Cloud-based game service OnLive opened its gates to the UK public this morning, providing access to over a hundred titles and offerings exclusive deals for punters with BT internet connections. The service has been active in the US since June 2010. To date, UK players have had access to the service through its US servers, and …
if they can get this working smoothly on Android I can see a lot of potential. The problem has always been the hardware being underspecced for games. I wish there was a decent video streaming service in the UK for the latest movies and TV shows. No Netflix equivalent over here yet. On a sidenote I noticed Disney are now offering a stream anywhere service for anyone who has purchased one of their movies and provides a unique unlock code from the disc.
Thats a bit of a fail actually...
I thought that very thing...I tried to use an old-ish laptop thinking that OnlIve would be a killer app, but it needed (IIRC) Shader Model 2 (or something)
Not that many games yet
Had a look, not many excite me.
No Console exclusives (of course), no Valve games.
Controller looks a bit bulky.
Why would Game...
Why would Game point a gun at their feet and ask you to pull the trigger?
Because they can see the way things are going,
and have decided to make some money out of it while they still can?
They've probably got a few more years ahead of them, yet, before on-line completely destroys the high street.
Hmmm, I was one of the naysayers when this came out but after reading more about it I am tempted to give it a go. I use Linux on my machines and although the wife has Windows 7 on her desktop it isn't a high enough spec to play games at a decent resolution, so for a quid it might just be worth a punt (assuming my 50Mbit Virgin cable can keep up with it).
Apart from the many problems I have with this service, the pricing isn't exactly great.
First, you have to pay £7 a month (or the equivalent "BT tax" to compensate for their shiteness and package-forcing). Then you have to pay for the game. Okay, maybe you can rent it for a few months, but if you want an unlimited pass (as the article states - legally binding for only three years) then it costs EXACTLY the same as buying the damn game, sometimes a little more. Except it pretty much disappears if you stop paying (and/or after three years).
You don't save much on hardware - £70 for a box or have a computer that's already capable of running quite a lot of stuff anyway (and which you use for myriad other things, upgrade every few years anyway, etc.). You need to tie up your broadband line, most of the time you're playing, you need to already have keyboards, mice, joysticks and other controllers that you want to use. You need to keep the subscription going even if you have a gaming lapse.
It seems to me an incredibly niche usage that cuts a lot of people out of the equation - serious gamers won't tolerate the compression or the latency or the prices, households won't use it because it's effectively single-player-only because of the bandwidth requirements and hardware interfacing, kids who can't afford games but just want to demo things to say they've played it will be disappointed with the requirements and the results (not to mention pricing), casual gamers won't want to pay a subscription / box /software etc. to rent things like World of Goo (which disappear if they stop paying), people who are scared to install games won't even hear, let alone touch, this service.
To me, even a cheap gaming PC and a copy of Steam is infinitely more valuable and solves almost all of the above problems immediately. And, guess what, you're final picture quality will be better! It's effectively the same as those "virtual office" services when you can just log onto a remote desktop, except it really picked the worst possible use-case.
Just tried it
Thought what the hell, for £1 might as well give it a go. Suffice to say, its quite laggy on virgin, that could be virgin though, but I am trying it late at night to check it out. Playing deus ex human revolution, and its pretty crap when trying to shoot people :)
Jury's out....But for £1 cant complain :)
I could see this being awesome for the sort of MMO things where you're paying a fee to play them anyway.
Anything else? Not so much. I have quite a few titles here that are older than three years. The RTS/FPS remake of Battlezone and its sequel? Operation Flashpoint GOTY edition (no, not the recent one)? Unreal? Unreal Tournament? The 2004 variant? Mechwarrior 2, 3 OR 4 and the numerous "Mercenaries" spinoffs? Hell, I still drag Master of Orion 2 out via the wonders of DosBox on occasion. Now that's a game that should feature in one of El Reg's gaming classics articles. In OnLive's world, I might well be unable to play any of these titles because they are too old. Even Doom 3 is possibly getting a little long in the tooth, and that thing was as notorious as Crysis on release!
This system has all the disadvantages of Steam and then some for "normal" games, which is a damned shame because with a few MMO clients available it could work rather spectacularly well. OnLive, are you listening? Go chat with Blizzard and CCP. That'll be a start.
BT offering "free" onlive
BT is offering onlive freee.. for the first three months .. see BT.com
Yeah, but the downside to that is that you have to use BT. Eurk. I think I'd rather pay.