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Is OnLive Possible? New Service Makes Big Claims

Posted under News by Chris Benson on Friday, March 27th, 2009 -

OnLive menu

OnLive, just announced at GDC 09, is an incredibly ambitious venture, aiming to do nothing less than revolutionize videogaming as we know it. Rearden Studios, the boringly-titled company behind the boringly-titled magic, claims that, among other things, the service will let you play high-def videogames remotely, while adding less than 1 millisecond of latency, which, if you know anything about internet connections, is miraculous.

Or bullshit.

OnLive in a nutshell, is a service which would run all your videogames for you remotely, requiring you to own only a computer capable of handling streaming video. Much cheaper than the typical behemoths necessary to run today’s triple-A games. And if you don’t even have that, you can purchase, or possibly rent, the OnLive “microconsole,”  seen in the following image.

How OnLive Works

The problem here is the feasibility of Rearden Studio’s claims, such as the 1 millisecond latency, and that the most you’ll need “is 5MB download speed and [OnLive] can deliver games running at 720p at 60FPS.” With today’s video compression and encoding technologies, this is entirely impossible. Luckily,  Rearden Studios has another claim up their sleeve: amazing new “interactive video compression algorithms,” the likes of which the Earth has never seen!

And that’s not even half of the massive problems that would need to be solved. For every game to run at 60 frames per second at high resolution, the OnLive datacenters would need a top-of-the-line PC for every connected user. Where would the thousands of dollars per subscriber required to purchase, let alone upkeep, those PCs come from?

I hope I’m wrong, but as I see it, Onlive is the new Phantom.

(Source: Ars Technica)

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One comments… read them below or add one

  1. Adam Bruno says:

    Yeah, it’s probably a pipe dream. But this could be really, really, really, really– fuck it, you get it. This could be AWESOME!

    Yeah. Or bullshit.

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