Originally Posted by Zero4549
I've used onlive. Like anyone else here I obviously have a computer powerful enough to receive a streaming video and upload some key presses without a cpu bottleneck. I also had (at the time) a top tier FiOS fiber optic internet connection.
The sad fact is that not only was the input lag pretty high (the only game they had in their library that was actually playable was amnesia due to it being so slow paced), but whatever compression method they use for the streaming video was pretty atrocious too (again, going back to amnesia, it looked nothing at all like the steam version I also have).
Compression methods can improve as we get more powerful hardware to do the compression on the fly (remember, it isn't like netflix or youtube where you can compress the whole file and THEN upload it. You don't have the luxury of multi-pass complex compression algorithms. Everything needs to be done within a few hundredths of a second at most
and on a 1-2 frame basis before it becomes useless for anything interactive
), but it isn't going to get any cheaper, and it isn't going to be soon.
Latency on the other hand, there really isn't anything that can be done about that in the near future. Even if everyone in the world could magically obtain wide band low latency internet, there is only so short of a time that you can do all the required steps for a streaming game service in. Some people already complain about too much input latency with local
games on their high end PCs, with 144hz monitors and 1000hz mice. Just adding microsoft's network stack to the equation alone is going to more than double that latency. Then there is your router, then the fiber-to-coax/cat6 modem, then the local hub, etc.
And again, this is all in and unrealistic fantasy world where everyone has good internet and the streaming service has full powered servers in every city. In a more practical scenario where most
gamers don't even legally quality as having "broadband" by modern technical definition, and all game companies are pushing to incorporate an multiplayer component in every game, it just doesn't make sense that a company like microsoft would set up a massive and expensive backend for something that just cannot be utilized anywhere near its potential. Mega-Corporations don't get where they are today by deliberately funneling money into projects with no foreseeable returns, and it doesn't take a quantum physicist or a fortune teller to see that serious
"cloud based" gaming is not a profitable venture for the big name game consoles.
They'll talk up it's theoretical capabilities sure, but take those announcements with a grain of salt. In practical application you're mostly going to be looking as server lists, user profiles, and in general the same stuff you've already come to expect from xbox live.