Friday, June 18, 2010

Video review of OnLive

Cloud gaming, it's finally here:

Two written reviews:

The reviews are surprisingly positive about the lag: some say it's noticeable, others say it isn't, but in either case it's not really an issue during gameplay, not even for "fast twitched" games like Unreal Tournament 3 and Batman Arkham Asylum. I(UPDATE: I have been watching 5 video reviews from casual gamers on YouTube, and every single one says that lag is unnoticeable, which is fuck awesome, I guess this settles anyones doubts about latency!). mage quality is a mixed bag: one reviewer says it looks almost identical to 720p local play, another says it's significantly worse. due to compression. I guess it depends on the bandwidth connection. Image quality is imo definitely not the biggest hurdle for cloud gaming, latency is much more important and apparently it's all very playable. Games are the most challenging software to make work through cloud computing and OnLive has apparently succeeded at this daunting task. OTOY and Gaikai will surely follow. When these services mature and gain popularity, consoles will face a difficult time. Ultimately, when every thinkable piece of software can be run on the cloud, who will still need Windows?

There's no doubt that cloud gaming is the future of games, the killer app for iPad and iPhone, probably sooner than most people think, and a serious problem for next-gen consoles. I think Larrabee/MIC/Knight's Corner might resurface in a cloud game server environment instead of being sold as a stand-alone PC card. I also think that at some point in the future, Nvidia and AMD will make hardware that is specifically aimed at game cloud servers and will be more efficient at memory use and power management in order to serve multiple users with the same hardware resources (like OTOY). A super beefed-up version of AMD Fusion for example.

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