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OnLive will have less lag than consoles

OnLive will have less lag than consoles

Onlive boss Steve Perlman reckons cloud gaming will soon offer less lag than current consoles.

Onlive boss Steve Perlman has defended his cloud gaming company, which sees games run on server farms and fed to players over the internet, from those who say that there's too much lag.

The lag that players typically see in Onlive games is 'very, very close' to the level of lag seen in console games, Perlman told Eurogamer.

'In fact, with some of the improvements you'll see coming out this summer, in a lot of cases it'll get to be less,' said, before going on to explain how Onlive will offer a more lag-free experience.

'Video games today, when they're built for Xbox 360, PS3 or even PC, they have pre-render queues. In order to get as much realism as they can with the processing hardware they have, they introduce multi-frame lag in games. There is some period of delay before the result hits the screen.'

'We're able to compensate for that because we have state of the art servers with very high performance GPUs. A 2005 class Xbox or PS3 game, when you put it on a 2011 class server, we don't have to have that pre-render queue. Instead, we use that time for the network delay. The algorithm keeps getting better and better.'

'We tune the game system from a human perceptual point of view to try to make it so the game plays as good as possible.'

'There are different algorithms used for different games. In fact, there are over a hundred algorithms used for different types of connections, whether it's cable, DLS or fibre... certainly Wi-fi and 3G are different.'

'We don't expect this to displace the people who are hardcore gamers, who really want the maximum performance out of it. We expect this to reach a more mainstream audience and hopefully bring a lot more people into the gaming community than had been there before.'

Onlive will roll out across the UK this autumn, so let us know your thoughts in the forums.

40 Comments

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Picarro 16th June 2011, 10:41 Quote
How can he keep pulling stuff like this out of his arse?
Drakanthal 16th June 2011, 10:47 Quote
Speaking as a network Engineer, if he expects lag free gaming over standard DSL, he has another thing coming.
wuyanxu 16th June 2011, 10:52 Quote
O'Rly?

http://tapatalk.com/mu/d4b78046-d248-9596.jpg

Testing on my netbook with it next to the router.
adam_bagpuss 16th June 2011, 10:57 Quote
lol that entire article is just BS

hey MR perlman - it doesnt work and when it does its crap. Its not about maximum performance just a game that looks good on a average broadband line. If you can achieve this then maybe you got a decent product

all this as well as paying for stuff you dont own simply rent from onlive.
StoneyMahoney 16th June 2011, 10:58 Quote
We don't have that problem! *coughcoughsplutter*wehavedifferentones*coughcough*
Kiytan 16th June 2011, 11:24 Quote
I'm confused, I get how PC games could theoretically run faster, because you have insane amounts of power behind it, but surely 360/ps3 games are stilll being run off of 360s/ps3s, unless they cut some interesting deals in Sony/MS.
Igniseus 16th June 2011, 11:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu
O'Rly?

http://tapatalk.com/mu/d4b78046-d248-9596.jpg

Testing on my netbook with it next to the router.

Your in UK right? And the UK servers haven't been installed yet, so you would be routing through to America and back (possibly twice if your online game server your playing on is in the UK which the USA OnLive servers would have to communicate with), which even on your own PC would typically net 100+ ping for the distance alone.

Just thought I'd point it out, not really fair to comment on its performance when we don't have servers in our own country yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiytan
I'm confused, I get how PC games could theoretically run faster, because you have insane amounts of power behind it, but surely 360/ps3 games are stilll being run off of 360s/ps3s, unless they cut some interesting deals in Sony/MS.

I think he's just comparing a PC game running on OnLive compared to a PS3/360 game running natively and naturally with powerful PC hardware the framerate and such can be much higher.
adam_bagpuss 16th June 2011, 11:42 Quote
Quote:
Just thought I'd point it out, not really fair to comment on its performance when we don't have servers in our own country yet.

if this is the case then why have the released the product !!!!

you cant release it then when people complain say well we haven't got the infrastructure yet so don't judge us.

basically it was released too soon and its rubbish so onlive have taken your cash now they must take the flac too. you cant have it both ways
will_123 16th June 2011, 11:47 Quote
Quote:
basically it was released too soon and its rubbish so onlive have taken your cash now they must take the flac too. you cant have it both ways

True that. Until broadband speeds get sorted in the UK will this ever really be possible? Would be interested to see what hardware they are running on their "2011" servers..
blackryn0 16th June 2011, 13:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu
O'Rly?

http://tapatalk.com/mu/d4b78046-d248-9596.jpg

Testing on my netbook with it next to the router.

Obviously your ISP sucks, if your paying for standard internet which i am assuming, you should be pay for 15Mb Down and at least 2 up. You need to check your internet speed on speakeasy.net to make sure your isp isn't ganking you out of your money 9 times out of 10 they most likely are thats why your getting those results. I haven't experienced any lag what so ever when using the service.
blackryn0 16th June 2011, 13:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Picarro
How can he keep pulling stuff like this out of his arse?

How can you say that, have you even tried the service yet, probably not. It amazes me that you people talk crap about something without even trying it first. And on top of that you guys are not reading the article properly to understand the difference between pre-render queues and internet algorithms. Do me a favor and do more research about what being said in the article before you say anything.
NuTech 16th June 2011, 13:57 Quote
I still think OnLive are missing out on a massive opportunity by not partnering or licensing out their technology to set-top box manufacturers.

Instead of promoting their services to gamers who already own 1-3+ superior gaming systems, they should get their tech built into Sky/Freeview/Cable boxes, hotel televisions, Boxee/Roku etc.

Don't see why they're insisting on targeting 'us' when they should be positioning themselves as the logical next step for casual or new gamers. Added bonus being that the types of games that sell well in those markets aren't usually susceptible to high latency, unlike FPS/racing games etc.
Phalanx 16th June 2011, 14:01 Quote
My god this company talks a lot of ****...
Bauul 16th June 2011, 14:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by NuTech
I still think OnLive are missing out on a massive opportunity by not partnering or licensing out their technology to set-top box manufacturers.

Instead of promoting their services to gamers who already own 1-3+ superior gaming systems, they should get their tech built into Sky/Freeview/Cable boxes, hotel televisions, Boxee/Roku etc.

Don't see why they're insisting on targeting 'us' when they should be positioning themselves as the logical next step for casual or new gamers. Added bonus being that the types of games that sell well in those markets aren't usually susceptible to high latency, unlike FPS/racing games etc.

They have haven't they? I remember reading somewhere recently about the next lot of a particular manufacturer's net-enabled TVs (maybe Samsung?) would have on-line built into it.
xaser04 16th June 2011, 14:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by adam_bagpuss
if this is the case then why have the released the product !!!!

you cant release it then when people complain say well we haven't got the infrastructure yet so don't judge us.

basically it was released too soon and its rubbish so onlive have taken your cash now they must take the flac too. you cant have it both ways

Technically they havn't released onlive yet in the UK. We can however login to Onlive (.com) and play games presumably through servers located somewhere else in the world.

The system "works" but ultimately due to its design lag will never dissapear. The simple fact is that each and every keystroke you make has to go much further (thus inducing more ping or "lag") than if you were playing the same game locally.

I have messed around on quite a few of the 30 minute free trials they offer and the system works but the lag is very prominent. Perhaps on a controller sat in front of a TV it will be more tolerable but I don't see how it can ever have less lag than a console.

For reference - whenever I say "lag" I mean the time between you pressing a button and the action happening.
Ayrto 16th June 2011, 14:46 Quote
Tbh, I think Onlive is trying to be the solution to a problem that doesn't exist . I mean, to function at its full potential and be viable, it'd need everyone to have superfast South korean type connections. But if someone's paying for a top quality superfast high Mb/s fibre connection, why couldn't they afford an Xbox, mid range PC or PS3 or any future equivalent?

And it's difficult to believe that their centralised HW will be constantly updated to keep pace with new tech. Certainly not better than a current mid range PC. Otherwise it'd become prohibitively expensive for the Onlive user. In fact, I think it'd be seriously bad for graphical progress if this caught on, as the pressure would be on to milk any existing infrastructure for years and years.
lifeandall 16th June 2011, 15:05 Quote
I think a lot of people discount OnLive before even properly trying it. And what I mean by properly trying it is, trying it in an area where it is officially released.

As for me, I'm a 360 and PC gamer. I've also become an avid OnLive player within the last two months, even though I've been a member for a year. There are lots of benefits to OnLive. No need to update your computer or buy another console is definitely a huge one. Being able to play games anywhere you go, whether on a netbook, PC, or TV is another one.

As for lag, I don't think Perlman is too far off base. I've played Halo and Call of Duty on the 360 with more lag than what OnLive offers with Homefront. As for single player games, what he is talking about in the above interview totally makes sense.

Trust me, it works. I've seen people run it with 5/mbs speeds easily. I was playing on a hospital wi-fi with my netbook. Perlman was showing how it runs on a tablet over 4G. I've seen many network administrators scratch their head at the vodoo/magic that OnLive is working. It doesn't make sense, but it does work.
cypressgroove 16th June 2011, 15:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayrto
I mean, to function at its full potential and be viable, it'd need everyone to have superfast South korean type connections. But if someone's paying for a top quality superfast high Mb/s fibre connection, why couldn't they afford an Xbox, mid range PC or PS3 or any future equivalent?

Just on this point I think you're confusing the issues of latency and bandwidth in respect to superfast connections. Bandwidth is a measure of how much data can be delivered between server and client in a given period. Latency is how long it takes for any single piece of data to make that journey.

If you want to know whether your connection is 'fast' enough in terms of pure bandwidth, just head over to youtube and play a 1080p video. If you can do so without it constantly buffering your connection will be 'fast' enough for onlive.

Of course, latency is a whole other issue. To test that -- if you can play online games on UK servers without noticing any 'lag' then your connection is probably 'fast' enough to play onlive.

Personally I can do both and I suspect most people on 8MB+ (possibly lower, no idea how their compression tech works) wired internet connections will find the same. Sure upstream is always lower, but all you'll be sending to the onlive servers is key inputs, and when I click 'submit reply' at the bottom of this post and it instantly shows me the resulting post I'll have used my upstream to send more 'input characters' at once than any game will ever need to with onlive.

I'm still sceptical about it's practicality for many reasons (some of which you also raised) but I don't think in fairness the problem will be the bandwidth of the connection. XD
mucgoo 16th June 2011, 16:53 Quote
He could actually be right. A typical 30fps console game has an input lag of 150ms.
With a network lag of 50ms*2 +50ms for processing you've got the same lag as a console.
Showerhead 16th June 2011, 17:20 Quote
I could see how this would work if you were comparing a p2p network game (which quite a lot of ps3 and 360 multiplayer games are) to one played ovwer onlive presumably with onlive their central server could act as a dedicated server. Don't see how it would work for single player though.
Ayrto 16th June 2011, 18:41 Quote
@cypressgroove

I do know the difference, but high bandwidth and low latency, trouble free internet usually go hand in hand. And to work to its potential,( based on reports from the US)that's really what it needs.

Many people have ISP traffic shaping going on their connections at peak times these days. Stated bandwidth goes to hell and even basic upstream/ downstream communication becomes difficult and hit and miss , downstream can be at around dial up for some , when this shaping is overly aggressive , and the much ,much lower anyway- upstream ...well. So as for the Youtube 1080p test, I'd guess there aren't that many users (discounting the superfast) who can consistently pass that test . So positional game data -yes , full screen game video and positional game data - no.

The same reports complain that the IQ looks bad. To provide anything less than full res, when you consider they're asking, full game price, seems like a rip off.

Corrected.. they use 720p and will use 1080p when the servers are updated, though you do wonder about what algorithm (compression) changes they have in mind.
Bakes 16th June 2011, 19:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayrto

The same reports complain that the IQ looks bad. To provide anything less than full res, when you consider they're asking, full game price, seems like a rip off.

To get the same image quality as a standard graphics card on 1080p, you'd be transferring over a hundred MB per second.
DeadMan 16th June 2011, 19:47 Quote
He is a very brave man!
DeadMan 16th June 2011, 20:01 Quote
'We're able to compensate for that because we have state of the art servers with very high performance GPUs. A 2005 class Xbox or PS3 game, when you put it on a 2011 class server, we don't have to have that pre-render queue. Instead, we use that time for the network delay. The algorithm keeps getting better and better.'

Wow these 2011 class servers sound cool, I would like to use one properly, locally... oh wait! what is this I am typing into.
Ayrto 16th June 2011, 20:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakes
To get the same image quality as a standard graphics card on 1080p, you'd be transferring over a hundred MB per second.

And ^this kinda makes the point ....


... there is only so much compression can do before it becomes obvious, of the people on their forum who've signed up, many seem to have no idea. Quite a few console owners are commenting and complaining by saying that they signed up to play Crysis at 1080p, with it looking as good as it does on the latest and greatest PCs maxed out lol.
Bakes 16th June 2011, 21:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayrto
And ^this kinda makes the point ....


... there is only so much compression can do before it becomes obvious, of the people on their forum who've signed up, many seem to have no idea. Quite a few console owners are commenting and complaining by saying that they signed up to play Crysis at 1080p, with it looking as good as it does on the latest and greatest PCs maxed out lol.

Yep. Blu-Ray quality is about 20Mbps at 30fps, and onlive streams about 5Mbps at a far lower resolution.

Despite how inherently playable OnLive may be, it seems like a folly to introduce at 80-100ms input lag into the system (20ms MINIMUM to their server, 33ms for frame rendering, 20ms back) while expecting the service to compete with products that do not have such issues.
Ayrto 16th June 2011, 21:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakes
Yep. Blu-Ray quality is about 20Mbps at 30fps, and onlive streams about 5Mbps at a far lower resolution.

Despite how inherently playable OnLive may be, it seems like a folly to introduce at 80-100ms input lag into the system (20ms MINIMUM to their server, 33ms for frame rendering, 20ms back) while expecting the service to compete with products that do not have such issues.


Yep, agreed .

Off topic -It's kinda sad when you hear about a future free of physical media too. Because it's highly unlikely that any streaming or downloadable 1080p content will ever rival the 50Gb of quality content packed onto a blu ray disc. Both Onlive and even movie streaming, can only offer massive downgrades from personal HW and physical media respectively, though it's dressed up as 'the future' .
Bakes 16th June 2011, 21:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayrto
Yep, agreed .

Off topic -It's kinda sad when you hear about a future free of physical media too. Because it's highly unlikely that any streaming or downloadable 1080p content will ever rival the 50Gb of quality content packed onto a blu ray disc. Both Onlive and even movie streaming, can only offer massive downgrades from personal HW and physical media respectively, though it's dressed up as 'the future' .

Yes, I totally agree with that. Everyone's talking about playing from the cloud, yet Netflix's crappy quality already takes up like 30% of traffic in America.
rayson 16th June 2011, 22:15 Quote
i recieve 7 mb down and 768 kb up. i think i get quite flawless results certainly better than consoles . yes something it goes wrong but it fixes it self within a second or two
rayson 16th June 2011, 22:17 Quote
i still prefer good old steam though they should steam like package for blu-ray movies as well. if you have virgin media's 100mb down
rayson 16th June 2011, 22:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rayson
i still prefer good old steam though they should do steam like package for blu-ray movies as well. if you have virgin media's 100mb down
Bakes 16th June 2011, 22:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rayson
i still prefer good old steam though they should steam like package for blu-ray movies as well. if you have virgin media's 100mb down

Shame virgin can only handle a small percentage of their users downloading at that speed.
The_Beast 16th June 2011, 23:06 Quote
I can't believe they get away with making these claims and not get sued for false advertisement
ssj12 17th June 2011, 02:43 Quote
Onlive isnt out of business yet? shocking.
Pete J 17th June 2011, 02:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackryn0
Favourable Onlive attitude x2
Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeandall
Favourable Onlive attitude
Hmm, two people who signed up specifically to comment on this. Am I just being paranoid or...
thehippoz 17th June 2011, 03:02 Quote
yeah typical ping from the us to the europe is around 120ms.. a lot of hops

might be better on local servers.. just sayin

bet they are the devs pete.. or crotchety investors.. you can't deny first hand accounts like wu's

this technology will probably break a lot of monitors from slapping
MSHunter 17th June 2011, 07:23 Quote
I really do not understand how people can not see that this is due to the service our ISP is providing. We pay (in the UK) for say 8 mb broadband and what did I get? 2MB during off peak! Naturally this is too slow for Video over IP (that's why in some countries, like Germany V.I.P. in only provided over +ADSL 2 16MB lines).

It is mostly down to your ISP/distance from nearest exchange and they know this. This is an issue that can only be fix by your ISP as the only other way would be to use 10 year old graphics (i.e. like online flash games). We really need to PUSH ISP's to provide honest service! This is the root of the issue and it must be addressed.

Also If you are using WiFi connection between your router and TV/Console then you loss an extra 20-30% of your stated speed. WiFi is NOT FOR GAMING. It is a connection that is designed for pre-fetched data or low data requirements. Even with full signal and router next to you console/PC you can loss connection to the server in game due to the security cycles run in you router. (simply put when the pass codes are verified you have no connection, how badly this affects you is down to the quality of your router, CPU speed) So be smart and us LAN or at least Homeplug/Powerline networking.

I an sure there are people here that will clarify exactly what happens during the security cycle (I don't remember sorry)
wuyanxu 17th June 2011, 08:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSHunter

Also If you are using WiFi connection between your router and TV/Console then you loss an extra 20-30% of your stated speed. WiFi is NOT FOR GAMING. It is a connection that is designed for pre-fetched data or low data requirements. Even with full signal and router next to you console/PC you can loss connection to the server in game due to the security cycles run in you router. (simply put when the pass codes are verified you have no connection, how badly this affects you is down to the quality of your router, CPU speed)

first time i've heard of this security cycle, and first time i've heard of this loosing speed business on a router.

care to elaborate and link to your sources?
loftie 17th June 2011, 11:59 Quote
I've never noticed this kind of lag on a console or PC, so why do I care? I'm still intrigued by Onlive, but it seems like they are clutching at straws with this kind of statement.

It is vaguely amusing when you hear the equivalent of corporate my dad's ( 7m10cm) bigger than your dad (7m09cm).
MSHunter 18th June 2011, 15:30 Quote
Sorry I was a bit off the actual issue which is response time. When this ping is too high you experience LAG, If it goes over a pre set value say 300-400ms you are disconnected from the server.

If you would like to inform yourself about WAP2, TKIP, AES please use google. I do not have any links atm as it has been a while since I was researching wifi.

Basically the reason is:

LAN: full 100 MB ultra low lat. connection without encryption (unless you used Business level hardware and activate) and no signal interference or re-authentications.

WIFI: High Lat. speed divided between devices, multi layer encryption and verification protocols. All add a delay to your packet which then in turn raises your response time. Now the big one, TKIP or simply put keys that are time limited and have to be renewed. This renewal of you encryption key is the most common cause of connection loss when you have full signal strength.

(I ask any current Network admin's to clarify further and add up to date links).

(Naturally a company selling WiFi equipment will not advertise these known issues and the faster the routers CPU is, the quality of the signal, up to date drivers on bolth ends the less this is an issue.)
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