25 Mar 2009

OnLive - Unlikely

Having made a mountain of progress on Clover, I've got the time to ramble.

A few respectable industry analysts and commentators are getting all excited by OnLive, a new gaming proposition that is effectively a thin client/server setup. All rendering is done on the serverside, and a video stream is encoded and send back to the user.

I'm very dubious that this is going to work for realtime, live action games. Considering at CMC Markets it was a challenge to distribute live pricing information (which is merely compressed numbers stating the value at which an instrument is trading at) in a timely fashion I can't see that a whole video stream, no matter how compressed, is going to get around the net quickly. Not to mention the lag of input hitting the server. For heaven's sake, it takes 6ms for me to ping my own router.

At the end of the day, you can't argue with the speed of light. As much as we tried to get light to travel faster down the fibre optic cables, it can't be done. If this works for games like Street Fighter IV, I'll eat my hat. And this will be on archive.org, so you can hold me to that too.

Now, if they can use quantum electron pairing for data transmission, then I'll be interested.