Gamers have been excited about the idea of OnLive for a while now, since the proposed subscription service would essentially allow for high-end performance without the cost.
Essentially, what OnLive offers is a service by which users pay to have remote access to a system playing whatever game it is they want to play. The simplest example is that if someone wanted to play a game like Dragon Age, they could do so simply by plugging the OnLive hardware into their TV and let the service handle the network magic needed to mediate the experience between the pad in the player’s hands and the Xbox 360 or PS3 off in the ether somewhere.
Of course, the big question has always been whether or not OnLive could provide the kind of networking that you’d need to mitigate the various issues people will encounter (namely, the lag between their hands and what they see on screen). Now though, the company has previewed the beta version of its service, and now that people are finally getting their hands on the hardware, it seems as though the facts about OnLive aren’t anything startling.
Essentially, the word from PCPerspective, which got a chance to have a bash at the whole affair, and while it admits before its report that it could well have been outside the optimal range for the service, it’s an interesting review nonetheless. The main take-home is that OnLive, in its current incarnation, isn’t ready for any kind of reflex-based gameplay. It won’t be up to it for FPS fans, but surprisingly enough the report indicates that racers aren’t unplayable.
Of course, for those who have been keeping up with OnLive, none of this will be too much of a surprise. What’s pleasant is that the review points out that Mass Effect was totally playable, which is to be expected, given that RPGs tend to be a little more forgiving when it comes to those fast-twitch situations.
Still, nice to see the technology progressing, and with the tester having been outside the recommended area, who knows what kind of performance OnLive might manage under optimal conditions. Curiosity piqued.