OnLive Beta preview hands out lukewarm praise

Thursday, 21 January 2010 18:50 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

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OnLive’s been in Beta for a bit now, and has PC Perspective posted a preview of the service.

Turns out, it’s a very fast and impressive with download times, but latency issues were a problem.

Granted, the reviewer was outside of the supported area when the test was made, but if you live closer to the servers you will have less issues. This has been known for a  while.

“It is very possible that some of the input lag I witnessed is a result of me being further away from the services servers than OnLive would like,” wrote the reviewer (via Engadget). “That being said, the difference between an 80ms and a 50ms ping time might be noticeable – but I seriously doubt it is enough to get rid of this input delay completely.

“What would work? ISP integration. Imagine if OnLive leased this service on a per-ISP basis and Comcast/Cox/Time Warner/etc had local OnLive servers housed inside their local network: that might be the answer that we are looking for and it might be the path that OnLive is taking (but we don’t have verification).”

Other than the latency bit, the reviewer was impressed with slower input games on the service like Mass Effect, but with the latency issues he was experiencing, Unreal Tournament was unplayable.

“During the beta phase, users are limited to playing a single game session for only 30 minutes at a time,” he wrote. “That was kind of a let down but my guess is the game publishers asked for this so they could still sell games to OnLive testers in the interim.

“You can also see that OnLive has a good mix of gaming types: fast past FPS games like UT3, arcade racing with Burnout, real-time strategy with Company of Heroes and even indie-games like World of Goo.

“Another benefit of the OnLive service is in the load times – the games all loaded relatively quickly, within about 30 seconds. I would put that on par with a lot of top level gaming PCs out there and what’s great is that those load times won’t deviate at all whether you are running on a slow PC or a fast one.

“Also, exiting a game and switching to another one was incredibly quick and easy using the keyboard shortcut of Alt-O that brings up a Steam-like back end menu that you can use to navigate around.

“Despite my nagging about the latency issues in the menu though, the user interface itself seems clean and simple.”

He goes on the chat about playing Burnout Paradise, H.A.W.X., and UT3 in the preview, and the full thing is definitely worth the read.

Shots of the OnLive controller and console surfaced last week, and it’s expected to launch sometime during the first quarter of this year

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