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Transgaming says “jitters” spell doom for OnLive

Tuesday, 5th July 2011 00:54 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Toronto-based streaming games tech company TransGaming has said performance issues will be the death of rival services like OnLive.

“The problem, I feel, is that if I’m playing Call Of Duty and I know that on my PlayStation 3 it’s an amazing, uninterrupted experience, the minute I get jitters with OnLive, or any kind of stuttering, that’s it, I’m going to stop,” CEO Vikas Gupta told GamesIndustry.

“These aren’t the sort of games where you can have that level of delay or unpredictable performance.”

Transgaming’s own offering, Game Tree TV, is apparently immune to these problems on account of being built specifically for one platform – Internet-capable TVs. The company’s first partner, French ISP Free, expects to have 5 million subscribers by the end of next year.

Gupta also cast doubt on OnLive’s ability to make money.

“We’ve looked at OnLive’s model and we don’t believe it’s sustainable. We don’t believe they can make money on it,” he said.

“We know what they’re making from a distribution fee perspective, because that’s their model… So EA says here’s a game, and that game retails for $50. We know that they’re only making x percent, and within that margin there’s no way they can make money, given their operating expenditure, as well as the initial capital expenditure in order to get that data centre up and running.”

Before revealing its Internet TV games delivery service in early 2010, Transgaming was best known for several porting technologies and a number of high-profile Mac ports.

Thanks, CVG.

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11 Comments

  1. triggerhappy

    I truly believe that once they get latency issues sorted out this will be the future. I only got my PS3 2 years ago and have just recently upgraded to a 360 slim, the thought of the next gen being just around the corner actually stresses me out. Then theres backwards compatibility… I would sign up to a service right now if it meant I could play EVERYTHING in one place without the expensive hardware.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. NoxNoctisUmbra

    Upgraded? don’t you mean downgraded to 360? haha

    #2 3 years ago
  3. triggerhappy

    360 fat > 360 slim = upgrade

    My PS3 is fat but at least its shiny ;)

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Joe_Gamer

    @1 You CAN’T “sort out” the latency problem, the speed of light is immutable and even the fastest fiber-optic networks(which are at least a decade from widespread adoption anyway) are still not as fast as having the box right there in your living room. I am only 30 miles from OnLive’s DC server and I still get input lag. Every router and switch the signal touches will introduce extra latency and that wont go away until the ISP’s can somehow make money off of it and even if ISP’s wanted to spend a billion dollars or so upgrading their equipment the laws of physics still won’t change and there will be a point at which you just can’t reduce latency anymore. Run a tracert to any domain you like and you will probably see a dozen pieces of equipment in the signal path each one adding additional latency.

    Cloud gaming is an investor scam that will never be viable.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. deathgaze

    tl;dr: 4 is right. For the most part.

    Long version:

    @4: /agree with a caveat.

    Someone in another news story about Onlive made the point that the average gamer won’t really care about the input lag. I could see this being a factor. The types of folks that post on here won’t use it because of the lag and the jitters. The average folk, though, may not notice or care about that. The argument went something like this: since the so-called “hardcore” that won’t tolerate input lag make up a fairly small percentage of the market, their preferences really won’t make a difference to the cloud push. The average person will like it enough to make up for the shortfall created by the hardcore. The person trying to convince me quoted that the hardcore make up about 5 percent of the market.

    However, I think this logic is specious. It ignores the influence that hardcore wield in the market place. It also severely underestimates the number of people who might actually notice and/or care about input lag.

    And you’re right, the problem will never be solved. It’s simple physics. A signal simply can’t travel fast enough to eliminate all input lag.

    However, the idea of an extremely lightweight streaming client sits better in my stomach. For example, if only the textures were preloaded on a client, you could conceivably stream all the logic necessary to run a triple-A game in real time. It sounds like this is what Transgaming is shooting for.

    In this scenario, the player would wait some fraction of time to download the textures and audio assets for a level. Then, all the animations, collision, physics and so on happen on the cloud. The result of the player’s interactions is transmitted to the client. Yes, there will be lag, but it will work pretty much like a multiplayer game with extremely low ping. You won’t be able to perceive it as much because there won’t be a perceived delay in, for example, pulling the trigger and the weapon firing.

    The service Transgaming is shooting for sounds great in theory. The downside, however, is that a game would have to be built specifically for this service (or ported over) in order to work correctly. And asking cash-strapped developers to swallow another expense to put their game on yet another platform may be a big pill to swallow.

    The bottom line is that, as Joe_Gamer said, cloud based gaming will not be viable during the foreseeable future.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. triggerhappy

    This is the future, as in 10+ years future…

    “Cloud gaming is an investor scam that will never be viable.”

    Thats a pretty negative outlook. An investor scam? C’mon man.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Freek

    It’d be pretty funny if faster then light travel was invented mererly as a side effect to sort out latency in game streaming services. :D

    What would you like to do today on ONlive? Play CoD 55 or TRAVEL TO MARS?! :-p

    #7 3 years ago
  8. NightCrawler1970

    #6 i make it simple for you, CLOUD SUCKS!!! how about that…

    You bought a small box(include power-cord, and power switch), LAN/WiFi connection…

    You turned on for the first time, the server(cloud) will update(will take a while), and than you start pulling games, well the games will be installed on THERE server, not on your box… you also don’t have to click on “ok and proceed” button, because they(wich console will be), can be updated anytime anywhere, you turn on the second time, and you should notice the XMB is changed or added some feature, without your aproval, you may delete it…

    Another bad thing is, whatever game you pulled, you never say “i own that game”, you never had that game in ya hand, and beside the game is installed on ther server(CLOUD), you pulled a movie/music same story, you pay it, they own it :P

    So ya Cloud sucks, and no more trade-ins, so basically all those Trade-ins game-store will be gone, because we all download digitally, for those that already hates GAME-STOP, they probely making a party right now, and thanks of the “cloud-server”, well you might say its future, so is with PC too, no more installing Windows 8, because windows will be on there server not on your PC…

    #8 3 years ago
  9. triggerhappy

    ^ its been going that way for a while now anyway, boxed media is on its way out. Im not saying its going to die tomorrow but can you really see boxed media sales still out stripping downloadable media in 10 years time?

    Streaming services whether its 100% streaming or part asset download part streaming IS the future, its the way people are going to be paying games in 10 years time. Companies like Sony and Msoft don’t start making profits on their hardware until about 5 years in anyway, they produce a new console at a loss. I think the industry will welcome streaming services with open arms when it becomes more viable.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. NightCrawler1970

    @9, They do makes profits, it just a boring black or white box, with plugs to charge your controler, and a removable HHD(or Mem-Sticks)(for your safegames), wifi/LAN plugs, box it self will cost around $100, for sale, and $50,- is profit…
    That the Console want is make affordable for everybody, there are people that still have PS2, not have the money to purchase PS3 or the future model the PS4…

    Just $100,- hardware, and i tell you what, it gonna sell like “hot-cakes”…instead of 77 million register PS-gamers will be doubled in the future, and so with Xbox…

    #10 3 years ago
  11. triggerhappy

    ^ you missed the point. AGAIN.

    #11 3 years ago

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