Monday, August 31, 2009

The Next Step?

So coming this winter, there is a new game console coming out; if you can call it that. I recently had a conversation which then turned into a debate with someone and I am continuing that conversation here today.

The console is called OnLive, and the cool thing is you don’t actually buy a hard copy of the game. The whole system is done via internet connection. Before I get into how skeptical I am about this new system, and believe I am, let me give you some general background info on the system.

So OnLive can be connected through your TV, PC or Mac. Then through your internet connection, you connect to an OnLive service center. (See Below) Here is where the game that you have bought is now streamed through the internet with “binding fast speeds” to your controller, connecting you to the game servers. Now, here is where the issue comes into play.

My issue with this system is that it relies completely on the person’s internet connection. This may sound great in theory, but I see many problems lying ahead. Before I jump in, let me add that it has been explained to me that no matter what kind of internet speed you have, you will still have a great game to play. For example, if you have a great internet connection, its fast and you also have a great flat screen TV, your game is going to look the best it possibly can; like Blue ray quality. However, if you don’t have that great of an internet connection and still own a tube TV (which really scares me if you do…its called Costco) then you will still get the best quality game that you can for what your “equipment” allows.

But what if you own a decent TV, something that wasn’t too expensive and it’s a flat screen, but you have internet service from Comcast. Uh-oh! There lies a problem already. Comcast is known for having their service just randomly drop, which then requires you to call customer services and that is a dead end right there. Now, I understand that many people who have a PS3 or an Xbox play their games, like Gears of War, online which this then becomes a problem for them too. But games aren’t just played online, well at least for me anyways.

When I first buy a game, I like to run through the story and see how everything works. If I go to a midnight release, for lets say Halo 3, and wanted to go home and play right away but their was a terrible storm outside I would be in big trouble! If I couldn’t stay up until 5am playing that game I have wait probably at least a year for I would be extremely upset. Now, I understand even if you have the slightest bit of a connection OnLive will adjust so that the game runs on that speed.

According to their website,, this is exactly what speeds you need in order to get a good quality game to work. “OnLive works over nearly any broadband connection (DSL, cable modem, fiber, or through the LAN at your college or office). For Standard-Definition TV resolution, OnLive needs a 1.5 Mbps connection. For HDTV resolution (720p60), OnLive needs 5 Mbps.”

So, what do you guys think? Will it be as a big a hit and they are hoping? They haven’t release the exact date yet, or even how much it is going cost. However, they did say that it will be significantly cheaper than Nintendo’s Wii which is currently $250. However, as we learned on Friday, the Xbox 360 Arcade is still the cheapest on the market. I guess we will just have to wait and see.

1 comment:

  1. Latency. Latency is what is going to make this product be absolutely fucking terrible. Your commands aren't being processed at your computer then sent out to the server. Your commands are getting processed at the fucking server. So you hit space bar to jump. In wow, your character actually jumps immediately because your computer is where its getting picked up, but for everybody else you are actually jumping 900 ms later (dual boot wow and you will see). With OnLive, you will press spacebar wait 900 ms then your character will jump. Now, imagine this with a latency of 3k and you are playing Call of Duty. Yea, fuck everything about this.