OnLive Snags Major Cash Injection

OnLive Snags Major Cash Injection

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Experimental cloud gaming company OnLive has announced that it has secured a "serious jolt" of funding from people willing to put their money where their mouth is.

Y'know, launching a new service has to be pretty expensive. Launching a new service that aims to pioneer a new revolution in a multi-billion-dollar industry? That has to be pretty expensiveer. OnLive is a cool idea, and if it succeeds will be hugely earthshaking, but it's one hell of a gamble - what if gamers don't go for it? What if the tech is a flop?

Apparently, though, there are people willing to bet on OnLive's success, and these are people who have money. A post on OnLive CEO Steve Perlman's blog reads as follows:

Big news today-OnLive has closed a major round of funding with participation from AT&T Media Holdings, Inc., Lauder Partners, Warner Bros., Autodesk and Maverick Capital. The funding is much larger than our previous rounds and gives us a serious jolt of rocket fuel as our Beta progresses and we look forward to launching the OnLive® Game Service.

Over the last decade, we've seen an enormous upheaval in the media business as the written word, photos, music, and video have been steadily moving away from physical media to online delivery. One major category that still remains largely based on physical discs is fast-response interactive media-in particular, video games. And, of course, OnLive's goal is to enable that last remaining transition.

We are both pleased and inspired that our investors share this vision with OnLive. Not only do they see the value in OnLive in particular, but they also understand the significance of what OnLive is doing to lead a massive sea change in interactive media distribution. We are grateful that they have not only provided OnLive with their support, but they have also provided OnLive with such a strong endorsement.

All fueled up, there's only open road ahead.

You certainly need money to do something like this, so this is definitely good news for OnLive. The next major hurdle it looks like they'll have to tackle, though, is not just ensuring that the service works, but trying to overcome gamers' skepticism about the whole thing. If gamers don't like it, no amount of money pumped into marketing will make them stop treating it like a joke - just look at Sony.

Still, money is a good thing for an experimental service. Hopefully we'll start seeing the fruits of this labor sometime soon.

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Is it just me or does this smell like a confidence play? I mean, Big Names + Good Funding could equal big success, but it also makes for a good press release gimmick. They might be trying to boost our confidence in order to obtain more funding, rather than vice-versa. I think cloud-gaming is a really interesting concept but I'm not a believer until I see a unit on my TV and internet connection playable enough to hook me thru an entire 4 hour sitting.

edit: if the money is real and substantial, they'd do well to invest it in computing power and NOT marketing (especially not of the Sony variety!)

Honestly, I wish them nothing but failire.

Not that they seem at all nasty, just that a purely digital environment where you have to pay to ask if you can get to the content is something of a nightmare scenario for gaming.
Even things like Steam can be cracked and backed up if needs be, but this puts you entirely at the mercy of a company that's let's you keep nothing.

When it comes out maybe it'll prove otherwise, but right now it still sounds like buying the DRM and renting the games.

All of those companies just wasted their money.

It's not customer skepticism. I have total faith all of this technology exists and they can deliver it. I simply fail to see the benefit to me. All the benefits go to them, and I wind up losing the advantages I currently have on the deal.

I hope Onlive not only dies, but does so in such a huge, fiery explosion that it takes the whole concept with it until such a time as they get a clue, and realize that not everyone out there who plays video games/uses a computer is a complete idiot.

Therumancer:
It's not customer skepticism. I have total faith all of this technology exists and they can deliver it. I simply fail to see the benefit to me. All the benefits go to them, and I wind up losing the advantages I currently have on the deal.

I hope Onlive not only dies, but does so in such a huge, fiery explosion that it takes the whole concept with it until such a time as they get a clue, and realize that not everyone out there who plays video games/uses a computer is a complete idiot.

The benefits to you: You can play a game like Crysis on max without building your own master PC gaming rig?

I don't really care how much money they get. Technical concerns aside, I don't feel like paying a company for permission to access content. Especially not when there is no guarantee that they will be around for awhile and that they exist in an industry that doesn't trust me and assumes I'm guilty until proven innocent.

Oh,that's just great.

1) I don't have a Holo-Web-esque super-puper futuristic internet connection. I'm on DSL. OnLive is nothing but bad joke to me.

2) This whole "renting" business seems fishy. I like to have my games on a disks in case my hard drive/their servers go south. I can tolerate Steam,but only for a few select games and only because people at Valve earned my trust. And i don't trust the authorities,in this case - major publishers.

It all depends on whether Ratchet & Clank games will end up on such a service (not neccesarily OnLive). If they will,that technology has my mild intrest and cautious support. If they will not,i hope someone glues cloud-computing game services back toghether...

IN HELL!!!

CantFaketheFunk:

Therumancer:
It's not customer skepticism. I have total faith all of this technology exists and they can deliver it. I simply fail to see the benefit to me. All the benefits go to them, and I wind up losing the advantages I currently have on the deal.

I hope Onlive not only dies, but does so in such a huge, fiery explosion that it takes the whole concept with it until such a time as they get a clue, and realize that not everyone out there who plays video games/uses a computer is a complete idiot.

The benefits to you: You can play a game like Crysis on max without building your own master PC gaming rig?

Yes, so we can play with a ton of video artifacts, input lag and have even less control over our games now. If onlive goes down, and given the appalling quality of what they have shown so far, i expect to be pretty soon, all games on it are now unplayable. Valve gave us an official press release that if they go under, all Steam games are made available otherwise. Onlive on the other hand seems to think that it's the final product consumers EVER have to buy for playing games and that they are still in use in 2109.

fix-the-spade:
Honestly, I wish them nothing but failire.

Not that they seem at all nasty, just that a purely digital environment where you have to pay to ask if you can get to the content is something of a nightmare scenario for gaming.
Even things like Steam can be cracked and backed up if needs be, but this puts you entirely at the mercy of a company that's let's you keep nothing.

When it comes out maybe it'll prove otherwise, but right now it still sounds like buying the DRM and renting the games.

Same here, I dislike this "digital distribution" crap, I would much rather OWN my games, it's one of the reasons why I very much prefer Console Gaming to PC gaming. No CD Keys to lose, no online verification etc.

Why do people support this crap? Seriously? At their whim, they could simply decide that you no longer own your games, meaning that hundreds of dollars could have been wasted on your part.

I am just amused that some people think that this will mean the instant universal death of all known form of gaming mediums. Unless of course, you assume every other corporate in the market will jump ship from the current delivery system (proven and cheap), to a similar service provided by OnLive. Which of course is YEARS away before such consumer confidence is placed upon such a service.

The renting part seems very untrustworthy to me.

All that matters is that they deliver on what they said. And we all know that companies always promise a lot, but more often then not, they never fully deliver on what they promised.

Sorry, but I think OnLive will most likely fail.

300lb. Samoan:
Is it just me or does this smell like a confidence play? I mean, Big Names + Good Funding could equal big success, but it also makes for a good press release gimmick. They might be trying to boost our confidence in order to obtain more funding, rather than vice-versa.

My thoughts exactly. And IMHO this is just a sign that OnLive will be a bubble that will grow and explode into failure.

Asehujiko:

CantFaketheFunk:

The benefits to you: You can play a game like Crysis on max without building your own master PC gaming rig?

Yes, so we can play with a ton of video artifacts, input lag and have even less control over our games now. If onlive goes down, and given the appalling quality of what they have shown so far, i expect to be pretty soon, all games on it are now unplayable.

Well I'm willing to believe that the current problems with online are beta problems/growing pains. I'm too taken with the idea that I could play Crysis (or any other game) on full graphics settings without paying to upgrade my own rig, it's like a console option for my PC rigs. It could be a huge tech breakthrough, it could be a complete flop. I haven't personally seen the tech in action, but I'm willing to wait to see its final form before I pass judgement.

300lb. Samoan:

Asehujiko:

CantFaketheFunk:

The benefits to you: You can play a game like Crysis on max without building your own master PC gaming rig?

Yes, so we can play with a ton of video artifacts, input lag and have even less control over our games now. If onlive goes down, and given the appalling quality of what they have shown so far, i expect to be pretty soon, all games on it are now unplayable.

Well I'm willing to believe that the current problems with online are beta problems/growing pains. I'm too taken with the idea that I could play Crysis (or any other game) on full graphics settings without paying to upgrade my own rig, it's like a console option for my PC rigs. It could be a huge tech breakthrough, it could be a complete flop. I haven't personally seen the tech in action, but I'm willing to wait to see its final form before I pass judgement.

Except that onlive server's have to run the game for you AND encode the video at the same time. IE, expect lots of lag.

And for the umpteenth bazillionth time: FAILING YOUR E3 PRESENTATION IS A DEMONSTRATION OF A SHITTY PRODUCT, NOT OF A BETA.

CantFaketheFunk:

Therumancer:
It's not customer skepticism. I have total faith all of this technology exists and they can deliver it. I simply fail to see the benefit to me. All the benefits go to them, and I wind up losing the advantages I currently have on the deal.

I hope Onlive not only dies, but does so in such a huge, fiery explosion that it takes the whole concept with it until such a time as they get a clue, and realize that not everyone out there who plays video games/uses a computer is a complete idiot.

The benefits to you: You can play a game like Crysis on max without building your own master PC gaming rig?

Dosn't Onlive only deliver 720p? As in, 1280x720? I really don't think there are many gaming computers that can't run Crysis on high at that resolution.

Asehujiko:

Except that onlive server's have to run the game for you AND encode the video at the same time. IE, expect lots of lag.

first of all if they're gonna get anywhere with this technology, they'd be sending frame data and letting the unit decode the picture, not streaming live video of it. That'd be fucking embarassing to think someone is trying to market THAT technology.....

Asehujiko:

And for the umpteenth bazillionth time: FAILING YOUR E3 PRESENTATION IS A DEMONSTRATION OF A SHITTY PRODUCT, NOT OF A BETA.

OK this I gotta see. I found this youtube video of the GDC OnLive press conference, but not of the E3 presentation. Can you point me to video of OnLive failing, hopefully in a spectacular fashion?

I can't wait to try out this service. I honestly doubt they'd invest so much money into something that they weren't 100% sure would work, especially since a majority of the issues people keep bringing up against OnLive are such obvious problems that they must have had to take into consideration when doing this.

Nimbus:

CantFaketheFunk:

The benefits to you: You can play a game like Crysis on max without building your own master PC gaming rig?

Dosn't Onlive only deliver 720p? As in, 1280x720? I really don't think there are many gaming computers that can't run Crysis on high at that resolution.

Try it on my Sony VAIO, or any other laptop equipped with a lowly Intel 945 graphics chipset. I think the biggest appeal is that I could potentially run Crysis or TF2 with higher quality and response on a netbook than I can running it natively on my gaming rig. This is the fantastic charge that OnLive has to live up to.

CantFaketheFunk:

Therumancer:
It's not customer skepticism. I have total faith all of this technology exists and they can deliver it. I simply fail to see the benefit to me. All the benefits go to them, and I wind up losing the advantages I currently have on the deal.

I hope Onlive not only dies, but does so in such a huge, fiery explosion that it takes the whole concept with it until such a time as they get a clue, and realize that not everyone out there who plays video games/uses a computer is a complete idiot.

The benefits to you: You can play a game like Crysis on max without building your own master PC gaming rig?

Not really, the hardware is still more or less going to be the hardware and stay consistant like a console. The Crysis problem is based on game developers tapping new hardware, and in that paticular case jumping ahead od what the typical consumer actually had at the time of release.

All this is going to do is effectively operate like a console, it will cease all technological progress until they decide to release next gen hardware.

I don't really consider that to be a "benefit". I mean I see the benefits to not upgrading every 15 minutes, and standardized hardware, but basically this just seems like another attempt at the PSPGo. The whole idea to more or less get people "hooked" into a totally digital media system so they can do away with discs, questions over ownership rights, distribution, used games markets, and everything else.

It seems like a fancy way of basically doing what consoles already do when online, but taking a step forward towards the death of physical media. I see no benefit to that as a consumer, as many of the same reasons why media companies (whether it's games, movies or music) want to go totally online are the same reasons why I do not support the technology.

See, at the end of the day I want my disc/CD/manual/DVD/whatever. I very much doubt that any money saved on manufacturing, distribution, and whatever else will ever be passed along to the consumers. Not to mention losing the abillity to sell your old media as used, or wait on an 'iffy' product to get it second hand, or whatever.

It's not this paticular product or service, it's the entire trend in general. People keep screaming that "it's coming" but, really while I understand why media companies want it, I have yet to see how the benefits to this outweigh the costs to me. Even comments about doing away with hardware upgrades to run systems like Crysis are dubious because they come at a cost in potential quality, and frankly we already HAVE machines with standardized technology that stick around for a number of years before updating a generation (consoles). Right now when I buy a console I get a disc... why should I support this changing?

300lb. Samoan:

Asehujiko:

Except that onlive server's have to run the game for you AND encode the video at the same time. IE, expect lots of lag.

first of all if they're gonna get anywhere with this technology, they'd be sending frame data and letting the unit decode the picture, not streaming live video of it. That'd be fucking embarassing to think someone is trying to market THAT technology.....

Asehujiko:

And for the umpteenth bazillionth time: FAILING YOUR E3 PRESENTATION IS A DEMONSTRATION OF A SHITTY PRODUCT, NOT OF A BETA.

OK this I gotta see. I found this youtube video of the GDC OnLive press conference, but not of the E3 presentation. Can you point me to video of OnLive failing, hopefully in a spectacular fashion?

They demonstrated it to a select few journalists, no video. They all complained about low framerate, input lag and video artifacts. This was when there was 1 game linked up to the service.

Hrm..On one hand, I'd laugh gleefully at the painful demise of consoles..But on the other, this thing just stokes my fears about cloud technology..

Asehujiko:
They demonstrated it to a select few journalists, no video. They all complained about low framerate, input lag and video artifacts. This was when there was 1 game linked up to the service.

Well that certainly sounds like growing pains to me. Ideally there will be an entire facility with enough parallel processing power to provide an optimal frame rate and handle network traffic for a multitude of games, not just one title jack-booted to a remote output. But yea you're right, that's completely unimpressive especially considering it's only 4 months later and they're looking at public beta.

Asehujiko:

300lb. Samoan:

Asehujiko:

Except that onlive server's have to run the game for you AND encode the video at the same time. IE, expect lots of lag.

first of all if they're gonna get anywhere with this technology, they'd be sending frame data and letting the unit decode the picture, not streaming live video of it. That'd be fucking embarassing to think someone is trying to market THAT technology.....

Asehujiko:

And for the umpteenth bazillionth time: FAILING YOUR E3 PRESENTATION IS A DEMONSTRATION OF A SHITTY PRODUCT, NOT OF A BETA.

OK this I gotta see. I found this youtube video of the GDC OnLive press conference, but not of the E3 presentation. Can you point me to video of OnLive failing, hopefully in a spectacular fashion?

They demonstrated it to a select few journalists, no video. They all complained about low framerate, input lag and video artifacts. This was when there was 1 game linked up to the service.

I was one of those journalists. They showed us three titles among many more that were already in operation on the service, and while the lag was noticeable, it was completely playable. I was actually pretty impressed, and I suspect the investors at AT&T, Warner Bros, etc. all were as well.

OnLive is stupid and I hope it fails. Those investors just got themselves a nice tax write-off.

I do believe the most likely reason that AT&T and warner are injecting cash into OnLive is because of bandwidth usage caps &/or "pay by bandwidth usage" were they stand to make a big profit from either racking up charges for people that go over or for people who game a lot and wrack up hefty bandwidth usage each month.

I would love the service (if it works well), but having to be faithful that the service never goes under; and not actually owning the games make it seem more like an MMO with many more potential risks to a consumers investment.

Either way I'll still stick with building my own rig for PC gaming as it's my hobby and provides me with a nice sense of accomplishment. Might be more expensive than a console or a service like this but then again it's got many more uses than just gaming.

Jordan Deam:
I was one of those journalists. They showed us three titles among many more that were already in operation on the service, and while the lag was noticeable, it was completely playable. I was actually pretty impressed, and I suspect the investors at AT&T, Warner Bros, etc. all were as well.

Noticeable lag with 1 player equals severe annoyance with 10 and unplayable with 100.

I have no interest in onlive. However, nothing kills a business quite like "easy money." All this cash will go into their development of the technology, and then they will realize that their intended market either doesn't exist, or is grossly overestimated. Same thing happened with a lot of the Biopharma startups over the last ten years-- you can pay a lot of bills with 1.5 million in government funds per year, but you can't make people buy your products.

All I know is that in many major metropolitan areas, iphones have swamped the system-- everyone wants a smart phone, and they want all those data plans and services-- and the system often chokes under the load. Every generation of Iphone greatly increases the data traffic-- and the number of users clambering to join the ranks of the iphoned. So now we're going to base the future of gaming on a service that will make p2p traffic look like a drop in the bucket?

I don't know about you guys, but my internet goes down-- usually when I want to use it, and servers crash-- always when I want to access them.

Maybe onlive will change the world-- but I'll keep my personal computer in any case.

Jordan Deam:
I was one of those journalists. They showed us three titles among many more that were already in operation on the service, and while the lag was noticeable, it was completely playable. I was actually pretty impressed, and I suspect the investors at AT&T, Warner Bros, etc. all were as well.

Did they ever give a hypothetical price estimate for this service?

hansari:

Jordan Deam:
I was one of those journalists. They showed us three titles among many more that were already in operation on the service, and while the lag was noticeable, it was completely playable. I was actually pretty impressed, and I suspect the investors at AT&T, Warner Bros, etc. all were as well.

Did they ever give a hypothetical price estimate for this service?

Nope, they weren't talking about price at the time. I think more than the actual infrastructure issues, the pricing scheme is what is actually going to make or break this service. Guess we'll find out in the coming months.

I've actually been thinking, I don't think this will get that many sales
While developers will back it, look at the backlash from this page alone.
Plus it has very little benefits for the consumer, people like sharing games with each other, it will take ages to download games and it probably won't get many exclusives because of it's unpopularity

If it is so unpopular then it won't sell well, if it's not profitable then developers will stop injecting money into it.

If anything it might be nice if it fails, then developers will get a better idea of what gamers actually want

CantFaketheFunk:

Therumancer:
It's not customer skepticism. I have total faith all of this technology exists and they can deliver it. I simply fail to see the benefit to me. All the benefits go to them, and I wind up losing the advantages I currently have on the deal.

I hope Onlive not only dies, but does so in such a huge, fiery explosion that it takes the whole concept with it until such a time as they get a clue, and realize that not everyone out there who plays video games/uses a computer is a complete idiot.

The benefits to you: You can play a game like Crysis on max without building your own master PC gaming rig?

Actually, you're wrong. Crysis on max, exceeds 1920x1200. OnLive states 720p only. Therefore, OnLive doesn't even come remotely close to what my 'master PC gaming rig' can do. And to those who don't care about performance, that's fine, and rather than pick up a book and figure out how to do things on your own, go ahead and let OnLive tell you what you can and cannot play. I'll be enjoying the aforementioned PC of the Gods, and consoles.

 

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