Dec 30, 2009

What do you think about OnLive?

Do you know OnLive? It's a company that is going to provide a technology that will (?) allow people to play games on a computer or a tv (Hmm ok). The tricky part is the fact that you would not need a high-end PC (GPU, CPU, etc) to play, for instance, Crysis. Basically, their software will send your actions on input devices to their servers which will compute the image frames for you. Then, all these frames would be sent back to your computer as a video stream.

The concept is very interesting : you just need to rent a server and you don't need to upgrade your computer. Also, I am sure that they will provide a game catalog like Steam does.

However, to my opinion, this system will not work because:
  1. According to OnLive, you will have to be less than 1000 miles away from a server to play. As a result, they will need a lot of servers to provide *good* pings to costumers. It seems that they consider a ping of 80ms as the limit. So, quality of service will depend a lot on your distance to a server.
  2. I am sure they have new efficient technologies to compress frames into a video stream but is their method lossless? What final resolution can you get? Full HD? (again, this will surely depends on your distance to a server)
  3. As an avid player of FPS, I think that a target ping of 80ms is not enough. Even for a RTS with a lot of micro-actions, fighting game or a car race game you will feel it. And I am not speaking about lags. If you don't play those kind of CPU/GPU time consuming games, may be you don't need a high-end hardware...
I really hope that I am wrong about this technology... Anyway, I wish the OnLive team "Good Luck"!!! :)

1 comment:

  1. Here is a test of onlive done by PC Perspective:
    (Thank you Nicolasan)