Cloud gaming pioneer defends 'laggy' OnLive

OnLive boss defends laggy beta test of cloud-gaming service
OnLive boss defends laggy beta test of cloud-gaming service

Cloud gaming pioneer and OnLive founder Steve Perlman has leapt to the defence of his company, combatting criticisms that the beta service of the server-based gaming offering is already crippled by gameplay-ruining time lags.

Perlman has outlined what he sees to be the current technical issues that are causing some beta testers of OnLive to suffer these latency issues.

One location, one ISP, one PC

Perlman said the server-based system is affected by anyone who doesn't sign up in one location, using one ISP on one PC.

He claims: "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.

"OnLive will try to detect these conditions and warn you, but when you are using OnLive in a different location, you are not providing us with usable test data."

Speed of light to blame

"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," the OnLive man explained.

"OnLive has 3 data centers for its US Beta test, with a... 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."

Tim Ponting, from rival fast-downloads service Awomo, explained to TechRadar earlier last year how he felt that lag was going to be the final hurdle for cloud gaming services such as OnLive to overcome.


Adam Hartley