back to article WTF is... cloud gaming?

It's 3am, you can't sleep so you switch on the television. Amid the inevitable reruns and chatline ads, an advert comes on for the latest videogame. Inspired to try it out, you switch over, grab a control pad and immediately start to play. No download, no trips to Blockbuster, no waiting for the postman to arrive with a game …

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  1. Lionel Baden

    Err yeah no thanks

    I Hate pay per day services.

    The biggest gripe i have with WOW is the payement scheme.

    WOW costs 8.99 PM.

    Battlefield BC2 cost me £40

    1 year of WOW £107.88

    1 year of BFBC2 £40

    So please if all games were pay per play. How the FUCK does that work out cheaper ?????

    This if anything would be the death of gaming for me and many others.

    slow broadband = not for you, oh and sorry we dont release any games anymore to the public.

    Oh yeah and if they think this will stop pirating. LOL

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This shows promise

    We'll see.

  3. Sampler

    It'll never get sanctioned

    But PS3 and Xbox apps would be brilliant for this service - or if the respective companies can make their own "me-too" versions.

    Xbox Live Gold especially - you already pay the subscription

    1. Maxson
      Thumb Down

      Dear me...

      Don't get me wrong, but your logic is kinda flawed....Bad Company 2 just got a paid expansion that included less new stuff than the average WoW content patch, and generally there's 2-3 of those per year....you're paying for continual new content, and access to 6 years worth of old content....plus people frequently play WoW many hours per day every day for a long time, lots of people do that on Bad company as well (you can tell, those bastard medics infuriate me with their rank 50 and their killing me for a billion miles away with their stupid LMGs), but it's more common in WoW, and if you want to play WoW for just 1 month it's £5-10 for a starter box, not many new £40 games are worth playing for more than a few days....

      also: Read the goddamn article, it states there is a permanent purchase of the game option (less than the high street boxed price) and also an "unlimited access" option that gets you full access to all the games under a catchall price per month, that gets you lots and lots of games for you money per month.

      1. Lionel Baden

        your right sort of as well

        the patch was free (map packs) and the add on content (vietnam) was only £10 and is basically a game in its own right, the only thing missing is a single player aspect.

        This is only just above the amount of 1 month in WOW.

        this has kept me pretty busy. Steam is saying 699 hours (i am not sure if steam holds this on the cloud otherwise its even more as i formatted a while back). I call that value for money.

        17.44 pence per hour. so far and will just keep on getting cheaper the more i play.

        If you don't think a game is worth it just pirate it, then buy if you like. Although people still release demo's for you to try.

        I did read the article and the "unlimited access" im just going to have to go to the bathroom quickly as i just pissed myself laughing. proof is needed first.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Thumb Up

          699 hours

          So, based on an 8 hour working day, that's 87 days of your life you just wasted acheiving fuck all.

          Well done, keep it up.

          1. Guido Esperanto
            Pint

            dont feed the troll

            For the record I'm glad you spent 699 hours being thoroughly entertained and engaged at the same time, rather than spending the time doing truly antisocial behaviours.

            as for the troll, its nice for you to categorise the time spent as being "wasted in achieving fuck all"

            much like your post then, and I'd imagine there are many more like it, which I'm assuming is you providing ample hot air to vent your frustration at the fact that you have no way of controlling how "productive" someone is in a manner of their choosing.

            Which nicely sums up your rant....you've wasted it and achieved fuck all.

            karma.

          2. The Fuzzy Wotnot
            WTF?

            @699 hours ( 15:39 )

            So you're now the arbiter of how people's time is spent?!

            Personally it's doesn't appeal to me, same with TV. I don't have the patience to sit and watch films, I can manage the odd 30 min comedy but films are not for me. I would never begrudge someone else that time spent losing themselves in a bit of escapism. The world is nasty, shitty place, what's the problem with people losing themselves in some fantasy for a little bit?

            I game a lot in the evenings, during the Winter months when it's too cold to go outside, but come the Spring I am out most days at the crack of dawn taking photographs. Is that also a waste of time? Wandering for hours in the sunshine, pointing a lens at some odd looking bit of wood or some pattern in a field of corn?

            Get back under your bridge!

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Oh yeah?

              @ The Fuzzy Wotnot - The world might be a nasty shitty place, but, you ain't going to change that or more importantly, improve your own situation by hiding in a make believe box (ie. grinding away in some game), in fact, by doing that, you achieve precisely - fuck all. Also, I don't put photography in that category, far from it.

              @Guido Esperanto - So it's either gaming or anti-social behaviour for everyone is it? You will achieve "fuck all" with that kind of fatalistic mind-set.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            So enlighten us then.

            What should we all be doing with our time?

            From your rant you can only be justified by saying you spend it helping the less fortunate in this world on a daily basis in places where hunger and suffering is rife....

            Otherwise STFU :o)

  4. David Lawrence
    Go

    Interesting challenges ahead

    I think this is a really brave move but the road to perfection will have quite a few pot-holes along the way. Here we are, pushing the envelope with significant chunks of data flying around the webz, when a significant portion of the UK still lives on the hard shoulder of the Information Superhighway and is still wondering when they are going to get ADSL.

    On top of that, if the typical household has several people all wanting to play on-line while one person wants to watch a film or simply check their emails I wonder how well that will work out for them.

    I like the idea of cloud gaming but it will be quite a few years before it is available to more than just the privileged minority.

  5. Gordon Barret
    FAIL

    Prices

    I'm sorry but there is no way that prices are "going to plummet" just because there are no retailers in the middle - look at the pricing of books/eBooks in a recent Reg articale, where the price for an eBook was actually higher than a hardback.

    The games industry will still want as much profit as they can, hell they'll probably increase the prices due to the user getting the benefit of their super-duper hardware rendering back at the game supplier.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Stop

      Prices

      Agreed. When the market is used to paying £30-£35, why on earth would they charge less when there are profits to be made?

      It was the same argument with digital deliverable for games. Please see Valve Software's STEAM as an example about how costs saved on boxes/logistics etc. are passed on to the consumer (i.e. they aren't.)

      Quite simply, we will pay more for less - their job now is to convince us all that this is a good idea.

    2. ArmanX

      I could see a price drop...

      The reason prices for most ebooks are higher than paperbacks is because the publishing company wants to charge that, and people are willing to pay that to read their favorite author(s). If you're going to publish a book, you can go through Amazon or other e-book sellers, but the chances of someone finding your book at all is fairly low - and thus, the chances of you selling any are also fairly low.

      I see this as more of the Android or Apple model - if it's easy to write a quick game and sell it for a dollar for a smartphone, then it should be just as easy to write a quick game and sell it for a dollar on a cloud "console". Sure, you're not going to buy Left 4 Dead 4 for $5, but without the box, disc, and manuals, the game company is going to see some savings - and unlike most books, indy games have a real chance of beating major titles. You may not see prices drop on the 'big titles', but prices overall will drop.

      1. Darryl

        Fixed it for you...

        "but without the box, disc, and manuals, the game company is going to see some savings"

        should read:

        but without the box, disc, and manuals, the game company is going to see some more profit margin

        1. Bill B

          @fixed it

          Agreed. Steam games are not lower priced, they are set by the publisher and are sometimes higher than buying off (say) amazon.

          Valve had some excuse for it but can't be bothered to look it up.

          1. ArmanX
            Stop

            I think you guys missed my point...

            As I noted, current game companies probably won't sell games any cheaper than before. You can spend less money by being able to rent the game on the first day, obviously; but systems like this allow smaller game publishers to release their games more easily. Without the cost of packaging and shipping, a smaller company only has to invest programming time - similar to games for a mobile device, like the iPhone.

            I agree with you - bigger game titles will not see a price drop, probably. But is smaller companies can get out there and start making some money, they might be able to muscle the bigger companies out of the way.

  6. lurker

    "Console-less gaming on your telly is here, now."

    Except that you still need a box plugged into your telly. They just happen to call it an 'adapter' and not a 'console'.

    I can see this having some appeal for casual gamers, but the benefits of this over the current XBox/PS3 online services are questionable, especially considering the loss of performance and issues with network infrastructure.

  7. Maxson

    I like the idea

    Part of me likes the idea of OnLive (I've had an eye on it for some time) part of me still clings to the old ways. The notion of running 720p and having about 80MS response time (if I'm lucky, and I do consider it "response time" as it's the time between pressing a button and seeing the repercussions of this button press) is fairly unacceptable for someone who's always put down the money for a really good PC over the last 10 years (if you go for upper mid-range it's not monumentally expensive like it used to be). Maybe when common internet connections get faster this will be a good idea, but really, how much can the latency be lowered by?

    People bitch that monitors don't have 8ms response time or better, so is it really likely that up to 150 ms would be acceptable? That's an amount generally considered intolerable in online games nowadays....will we soon be claiming "LAG!!"? in single player?

    1. Nuno
      Stop

      not the same

      the adaptor won't need an upgrade, as will PS3/XBOX when they decide that you need a new console...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        RE: not the same

        Don't kid yourself, they will think of some reason to make you want a new one.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Resolution downgrade ...

    I never run a game below 1920 x 1200 pixels and that's standard for PC gamers these days, many run at far higher resolutions. Please explain then the attraction of 720p?

  9. Nigel Brown
    Thumb Down

    what title?

    Prices will NEVER plummet. Once a greedy pigopolist, always a greedy pigopolist.

  10. Semaj
    Thumb Down

    Never gonna work

    It's a nice idea but it's never going to work.

    First, most people still have very slow broadband connections and those that don't still have usage caps. This is not gonna change any time soon.

    Second, gaming is pretty much always at the cutting edge when it comes to technology in terms of graphics, AI, physics, etc and for that you need a local high end piece of kit if there are a lot of concurrent users, if only to avoid the lag.

    The only way I can see this sort of service working is to offer old games to casual gamers (think like those plug into your TV gizmos that you can buy from Argos). It just doesn't appeal to the hardcore market.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Might be okay for casual gaming..

    But it wont fly with hardcore online gamers..

  12. Badvock
    Grenade

    Trafiic management shenannigins

    And how will the service cope with traffic shaping and bandwith throttling? given some of the ludicrous management schemas applied by some of the ISP's in the UK one game should take you into throttling heaven in about an hour? it's a great idea as long as genuine cost benefits are passed on to the consumer but I just can't see that happening. will never replace a pc for things like flight sims and (real) Fps' and I can see most of the games on the platform being....well.....platforms, or yet another movie to game release :( lack of innovation in gaming will kill it off not lack of technology.

    1. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

      ^This

      Questions:

      1. Why pipe so much bandwidth when it's clearly unnecessary?

      2. Currently I would think there is almost no piracy as far as subscription based games go anyway? (not counting accounts hijacked via social engineering, keylogging etc)

      3. Latency... whatever they say, if (1) the game servers are going to also have to work much harder.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Resolution downgrade ...

      - "Please explain then the attraction of 720p?"

      - And being charged through the nose for blowing your 50GB monthly limit, or face downgrading your broadband to 250kbps, like my ISP, thus ruining your game?

      What would happen then, would the game convert to Genesis resolutions, 320 x 224? Thought not.

      This fails is so many levels:

      1. It requires uber-broadband. Duuuhh. Not everybody can afford that on monthly basis, but one-shot on the wallet and get you a PS3 or Xbox 360 is doable.

      2. It would cost monthly fee in all games, regardless they are MMORPGs, multiplayer or not. Ka-ching $$$. No s*it Sherlock.

      3. Lag would get you killed in games designed to be played single. Try driving a F1 car at 300 km/h with a 40ms lag, you dimwits. 40ms is the difference between the winner of the race and the 6th place, you morons. You'd be lucky not to become the wall painting outside the next curve.

      Do you even know why producers gave up on releasing a sizeable amount of driving games on multiplayer?

      Any wild guesses, anyone?????

      And I won't even mention flying games where you go Mach 1+.

    3. M Gale

      Photos at 720p...

      ...generally look better than cardboard mock-ups at 1920x1200, surely? I can see this being awesome for mmo games. No chance I'd want this to be the future of all games, but that's less resolution and more down to ownership issues.

  13. Goldmember
    Thumb Up

    Hmmm...

    "The price of games will plummet, as publishers can reach consumers directly without the need for retailers"

    Yeah right, that'll happen.

    Still, this is an intersting premise. However, the idea of having a physical game you can play years down the line (as I still do with some of the better PS1 titles such as FF7) may disappear. I can't see a service like this storing games online indefinitely. Then of course there are the usual cloud issues (service outages etc) and the fact that the UK broadband network is not yet anywhere near equipped to handle HD game streaming. But if, some years down the line they offer a decent range of new games for a competitive monthly fee, there could be a future for a service such as this.

  14. Piro
    Pint

    Biggest problem

    If my internet connection dies, one of the best things to do is play some games.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Well...

      You could always go for a nice walk, or do a spot of gardening. Maybe read a book?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re:Well...

        You're not from around here, are you boy...?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Latency and bandwidth still problems

    Latency of 100ms in a FPS is very noticeable. There's only so much predictive work the server can do. If they can get it to 50ms then they might have a winner.

    Needs CDN boxes in the major ISPs datacentres - or at least peered where the transit costs aren't going to force the ISP to throttle the life out of it. In the UK that means BT, Virgin (cable) and a few LLU operators (O2, Sky etc). So in the UK if you're on an ISP that rents from BT then you're probably screwed due to bandwidth costs at the end-user side.

    I think they'll struggle to get revenue from anything other than mobile games.

    The only people that are going to pay a monthly sub of £18.50 are serious gamers and they won't use it because of the aforementioned problems.

    Oh and 1280x720? Who the hell plays on that low a res now?

  16. Ned Fowden

    just won't work ...

    Until suitable lines are available for the majority of users, i.e. cable or fibre optic AND ISP's provide consistent speed delivery.

    and as has already been mentioned, there's no way prices would "plummet" ... although that said, I would imagine prices would drop on less popular titles ... so perhaps thats whats in their thinking, mainstream titles I would expect little change if any

    1. Lionel Baden

      RE BT comment

      doubt it as BT have a stake in this and will most likely just exclude this service from their fair use policy as they do with BT Vision film streaming

  17. Shonko Kid
    FAIL

    Doomed to fail

    Technical problems aside, this is essentially an attempt to shift the business model currently in use by the main console players to something akin to that used by iTunes, and in turn taking away a massive revenue stream from Sony, Nintendo and M$. A bold move, but I don't fancy their chances.

    Technically of course, it's doomed to fail. It will always be far better to have the game hosted on a box under (or inside) the telly. The lag is just unacceptable, and would only get worse as the userbase scales. It all seems like a solution without a problem, and a poor one at that.

  18. Stephen 2

    Bandwidth

    I can barely stream regular 240p video in real time. HD gaming over the internet? Ugh years off.

  19. David Lucke

    Meh

    This may or may not replace consoles, but it certainly isn't going to replace high-end PC gaming unless they add a mouse and keyboard control option.

  20. JDX Gold badge

    It just seems wrong

    In a world where bandwidth is a problem due to exponential increase in use of YouTube and other video sites, people seem set on stressing the networks further... the mentality to put things on The Cloud regardless how useful it is.

    If you can stream that much data, downloading a game isn't such a problem. Also, how are they running the games... a huge data-centre of PCs running VMs? Video-intensive games need a whole PC each, unlike running 10 instances on a server.

  21. squilookle

    I know it's a little odd considering I've embraced Spotify for music

    But no thanks. I like my consoles, I like the extra multimedia features they have, and I like buying/collecting games and displaying them on the shelf. I order them from play.com and then look forward to them arriving for a few days, believe it or not.

    Also, I get 2 mb/s at best, and I'm not expecting any kind of upgrade round here in the near future, so any service that needs around 5mb/s is no use to me.

    Finally, I don't believe the statement that prices will plummet, for the same reasons as others have already stated in this thread. Even so, I don't begrudge paying for games at their current prices anyway, I think you get much more for your money than with other media, especially DVD/Blu-ray.

    So, I'll be sticking with the consoles for the foreseeable future.

    That's not to say cloud gaming services don't have a place. They do and I'm sure they will be successful eventually. However, I think the author over estimates the impact they are going to have.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    if it's 3AM

    and I can't sleep I usually find a quick hand-shandy will do the trick.

    1. Lionel Baden
      Thumb Up

      Well done

      Very valid point !!!

      I dont play on consoles as i cant use the controllers to save my life !!!

      Never even considered that aspect of it.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Depends on the game

        I am a bit useless on FPS with controller, but very good on TPS.

        I use motion control for FPS, nearly up to mouse standard but better than keyboard for navigation.

    2. Thecowking

      It is available on PC

      So you can use your own keyboard and mouse.

      I wouldn't, but hey, you could.

    3. quartzie

      not entirely wrong, just a bit

      You are mixing pears and apples - the gripe ISPs have with YouTube et al is that it overloads their expensive trunks to the rest of the world.

      In comparison, Gaming on demand, just like IPTV, is a solution located at ISP premises, or at a specialized location with separate high bandwidth connection. What's more, it offers a source of revenue for ISPs, unlike bandwidth sucking YouTube.

      That said, I do not see how the service can overcome the deadly latency, which makes it entirely unsuitable for action gaming. I imagine quite a bit of the advertised 50ms is spent encoding the H.264 video, and the marketers presume everyone lives in a fiber-connected urban setting. Sadly, for many in Europe, US and the rest of the world, that is not the case.

  23. Neil Spellings
    Coat

    XBox in the cloud

    Microsoft have a great protocol technology called RemoteFX they are currently licensing to TV, STB and monitor manufacturers. I think this will be used to offer a cloud-based XBOX Live service.

    If MS give you the ability to play XBOX games "in the cloud" the age of the console under your TV is dead - all your TV needs is the RemoteFX decoder chip, an ethernet port and way to connect the controller (Bluetooth/Wireless?)

    Games developers will be released from the physical constraints of the console hardware - their games can scale up, and down as needed and consume as much, or as little, CPU and/or memory as "the cloud" can provide.

    Uses won't need to fork out for expensive consoles that are obsolete in a few years, break down, get hacked, develop red rings etc. All you'll need is the TV and a fast broadband link.

    It's gonna happen, trust me.

    /Mine's the one with the wireless controller in the pocket.

  24. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Traffic solution

    With enough compute power in the cloud you could have your own AI engine play your character for you. You simply pay for an Amazon EC2 engine to run an AI character and pay for the game also running on EC2, it regularly emails you to tell you how many orcs/ninja/gerbils/whatever you have killed and how much fun you are having.

    And whats more you have lots of spare time to go out and do something fun instead

  25. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Cynical hat on ....

    >>With no downloads and no physical media, what are the file-sharers going to rip? <<

    They will be distributing hacked/hijacked accounts instead

    >> The price of games will plummet, as publishers can reach consumers directly without the need for retailers - digital or physical. <<

    Yeah!! Just like happened with music downloads !!! And e-books !!! And .. and ... oh .....

    not to slag it off mind, I signed up for the free trial and played LEGO Batman quite acceptably on my creaky old celeron laptop with a standard 8Mb connection. considering thats based in a US datacenter still thats pretty good. High speed games like FPS might not work as well I suppose...

  26. Dropper
    Thumb Down

    Clouds

    The main problem I have with this is the obvious latency issues that would be caused by rain, sleet or snow... no I'm not sorry, that was no crappier than the name 'cloud'.. or that we should all trust the things that matter to us, say photos, to an internet startup that's been around for nearly 5 minutes.

  27. system11
    Thumb Down

    Doomed to failure

    A constant 5mb/s with good latency?

    Good luck with that.

    Lets use my home connections as an example - one of them gets just over 4mb on DSL, but it has a 10gb monthly cap before you have to pay extra. I use that company because their latency is excellent, so it's fine for normal online gaming.

    We also have a 50mb Virgin cable line, which has terrible latency even when it's working, but actually runs about 2mb/s every evening from 7pm-11pm due to an overloaded local UBR. Even if it was working, hitting 5mb constantly would get me hit by traffic shaping.

    There's a reason video streaming of high def content is yet to really take off, the infrastructure just isn't there - we need genuine fiber to the home and massive investment at provider level before any of this becomes workable. I've always thought this OnLive thing looked like a Gizmodo style investment scam to be honest.

  28. Highlander

    latency and bandwidth.

    Higher speed broadband connections will not directly improve the latency issue. Network latency is a product of the number of routing hops and local network latency. Improving your bandwidth will not do much to aid you.

    As for bandwidth, if a sub720p game will consume 2.3Gbytes an hour, a multi-gamer household will require several times the bandwidth. Not to mention that even with a 250GB monthly useage cap, 2.3GBytes an hour soon adds up.

    On-live is a concept that fails before it starts.

  29. Cameron Colley

    I can see the future now:

    Alice: "Kewl! You play COD123 3D too!"

    Bob: "Yeah, got myself a couple of fibre-optics -- one for gaming and one for the rest of the family."

    Alice: "What's the massive supercomputer under your desk?"

    Bob: "Oh, that's the latest NVIDIA 64-Card rig."

    Alice: "Ah, can you browse the web on it?"

    Bob: "Yeah, but HTML10's a bit jerky and sometimes the taste is off on older hardware. My reactor's due an upgrade too -- it barely survived the last earthquake."

  30. Bunker_Monkey
    FAIL

    Damn Lag!

    This is doomed to failure, before it gets started - Nice idea but in the UK its doomed! DOOMED!!! Cause of bandwidth and lag being too much on our already out of touch network. This would work in South Korea though!

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Uk Not Yet Ready for Cloud Gaming

    I was fortunate enough to be involved in a closed beta for this service late last year using the OnLive PC app. While the range of games and idea appears good, the lag makes any driving, FPS games unsatisfying at best and damn well unplayable at worst. In games where an instant response to your inputs is essential this service just cannot deliver. Try playing single player Mafia 2 (one of the offered titles) and it just feels disconnected, perhaps you could get used to it but unless there was a very real monetary reason to do so I don’t think I'll bother.

    The article also points out that ISP *MAY* make this service unusable or more expensive through throttling or additional changes for data use. I think this is where BT are being very very smart, by offering the service they can, as they already do with BT Vision, prioritise the traffic and guarantee no throttling/ additional data charges.

    Maybe in the future when we all have Infinity the lag will go, we'll have to wait and see.

    Paris, because I'd like to play on her cloud.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The interesting thing....

    ...is the lack of having to have the most up to date hardware to play a game.

    I tested the service out a while back, while using a crap video card cause my good one blew, and was able to run games that were completely incapable of running when I was using the boxed versions.

    Lag was also unnoticed, however I do have a good connection.

    @David Lucke

    If your running on a computer, you can use your keyboard/mouse without problem. I output from the comp to my tv for streaming video, and the games work perfectly fine.

  33. Goat Jam
    Paris Hilton

    Uhuh

    Concur with all the aforementioned problems listed and have one of my own to add to the mix.

    Local multiplayer(s).

    Say I want to play multiplayer with my son like I currently do with Borderlands. How does that work then? OK, I need two of these boxes and 2 TVs (Sorry, I don't do that naff split screen shit). Anyhow, that's OK cuz I'd need two PC's anyway so there is no loss there but what about the net connection?

    Even if they somehow manage to make this work (just) on a consumer grade 'net connection, how is it going to cope with streaming for two (or more people?)

    RIP LAN Parties?

  34. Joe Burmeister
    Thumb Down

    mainframe and thin clients, the 50s future, again

    The world only needs 5 real computers, maybe even just 1, etc etc.

    But:

    What if I want to play a old game, deemed not popular enough to maintain?

    What if I want to play something not government approved?

    What if I want to play something and don't want the outside to know or leave a record? (slightly different than above)

    What if a computational intensive game is fantastically popular?

    What if I want to buy not rent?

    Every 10 years or so we seam to go through this "mainframe and thin client is the future" idea.

  35. Andy Fletcher

    Quicker? Not in my experience

    No standing in a line? Bollocks. I had to wait a full 24 hours to get the "First Strike" mappack for BLOPS because, true to form, the PSN store fell over under load on release day. Track back to the night I bought the game itself from Gamestation, the whole operation took about 30-40 minutes from my front door and back to it clutching my purchase. Plus of course, while I was outside Gamestation, I spent a pleasant quarter of an hour chatting with a bunch of lovely people discussing strategies, kill streaks and epic fails.

    This whole online on demand will happen without doubt. It's not for our benefit though as far as I can see.

  36. NanoCamel

    Cloud Company decides for you

    Yeah it might seem as less hassle to use this service, but:

    1) lag, lag, lag. Not just because of my own bandwidth. If 10 million people decide to play CoD 25 on friday night then undigested food is going to hit the fan.

    2) When the cloud company decides that it's no longer supporting Dune2 because only 2 people play it anymore, then you're done for if your one of those two. On my own rig I decide when something is out of fashion.

    3) Company goes bust = bye bye to all of the games you "bought"

    4) Internet cuts out for a few secs = all game progress gone, restart level? Remember the heat Ubisoft and EA took on their DRM a while back that needed persistent onlineness.

    5) If you use language or behaviour ingame that is perfectly acceptable to all your friends you multiplay with, but the company takes offence, what will happen? Ban you from the game, or block your whole account after repeated "offences"?

    6) Steam has demonstrated that prices actually don't go down because of digital distribution. Also compare prices on games.co.uk between some digital versions and disc versions. Companies just take a bigger cut of the profit in digital distribution. Additionally, in normal retail prices go down after a few months (to make space for new titles), in digispace this does not happen a lot. There's a ton of games I picked up for 10 bucks in the shop that still go for 50 online... With cloud gaming it's completely up to the company to decide how much you're going to pay. Don't expect the free market to correct because you'll see some game companies signing exclusivity deals with certain cloud gaming companies.

    Don't say I didn't warn you :-)

  37. Woodgar

    How many services would I need to subscribe to?

    "Games giant EA, for instance, has taken its titles off OnLive and now offers them through Gaikai."

    If I buy an EA game, it's mine to play for ever more. If I subscribe to it via OnLive, it's only mine to play until EA moves to a different service.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BT bundling OnLive

    So....BT will be bundling OnLive with their broadband and Infinity packages, and I get 100Mb optical fibre in about 2 weeks time..........(in a Mr Burns voice).....excellent!

  39. Danny 5
    Stop

    excuse the language

    but this is just too much of a f*cking coincidence. Yesterday morning i was discussing the exact same thing with colleagues after a mini tech-ed session we had the other day (about hyper-v and the cloud). we all agreed the xbox360 was nothing more then a snazzy pc and could therefore theoretically be virtualised in the cloud and published to users at home.

    i can't believe someone stole my idea!

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    'eradicate piracy"

    Oh, I thought you said eradicate privacy.

    Never mind, nothing to see here; move on.

  41. Rimpel
    FAIL

    Is it a success in the US?

    It launched with 20 titles available and now 10 months later it only has 'over 40' (i.e. under 50) titles available so it doesn't sound like it's doing very well there.

    To be considered as a viable replacement for a console then it needs to have all games available for it. It only takes one large publisher to spurn OnLive (as EA has done) to make it likely that you would also need to own a console, and then there is absolutely no point having OnLive aswell.

    Unlike xbox/ps3, OnLive will never manage to get a title released exclusively for it (which would make it a necessity) because it has to run the game on a pc (or /xbox/ps3?) on their server and so the games would always be released on the source platform(s) aswell. Similarly any xbox/ps3 exclusives will also never appear on OnLive.

    With the limitations of the system (lag + 720p) it would seem that it would appeal to the more casual gamer market thats being doing well since the wii was launched. but does it support move + kinect? nope. What about my band hero kit? nope. or Singstar maybe? nope a 150ms lag kills those off aswell.

    I can't see that many people would be interested in this in its current form.

  42. b 3
    WTF?

    already been done..

    http://www.rasterwerks.com/

  43. pullenuk
    FAIL

    Need proper broadband....

    Onlive is a great idea. But its an idea that it a little early and they need to wait for broadband speeds to pick up first. BT Infinity is rolling out and is capable of brilliant speeds, but until they sort out the data allowance it won't work. Virgin cable network is also capable of high speeds as well. But the problem is you have to pay extra to get these speeds even so the allowance might not be enough.

    Most ISP's moan about YouTube, BBC iPlayer, download sites etc because it takes a huge amount of bandwidth on their services which they have to pay for but try and keep the user monthly costs down. OnLive requiring such a huge amount of data even after an hour is going to seriously test them.

    Until Fibre or fast services come commonplace, I will stick to my Xbox which actually works on my 6.5mpbs service with PlusNet very well, costs £23 per month for the phoneline and broadband and £25 a year for the Xbox Live serivce. Thats cheaper than getting higher speed broadband such as Infinity on top of OnLive charges. On top of that, my xbox does full HD with games, Onlive doesn't.

    Sorry OnLive

  44. Flybert
    Thumb Down

    well .. the concept just about destroyed one good company

    GarageGames / Torque game engine, and it wasn't even full cloud gaming, just a good try at browser based gaming

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/InstantAction

    that is all ..

  45. Alan 43

    BT Vision

    I wonder will BT beable to use the BT Vision box for this service rather than the onlive micro console? The BT Vision box provides digital freeview plus recording to hard drive and pause live tv like Tivo but it also gives you on demand services live streaming tv shows ad films over the broadband connection

  46. JDX Gold badge

    lags and glitches

    When watching video, it can stutter and re-cache... you get smooth video because it can cache several seconds ahead to cope with glitches but even the it isn't always perfect.

    With gaming, you can't pre-cache like this so any momentary issue, even on a very fast connection, will show up like watching stuttery awful video.

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