OnLive blog clarifies latency issues outside the testing area

Friday, 22nd January 2010 22:49 GMT By Stephany Nunneley


Steve Perlman, CEO of OnLive, has updated the service’s blog explaining how it’s currently being tested.

Apparently, in order to participate in the Beta, you must be in one location, use one ISP and use one specific PC to sign into the service.

Not get a code for the Beta from a “friend of a friend of a friend”.

“If you change any of these factors, OnLive Beta may not even run, or if it does, the lag and/or graphics performance may render games unplayable,” wrote Perlman (via BigDownload).

Testing centers are currently in Dallas, San Fransisco, and Washington DC, and according to Perlman, those over 1,000 miles from a test center will experience latency that’s “too long for fast-action video games’, but post Beta,  OnLive “will adapt to different configurations each time you connect.”

“The reason location is so critical is because of the speed of light. If you are more than 1000 miles from an OnLive data center, then the round trip communications delay (“ping” time) between your home and OnLive will be too long for fast-action video games,” he added.

“As you can see in the above map, OnLive has 3 data centers for its US Beta test, with a blue circle around each showing the 1000-mile range. Your Beta account will only connect to the data center it was originally assigned to. So, if you are assigned to our West Coast data center and then try your Beta account from the Midwest or East Coast, you’ll find the lag impaired to the point where most games are unplayable. And, depending on how your Beta account was configured for the characteristics of your home ISP, you may see degraded image quality or controller/mouse performance on a different ISP.”

Yesterday, a Beta preview was released on PC Perspective which reported some latency issues with the test – however, the reviewer seemed relatively pleased with everything else.

OnLive is expected to launch sometime this quarter.



  1. onlineatron

    Sounds like a lot of ifs and buts.

    #1 5 years ago
  2. Phoenixblight

    Good thing I am only maybe a 100 miles from Dallas. :p

    Only they will do a disconted testing phase. I will atleast try it out.

    #2 5 years ago
  3. Retroid


    #3 5 years ago
  4. Bulk Slash

    OnLive is so fantastic that the speed of light is just too slow for it!

    #4 5 years ago
  5. Hunam

    If it can’t do it for one of two people how is it going to do it for a few million people at a time?

    Wake me up in 25 years when it’s actually possible.

    #5 5 years ago
  6. Cerberus

    You actually have a point. It doesn’t seem feasible at the moment.

    #6 5 years ago
  7. Neolucifer

    Their defense make Onlive sounds even more impossible on a large scale , at least outside of major us metropoles .

    In many place most people arent even that close to their isp’s server , so let alone having an Onlive server nearby

    #7 5 years ago
  8. CroMagnon

    Looks like you’ll be buggered if you live in Montana, North Dakota or Wisconsin when (if) OnLive eventually comes out.

    Sorry, mid-western gamers, the speed of light ain’t fast enough to reach you. But don’t worry, Perlman’s next big thing is going to be connections at faster than the speed of light!

    #8 5 years ago
  9. Psychotext

    The placement of those server farms makes it look like a considerable number of their customers are in the sea… or Mexico.

    I’ve been looking at some of the internet backbone maps in the US and I can’t help thinking that they should have gone with at least four locations for their server farms. Denver or Chicago would be ideal.

    #9 5 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.