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You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Gaming > OnLive: tried it, it rocks!

OnLive: tried it, it rocks!
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lpkmckenna
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Nov 3, 2010, 03:19 PM
 
Ok, what rocks for me may not be what rocks for you. But I just played demos of Borderlands, Batman Arkham Asylum, and Unreal Tournament 3 on a Mac - without even downloading the games or paying a penny.

You download the very thin client from OnLive (9.2 MBs), register a name and password, and you're off. Broadband required.

There are a whole bunch of free demos. You select one, and it starts almost instantly.

If you've got broadband, you gotta try it just to see it. It is really very responsive and the video quality is nice: games are set to high quality graphics, then the frames are sent with reasonable compression. The better your connection, the better the image quality.

Of course, if you want more than demos, you'll need to buy the games. There's no cost to use the service, just buy the games and play them.

I don't have broadband at home, I'm trying this at my parents while setting up their system, but if I did I'd likely buy Batman today.
( Last edited by lpkmckenna; Nov 3, 2010 at 03:53 PM. )
     
The Final Dakar
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Nov 3, 2010, 03:21 PM
 
Two things: How close is the server to your location? (I'll be surprised if there's one in Toronto)

How about a speedtest.net pic of the connection you're using.
     
sek929
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Nov 3, 2010, 03:41 PM
 
Interesting.

I assume my own vid card means nothing as the game is streamed from another location, correct?

If so there are a couple games I own on 360 I wouldn't mind re-purchasing just to see on a high quality screen.
     
The Final Dakar
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Nov 3, 2010, 03:45 PM
 
Gears of War 2? HD gibbing....
     
lpkmckenna  (op)
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Nov 3, 2010, 03:46 PM
 


Damn Flickr isn't working! Here's the link to my speedtest pic: http://flic.kr/p/8QxBBU
     
lpkmckenna  (op)
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Nov 3, 2010, 03:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
I assume my own vid card means nothing as the game is streamed from another location, correct?
Correct.
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
If so there are a couple games I own on 360 I wouldn't mind re-purchasing just to see on a high quality screen.
PC games only. Sorry.
     
sek929
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Nov 3, 2010, 03:58 PM
 
God no, I was thinking nazi zombies or Metro 2033, maybe even the original BioShock. Yeah I've played them to death, but on a 16 year old 32" TV.
     
sek929
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Nov 3, 2010, 03:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by lpkmckenna View Post
PC games only. Sorry.
Hmm, well luckily a lot of 360 releases were for Windows as well.
     
The Final Dakar
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Nov 3, 2010, 04:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
Hmm, well luckily a lot of 360 releases were for Windows as well.
Such as the original Gears of War
     
The Final Dakar
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Nov 3, 2010, 04:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by lpkmckenna View Post


Damn Flickr isn't working! Here's the link to my speedtest pic: pingshot | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
As I suspected, that's an excellent ping.

Your upload is pretty terrible, so that not being a barrier is heartening.
     
sek929
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Nov 3, 2010, 04:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Such as the original Gears of War
You sonofa....
     
The Final Dakar
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Nov 3, 2010, 04:13 PM
 
That one was served up on a platter.
     
mduell
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Nov 4, 2010, 06:40 PM
 
It seems like a neat concept for demos (a la Gaikai) with no downloading/installing, but quite expensive (pay full price for the games, can only play them in OnLive, plus fees) and lame as a longer term gaming platform.
     
lpkmckenna  (op)
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Nov 4, 2010, 09:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
It seems like a neat concept for demos (a la Gaikai) with no downloading/installing, but quite expensive (pay full price for the games, can only play them in OnLive, plus fees) and lame as a longer term gaming platform.
There are no fees. And like Steam, games become cheaper over time. And while you can only play those games over OnLive, that might be much cheaper than buying an expensive system.

Also, OnLive has a rental system, something you never see for PC games. See here: OnLive Featured Games.
     
sek929
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Nov 5, 2010, 12:54 AM
 
Just tried Splinter Cell and FEAR 2 and they did work pretty damn well in fact. Quality is nicer than my current card could handle no doubt.

Very interesting...
     
The Final Dakar
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Nov 5, 2010, 09:16 AM
 
This is the best information I could find:
Currently there are facilities in Santa Clara, California and Virginia, with additional facilities being set up in Dallas, Texas, as well as Illinois, and Georgia.
Considering none of those are in the NE, your endorsements of the service quality so far are impressive.
     
sek929
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Nov 5, 2010, 02:46 PM
 
Wow, Virginia is the closest eh?

I was playing FEAR within about 20 seconds after choosing it. Graphics quality was very high with a slight hint of video compression and the controls were precise and did not lag.
     
Mac User #001
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Nov 19, 2010, 08:27 PM
 


I honestly love the service. To death. I have a crap laptop that can all of a sudden play these amazing games. They have the Wifi beta now, but even before then you could bridge your wired and wireless connections as a workaround. There was no noticeable difference. I haven't purchased any games yet, but I can definitely see myself doing it. Its also great for watching friends play. I have a friend with the service as well and the spectating works perfectly, no matter how far apart we are.

EDIT: Same time later that day during peak hours...



OnLive worked meh. It was kicking me off because of a poor connection. It does it often too. So a good connection, especially a good latency, are key.
( Last edited by Mac User #001; Nov 19, 2010 at 10:07 PM. )
I have returned... 2020 MacBook Air - 1.1 GHz Quad-Core i5 - 16 GB RAM
     
lpkmckenna  (op)
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Nov 21, 2010, 03:55 PM
 
Giving how important the Xbox Live and PS Network are, I wouldn't be surprised if the next gen consoles look the same as the OnLive console. $99 OnLive game console.
     
The Final Dakar
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Nov 22, 2010, 10:24 AM
 
God, I hope not. That'd be a terrible outcome for the consumer.
     
harddrivedude
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Nov 23, 2010, 12:33 AM
 
I tried Onlive before but my connection was timing out a lot. eventually I gave up on it. :/
"The best way out is always through." -Robert Frost
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sek929
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Feb 12, 2011, 04:36 PM
 
Curious to see what games had been released for Onlive I signed in a couple days ago only to find a game I really liked (Metro 2033) was available to play. I didn't really feel like playing the game again that much, but the opportunity to really test out this system with a familiar game could persuade me to use it more in the future.

The graphics were excellent quality, much better than I can run games like STALKER at under Windows. Barely noticeable artifacting and a slight blurry quality were all that let you know you were streaming the game over the tubes. Game starts and loads VERY fast. Loading times compared to the 360 version were far superior. Controls are very precise with only a hint of lag, I can imagine this annoying PC gamers more than those used to gamepads. I found it perfectly playable, yet for some reason the binding actions seemed even more limited than the 360 version. I was forced to use a key for two functions, which seems ridiculous considering I'm using a friggin keyboard.

I bought the 3 day pass, which is 3 actual days and not 3 in-game days. I was able to beat Metro with a little over 10 hours left. Not bad since I haven't actually played that much, but certainly not good enough if I had never played the game before. The first night I was encountering 'network errors' and whatnot which manifested in-game as loss of control over the character, sometimes you'd continue running and fall off an egde because of this. Then it would boot you back to the Onlive menu until your connection was deemed good enough to play, which usually took 5 seconds. I have a feeling this was their servers, and not my connection. Several times I pingtested and speedtested my connection, and it was more than adequate for the job. Last night and this afternoon were an entirely different picture. Once the game loaded today I was able to play for 2.5 hours without a single interruption. Not bad at all.

Lastly, buying the whole game still remains a point of contention for me. Newer games are 49.99 without any physical copy, which to me is far to expensive. I don't expect Onlive to disappear overnight, but the thought of my 50 dollar game being dependent not only on my internet speed but my membership to a fledgling web service makes me hesitant. Still, the 3-days pass is just cheap enough and long enough for me to beat a game that I wouldn't have normally paid full price for, yet still hold interest. Batman Arkham Asylum comes to mind.

Pros:

Great graphical quality, especially for machines with lesser video cards and older hardware.
Loading times are so fast they approach non-existent.
Ability to rent a game for cheap and play through it.

Cons:

Controls not exactly as precise or customizable as regular keyboard and mouse.
Network issues could cripple a gaming session.
Full price games are to expensive.
     
sek929
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Feb 15, 2011, 02:23 PM
 
Playing through BioShock now on the free month-long Play Pass trial. Which includes nearly two dozen games.

I'm really liking this service.
     
The Final Dakar
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Feb 15, 2011, 03:43 PM
 
Why don't you marry it?! (Don't you have BioShock for your 360, or are you enjoying it in what imagine is HD?)
     
sek929
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Feb 15, 2011, 03:46 PM
 
I do have BS on 360, and yes, it's nice to see it in what, to me, is HD.

Thing is, I dunno if this is the age of the game or not, but the graphics are not up to the same amazing quality as Metro 2033. They look very nice, mind you, but I was honestly expecting more.

Biggest plus is the much much easier system of switching between weapons and plasmids. On the 360 I would pause the game and bring up my selection wheel, whereas now I'm able to do battle without interruption and easier selection of my goods.
     
sek929
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Feb 15, 2011, 03:49 PM
 
Just for reference. Playing the game pegs my connection at around 2.5MB/s DL rate, which is just under the max I've ever seen it. Slower internet connections need not apply I suppose, unless you can make do with lesser graphics.
     
The Final Dakar
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Feb 15, 2011, 03:50 PM
 
What res is it spitting out for you?
     
sek929
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Feb 15, 2011, 04:48 PM
 
1280x720, highest settings for everything.

Edit: It appears BioShock Onlive version has a nasty bug of erasing your savegames. Just wandered over to the forums and seems like other people lost their games too. I was nearing the end of Neptune's Bounty with only one Big Daddy left to kill at the end of my first stint. Just started a new game, saved it, and exited the game....erased again. Looks like I won't be playing anymore until they fix this problem.
     
sek929
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Feb 16, 2011, 05:15 PM
 
Update: I posted a complaint in the Onlive support area and received this response not more than one hour later.

Greetings,

Thank you for contacting OnLive Customer Service! We appreciate you taking the time to report this issue. Our engineering team has been alerted and is actively investigating the situation. We appreciate your continued patience, and I will contact you as soon as this issue is resolved.
It wasn't an automated message, and I have a link to the tech support person handling my problem. Not convinced this will be fixed fast or anything, but it was nice to receive a message so quickly. Problem is the one free month of the Play Pass might expire before I have a chance to play the one game I signed up for the Play Pass to play. I'll request another free month (usually 9.99) if the problem isn't fixed in time and see what I can get.
     
Stogieman
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Feb 16, 2011, 05:30 PM
 
Does OnLive have Halo Reach available? This maybe you're only chance to play the DLC maps.



Slick shoes?! Are you crazy?!
     
ruatsch
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Feb 20, 2011, 01:59 PM
 
any news on Halo Reach, yet?
I'm dying to play the DLC
     
Mac User #001
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Feb 20, 2011, 09:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
Cons:

Controls not exactly as precise or customizable as regular keyboard and mouse.
Network issues could cripple a gaming session.
Full price games are to expensive.
I'm certain you can access the game menus in a given game and customize the controls. Of course, if a game doesn't offer this, then customization is lacking.
I have returned... 2020 MacBook Air - 1.1 GHz Quad-Core i5 - 16 GB RAM
     
sek929
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Feb 21, 2011, 05:34 AM
 
Most certainly, it was more a critique on the specific Online version of Metro 2033 that the controls were less customizable than my 360 version.

Bioshock has a very PC-like set of customizable controls, but the save game issue is still present.
     
Laminar
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Feb 21, 2011, 07:11 AM
 
This is brilliant. I just tried it on my terrible work laptop, Red Faction looked perfect. Lag was mildly noticeable, mostly when driving but I'm on the other side of the world so I'll let it go.



Hotel connection:


but to Virginia:


This could be really dangerous for me.
     
mattyb
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Feb 21, 2011, 04:16 PM
 
Shit, if Mr. Laminar can get it to work on a POS Dell work laptop from Tokyo (looks like the one that I have) then I might give it a go.
     
Laminar
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Feb 22, 2011, 09:09 AM
 
Signed up for the free month of PayPass, turns out all of the games included are terrible. F.E.A.R. 2 is the first one I've been able to stand more than 5 minutes of. Probably won't pay for this.
     
sek929
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Feb 22, 2011, 09:33 AM
 
World of Goo is a fun game in the Play Pass, as is Bioshock...course you can't save your game currently...

The rest are garbage, which means unless they get a much better selection of games I will not be paying for this either.
     
lpkmckenna  (op)
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Feb 22, 2011, 10:13 AM
 
Garbage? We obviously disagree.
     
Laminar
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Feb 22, 2011, 10:43 AM
 
Yeah, just spent the past couple hours on Bioshock. Can't save your game? I think I did, but I guess I'll find out next time I go in.
     
sek929
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Feb 22, 2011, 12:21 PM
 
Exit Onlive and start Bioshock again. Your save games will be gone, guaranteed.

Edit: This is false! Just got an email from Onlive saying the problem has been fixed, started a game then exited the program, returned and my savegame is still there. problem solved.
( Last edited by sek929; Feb 22, 2011 at 12:35 PM. )
     
sek929
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Feb 22, 2011, 12:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by lpkmckenna View Post
Garbage? We obviously disagree.
Garbage is a strong word, I'm sure plenty of games are very enjoyable. None seem up my alley, certainly not enough to pull me away from games I already own and like.
     
Laminar
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Feb 24, 2011, 05:15 AM
 
I'm noticing the lag a bit more, "hacking" in Bioshock is difficult as mouse movement is, well, laggy. It's smooth but there's an extremely noticeable delay between my movements and the cursor's. I'll see what it's like when I'm not thousands of miles from their servers.
     
sek929
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Feb 24, 2011, 01:58 PM
 
Must be your distance, I notice a slight lag when hacking, but nothing substantial.
     
Laminar
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Feb 26, 2011, 04:30 AM
 
Right now they're offering a free OnLive game system and a free full PlayPass to Metro 2033 when preordering Homefront for $50. This is actually really really tempting.
     
Mac User #001
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Feb 26, 2011, 11:18 AM
 
No kidding. Problem is service doesn't work at my house, which is where I'd want to the console. And I actually already got a free game from the service... Metro 2033.
I have returned... 2020 MacBook Air - 1.1 GHz Quad-Core i5 - 16 GB RAM
     
Laminar
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Feb 27, 2011, 09:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by Mac User #001 View Post
No kidding. Problem is service doesn't work at my house, which is where I'd want to the console. And I actually already got a free game from the service... Metro 2033.
Did you like Metro? I'm learning that I hate games where the enemies are melee-ing creatures, like Halo's Flood, FEAR's weird mutants, etc. I'm not sure that I'd play the game.
     
Laminar
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Feb 27, 2011, 09:57 PM
 
I beat Mafia II last night, got it when it was 50 percent off. Ended up getting Borderlands for $10, too. I said this would be dangerous for me...
     
sek929
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Feb 28, 2011, 01:05 AM
 
I loved Metro, but a good number of enemies are beasts and melee your legs and are quite difficult to shoot.

Amazing atmosphere though.
     
Laminar
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Mar 17, 2011, 05:56 PM
 
Tried it now that I'm home, still no good, my ping must just be too high. There's about a quarter second gap between me hitting a button and something happening, so you can imagine how difficult any precise action is - driving, hitting a moving target, hitting a stationary target, etc.

I cancelled my Playpass deal before I got charged anything and have been playing Borderlands today, but it's more frustrating than fun.
     
The Final Dakar
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Mar 17, 2011, 07:17 PM
 
The lag was comparable to when you were in asia? Crazy.
     
 
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