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View Full Version : New online technology that will change gaming forever...



Cageman
03-28-2009, 06:25 PM
This is just crazy cool!

http://gdc.gamespot.com/video/6206692/gdc-2009-onlive-press-conference?hd=1

zapper1998
03-28-2009, 06:36 PM
wow coooooooolllllll

OnlineRender
03-28-2009, 06:59 PM
nice , make me cringe about xna ! ps i sold 3200 units in q1 EDIT , i hate people that say basicaly "

jasonwestmas
03-28-2009, 07:14 PM
I love it when big surprises suddenly pop up like this. I really had no idea this was possible. This is a great economic solution and so much more fun for the game world!

sammael
03-28-2009, 07:23 PM
That is cool.

Rod Seffen
03-28-2009, 07:30 PM
It's revolutionary tech for sure. Not very interesting for me and the tiny amount of gaming I do, but I'm sure it can be put to better uses.
I'm sure the console developers will be sweating if/when this takes off.
Of course Pc hardware is not an issue for us anyway, since we have to keep our PCs pimped out even more than gamers.

Hopper
03-28-2009, 07:32 PM
If this takes off, I would imagine total on-line software licensing will quickly follow. (after the lawyers have their field day with it I'm sure).

Need LW? bam..
Need 3DS? bam..
Need Modo? well.. no one needs Modo anyway...

Rod Seffen
03-28-2009, 07:42 PM
Well, if you noticed, autodesk are already involved...this same tech could be used to run software remotely in the same way.

mattclary
03-28-2009, 07:57 PM
If this takes off, I would imagine total on-line software licensing will quickly follow. (after the lawyers have their field day with it I'm sure).

Need LW? bam..
Need 3DS? bam..
Need Modo? well.. no one needs Modo anyway...

I can see the gullible being willing to pay a subscription to play the latest FPS, but do you really want that for your production software?

This is a way to control content. Get people to pay recurring revenue for what they normally pay for once.

Hopper
03-28-2009, 08:07 PM
This is a way to control content. Get people to pay recurring revenue for what they normally pay for once.
Of course, but If I need to make use of a specific tool for a specific function, I'd rather pay a small fee rather than $4k for the software. Sure, if this is a tool of your trade, of course you would be better off purchasing it outright, but for someone that would rather test a full version of it for a limited time and with limited funds, it would be perfect. I would love to try out Maya or Houdini just to see what it could do, but I can't afford to purchase it and I'm certainly not going to use an illegal copy.

And as far as recurring revenue, this is the way a large percentage of software companies make their money today from other corporations. Purchase the software once for a discounted price and charge support fees.

There are many advantages and disadvantages either way, but if it is even the least bit profitable for software companies, you can guarantee they will jump on it.

sammael
03-28-2009, 08:35 PM
As far as the gaming side of things its a great idea, I rarely buy a game these days and if I do I'm usuall sick of it/finish it after a day or two. Hire it, get your fix... done.
Also the potential to run much more powerful games/software is very interesting.

Netvudu
03-28-2009, 08:38 PM
I would love to try out Maya or Houdini just to see what it could do, but I can't afford to purchase it and I'm certainly not going to use an illegal copy.
.

Dude, I see your point, but your examples are not valid here. Houdini discovery edition (free) has no limitations but a watermark on renders, and if you pay 90$ is limitless and without watermarks at all...

So its not a money problem if you want to check what Houdini does.

Hopper
03-28-2009, 09:57 PM
Dude, I see your point, but your examples are not valid here.
I would imagine you are correct. I have never used either of the applications I mentioned, but if a technology such as this could actually work with application software, you may not see a trial version any longer. If the prevelence becomes an "actual" try before you buy (or subscribe), then companies may see more revenue from this type of marketing. They would certainly gain much more visibility.

And as you stated, they were only examples to make a point. I have no desire to actually try Houdini or Maya. I'm perfectly happy with LW. It does everything I need it to at the moment.

cresshead
03-28-2009, 10:18 PM
anyone want to explain what you lot are talking about!
still downloading the vid...

Matt
03-28-2009, 10:40 PM
WOW, this really is a game changer! Anyone signing up for the beta programme? (Edit: Bugger, US only) :(

BTW: That GameSpot web link sucks, just wouldn't play for me, here's a YouTube version:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGdecNDDr9g

Also, I wonder if it will let you edit your keyboard shortcuts etc. (like most PC gamers like to do) and save them for EACH game you own from the service. They need to get that part of it right.

geothefaust
03-28-2009, 11:03 PM
Yeah I saw this the other day on a report from GDC. Interesting technology. I remember a few years ago myself and a friend were joking around about streaming videos (of anything, including video games) instead of owning a bunch of hardware to play it.

Truthfully, it's a wonderful idea. But I could see some really bad things coming out of it. Like forced commercial breaks for instance.

Hopper
03-28-2009, 11:25 PM
Truthfully, it's a wonderful idea. But I could see some really bad things coming out of it. Like forced commercial breaks for instance.
So very true. There are so many horrible ways to mangle a perfectly viable technology. Just look what they've done with email and the internet. I could imagine trying to use LW, but every time I bring up the numeric panel I have to wait 5 seconds for some ad to go away... lol. that would truly suck.

geothefaust
03-28-2009, 11:34 PM
Yeah, advertisements are the bane of movies, games, magazines, TV... You name it. I can't stand it.

I do hope this technology takes off, it's really interesting and it's great to see a viable alternative for poorer people to play games who simply can't afford the luxury. :)

geo_n
03-29-2009, 06:25 AM
yep this tech is cool. hope they make it big in a few years. BUT gamers just love they're watercooled, overclocked cpu/mobo, goldplated diamond etched gfxcard, first class mem chips, gigantic titanium towers, jigawatts psu, too much.
My rig is diy average components.
But I am using similar concept to this with logmein or teamviewer. With our fast connection I can model in 3dsmax from home controlling the office pc. No lag at all. :P

Cageman
03-29-2009, 07:00 AM
So very true. There are so many horrible ways to mangle a perfectly viable technology. Just look what they've done with email and the internet. I could imagine trying to use LW, but every time I bring up the numeric panel I have to wait 5 seconds for some ad to go away... lol. that would truly suck.

That really depends though... I mean... if your app is crippled with adds, there is a huge chance that you are not going to have to pay to use it.

As an example, there is something called Spotify (http://www.spotify.com/en/). You can use it for free (invite only) and listen to a ton of music and it is 100% legal... the UI reminds very much of IPod and you can search for artists and albums as well as create your own playlists. If you don't pay a monthly fee, you will be interrupted by a commercial break between some songs. I think you can listen to 8 songs in a row, then comes the commercial break, and then the playlist resumes and plays another 8 songs [loop]

I've had it for some time and it's a great technology. Several of my friends pay $10/month to get rid of the commercials.

Link to concept video (explains it all, really): http://www.spotify.com/en/about/press/concept-video/

:)

EDIT: Oh... and those who pay a monthly fee also recieves invites so that they can invite friends and...well... friends.

grn
03-29-2009, 07:38 AM
I've always had a feeling that the company leaves some lag problems untold.
Btw, 60 frames per second isnt enough for a fast paced first person shooter game - need ~110.

Sarford
03-29-2009, 08:37 AM
I doubt that you can't buy games in stores anymore for at least several years. Like geo_n said, this tech is quite cool, but not for every one. It propably is more for casual gamers than hardcore ones.

But what happens with the games you buy? Do they stay on the server for ever? (I stoped the video at the Q&A, so they might have told that)

Myagi
03-29-2009, 09:30 AM
I doubt that you can't buy games in stores anymore for at least several years.

Not only that, it's one thing to have it working in your controlled LAN setup (and in all honesty, they can "cheat" as much as they want in that, the Phantom was also seen running at some E3 ;) ), and another thing having it working in real-world networks. Even if the service was "installed" locally at the ISPs for best network conditions, imagine the computing power needed at each ISP location to run all the games.

I'd actually say I doubt you're gonna see this in action for at least several years, if at all :)



I reserve the right to eat crow, should it be necessary

Lito
03-29-2009, 09:32 AM
Their tech looks amazing and I can see it as being something that mainly Mac and linux users will use. I might even go so far as to say that it could displace console systems, since it would be one of the best development platforms ever made from a developer's point of view. You write the game for OnLive, and it literally runs on every PC, Mac and the OnLive set top box that has at least a 5mbps connection and there is no threat at all from piracy.

As a gamer though I have to hope this service never takes off. There are some things about it that I dislike. First is the subscription problem. Running their service requires a subscription fee, it is understandable, but it is also a big issue. Don't pay the subscription fee and you can't play the games you bought really messes with your sense of I "bought" the game. I wouldn't want to buy any games from the service, cause if it goes away so do your games. This is very much one of the things that holds Steam back as being a perfect service. Lots of gamers want to buy a retail copy only because they don't like the idea that if steam dies and valve or the publishers don't put out a patch to remove the steam DRM, you have nothing. This service is much worse in that regard, if you buy the game and the service goes away so do all the games that you purchased. There is no patch that can fix it, you just lose it. As stated in the video, you will be limited in multiplayer to people on your data center due to lag issues. They say their client is very ISP friendly, but if you are on cable and have a heavy BT user on your node you are out of luck. In the video the guy goes on to say how easy it is to have certain mods easily available to every user, but fails to mention how people would mod a game. You don't have the game on your system, you'd have to mod it remotely with their editor which would limit the types of mods you could make. It would remove any total conversion type mods. You won't necessarily have access to everything, and maybe would be dependent on tools given to you by the devs possibly like Little Big Planet is for the PS3. Forget about modding anything that wasn't designed to be modded from the start. Gone will be the days that required people to go out with a hex editor and figure the file structures themselves. There is also the problem with rating mods, this service really will not be able to have mods at all unless each one is looked over and rated for possible offensive content.

Hopper
03-29-2009, 10:04 AM
Btw, 60 frames per second isnt enough for a fast paced first person shooter game - need ~110.
Sure... if you have bionic eyes.

Yeah, 60 could give you a headache, but anything past 80-85 or so will not be perceptible in an FPS (or anything else for that matter).

If you can actually see a difference in your monitor between 85 and ~110 your monitors probably broken.

cresshead
03-29-2009, 12:54 PM
finally watched the video!
http://gdc.gamespot.com/video/6206692/gdc-2009-onlive-press-conference?hd=1

remote playing of games on 'their' hardware....and one of the sponsors/supporters of the development is autodesk...

now fast forward to this year reagrds the next version of 3dsmax...this year subscribers have the 'option' to download 3dsmax2010 in stead of having it shipped on dvd and wait till the disc arrives in the post to be able to install it...

maybe in future subscription and delivery/usage will be 'remote' so that you 'run' 3dsmax frm a datacentre 1000 miles away and just interact and display on your low end pc at home/work....

ideal for anti piracy...wonder how'd that would work for render farming?
you'd also need a secure area for your data so no one could steal your film/game/assests.

so 3dsmax on apple osx or just your HD tv set in 2010 ish...

Sarford
03-29-2009, 01:04 PM
maybe in future subscription and delivery/usage will be 'remote' so that you 'run' 3dsmax frm a datacentre 1000 miles away and just interact and display on your low end pc at home/work....

That is the way many software developes are hoping things go. Just take a look at Adobe with their Air, basicly the same thing.

The developers may say its to counter piracy, but it realy is about a constand stream of revenue I think.

thomascheng
03-29-2009, 01:54 PM
I don't know if this will take off, unless we get faster internet. However, I'm very impressed that they said they can get 500 ms lag down to 1 ms lag. You can get 720p with a 5 mbit connection, but it has to be constant. I hope in practice this actually works.

I think this is where the future is heading, which is awesome. For more secure type of work, they will need to be build encryption into these boxes. Don't want a hacker to tap into a stream.

Eventually, there will be a lot of competition in market, and someone will eventually offer a service for free with advertising as the main source of revenue.

Another issue is internet lag, there usually a 200 ms lag. This is why people still rather play on a local network. If they can cut that down, these services will take off.

Philbert
03-29-2009, 02:39 PM
I have 15Mb/s down, so I'm not really worried about lag too much what I wonder about is price. There's a monthly subscription, which I already don't like regardless of how much it is. Then you still have to buy or rent the games on top of that. So who's to say it won't end up being more than updating a PC or console.

Another issue is the fact that there are no physical discs. Say I buy a game from them and 5 years from now they go out of business. Now I can't play the game I bought anymore. Another downside, suppose I want to play on my laptop but there's no wi-fi or bad wi-fi where I happened to be. If I had a disc I wouldn't think twice about that. In fact I might play the game because I can't surf the web.

So much remains to be seen before I can say whether I would like this service or not.

This also reminds me a bit of the Sega Channel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sega_channel), which didn't fare too well. But then, this is a different time we're living in.

mattclary
03-29-2009, 03:16 PM
Say I buy a game from them and 5 years from now they go out of business.


Everyone keeps using the word "BUY"... You are thinking wrong. This is a SERVICE. You will not "own" anything.

mattclary
03-29-2009, 03:17 PM
OnLive is probably the worst thing that could happen to gaming. But I'm oldskool and like certain things the good old way, including when I play games.

I hope this burns out and fades away. It is too stupid to live, or rather I hope consumers are too smart to let this take off. As I see it, this is all about introducing pay-per-minute gaming and other equally horrible concepts that corporate suits think up.

It's all about the milking the consumer and all about screwing the consumer as much as humanly possible. Alas the xbox generation has proven time and time again, that they want to milked like sheep.

This is not created to help gamers in any way.

What about image quality and high resolution texture fidelity? Now I can have 1920x1200 screen resolution with good AF and AA and beautiful, crisp textures. Surely low resolution graphics and video compression will screw this up horribly.

Epic fail. It is a million steps back and none forward.

By the way, I also believe that consoles have screwed up the general quality of games. There aren't many cerebral offerings anymore, or games with any real depth. Where's the Baldur's Gates? The Planescape: Torments? The Fallout 2s? It's been going the wrong direction since the late 90s. More stupid, less brain.

Eye to eye, my elongated, yellow friend.

cresshead
03-29-2009, 03:49 PM
what this sort of does is to put the coin-op into your home...you can watch or pay to play...

sorta re invents the coin op don't ya reckon?

COBRASoft
03-29-2009, 05:01 PM
This reminds me a lot of Google online apps and Office online or even the new MS Azure stuff (Cloud stuff).

It is very impressive and will only become more and more used in the business market.

'Software as a service' people, that's the new trend, I'm analysing/developing for this at this very moment :)

geothefaust
03-29-2009, 05:10 PM
I've always had a feeling that the company leaves some lag problems untold.
Btw, 60 frames per second isnt enough for a fast paced first person shooter game - need ~110.

I'm not sure what you base that on.

From what I've read, the human eye can barely tell the difference between 30 and 60 frames per second. 110 is moot and unneeded.

Philbert
03-29-2009, 05:52 PM
Everyone keeps using the word "BUY"... You are thinking wrong. This is a SERVICE. You will not "own" anything.

If you watch the video again you can see when he's looking at individual games, each has a button for "buy / rent".

The same goes for buying movies on Playstation network. You can give them $15 or whatever, download the movie, and watch it as many times as you like. But eventually you'll run out of hard drive space and have to start deleting them to make room for more.

Cageman
03-29-2009, 06:01 PM
Epic fail. It is a million steps back and none forward.

Well... as someone who works at a gamesstudio I have to say that I welcome this technology as an ADDITION to what we have now in terms of physical discs and a true sense of "ownership". I don't belive this will last in the long run if it also takes away from hardcore gamers who likes to have a box on the shelf.

But, it WILL ALLOW CASUAL GAMERS to try games that they would probably never try otherwise. Also, piracy is a concern for us who work in the gamesindustry, and this can actually give SOME REVENUE to lost sales.

EDIT: Also... think about the Mac-community... with this tech, they will be able to play the same games we do without actually having to get new hardware. That is HUGE imho.

EDIT2:

And, I have seen games that I've been uncertain of if I should buy... I ended up not buying.. If I can pay a small fee to rent it a few days I would probably have done so in order to make up my mind wether or not to buy it. That is HUGE, imho.

thomascheng
03-29-2009, 06:53 PM
I think right now, the cost to run a bunch of servers to render out a game at 720p then compress the video stream at a rate that you only have a 1 ms lag, is very expensive. If you have 10 million people logged on at once, how many servers is that? Can the servers keep up an update cycle with the latest and greatest games, or will games be held back by what the servers are capable off? If they are held back, the hardcore will definitely not subscribe to this model and rather built their new top of the line system to run games at the highest settings.

The casual markets who is made up of lots of Wii owners will probably eat this up, but since I don't expect this to be cheap, it probably won't attract them either.

Being cheap is the only way it will work.

Philbert
03-29-2009, 07:28 PM
EDIT: Also... think about the Mac-community... with this tech, they will be able to play the same games we do without actually having to get new hardware. That is HUGE imho.

As much as I want to tell them all to "go get a real computer" I guess that will never happen, so I suppose it's a good thing.

VirtualFM
03-30-2009, 08:43 AM
(...) I rarely buy a game these days and if I do I'm usuall sick of it/finish it after a day or two.

I'm sorry to say that you are buying the wrong games. I never bought a game that took less than 50 hours to play. That's a lot. Oh, the exception is Half-Life, which takes much less time (around 12-20, depending on how much you play around) but seems a lot more because it's so intense.

In short... Oblivion: 120 hours with one character, around 70 with another and there are several more. Fallout 3 around 130 hours, X - Reunion ... lost the count! Mass Effect... I don't know, 40? GTA IV, still counting, but I've been playing it for the last 4 months and I did about 20% or something like that. Neverwinter nights... been playing for years and still didn-t finish. Keep coming at it. Bought Neverwinter nights 2.. never installed it because want to finish first one! Same with Gothic 3. Some more, but none that I could last less than a reasonable amount of hours. (it surely comes to an average of less than $1 per hour! Cheap entertainment)

So if you are buying games that you can finish in one or two days, well, something is wrong with your buying criteria... or maybe I-m really slow at playing games... because I like to LOOK at things and appreciate the work of the artists.

As for the new technology, sounds great on paper but doubt it can really work because of network problems (sheesh, I have a 20Mbit connection and I wait forever loading text pages, depending on the time of the day!). Also the idea of paying for renting a game is not appealing to me. That's why I'm not buying into WOW or EVE online.

Myagi
03-30-2009, 09:37 AM
I'm sorry to say that you are buying the wrong games. ... So if you are buying games that you can finish in one or two days, well, something is wrong with your buying criteria...

by that logic, "I really hate this genre, but damn it's 200 hours so I'll buy it anyway" ;)

AaronJuntunen
03-30-2009, 12:18 PM
I'm not sure what you base that on.

From what I've read, the human eye can barely tell the difference between 30 and 60 frames per second. 110 is moot and unneeded.

Well the USAF did a study on the human eye for their pilots. Their study showed that the human eye can see well above 200 fps. How that translates to a first person shooter would depend on your pc, monitor, and how fast things move in the game.

grn
03-30-2009, 12:35 PM
I'm not sure what you base that on.

From what I've read, the human eye can barely tell the difference between 30 and 60 frames per second. 110 is moot and unneeded.

110 contains a lot more visual information than 60. The brain can grab it, np.
60 looks too jerky in a quick action. Better to see the enemy head movement in 4 frames instead of 2.

I've had a slow eizo monitor for some time, so I can't really shine in quickest games.

JeffrySG
03-30-2009, 02:10 PM
Looks pretty friggin amazing to me.

I am curious to see how much the games will be to buy and rent. I haven't bought a box game in a while. Almost every game I buy now is from Steam and I just download it, but I do have a local copy on my HD. But I can delete it and re-download it as needed. If they no longer need to print boxes and ship discs around the price should drop a bit especially if they really want to grab people. I know that when Steam has sales I'm more likely to buy. They just had a sale on Unreal III for 12 bucks. I wasn't really looking to get it, but for 12 bucks I decided it was worth it.

I also love my Roku with Netflix, but this could replace that as well especially if they team up with someone like Hulu or some movie studios, etc.

Philbert
03-30-2009, 02:22 PM
I know that when Steam has sales I'm more likely to buy. They just had a sale on Unreal III for 12 bucks. I wasn't really looking to get it, but for 12 bucks I decided it was worth it.

That really wasn't much of a sale. I just bought it at GameStop for $15 (not on sale) and I got the disc, box, and manual.

JeffrySG
03-30-2009, 05:53 PM
^um.... Well.... My packaging didn't hurt the environment. LOL.

Seemed cheap to me. ;)

safetyman
03-31-2009, 06:42 AM
Don't pay the subscription fee and you can't play the games you bought really messes with your sense of I "bought" the game. I wouldn't want to buy any games from the service, cause if it goes away so do your games. This is very much one of the things that holds Steam back as being a perfect service. Lots of gamers want to buy a retail copy only because they don't like the idea that if steam dies and valve or the publishers don't put out a patch to remove the steam DRM, you have nothing.

At least with Steam, the game is completely downloaded to your computer -- you can back it up to a CD/DVD. I believe you can even play without a connection but correct me if I'm wrong.

I think that console gamers are the ones who need to worry about this. PC gamers are usually more hardcore and ownership is a big part of it. If this catches fire, consoles could go away, which is good news for us PC'ers. We're already becoming the red-headed step children of the industry.