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OnLive public beta begins

OnLive public beta begins

OnLive is a new gaming idea which uses cloud-based computing to let players game at a distance.

OnLive, the controversial and possibly too-good-to-be-true gaming service that was announced earlier this year, is about to enter into a public beta. Users are being asked to sign up at the official site.

OnLive is a new cloud-based system for playing games on, with the final product apparently set to use a 'microconsole' that connects to the internet. The beta however will only require a regular PC from what we can gather.

The basic idea is that all the games you want to play are run in a big network farm somewhere else, but you play them remotely thanks to advances in internet streaming and a fancy new codec that OnLive claims to have developed. All inputs you make on your PC are transmitted to the OnLive center and run into your game. The result is then streamed back to you as HD video in practically real-time...supposedly.

OnLive has yet to be successfully demonstrated in any real, public sense - so this will be an important step for the company.

Anyone hoping to be included in the beta will need to complete a short performance test and based on that successful applicants will be organised into test groups so that the company can methodically benchmark and gauge the success of the system.

OnLive has proven to be a controversial idea so far though, with plenty of people decrying the system as implausible on current internet connections even before they've seen it. Personally, we're willing to wait and see how it all holds up before we come to a firm conclusion, but let us know your thoughts in the forums.

25 Comments

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DragunovHUN 3rd September 2009, 12:31 Quote
Bleh, US-only.
AshT 3rd September 2009, 12:40 Quote
Anyone for 'cloud-computing' based Solitaire?
Bauul 3rd September 2009, 12:56 Quote
I bet it only launches in the US too. Much easier to keep everyone close to the servers and thus the pings down that way too.

It would be awesome to use, but the fear is no matter how fast your connection, the Internet isn't a consistent beast. Still, as Bit says, it'd be wrong to write it off without trying it.
wuyanxu 3rd September 2009, 13:10 Quote
lost my internet connection for the last 4 days, was lucky i have Futurama videos and games offline.

i can't see this as my primary system the same reason as i don't use Spotify/LastFM or stream any lengthy videos (i download them)

would be nice to see how the beta goes though
neocleous 3rd September 2009, 13:58 Quote
I can't see this working on my 1 meg line. They really need to invest in the Telecom infrastructure in the UK before this would be feasible for enough people.
Jamie 3rd September 2009, 14:46 Quote
This just isn't going to work with the current state of internet telephony.
popcornuk1983 3rd September 2009, 14:56 Quote
Grrrrrrrr US only that sucks!

Agree with Jamie. A lot of UK connections using ADSL are piss poor. Lucky if you get 2-3Mb out of the line. Plus with all the traffic like iPlayer, YouTube HD etc, IPS's are already struggling to keep up with the demand! I think they would fall over if this became popular.
Denis_iii 3rd September 2009, 15:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bauul
I bet it only launches in the US too. Much easier to keep everyone close to the servers and thus the pings down that way too.

It would be awesome to use, but the fear is no matter how fast your connection, the Internet isn't a consistent beast. Still, as Bit says, it'd be wrong to write it off without trying it.

huh? the US is huge, it'd be best for beta in UK
better infrastructure and everythings closer
can't wait to get feedback from the beta testers
Denis_iii 3rd September 2009, 15:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Denis_iii
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bauul
I bet it only launches in the US too. Much easier to keep everyone close to the servers and thus the pings down that way too.

It would be awesome to use, but the fear is no matter how fast your connection, the Internet isn't a consistent beast. Still, as Bit says, it'd be wrong to write it off without trying it.

huh? the US is huge, it'd be best for beta in UK
better infrastructure and everythings closer
can't wait to get feedback from the beta testers

more about latency then bandwidth, UK is better connected then US
erratum1 3rd September 2009, 18:02 Quote
There's no way my internet would be strong enough for this, i think i will be playing games for 'real' for a while yet.
Star*Dagger 3rd September 2009, 18:49 Quote
This is the most important series of stories in gaming since the advent of the graphics cards. HUGE, BIG, ENORMOUS.

By the way this was shown publicly and worked fine.
I feel there is too much neo-luddite skepticism around this company and their efforts, dnoted by the excessive use of "supposedly" and other qualifiers.

Enjoy the future while it is here!

Yours in OnLive Plasma,
Star*Dagger
HourBeforeDawn 3rd September 2009, 19:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie
This just isn't going to work with the current state of internet telephony.

for the US ya for the rest of the 1st world countries will be fine, the US is 28th in terms of internet capability ><
DragunovHUN 3rd September 2009, 20:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by HourBeforeDawn
for the US ya for the rest of the 1st world countries will be fine, the US is 28th in terms of internet capability ><

I hear UK internet is really garbage too. Good thing i don't live there, i'd be pissed if my connection was weaker than advertised.
thehippoz 3rd September 2009, 20:45 Quote
just signed up.. I wish they had put some questions about system hardware- but I guess if your just streaming it, doesn't matter
Kiytan 3rd September 2009, 21:16 Quote
I also have serious doubts about this, i just don't see it working smoothly enough to play really high end games (crysis for example, which is the kind of game you would want to run on it, games that need seriously beefy hardware)
sear 3rd September 2009, 21:56 Quote
OnLive is concerning, not because of the issue of "will it work", but because frankly, it means a total lack of content control on the part of the users. Games being safely tucked away on the company's servers means that yes, piracy won't be an issue, but it also means that if you want to keep playing your games, you're going to need to keep paying money for them. If the service goes down, you're left with no way to play; if it goes under, all "your" games, and "your" game progress are gone. Personally, I'd much rather have a copy of my game on my computer, to be played when I see fit, than to be constantly renting them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiytan
I also have serious doubts about this, i just don't see it working smoothly enough to play really high end games (crysis for example, which is the kind of game you would want to run on it, games that need seriously beefy hardware)
Please investigate before posting like this. OnLive works by doing all the actual computation on their own server farms, which are likely far more powerful than any home user's hardware, even under heavy loads. Games are streamed to users as 720p video, while the user's control inputs are directed to the server. While this isn't an issue for slower-paced games, if you have anything more than 15 ms of latency, the delay is going to be noticeable in fast-paced games, especially shooters. The video encoding also has to be extremely fast, and even an added delay of 2-5 ms can be noticeable in certain situations. When you consider that most people get pings of 30-70 ms in online games with modern connections and fast servers, OnLive just does not seem realistic for anything requiring fast reaction times from players, even with good latency compensation built into the netcode.

There's also the issue of image quality, of course. OnLive streams games as 720p video, but I doubt that's going to be crystal-clear, and 720p is a fairly low resolution these days when it comes to gaming. 1680x1050 and higher aren't the norm just yet, but they may well be in a couple of years when OnLive debuts, with 1080p displays closing in fast as well, and even small artifacts will be extremely noticeable in those situations.

Suffice is to say, OnLive is a major, major compromise - its aim is to get more people gaming, who don't want to shell out tons of money for their own gaming computers, who don't care so much about image quality, and who don't feel owning their games long-term is a priority.
AshT 3rd September 2009, 22:06 Quote
American posters who check it out - let us know your views as soon as possible!
SBS 3rd September 2009, 22:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sear
OnLive is concerning, not because of the issue of "will it work", but because frankly, it means a total lack of content control on the part of the users. Games being safely tucked away on the company's servers means that yes, piracy won't be an issue, but it also means that if you want to keep playing your games, you're going to need to keep paying money for them. If the service goes down, you're left with no way to play; if it goes under, all "your" games, and "your" game progress are gone. Personally, I'd much rather have a copy of my game on my computer, to be played when I see fit, than to be constantly renting them

That's no different to Steam (aside from the continuous subscription bit, which will doubtless appear down the line), surely you haven't forsaken that superb little bit of software too?

It like most other things is a question of working out your budgets. Sure you'll be tied to the subscription model and there will doubtless be a (small imo) risk of them going bust but chances are for most vaguely serious gamers this would be far outweighed by the substantially lower outlay on games/hardware/electricity and the fact that it'd be so damn convienient. No installation of a game and then mod after mod after mod, no pissing about with patches, just works whenever you want it.

Passing away train journeys playing CS:S on my eee? Yes please.
Er-El 3rd September 2009, 22:53 Quote
To those worried about not being able to own your games anymore, think of OnLive/Gaikai (cloud gaming) as a service. It's a lot like going to the cinema (you don't own the experience then do you?) as opposed to buying a DVD and bringing it home with you, which is more like Steam right now where you download your games and it's yours to download as many times as you want.

I think we will always... at least for a long time, have a choice of the two. To either stream our games as a service, or buy it and make it ours by downloading it to run completely on our own system.
DriftCarl 3rd September 2009, 23:36 Quote
sure it says US only but theres nothing stopping you from putting in fake details, they are only gonna send you a link to the download and possibly a code to enter.
even if the pings are high for me, i think I could get a pretty good idea if it is gonna work. I am sure there will be alot of simple games that I could play too
Furymouse 4th September 2009, 05:26 Quote
I signed up making sure that the receive newsletters box was not ticked. Got the email confirming my application and then received a second email stating that my profile had been changed to receive newsletters and what not from them. Good thing I set up with my junk mail account. Just so's everyones aware of that.
ou7blaze 6th September 2009, 08:30 Quote
The only places this would work would be the US, Japan and Korea. Because they have lightning fast internet, UK? Sorry. :o
leexgx 7th September 2009, 05:06 Quote
that Really depends where you Live in that Place in the world/state/street, like Cable in the UK is 10/20/50 and thats not if or but it works at that speed stated unlike BT Phone ADSL avg is 4MB ish (more then 1-2KM away internet can suck on ADSL speed) but this is the same if its Any place in the world, having fiber optic broadband may still have same lag as an cable line at best its not going to use a lot of bandwidth as it needs to work on a lot of users connections, what i would be more bothered about is ISP that have monthly Caps in place that charge when you go over (in the UK that be a lot of ADSL providers, where as cable have an daily throttle if you download 1.4gb/3.2gb on 10mb/20mb bb it nocks the connection down 75% for 5 hrs between 3pm and 9pm, 50mb has no throttler in place)

onlive is more likely Latency based then any thing els
fabler 9th September 2009, 05:49 Quote
Hi guys,

This is my first post in bit-tech.net.

No india.. ohh.. BTW still I've registered for beta testing. We have very slow connection compare to other countries. Like we have fastest broadband of 256Kbps. I can test onLive on 256Kbps connection. :D :D :D :D
_Metal_Guitar_ 18th March 2010, 10:50 Quote
I have to lol at this...the ammount of fuss Ubisofts new DRM is making, and they think this is going to take off?
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