OnLive strikes deal with BT in the UK, brings streaming video game service across the pond

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OnLive strikes deal with BT in the UK, brings streaming video game service across the pond

Post by Administrator on Sat 15 May - 22:13


OnLive, the streaming video game service that threatens to change the way people perceive gaming, has signed a deal with with British Telecommunications. The deal means that Britons will be able to play games like Mass Effect 2 and Assassin’s Creed II over their broadband connection (and it also means that BT will buy a small stake in the company). No UK launch date has been announced. The U.S. launch is still on schedule for June 17.

Surely you’ve heard of OnLive. The idea is to let subscribers—the service will cost $14.95 per month—play all the latest PC games over a broadband connection from inside their Web browser, à la Quake Live. Knowing what I know about residential Internet connections, I’ve long been skeptical about the service’s ability to work in the “real world.” The average Internet connection is largely crummy, either not particularly fast or not particularly stable. So if OnLive can produce a service that’s even remotely useable, given the state of American broadband, it should absolutely be considered an achievement.

That said, I reserve the right to say “I’ll believe it when I see it,” where “see it” means up and running at a random residential location and not at a trade show or anything unrealistic like that.

Certainly the publisher support is there in EA, Ubisoft, and 2K Games. (No Activision?)

One thing that may be overblown, or not quite “right,” and that’s the idea of making PC gaming more “accessible.” I think you’ll find that PC gamers aren’t demanding that their hobby be any more “accessible.” If you want to play Mass Effect 2 without having to worry about whether or not your GPU can handle it, perhaps you should be playing the Xbox 360 version?

Very interested to see how this turns out.

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Not everyone wants their hand held when PC gaming

One of the bigger stories this past week was OnLive heading to the UK. The service promises to make PC gaming more accessible by hosting all of the hardware—you simply supply a broadband connection and a Web browser, and you’ll be playing the likes of Mass Effect 2 in no time. If it works as described, great. There’s nothing wrong with exposing PC gaming to more people.

What concerns me, and maybe “concerns” isn’t even the right word, is that the art of PC gaming will go away. It’s an art based on choice, a choice that will go away if all we’re required to do is click the OnLive favicon on our bookmark bar. Today’s PC gamer can, if he so desires, spend $700 on a video card in order to eek out a few more frames per second in the latest first-person shooter. Or he can spend half as much and still blast zombies away to his heart’s content.

Today’s PC gamer can spend weeks at a time researching processors—Intel or AMD, Core i5 or i7 or Phenom?—for the two-second thrill of setting it on the motherboard. Then there’s overclocking—how far can you push your fancy new processor? Change the voltage here, alter the frequency there, then hope to God that Prime95 doesn’t melt a hole in the floor.

Will a hard disk drive suffice, or will I be better off moving up to a solid state drive?

All of this sense of adventure disappears when using something like OnLive, and that’s something that matters to plenty of PC gamers. Maybe even more important that any abstract sense of “fun,” there’s something to be said about being totally in control of the hardware being used to grind from level 1 to level 80.

So by all means, make PC gaming more accessible, just please recognize that there’s plenty of people who like it because it can be such a commitment.

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Re: OnLive strikes deal with BT in the UK, brings streaming video game service across the pond

Post by [iBG]Werewolfkiss on Sun 16 May - 1:39

Heck yea, I don't want all games to be like that. I only buy a handfull of games, perhaps 1 or 2 a year, spending only 100 bucks. If this service takes over i'll have to pay alot more to play those 2 games for a year, and then the next year i'll still be paying to play them. Me no likey
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