OnLive: latency is not a big issue

OnLive: latency is not a big issue
OnLive: latency is not a big issue

OnLive founder Steve Perlman has insisted that latency issues are not a major problem for the cloud gaming service, telling TechRadar that BT's beta testers said the experience was comparable to the Xbox and PS3.

A key factor in OnLive's success or failure is how well the game performs, considering it is sending gamers' instructions to its servers and then streaming video back to the device.

That lag, or latency, is going to be a major factor in how the service is adopted, but Perlman believes that a decent broadband connection will not leave even hardcore gamers too disappointed.

Check out our hands on: Onlive review video to see what we think of the new service:

Decent connection

"If you have a great connection and you have latest version of OnLive then people do not notice latency," insisted Perlman.

"The comment we often have is "wow, you have reached the point where it is one to one. I move the controller and there's an instantaneous response.

"If you have a marginal connection then it may work better or worse and if you are using a game which is a high latency game what people don't realise is that even on a PC locally there is a little lag.

"What people are coming to the realisation that whatever latency is apparent – there is a little bit of that added through the transport [of the data].

BT testers

OnLive is partnered with BT for the UK launch, and Perlman has been pleased with the trial feedback.

"We've done recent extensive testing with our partner BT and the vast majority of people thought the experience was comparable with the Xbox 360 or PS3," he said.

"It's sort of like when we got MP3s and people were saying it wasn't as good as a CD. Definitely people who were audiophiles were saying 'it's not good enough for me' but I think the number of people that appreciate convenience versus the perfection of having a CD eventually overwhelmed [the latter].

"So I think this is a similar situation but with the caveat being that with MP3 when they set the standard they couldn't take it much beyond that, but OnLive keeps getting better."

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.