FeatureBack from the dead: OnLive on what went wrong and what has to go right

"It doesn't make you particularly smart saying something's going to fail."

Digital FoundryDeus Ex Face-Off: OnLive vs. PC Video

Cloud vs. Computer at 720p/max settings

Key events

Steve Perlman to remain CEO of newly minted OnLive

Cloud gaming company was estimated between $30 - $40 million in debt.

It's been confirmed that Steve Perlman will continue to be CEO at OnLive following the company's financial crisis and acquisition by affiliate of investment firm Lauder Partners.

When will OnLive have no latency?

"Fundamentally, at some point, you hit the speed of light."

OnLive lets you stream-play games on mobiles, tablets, PCs - pretty much any machine that loads a web browser. The games themselves run on faraway magical computers, and you control them via the internet.



Merrily down the stream?

Game streaming service OnLive launched in the UK at the Eurogamer Expo last week. We've been running two tests of it since. This review, conducted by Dan at home, approaches it from the perspective of the man in the street. On Saturday, we'll present a full technical performance analysis by Digital Foundry's Rich Leadbetter.

Live gameplay, streamed directly to your home. Instant access to the latest games, with no downloads or installation. You press a button, and a computer hundreds (even thousands) of miles away responds instantly. It sounds like science fiction, but OnLive is now up and running in the UK, so we can finally put the claims to the test in a real-life domestic setting. Are we witnessing the majestic birth of a new era in cloud-based gaming, or a clumsy newborn that needs time to find its feet?

The answer, perhaps unsurprisingly, is a bit of both.

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OnLive UK release date announced

OnLive UK release date announced

Launches next month at Eurogamer Expo.

Cloud gaming service OnLive has announced that it is set to launch its UK service on 22nd September at Eurogamer Expo 2011.

It goes live with over 100 "top-tier" games available to try, rent or buy over a broadband internet connection.

OnLive works with HDTVs, PCs, Macs, iPads and Android tablets.

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OnLive does "everything" Wii U does

Steve Perlman casts doubt on consoles.

Nintendo believes Wii U will change the way we play games, but according to OnLive boss Steve Perlman, everything it does UK gamers will be able to experience this autumn.

OnLive to launch in UK this Autumn

OnLive to launch in UK this Autumn

New universal controller to widen reach.

Cloud gaming platform OnLive finally arrives in the UK this Autumn, more than a year after its US launch last June.

The ambitious on-demand streaming service will start accepting founding member sign-ups from 8.00pm on 7th June. Roll-outs in other countries are expected to follow soon after the UK launch.

A universal wireless controller is also set to be unveiled at E3 next week, aimed at broadening the service's reach. Using the PC and Mac-friendly pad, you'll technically be able to play games on keyboard-free devices such as tablets, TVs and even smartphones.

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EA on 3D: Games will get their Avatar

But it's not the priority.

Electronic Arts believes one day the game industry will get its Avatar – a game that proves once and for all just how successful stereoscopic 3D can be – but for now there are more important things.

EA rejects cloud-only future for gaming

Discs not obsolete "any time soon".

EA has rejected the notion that we'll be playing all our games through 'cloud-based' services like OnLive in the near future, insisting that the traditional game disc has a long life left ahead of it.

OnLive convinces TV giant VIZIO

Game-streaming out of the box.

If OnLive really won't work, then where did all that investment money come from? More to the point - why has American telly giant VIZIO agreed to add OnLive intrinsically to its new tellies, Blu-ray players, phones and tablets?

Gaikai not worried by OnLive patent

Insists remote gaming is not patentable.

Online game streaming service Gaikai has insisted that rival outfit OnLive's recent patent on cloud-based gaming does not threaten its existence.

EA sceptical about OnLive

Publisher concerned about lag, price.

EA has aired concerns about the pricing and usability of the new cloud gaming microconsole OnLive.

OnLive to launch $9.99 monthly subs plan

OnLive to launch $9.99 monthly subs plan

Get unlimited access to 40 titles.

Cloud gaming set-up OnLive has just announced a new initiative that will give users unlimited access to a library of games for $9.99 a month.

According to VentureBeat, the games available in the Play Pack scheme won't be brand new releases but you'll get to play titles that are only about six months old.

A full line-up has not been confirmed for the 14th January launch but OnLive boss Steve Perlman believes there will be about 40 titles on offer at first, including established AAA titles and various indie games too.

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OnLive MicroConsole dated, priced

Hardware receives warm reviews in US.

The audacious OnLive MicroConsole - the box that sits by a television and enables PC games to be played via live stream - has a date. Shipments to US shops begin on Thursday 2nd December.

Digital FoundryDigital Foundry vs. OnLive

At stake: the fundamentals of gaming as we know it.

OnLive. Hands-on. Away from controlled conditions, in the public domain, out of beta, and no longer covered by non-disclosure agreements, this article has been a long time coming.

Digital FoundryOnLive Latency: The Reckoning

Can Cloud gaming really compete with PC and console response?

OnLive latency has finally been measured, and the results are pleasantly surprising. In Digital Foundry's independent tests, we achieved an optimum response of 150ms - similar to playing Killzone 2 locally, and in line with Rare's claims for lag when using the new Kinect camera controller.

Full list of OnLive pricing options

Rentals and licensing explained.

The OnLive service launched in the US last week and with it we got our first look at how much it will cost to access games through the cloud.

BT hopes to launch OnLive in late 2011

BT hopes to launch OnLive in late 2011

More launch details later this year.

OnLive may be set to launch in the US next week, but the cloud gaming service won't be available in the UK until late next year according to partner British Telecom.

"We'll announce further details about our launch plans later this year, but we would hope to make it available by the end of 2011," a spokesperson for BT told PC Retail.

Earlier this year BT announced that it had signed the exclusive rights to bundle OnLive with broadband packages in the UK.

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BT signs exclusive rights to OnLive

BT signs exclusive rights to OnLive

Cloud gaming bundled with broadband.

British Telecom (BT) has signed the exclusive rights to bundle cloud-gaming service OnLive with broadband packages in the UK.

The deal saw BT buy a 2.6 per cent share holding in the company.

OnLive will have been in development for eight years when it launches this summer in the US. "BT will announce further details about its launch plans later this year."

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OnLive gets June US launch date

OnLive gets June US launch date

$15 per month plus cost of games.

The OnLive cloud gaming service is set to launch in the US on 17th June.

The service allows players to access PC games from 2K, EA, THQ, Ubisoft and Warner Bros. The games run on OnLive's beefy servers and players control them remotely through the OnLive client.

OnLive will initially charge a subscription fee of $14.95 per month and special offers and longer subs deals are also planned.

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OnLive: "downloaded media past its peak"

Perlman says his service is way forward.

OnLive CEO Steve Perlman has told the DICE Summit in Las Vegas that "physical media is in rapid decline" and even "downloaded media is past its peak".

OnLive beta latency issues explained

OnLive beta latency issues explained

It only works in a 1000-mile range.

OnLive founder Steve Perlman has explained why some beta testers of the game-streaming service are experiencing latency issues (thanks VG247).

For the purposes of the beta test, OnLive is insisting players only use the service from a single location that is within 1000 miles of one of their data centres - in San Francisco, Dallas and Washington DC. Since each account works with one of those centres only, if it's tried from outside that range, latency will be unacceptable.

"While the production OnLive service will adapt to different configurations each time you connect, during beta testing each user is setup only to test a specific computer configuration (or MicroConsole TV Adapter version), a single Internet provider and, most importantly, a particular location," Perlman explained.

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Digital FoundryIn Theory: Is this how OnLive works?

Digital Foundry mulls over shots and expert opinion.

After its sensational - and controversial - debut at GDC last year, little has been heard publicly about the OnLive cloud gaming system. During the summer, the firm kicked off its promised beta sign-up phase, but in a world where footage is leaked from betas within hours of their debut, the lack of any tangible feedback on the system from testers was telling. Was OnLive still on schedule? In the run-up to Christmas, momentum picked up: many confirmed OnLive beta testers finally broke cover and a mammoth 48-minute presentation from company front man Steve Perlman was released.

Xbox not worried about Gaikai, OnLive

Something for "longer term", says Microsoft.

Microsoft reckons we'll be waiting a while before streaming services like Gaikai and OnLive are the norm. The good old DVD-plus-DLC model, said European Xbox Live boss Jerry Johnson, will continue for "the foreseeable future".

Perlman: OnLive to launch this winter

Perlman: OnLive to launch this winter

New funds power the cloud dream.

Steve Perlman's dreams of a "formal" winter launch for his ambitious cloud-computing company OnLive may be realised, as the latest round of fund-raising proves a huge success.

Some of America's biggest companies - phone giant AT&T, Lauder Partners and Warner Bros. - all backed the remote-gaming service, according to VentureBeat, moving Perlman closer to his rumoured $750m valuation goal.

Perlman's idea - that giant servers can power PC games for people to control remotely - requires an immense hardware infrastructure to work. That's not cheap, as Eurogamer's Digital Foundry blog pointed out.

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OnLive goes into public beta testing

OnLive goes into public beta testing

Cloud gaming service takes first steps.

OnLive founder Steve Perlman has announced that the ambitious "cloud" gaming service, which runs games remotely and streams the video to your home over the internet, is ready to begin public beta testing.

OnLive has started sending out invites to people who've registered for the beta, and registration is still open. However, you need to be resident in the US and aged 18 or over to be eligible. Initial testing will be done through PCs and Macs.

Perlman says testing will be done across a wide range of locations, internet speeds, broadband services, computer hardware, displays and input devices to make sure OnLive works in as many different situations as possible.

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Fascinating comments from OnLive this week, courtesy of CEO Steve Perlmen, including a very helpful definition of what latency is and how little of a factor it is with OnLive. 'The round trip latency from pushing a button on a controller and it going up to the server and back down, and you seeing something change on screen should be less than 80 milliseconds,' Perlmen told the BBC. 'We usually see something between 35 and 40 milliseconds.'

FeatureGDC: Why OnLive Can't Possibly Work

Cloud computing or cloud cuckoo land?

I love industry-shaking announcements. I love new, game-changing hardware, and I'm absolutely, almost literally exploding with excitement about the new OnLive gaming concept. I love that front-end, and I love the way OnLive uses video because video is what my company, Digital Foundry, specialises in, and what I spend a lot of my time experimenting with. I want this to be brilliant so much that it's almost painful.

GDC: David Perry's OnLive-style service

"The OnLive news has forced my hand."

Acclaim's chief creative officer David Perry has said that he plans to launch a games-on-demand service a bit like OnLive, and was originally going to show it off at E3.