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Future of PC Gaming?


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#1 Spybreak9

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 09:46 PM

GDC news in about OnLive, a like cloud computing solution for gaming that would be something like Xbox Live, a monthly subscritption. Basically the individual uses a web plug in or their mini-console and inputs their controls to a server which relays back the corresponding video all in real time. You would be able to play Crysis with a laptop bro!:applause: Hey at least it allows people that couldn't before to play the games all the custom riggers play.
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#2 grendel19

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 09:54 PM

This is an interesting development. But what if there is bandwidth congestion, or their server goes down. That would eliminate being able to play whenever you want. What about bandwidth restrictions imposed by certain ISPs? If they can overcome these hurdles, this concept might have lots of potential.

I'm not sure how streaming a game could work, but in a case where in-game environment is always changing, that should require a very high bandwidth. And if you have a high number of people streaming at the same time off their servers, they better have the infrastructure to handle it.

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#3 Serik

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 10:11 PM

I think this service is a bit premature. Not even digital distribution has overtaken retail in terms of sales volume. (Except for Valve's games, but they've been pushing it harder than most anyone else.) Plus internet connectivity currently sucks in the USA, Canada, Australia, and many other "developed" countries :D

Streaming games like you would cable television makes a lot of sense, though, at least from the POV of publishers and users who don't want to keep buying console and/or PC hardware. But again, I think we're years away from that point.

This service is basically an extreme extension of trends we're already seeing in PC gaming: online activation, cloud services, digital downloads, etc.

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#4 SilentSinr

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 10:12 PM

This is an interesting development. But what if there is bandwidth congestion, or their server goes down. That would eliminate being able to play whenever you want. What about bandwidth restrictions imposed by certain ISPs? If they can overcome these hurdles, this concept might have lots of potential.

I'm not sure how streaming a game could work, but in a case where in-game environment is always changing, that should require a very high bandwidth. And if you have a high number of people streaming at the same time off their servers, they better have the infrastructure to handle it.


My exact concerns with this when i saw it on ign earlier today. Also if you have a router and multiple people are using the internet along with someone using this, it could create significant slow downs

I think this service is a bit premature. Not even digital distribution has overtaken retail in terms of sales volume. (Except for Valve's games, but they've been pushing it harder than most anyone else.) Plus internet connectivity currently sucks in the USA, Canada, Australia, and many other "developed" countries :D

Streaming games like you would cable television makes a lot of sense, though, at least from the POV of publishers and users who don't want to keep buying console and/or PC hardware. But again, I think we're years away from that point.


yup yup I this is the direction everything seems to be heading.
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#5 SynGamer

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 10:36 PM

Seems like Gametap...

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#6 mtxbass1

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 10:46 PM

http://www.cheapassg...ighlight=onlive

Discussion here.



#7 crystalklear64

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 11:41 PM

discussion here too:
http://www.cheapassg...d.php?p=5669953

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#8 David Hibiki

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 03:34 AM

Well I'm going to atleast give the Beta a try (hope I get in) but obviously CoffeeEdge has laid the smackdown on all my hopes. If it succeeds then I'll be waiting for Microsoft's version of this with exclusive games like Halo and what not, but multi platform games/digitial distribution this will be the way to go. This will also kill Gamestop/any used market if it succeeds and cause quite a few a companies to lose money.

#9 TruthinessFC

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 03:59 AM

Sounds like a good rental service, or an option to play games you couldn't otherwise run on your PC/console. Otherwise, no thanks. If people think digital distribution robs them of the feeling of owning games, this takes that to another level.

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#10 Kaijufan

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 04:09 AM

Seems like Gametap...

It's not all that similar, with Gametap you download the games while with this service the game is played on a server somewhere and you're sent back the visuals and sounds.
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#11 strikeratt

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 06:47 AM

I'm just curious on how this won't be laggy as hell ... playing games on the computer/console already lag at times and don't send nearly 1/4 of the information between the server and the computer/console.

Yet this wants to send freakin everything back and forth. Think of it this way, ever play on a WoW and a huge amount of people are in one area, such as a main city, and it's laggy as hell. Heck at my moms house it always disconnected me because it was way to much information to take in. Just think that it was only sending you data of other characters and what they were doing. Now imagine if it was trying to send you not only character data but world data such as terrain, buildings, trees, etc etc. Also, don't forget that you're trying to send it data as well.

How will this service not be slow and choppy on our end?

How about if they stream the data to you before hand? Doesn't it suck sitting there and waiting forever and a day to get the data you need, just to find out it was only 30 minutes of game time and now you have to stream another large amount of data in. Heck I remember playing custom maps in UT2k4 and it would take 5 - 10 mins to grab all the information off the server.

Yet it wouldn't be streaming actual game data to your computer / console, that would require your computer / console to be able to play that data. Since this service will just send the visuals / sounds to your computer it shouldn't be streaming game data in I would imagine.

Maybe I'm comparing apples to oranges here ... hell maybe I made no sense at all ... I'm just not at all impressed is all

Edited by strikeratt, 25 March 2009 - 07:11 AM.

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#12 cgarb84

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 03:09 PM

I don't know if this specific company will be the one to jump start this movement but it will happen eventually. I'm pretty sure the next wave of consoles will be the last there will be, at least as primary gaming devices. They might always exist but I think in a decade they will be over run by this type of service. I saw yesterday Michael Pachter (sp?) actually predicted that this current generation of consoles will be it.... like no more at all. Now I don't believe this is true but I do believe it will be one more cycle and done.

I think anyone that doesn't like the idea of this kind of online distribution will have to adjust eventually or give up gaming altogether. I just don't foresee a future where gaming isn't almost entirely online in a similar fashion to OnLive.
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#13 Serik

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 03:55 PM

I don't know if this specific company will be the one to jump start this movement but it will happen eventually. I'm pretty sure the next wave of consoles will be the last there will be, at least as primary gaming devices.


If OnLive and similar services actually succeed in the coming decade, and broadband service improves dramatically, definitely.

If you could turn on your TV and/or PC and play any game at max settings, why buy another piece of hardware ever again? Consoles cost like billions of dollars to make. If people start flocking to these services, how can you possibly compete, especially if you rely on retail sales of new games to subsidize console hardware costs?

This will be interesting for game development; you'd no longer be limited by the popular console and PC specs of the day. Just keep adding more server farms and crank up the graphics and AI.

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#14 SynGamer

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 11:21 PM

I will always prefer physical media to digital only. What i'm curious about is 1. bandwidth, 2. pricing, and 3. how much will the games cost or is it a monthly fee? If they charge for games individually, pricing will need to be literally half of what we pay now ($50-60).

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#15 cgarb84

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 01:21 AM

For the most part I prefer physical media to digital downloads as well, especially since I consider myself a bit of a videogame collector. But we are all going to have to accept digital downloads at some point, eventually physical media will be most likely phased out completely.
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#16 Serik

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 02:47 AM

I only care about retail PC games because they're inexplicably cheaper than digital ones, weekend and holiday sales excluded.

Example: I got Europa Universalis III Complete for $12 shipped. On the official site and Steam, the digital copy costs around $30.

So if digital pricing came down across the board, I'd never buy another retail PC game again. Now that they've abandoned the minibox in favor of slim DVD cases, I have no real attachment to physical media other than price. Goodbye, shiny game manuals :cry:

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#17 strikeratt

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 04:07 AM

If OnLive and similar services actually succeed in the coming decade, and broadband service improves dramatically, definitely.

If you could turn on your TV and/or PC and play any game at max settings, why buy another piece of hardware ever again? Consoles cost like billions of dollars to make. If people start flocking to these services, how can you possibly compete, especially if you rely on retail sales of new games to subsidize console hardware costs?

This will be interesting for game development; you'd no longer be limited by the popular console and PC specs of the day. Just keep adding more server farms and crank up the graphics and AI.


Well, the hardware would still have to exsist ... just on the other end. Let's take an xbox for example here, a normal xbox would easily be able to run an xbox game at your own house. Now take that xbox and put it 500 miles away, now it has to send that game all the way to the TV at your house and you have to be able to send information back in a blink of an eye, well we're going to have to upgrade our xbox a bit to be able to do this, thus making that machine with more expensive hardware it started with.

Then you have to think accessory wise is where the money is made. So take out wireless adapters (more then likely), mods for cases (who the hell would put a faceplate on a box the size of a router?), take away HDMI / Component cables and such, play and charge kits would work how unless the small box recieved extra power, I guess the list could keep going for what would become useless accesories.

Then there's the whole Wii factor, they are profiting off of their consoles.

Now what the hell would you do if the internet goes down for whatever reason, or you simply just don't have internet, do you become screwed all together and can never game again? For example I use to be a hardcore gamer but now I just don't have the time. I never play online and don't have a current subscription to any online service at the moment nor do I plan on activating some. Currently it's saving me money, but if I were to move to this onlive service I would have to pay what will more then likely be monthly fees to play any new games (if this becomes the new way of gaming). That would just freakin suck because currently I'm not paying a dime to play my own games.

Also think of how this service, digital downloads as well, hurts CAGs as a whole. What would be our options from games, as in where would we buy them? Only could be from the service that is offered right? This would mean they would always have control of the pricing for games then. Right now we have tons of options when it comes to finding games. Each store offers a different deal on games most of the time, whether it be clearanced out or just simply on sale. Gives us the option to pick and choose where we want to get what games at what prices. Well we would have to say goodbye to that if this becomes the new way of gaming.

Maybe it's just me but it seems like it'll be to costly for a casual gamer and a service like this would just be to expensive for some. Not only would they be stuck with getting everything at a fixed price, they would be stuck with monthly fee's, upgrading their internet connections, and whatever else would be added with this service.

That's just me ranting though

EDIT: I forgot to mention custom game content. How would this be possible with this service? Say goodbye to the world of modding.
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#18 crystalklear64

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 06:37 AM

I want to be able to mod the program as I see fit. If that exists on some random server somewhere, how can that happen?

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#19 eswat

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 12:05 PM

Modding can happen on this, but not without a middleman.

Either they will scour the intarwebs looking for mods/maps themselves (lame) or let customers upload mods/maps to the servers like what can be done when you buy a real game server (more bandwidth suckage and high possibility of them having to filter through uploads before accepting them, so lame).

#20 Salamando3000

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 02:00 PM

I can never see it completely overtaking consoles or PC's, but rather would exist as something alongside it.

For hardcore gamers, the loss in resolution will be a deal-breaker, right off the bat. If I remember their statements correctly, it's standard def for those with a 2mbps connection, 780p for those with a 5mbps. For myself (and I imagine a good many others), we'd have to upgrade our internet service, just to get a resolution that's still lower than what I currently have.

They've also mentioned there'll be a monthly fee, and honestly, I would be very surprised if it was less than 15 a month or so. That's what WoW and other MMORPG's use, and what these guys are doing will need a lot more hardware per person than an MMORPG.

Even if they some how magically solve all the other issues, it would cost me at least and extra 25-35 dollars a month, or 350 (avg) dollars a year to use. For that much, I could buy a console a year and/or keep a PC fairly up to date. Only real advantage of this, that I can see, is that it would save space in home entertainment centers, and that people who don't want to learn how to/just don't want to upgrade their pc's don't have to. But is that worth it, what with all the downsides this can and probably will have?


#21 Spybreak9

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 10:52 PM

I agree, I think its another option. I believe if this kicks off that it would be convenient to not have to upgrade all the time and the monthly subscription would still be less. Heck this is why I'm leaning a bit towards the 360 more than the PC even though I still play games on my laptop.

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