We have spoken about creative online gaming solutions many times over the 3 years we have been here at PLuGHiTz Live! From BringIt to Virgin Games to OnLive, there have been a lof of ideas. This week, I am going to revive the OnLive topic because their service is getting closer to being a full reality.
OnLive is a service that allows you to play games (like Assassin's Creed II) without having to download or install the game. It, in essence, is trying to give Steam and our sponsor Direct2Drive a run for their money, claiming the model is out-dated. The problem is that their model doesn't seem to work right.
Hit the link for details on what is wrong and a video of the evidence.
The guys over at Eurogamer have done a series of pretty extensive tests on the latency produced by the OnLive servers. Some games responded decently, while others were less impressive. The review states,
In a best-case scenario, we counted 10 frames delay between button and response on-screen, giving a 150ms latency once the display's contribution to the measurement was removed. Unreal Tournament III worked pretty well in sustaining that response during gameplay. However, other tests were not so consistent, with DiRT 2 weighing in at 167ms-200ms while Assassin's Creed II operated at a wide range of between 150ms-216ms.
Looking at these numbers seems pretty scary, almost dial-up numbers. Taking into account that OnLive recommends a connection of at least 5mbps and Eurogamer gave them 25mbps on a Verizon FiOS fiber line and received these results, it seems pretty unrealistic that Steve Perlman, the company's primary voice, said that the latency is "usually... between 35-40ms."
As the service gets closer to becoming a public reality we will see if this problem is resolved.