It is hard to believe that high-end gaming experience will be available soon for most of the mortals who have simple PC, MAC, or TV with a small adapter.
Technology is, basically, high end game servers hosted in the data centers with low-latency compression boards and light-weight clients. Client could be either small (1Mb) browser plug-In on PC/MAC or game adapter for TV that connects to home-grade DSL/fiber/cable modem.
Why OnLive is great? (at least on the demo, need to test myself at home):
- unprecedented performance approaching realism
- access to high-end games + games developed specifically for online experience
- User hardware does not get obsolete
- Extremely high-performance shared serves with 1-2 GPUs
- Special card for HW video compression
- 1 [ms] latency (can you believe that?)
Minimum requirements for the end-user hardware:
- bandwidth 1.5 Mbps for regular video resolution
- HDTV experience 5 Mbps downstream (very light for upstream, great for DSL)
Typical Social features (something that is really expected these days:
- Brag clips
- Spectating roles
Plenty of Games already available on OnLive:
- Family games (LegoBatman is there)
- Did not see any cooperative games but who cares – killing is more fun
- Sport -spectator games are there. Are they more fun than “real” sport? Claim is that it will be possible to have 1 Mil people watching games. Hard to believe but - why not? Technologically it is possible these days
Gamers will love:
- Gaming (and good gaming, finally!) on MAC
- For Multi-player games – fast connection between game servers (LAN party environment)
- OnLive makes easier to watch the game, why bother clicking and tapping when you can see masters at play.
Game Publishers will love it: rental model + exposure to bigger market. No surprise that big names are already there:
• Electronic Arts
• Take two
• Epic Games
• 2D Boy
Game developers will like it:
- Single code – 3 devices
- Social features integrated
Hardware Companies will hate it:
- No need to buy and upgrade expensive game PC
Why I am still skeptical?
Networks are optimized for bandwidth – not latency, will that ruin the experience?
I am waiting (patiently) for the winter ’09 general service launch…