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OnLive - Why Linux Gamers Should Take Notice

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  • OnLive - Why Linux Gamers Should Take Notice

    Some of us Linux users have been waiting for a very long time for Unreal Tournament 3 or for that matter, any big name titles coming to the Linux platform.

    GDC (Game Developers Conference) is happening right now and there has been one huge announcement that has taken the internet by storm accross every major gaming/tech news site.

    A new startup has announced a new product that allows gamers to run games on their computers or televisions without actually running the game on your hardware. Basically, how it works is that you get a very well set up Xbox Live/Steam like community page in which you can rent or purchase games and it will run the games on their servers and stream them to you, the computer user.

    Sounds like a concept that would work horribly? Well according to IGN and others who got to play Crysis with max visuals on a Macbook Air, it runs nearly perfect and is very impressive. IGN is already calling this the death of PC gaming as we know it.

    Check out what they have to say here:

    Anyways, it's supported in Windows and Mac but no word on any Linux version (as always). However, apparently it only requires a simple web browser plugin to work. I don't know about the rest of you but I certainly plan to convince OnLive to support the Linux platform. Their website goes live later today and can be found here:


    This is a huge deal and could mean that Linux gamers finally step on Microsoft's face and finally get the gaming fix they have waited so long for. I've been reading up on this technology and reactions from those who used it and to me it sounds like it's going to be a huge thing just as Netflix is taking movie rentals to the next phase.

  • #2
    So yeah... instead of the users onLive purchases the Microsoft Licenses... The games still run on Windows-Boxes.
    Sooo... what did you say again about stomping into Microsoft's face?
    This is just the same thing as a VirtualMachine or DualBoot and has nothing to do with Linux-gaming. I'm not the least bit interested.
    BTW I think I've read about another service doing pretty much the same somewhere here on the board.


    • #3
      Well if they got it to run on Mac then I don't see why Linux gamers won't be able to use this.


      • #4
        This is BS. You can't play through the net. Lag anyone?

        IGN is full of hype.


        • #5
          ^ Others have reported that it worked as well. It's playable at GDC. Looks like everyone here is closed minded.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Kevin View Post
            Well if they got it to run on Mac then I don't see why Linux gamers won't be able to use this.
            Yeah but at some point the games will have to run on windows-boxes (on onLive's servers (ugh windows on servers)). So it's still windows-games running on windows-machines and thus imho is unrelated to linux-gaming.


            • #7
              It's related to Linux gaming if you can play the games without owning a copy of Windows.

              At any rate, I thought Linux gamers who have been waiting for some Linux games forever, would find this to be a rather appealing service. I guess I was wrong.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Kevin View Post
                ^ Others have reported that it worked as well. It's playable at GDC. Looks like everyone here is closed minded.
                Maybe in a controlled environment, where the server is situated close to the client, yes. But in the real world, sending data through a series of routers all over the world takes way too much time for interactive gaming.

                $ traceroute
                16  * (  120.300 ms  120.823 ms
                I'm skeptical.


                • #9
                  Yeah, I'm skeptical as well. Never mind that IGN has become a big ol' hype machine. Anyway, I fail to see how this would help Linux gaming at all. For the people that just want to play games, any games, on their non-Windows boxes this may be the start of something great, but when it comes to Linux gaming itself things like this are actually setbacks. If you really care about Linux Games, what you really want is native games being developed, or ideally, platform independent games.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Kevin View Post
                    ^ Others have reported that it worked as well. It's playable at GDC. Looks like everyone here is closed minded.
                    Close minded, no. Internet connections that lag during peak-hours, yes. So with this system, I would only be able to play when there's no heavy traffic limiting my 2mbit DSL connection?

                    Er, how about "no, thanks"


                    • #11
                      I commented on this already on another place so I make it short: Huge pile of shit. Another hype-bubble to burst in the face of the people. On a LAN this is barely possible ( anybody who did Video Streaming knows what I talk about ). Furthermore to get this data across the wire you had to compress it a big time. So a small resolution and all riddled with compression artifacts? That's not gaming, that's a joke.

                      As mentioned, the solution looks different... and Cloud-Computing is not part of it

                      EDIT: Oh and another fine one. Somebody hates game XYZ... let's go and DDoS the servers. Whoops... nobody in the world can play the game anymore. Old rule of system maintenance: POF... Point Of Failure. If all goes through one bottle neck it requires only this bottle neck to break down and your entire system breaks down.
                      Last edited by Dragonlord; 03-24-2009, 07:39 PM.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Kevin View Post
                        ^ Others have reported that it worked as well. It's playable at GDC. Looks like everyone here is closed minded.
                        It has absolutely NOTHING to do with closed-mindedness...

                        1) It doesn't HELP Linux gaming. Seriously. It doesn't help WINDOWS gaming either, if you want to get down to brass tacks. It's a walled garden much like a console, but it brings all the negatives of the vapor Phantom console along with latency concerns.

                        2) If you've never dealt with latency or scaling on something like this, you'd think they'd gotten a good answer. The problem is, all they're doing is providing a "slick" remote framebuffer and user interface device communications protocol. Seriously. Ever try doing VNC over high latency links? If you've not done so, you're in for a shock if you think that this will scale at all well or not have serious latency issues when the userbase gets larger.

                        3) There's always a lot of snake oil in the game dev industry. And all the big players jump on board "just in case". This isn't any exception to the rule.

                        Before you discount my remarks as being part of the "competition", I, not LGP, as a consultant to MANY companies over the many years, have been at doing development for quite a few massively distributed client/server systems in my day. This isn't the way to make gaming work.


                        • #13
                          I joined just to chime in my opinion.
                          Seems like it's too big an opportunity to miss to me. Imagine if anyone is wrong, and this works amazingly.
                          Also the game isn't streamed, but the video output is. Technically it's netflix with controls. Also they appear to have developed 'revolutionary' compression technology that near gets rid of lag. Yeah it's alot to take in, and may be crap. But if it's true it could be amazing.

                          Imagine all the netbook users who can play Prince of Persia, Crysis, or Burnout on their computers! It could change everything.

                          Plus it can't be garbage. EA, Ubisoft, Eidos, Take2, and Atari must have signed on for a reason. It's a big step to take, supporting a new system, and the fact that so many have signed up with their big name games means their must be something about it.
                          Honestly I've checked there isn't anything at all like this. No games are stored on the computer at all. Everything is done in servers and the output is sent to you while your input goes to them. It's completely windows and platform independent, all they need to do is have a program that connects to the stream and send out input.

                          And have you seen the microconsole for it! My MP3 player is bigger then it! Seriously this thing that plays Crysis at full speed is smaller then my hand. It completely takes out the hardware from the picture 90%

                          You all should really research it. Quite amazing if it's compression technology is as good as they say.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Jonsul View Post
                            ...Imagine if anyone is wrong, and this works amazingly....EA, Ubisoft, Eidos, Take2, and Atari must have signed on for a reason....
                            You know, I feel like you completely ignored Svartalf up there. See, look at 'em, I think he's gonna cry! You might want to apologise.

                            Also, This cnet article provides some decent insight: " lag, so long as their Internet connections meet minimum thresholds. For standard-definition play, that would mean a minimum 1.5 Mbps connection, and for high-def, 5 Mbps."

                            Now, I don't know if you've all seen what passes for "high definition" these days, but we've had computers, monitors, and games that have been able to do it for more than a decade now. Colour me cynical.


                            • #15
                              if it works, then: hell yeah!
                              if it doesnt: who cares?
                              no need to get all aggressive.