rentals, I still feel they would have to be pretty steeply discounted for anyone to seriously consider OnLive.

    Secondly their is the issue of ownership, while we consumers say what we buy we own, software developers and I'm sure some gaming ones as well disagree and think we only license their work [Example]. Because of this I feel that if I BUY something through OnLive I'm just getting a permanent rental and not actual ownership, especially since if I discontinue the use of OnLive I can no longer gain access to my purchased games.

    I am also skeptical about how well this service will run not only from there end but ours too. I keep reading that connections are pretty good or will be getting better. Which I guess is true if you live in New York City or any other competitive metro area. Unfortunately though not everyone lives in those cities/metros and most of the us are stuck in monopoly/duopoly provided area. And in a lot of these places major phone and cable providers are slow to upgrading there current infrastructure and focusing only on competitive areas. Some of them are even going on the offensive telling shareholders that the pay per bit model is inevitable for consumers. This does not look good for steaming content providers or consumers. And I have a feeling that sooner then later a fight between the two will happen with us stuck in the middle and in the end getting screwed.

    In any case, their are a lot of things out of OnLives control that could sink them before they even get off the ground. Ontop of that from what has been released they don't seem to be providing a more consumer friendly option. As a PC gamer I am simply not interested as I feel they are taking a lot of what makes PC gaming unique and better away from us and trying to turn my PC into a dumb gaming terminal. Gaming on a PC isn't just superior because of the hardware compared to a console. That is just one part of it and I'm sure a lot here at TechSpot love upgrading and messing around with there hardware & settings. PC Gamers also have huge amount of CONTROL over our content. We have the ability to mod, map, skin and create all types of innovation. One could probably even make the argument that if OnLive succeeded it could completely kill off PC gaming innovation. And I'm sure many of you here can think of amazing mods that are better and more creative then some AAA games out there. Some mods even went on to retail in sequels after being so successful.

    So while there are many benefits to OnLive such as gaming anywhere you have a fast connection, no need for hardware upgrades and ease of use. There are also an equally if not more disadvantages such as high price, loss of control, no ability for customization and lastly turning your gaming PC into a console...which is going to be a hard seller considering many of us PC game to get AWAY from consoles and have that uniqueness.
  9. thatguyandrew92

    thatguyandrew92 TS Rookie Posts: 118

    Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo won't let this survive. They need their consoles.
  10. pipopaz

    pipopaz TS Rookie Posts: 70

    I understand your point Reloader2, they could become a monopoly if they get big enough and no have no competence. As for my opinion, I don't think it will work well yet. First of all, I'm not quite sure how the fees will work but so far we know that you'll be paying $15 monthly and full games are not included. Second, really the most worrying thing has to be the lag, previous reports of the beta stated big amounts of lag which will undoubtedly kill its whole concept, now that may depend on the speed of the user's internet and all that is involved, how are they going to tackle that?
  11. Seeing as how companies have been getting a lot of bad publicity for their attempts to stop piracy and that most companies pay to deliver their demos, I think the subscription fee should be financed by said companies and the users could be charged a nominal fee. Perhaps companies like EA are designing similar services and don't want to support this.

    With concerns by many over their internet connection I don't see this surviving through the first year at this price point. Unfortunately, such a failure may keep others from trying again even when the bandwidth concerns are no longer an issue.
  12. Thompson

    Thompson TS Rookie Posts: 65

    PC gamers aren't going to see anything different here for quite some time, Microsoft are looking to go for a pay for use cloud OS which is pretty horrifying.

    As with pretty much everything these days anyone who doesn't live in the USA are left out in the cold, systems like OnLive may find a niche market in America for those who would use that kind of thing but as for widespread success, I think not.
  13. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,384   +172

    Looks like while we've been discussing the subscription price, OnLive had already announced a couple of days ago that there'd be an option to rent games and play demos without paying a subscription ("subject to available OnLive service capacity"). See here: http://blog.onlive.com/2010/03/11/more-news-from-onlive/

    So, does this change your perception of the service?
  14. Recipe7

    Recipe7 TS Booster Posts: 143

    I personally would not subscribe to this service. 15USD to play demos that I can find somewhere else? No thanks.
  15. tigran1808

    tigran1808 TS Rookie

    it's kinda like Xbox live, you have to pay for a subscription but the downside is you can't play your games if you cancel it, maybe there will be a refund for the games after you cancelled it :D
  16. bigclick

    bigclick TS Rookie Posts: 49

    Include basic cable in the package and it starts looking good.
  17. Gaming doesn't use a lot of bandwidth? This service WILL because it has to stream the ENTIRE GAMEPLAY PROCESS from their server to your TV. And multiplayer in realtime? HAHA.

    The frame rate + connection speed in online multiplayer for fast paced FPS games like Halo 3 would be delayed so much, it would make this impossible. My setup and connection struggle with it as it is!

    There is NO WAY it can emulate like you were playing directly from a console.
  18. Renrew

    Renrew TS Enthusiast Posts: 253   +19

    A big emphatic NO-GO.
    Personally, I like owning my Game when I plunk down my Dollars, at least I have something to show the Wife when the charge bills roll in. I might even be able to resell the game when I grow tired of it.

    This smells of another money grab--I'm old enough to remember when the public was promised, commercial free Cable TV for a small charge. Look at it now. Charges on top of charges with more advertisements thrown in, can you say Boondoggle.
  19. ansarimikail

    ansarimikail TS Rookie Posts: 40

    Yeah, I always thought gaming should be a service. Like TV, pay monthly and get to play any game you want. Not having to worry about low settings, overclocking and processor cooling. Hopefully they can make good on it.
  20. This is not for real gamers , bad deal , plus , im not even into browser games , let alone full game being streamed over web with who knows who looks your profile in the game not on your PC which makes modding and tweaking obsolete. While this is cool for xbox noobs , an extra money sucker.
  21. thatguyandrew92

    thatguyandrew92 TS Rookie Posts: 118

    I know some people will like this but you just can't beat the box!
  22. rskapadia2294

    rskapadia2294 TS Rookie Posts: 102

    if the prices are affordable then it will be the future of gaming !
    if the prices are sky high then it is surely destined to fail !
    its such simple! another thing that matters its that it doesnt crash while playing like that of ubisoft crashed!
  23. InsaneVr6

    InsaneVr6 TS Booster Posts: 221

    The whole OnLive service sounds great...in theory. Like most things I think that when this actually get's released their will be problems (which can be expected from anything), but at the same time I don't think it will deliver as much as they advertise.

    They talk about a 'lag-free' service, but unless everyones has a fast (prob over at least 15mb/s) internet connection I don't see how anything can be lag-free.

    I'll wait it out and see how people like it when it is released before I make a decision. Cloud computing/technology has come a long way so it's only inevitable for it to be mainstream. When that actually happens time will tell.
  24. theoscentral

    theoscentral TS Rookie Posts: 17

    I also think this will fail. LOL
  25. danteoz

    danteoz TS Enthusiast Posts: 42

    I can't see paying $15 a month for a service that is almost the equivalent of steam, which is already free. Then there is the bandwidth, some say its not really an issue and you can get 20mb connection....well thats not available to everyone, or most of everyone...so you have a 25mb connection for $150 a month, I get about 1/5 of that for $60 a month....the higher options aren't there for everyone, or not everyone wants to pay for it.
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