The $99 gaming PC: the OnLive microconsole in pictures

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Bill Loguidice
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http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2010/11/the-99-gaming-pc-the-onlive-m...

Conceptually I guess the OnLive service itself is a good idea, but the pricing is horribly skewed. This consolized version, especially since it doesn't support wi-fi (which is no doubt due to performance issues), just doesn't make much sense, even at $99. This is a tough, tough sell.

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Bill Loguidice
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OnLive now gets awesome at just $10 a month

Very cool: http://www.engadget.com/2010/12/02/onlive-ushers-in-the-microconsole-wit...

The only remaining downside is the requirement for a wired connection. If that requirement ever drops, it suddenly will become a lot more enticing, particularly the stand alone model. Perhaps some type of power line networking solution would work for those of us without wired network drops to our routers?

EDIT: I guess they do have some form of wireless available, but it's presently in beta...

EDIT 2: They do support powerline networking and I think that would be a viable option for me. I'm happy with doing that from my bedroom to the basement router with the slingbox and it would be trivial to add one to the living room. SO ALL BARRIERS ARE OFFICIALLY DOWN. (at least for me)

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clok1966
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Several new reviews out, all

Several new reviews out, all seem to feel it works far better then expected. And my one "hate" was cleared up too, it seems graphics are close to the asme as a "real" local game.. color me wrong. But as I mentioned I guess its all moot to me, they wont let me have one (if I did want one) as my location is not good enough (seems strange ). It does sound like there will be a "flat" price (like gametap) all the games... all 10? of them?

I am more interested (not to purchase) but to see it working now.

Rowdy Rob
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Onlive's pricing structure is the deathknell for that platform

I tried out Onlive, played a couple of "demo" games, and was actually impressed with how well it worked. The games looked and played reasonably well, so technologically, it's amazing.

But as Bill said, the pricing structure is outrageous. There's no way I'm going to pay $50 for a game on this system, considering I could buy the real game on a less-limited platform with more options (expansion packs, mods, graphic tweaking, etc.). I have similar criticisms for buying games on Steam, but at least Steam has a wide selection of games, and when they have promotional sales, you can get otherwise expensive games for a steal! Plus, Steam has a wide selection of budget games to choose from at outrageously low prices!

Onlive has a limited amount of games, and at these FULL prices, it really isn't worth taking the risk on what might be a failed platform in the near future. Someone here (I forget who) posted that if Steam goes under, there's the possibility that they'll release "codes" that will untie the games you bought from the Steam platform, allowing you to keep the games afterward. With Onlive, you are left with nothing if the platform dies.

Although the $99 Onlive "micro-console" might seem pricey, they do give you one free game of your choice when you buy it, so that does mitigate the cost somewhat. But considering all the potential pitfalls playing a purely "online" game, it does make it seem absurd to charge such exorbitant prices.

On top of that, after I installed the "Onlive" client, I played one game "demo" with it, was impressed, and decided to try another game the next day. Well, when I booted up the Onlive client, it started to download a "client" update and crashed. I tried it again and again, and it crashed every time. So now I'm locked out of "Onlive." If I had paid for a game, I be mightily ticked off right now. As of now, I haven't even bothered to try again.

The "Onlive" system seems like a great way to "demo" new top-tier games without shelling out big bux for a full copy, but beyond that, the prices seem far too steep for the games themselves. They're asking nearly full-price for somewhat limited versions of the games. Technically, it's very impressive, but the commercial model is a failure, in my opinion.

Bill Loguidice
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Controllers and preferences
Matt Barton wrote:

I use a game controller with Deathspank, which I noticed has lots of settings for it. I'm much more used to the keyboard/mouse though.

As expected since you've been a PC gamer non-stop. One develops an affinity for what you use (it took me a while to get used to gamepads post-Crash because I used joysticks for so long). Interestingly, I never developed an affinity for the mouse/keyboard combo, even favoring a Gravis gamepad for games like Wolfenstein 3D and Doom! Now that I'm back into PC gaming I've been trying to get into mouse/keyboard, but it hasn't been easy or comfortable for me. I still favor a 360 gamepad these days over most other forms of control (never liked the PS2/PS3 controller as much as some others) if I have a choice, but then I've been and continue to be a primary console gamer.

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Matt Barton
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I use a game controller with

I use a game controller with Deathspank, which I noticed has lots of settings for it. I'm much more used to the keyboard/mouse though.

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Bill Loguidice
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360 controller
Matt Barton wrote:

Funny that they seem to be assuming a game pad as your default controller. I don't know hardly any modern PC games that are optimized for that input device.

I've really only been playing things that work with a mouse and keyboard, though I've been finding some that are optimized for a 360 controller, so I'm assuming that's about as default as it gets on the PC these days. I haven't gotten around to plugging in any game controllers to my PC yet (I have a few options, including USB Atari 2600 joysticks and a USB Competition Pro joystick, etc.), but I'm *assuming* that for convenience many games are optimized for the 360 controller. It makes sense I guess. I suppose I'll get around to using one at some point. I used to use the 360 controller on my old laptop.

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Mark Vergeer
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Live streaming games content?

Wow that would be a feature! Not sure it will work as you'd have to have spectacularly low ping-times and very fast internet connection to pull off something like that. Games will no doubt feel laggy and unresponsive so only particular games will be able to make it across. Puzze games or games that don't rely on twitch reflexes and fast interaction with the gamer. At least when this thing gets used by hundreds of users.

In a small 1 on 1 setup demonstration or during this preview time where only a few are running things on the system things may work but when upscaling it to hundreds/thousands of users things will perhaps falter. I don't see it happening any time soon that this company is able to put big datacenters all around the country (world) in order to provide a quick and responsive experience. So what if they have 500+ users? Wouldn't their data center need to have 500+ PCs Live streaming the content to those 500+ users at the same time? Or are users shared over one server outputting the games? Perhaps through VMWare like technology?

I am afraid this may fail :(
Love the initiative though. But due to licensing fees and localisation issues will probably never venture into my neck of the woods... Thank god I can press the power button on my real PS3 and start gaming :P

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Matt Barton
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Funny that they seem to be

Funny that they seem to be assuming a game pad as your default controller. I don't know hardly any modern PC games that are optimized for that input device.

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clok1966
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I appled for beta, but was

I appled for beta, but was told Im not in a good location. My speed is 7Mb and I thought they specified 5Mb is optimal. I think the real problem is as stated, speed.. and even if you have the speed, the Graphics are going to be subpar. That wont work for me. Im no graphics whore, but clear I am.. and low res fuzzy graphics wont work for me.. and it seems that is somewhat what it is.

Bill Loguidice
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Another perspective:

Another perspective: http://www.1up.com/do/blogEntry?bId=9064533

I can see this being ideal for someone who wants to always play the highest end PC games, but doesn't want to bother with the hassle of expensive PC upgrades. Naturally, you don't need this $99 box to do that - many different types of older PC's will do just fine - but the catch of course beyond the cost of the service and the games is that it's clear that SO MUCH rides on the quality of your connection. Also, for most of us, our routers are not near our big TV's, so having a wired connection available is an issue. The only possible solution is to get a power line bridge, but even that might not be fast enough.

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