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Once Valued at $1.8B, OnLive Was Sold For Only $5M 168

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the how-the-mighty-have-fallen dept.
gabebear writes with details of what happened to OnLive back in August: "In a firesale, OnLive, which was once valued at $1.8bn, was sold for practically nothing. Workers are mostly losing their jobs and stock options and investors are having to write off their investment." More details.
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Once Valued at $1.8B, OnLive Was Sold For Only $5M

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  • by ledow (319597) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @12:34PM (#41608943) Homepage

    Surprise? There is none.

    • by Wrexs0ul (515885)

      Surprise? There is none.

      Only as long as I'd misread that as OnStar.

      Unless your name is Akamai, what purely streaming company is valued at $1.8bn?

      -Matt

    • by CdBee (742846) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @02:16PM (#41610313)
      A lot of people (particularly I'm discussing western political leaders, but not just them) state as a matter of blind faith that markets are effective allocators of capital

      OnLive to me is another DotCom Crash Co, it just happened rather later: We all know the basic story, they said they could deliver high fidelity gaming as a service, thus freeing users from the capital investment of the console and turning a sales market into a services market

      Most of us scoffed, pointing out things we understand about residential internet connecticvity, the devastating efffect of lag upon gaming, and the implausibility of the system in general. Institutional investors looked at what the company said, thought ' turning a sales market into a services / rental market is a good thing, it means higher long-run revenues' and poured money into it.

      I have limited sympathy - they invested badly. Only real benefit was to the coders who had jobs there for a few years. But I do think the idea that investors will run to invest in markets they patently dont understand doesnt speak well for the efficiency of the capital markets.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by _Sharp'r_ (649297)

        [...] the idea that investors will run to invest in markets they patently dont understand doesnt speak well for the efficiency of the capital markets.

        No, this speaks very well for the efficiency of the capital markets. The investors risked their own money, not my money. It was a bad idea and people who invest in bad ideas lose their money. As a result of companies they invest in losing their money, ultimately, they don't have money anymore to invest. The people who end up with money to keep investing are th

        • The investors risked their own money, not my money.

          That works great when one company at a time fails.

          However, as has just been relived recently, when enough companies fail at once to form a critical mass (which is inevitable in real-world chaotic economic systems), it becomes necessary for the government to step in and bail them out with your money in order to stop our entire society from spiraling into an utter meltdown. (After all, we can't have depraved mobs invading gated communities and torching the McMansions of the market kingpins.)

          So don't get too s

          • by _Sharp'r_ (649297)

            It doesn't become necessary for the government to step in and bail them out.

            It only happens when you give government too much power and control so that the industry inevitably takes over the government regulatory body and then uses taxpayer's money for the bail out. Again, see Public Choice economics. This is all a well-understood process.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Waffle Iron (339739)

              It is necessary if starvation and homelessness threaten to break down public order.

              This has happened many times in the history of human civilization. Don't pretend it can't just because your head is full of naive libertarian ideas about how you wish the world worked.

              Whenever the shit really hits the fan, libertarians disappear into the cracks like scattering cockroaches.

          • > However, as has just been relived recently, when enough companies fail at once to form a critical mass (which is inevitable in real-world chaotic economic systems), it becomes necessary for the government to step in and bail them out with your money in order to stop our entire society from spiraling into an utter meltdown.

            With retarded and idiotic financing ideas like this no wonder the economy is in the toilet.

            "Hey, let's make EVERYONE pay for somebody else's failure!"

            --
            Greed is a cancer to politics a

          • by mattack2 (1165421)

            Why is it necessary to give my tax money to stupid insurance companies and a car company that makes cars that people don't want to buy?

            • Why is it necessary to give my tax money to stupid insurance companies and a car company that makes cars that people don't want to buy?

              Because it was a good investment? The portion of the bailout money that you refer to was all paid back with interest...

        • by Rich0 (548339)

          [...] the idea that investors will run to invest in markets they patently dont understand doesnt speak well for the efficiency of the capital markets.

          No, this speaks very well for the efficiency of the capital markets. The investors risked their own money, not my money.

          Market efficiency has nothing to do with whose money gets lost. Market efficiency is about how well a market values a company. Any bubble is a sign of market inefficiency no matter who loses their money.

          You are simply arguing that other types of markets are also inefficient, and I'll agree with that. It doesn't invalidate the parent's point.

          As far as who lost their money goes, I wouldn't count on it only being rich people who inherited more money than brains. Pension plans and such often end up in these

      • by dcollins (135727)

        "Only real benefit was to the coders who had jobs there for a few years."

        I think that's the broken-window fallacy. But the rest I agree with, and thanks for posting it.

      • Not only that, but their target demographic is one that happens to like building and owning desktop PCs (moderate to hardcore gamers and enthusiasts). Their PCs are their hobby, and OnLive wanted to deprive them of that? For an inferior experience? I'm amazed they lasted the few years that they did. Stupid stupid stupid.
  • OMG! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by slashmydots (2189826) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @12:38PM (#41608991)
    OMG you know what this means?! They FINALLY realized that you can't stream 60FPS video streams of 1920x1080 over the internet!

    They may have even discovered that gamers don't tolerate an internet connection level of input delay in their games! And that serious gamers want to own their own gear! And that gamers do other things than games on their computer so they own a faster computer anyway! And that rendering a 1920x1080 video stream locally also takes a fast computer!
    • OMG you know what this means?! They FINALLY realized that you can't stream 60FPS video streams of 1920x1080 over the internet!

      And with low enough latency for it to be worth a damn.

      • by Sir_Sri (199544)

        And with low enough latency for it to be worth a damn.

        The lag between pushing a button a console controller and the console actually being able to respond to it is about 100ms btw. Lag with onlive isn't really the issue. They were looking to be bought out by Sony or MS or nintendo, to have their tech folded into their respective services. But those guys can all just build their own.

        • I tried out onLive a while back via a free trial offer. I played a single-player game, and while the lag wasn't absolutely game-breaking, I could definitely notice it and did not enjoy dealing with it (note that this was on a 30Mbps connection in the US, so I probably have a better connection than what their average customer would have).
    • by DragonTHC (208439)

      the input lag was a pain.

      They realized that no one would pay the prices they were charging to rent a game.

    • Re:OMG! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Necroman (61604) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @12:51PM (#41609179)

      From the employee comments that were posted when OnLive went belly up, that doesn't sound like it was the case at all. I don't have links for any of this (it was either on /., reddit, or some other site), but the basic idea was:

      * The tech seemed to work pretty well. I think it was best if a customer was within 50 miles of a data center.
      * The cost of games through the service was near the same price as retal box versions (difficulty #1, as customers didn't feel like they had ownership of the games).
      * OnLive had a hell of a time getting titles available on their systems when they hit the streets. So not having AAA games available when they launched made it difficult to attract people.
      * The CEO was bull-headed. From one story I read, he was trying to get an exclusive contract with EA for being the only streaming gaming service EA used, but EA was also partnering with another company that had similar tech to OnLive. The CEO of OnLive flipped out and told his staff to pull all the EA games from their system 2 weeks before launch.

      • Don't forget they were paying for a lot of servers that were just idling because they overestimated demand.
        • by 0123456 (636235)

          They were paying for a lot of servers that were just idling because, per the GP, "it was best if a customer was within 50 miles of a data center."

          If you need your servers to be within fifty miles of your customers for the service to be viable, you need a metric fsck-ton of servers installed all over the world, which completely defeats the point of a 'cloud' service.

          • by h4rr4r (612664)

            Not if you limit it to just big cities.
            Then this could work quite well.

            The problem is they wanted to be everything to everyone and as such ended up being nothing for no one.

      • Re:OMG! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by ArhcAngel (247594) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @01:22PM (#41609603)
        It was on The Verge [theverge.com] and it is pretty obvious Steve Perlman [wikipedia.org] was both the architect and destroyer of OnLive.
      • * The CEO was bull-headed. From one story I read, he was trying to get an exclusive contract with EA for being the only streaming gaming service EA used, but EA was also partnering with another company that had similar tech to OnLive. The CEO of OnLive flipped out and told his staff to pull all the EA games from their system 2 weeks before launch.

        If this is true, the guy was a f* moron. Flipping out is not a wise way to conduct business, specially when trying to partner out with filthy rich industry mammoths like EA. What the hell was Perlman expecting to get out of this? He should have partnered out with EA regardless, get the goddamn foothold first and fight for exclusivity later.

        As they said in my old country, the one who gets pissed off first is the first one to lose.

        • by Rich0 (548339)

          They were doomed anyway - their partners control the content and just as with all the other streaming services out there the partners will control their profit margins and roll out competing services once they are viable. Especially for stuff like games which are software. I think the only reason Netflix does as well as it does is that they managed to get their stuff installed on household appliances that don't get replaced often, and that the movie industry doesn't grok software.

          I agree that cutting off

      • I think it was best if a customer was within 50 miles of a data center.

        I'd think it would be more about internet connection type than distance.

        50 miles of fiber should add less than a millisecond to ping time. One ADSL hop with interleaving enabled to make up for a poor quality line or one congested router can easilly add many times that.

    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      I'm trying to think of a game that requires high quality graphics but that doesn't need a low input delay. Card games, chess, turn based strategy games could work on this, but you really don't need graphics for this. Something like Final Fantasy (old ones anyway, don't know if the new ones have changed). Some tower defense games would probably work out fine. However, even the really visually stunning games like these don't require fast computers to play. The games that required fast computers are the o
      • by vlm (69642)

        I'm trying to think of a game that requires high quality graphics but that doesn't need a low input delay.

        Those virtual woman pr0n "games". If you're only going to last 2 minutes then a few ms of latency here or there are not a big deal. Pr0n supposedly defines all new/growing technologies anyway. The real ones are always saying slow down, so as long as the virtual ones keep latency below the 30 minutes or so that real ones demand, it'll be OK. Relatively short gameplay helps with bandwidth caps too.

        Any games that would work on a remote server could be easily run on even a very low power client computer.

        Yeah well now you add even more constraints. Its not a game, but I'd think some sorta "mythtv" virtual remot

    • Eh (Score:5, Interesting)

      by oGMo (379) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @12:59PM (#41609285)

      They may have even discovered that gamers don't tolerate an internet connection level of input delay in their games!

      Eh. I tried OnLive to see how well they accomplished what they did. Latency wasn't the main concern, but then I have a reasonable connection (~25Mbps) and may be geographically near one of their data centers. The main problems are more the following:

      • The rendering quality was often crap; this may be a function of the encoding, but it doesn't matter. Washed-out colors, blurry video, and heavy artifacting don't make a great experience.
      • Price model. This was too good to be true. Pay for the game or like $10/mo for their PlayPack stuff. Let's give them the benefit of the doubt and say that they can provide sufficient rendering at $700 a box on average for any given game. They need one rendering unit for every player. They need to pay for bandwidth and energy to run all these units, plus people to maintain them. They need to stay upgraded, generously, every year or two, to play the latest stuff. That's quite a bit of money to support a single user paying $120/year.
      • Casual/hardcore disconnect. Is this for casual gamers who don't want to pay for a gaming PC? Or hardcore gamers who want to play all the latest stuff? A casual gamer can likely find plenty to play on their phone or the web; a hardcore gamer isn't going to be satisfied with the limitations. There may be a niche, but it doesn't seem big enough to support the model.

      In the end this always seems to fail at a financial level: if it's cheap enough per-player that a $10/mo fee can cover licensing, hardware, and utility, then it's probably cheap enough the user is going to have his or her own device (e.g., a smartphone). If not, then it's not going to work anyway.

      And it's not a matter of volume. Nintendo, Sony, and MS have volume on their consoles, and they still sell for $200+, often at a loss, and the only maintenance cost is warranty support. Making up for this on licensing isn't an option for OnLive, since they don't make any games. There are no exclusives.

      The only way this might work (financially, at least) is a subsidized hardware console with a reasonable contracted subscription fee, and first-party game support as well as third-party exclusives. Gamestop might be trying this [joystiq.com], but it's unclear if they're actually funding games or just providing a similar service.

      • by vlm (69642)

        The only way this might work (financially, at least)

        Demo mode? Get the publishers to foot all the cost and players get to try the new WWII FPS sequel number 25235 for only two minutes at a time without having to install or download anything except the service client?

        Then again, since sequel number 25235 is all about selling the sizzle not the steak, the publishers might not like that very much if they're trying to ship an absolute dog and don't want anyone to hear about it for the first week or so.

        • by makomk (752139)

          That was basically the business model of Gaikai, the more successful competitor bought out by Sony for $380 million

      • by Baloroth (2370816)

        They need one rendering unit for every player. They need to pay for bandwidth and energy to run all these units, plus people to maintain them. They need to stay upgraded, generously, every year or two, to play the latest stuff. That's quite a bit of money to support a single user paying $120/year.

        They only need on renderer per player at any given time. So if most of their players play for, say, 2 hours a day, they can theoretically get ($120/year)*12, or $1,440 a year/render unit, which is... possibly economical. The problem, obviously, is that they need extra capacity for peak hours, plus bandwidth costs, plus tons of data centers to minimize latency, all of which results in massive overhead. Plus it only works if users have moderately beefy connections, and anyone who does is likely to have their

        • by oGMo (379)

          The problem, obviously, is that they need extra capacity for peak hours, plus bandwidth costs, plus tons of data centers to minimize latency, all of which results in massive overhead.

          That's the point. You can't get away with paying for minimum capacity, so you have to always pay for maximum capacity. I've heard they cut corners and not all games got premium hardware, but that just brings down the average price. What happens when the majority of your player base wants to play the latest new thing?

          Someone

      • So when you are talking latency for something like interactive video, you have to take in to account the amount of time it takes to transfer a frame on top of the round trip packet time. So this means to keep latency down you need to set your stream to less than the bandwidth you are going to require, significantly less.

        Onlive used a 1mbps stream. That is not at all enough to do quality 720p video, never mind when you are trying to do it at 60fps as they were. Just not enough bits for all the data you want.

    • Re:OMG! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gl4ss (559668) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @01:08PM (#41609401) Homepage Journal

      OMG you know what this means?! They FINALLY realized that you can't stream 60FPS video streams of 1920x1080 over the internet!
      They may have even discovered that gamers don't tolerate an internet connection level of input delay in their games! And that serious gamers want to own their own gear! And that gamers do other things than games on their computer so they own a faster computer anyway! And that rendering a 1920x1080 video stream locally also takes a fast computer!

      they didn't realize that yet. they realized that they can transfer the valuable assets for pennies on the dollar to an entity they control while screwing the other investors and employees out of their shares.

      the ceo(and most of the board) were assholes and still are, simple as that.

      • Wasn't the alternative bankruptcy? Did they purposely sabotage the company? Didn't they lose the invested money too? Then why is it paying something being an asshole?

        • Re:OMG! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by tlhIngan (30335) <(ten.frow) (ta) (todhsals)> on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @03:40PM (#41611489)

          Wasn't the alternative bankruptcy? Did they purposely sabotage the company? Didn't they lose the invested money too? Then why is it paying something being an asshole?

          Well, what happened was pretty scummy. After all, what happened was all of a sudden, an unconfirmed rumor popped up that OnLive was bankrupt. The official company line though was everything was fine. Then two weeks later everyone got the news that OnLive was taken over by OnLIve.

          Effectively, the investors in the original OnLive could've gotten out (but instead lost it all), while the CEO and management, and half of the engineers got "transferred" to the new company and the rest were pretty much shown the door.

          The execs losing their investment? Most likely not - it pwas probably written in that they got 100 cents on the dollar for their investments by the new OnLive. Everyone else, got screwed as usualy.

          Hell, even the employees with no jobs were basically kicked out without severance, or the option to plead their case in bankruptcy court. The company effectively went bankrupt, fired everyone, got "bought out", management re-hired, and half the fired engineers re-hired.

          It's basically a way to downsize without paying benefits and screwing over investors, while management walks away with nothing's changed. Probably a very creative loophole in the law.

          • by bloodhawk (813939)
            Of course the official line is everything is ok, while I think onLive is a moronic idea that is trying to appeal to a niche that doesn't really exist (too expensive for casuals, not good enough for hardcore) You can't start announcing, "at current rate we will be bankrupt in 6 months or 3 months", this would instantly terminate any hope of recovery as investors or more importantly potential investors will run a mile. This isn't something unique to OnLive, a company is always a going concern until they run o
          • by am 2k (217885)

            It's basically a way to downsize without paying benefits and screwing over investors, while management walks away with nothing's changed. Probably a very creative loophole in the law.

            Well, but by doing that, they've gotten rid of all trust and confidence by investors and customers alike, which is their most important asset. Short-term gains over long-term viability.

  • Perhaps subby was trying to make a comparison to another over-valued corp. Aka, Facebook?
  • I wonder how much the state of our network connectivity had with their failure.

    More and more providers roll out BW caps, over sell their network BW, and raise their prices for the higher tiers.

    • by alen (225700)

      so?

      almost anything you can do in the cloud you can do locally for the same price

      • by firex726 (1188453) <firex726&yahoo,com> on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @12:53PM (#41609205)

        Sure, but their whole basis was that they were streaming it from the Cloud.

        Why if I have a 20gb BW cap would I stream HD content when I could go buy the game on DVD and play it locally?

      • by DragonTHC (208439)

        the point is, you could try out a new game through onlive without spending a cent.

        But if your provider has a cap, you can only play for so long each day.

        I have a certain ISP who now delays my netflix streams by over a minute. They used to start within 6 seconds, now they start after 2 apparent minutes of buffering or such.

        They say they have abandoned data caps and have now moved on to extreme filtering. Traffic gets delayed while going through the *IAA machines.

        my bandwidth isn't slower, but sometimes the

        • by alen (225700)

          are you pointing to google dns or something similar?

          netflix has their data inside the ISP's networks. unless you live way out in the boonies the data is already close to you and its not like you have to go to the internet to get it

          google and some of the other dynamic DNS's will cause crazy routing issues for content if they route your DNS queries far away

  • Valuation (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lieutenant_Dan (583843) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @12:40PM (#41609033) Homepage Journal

    I once valued my microwave at $1,100,000 but ended selling it for $20 on Craigslist. There was disappointment all around.

    As well, I once had an idea for a jetpack that I valued at $20 billion AUS dollars ("billion" with a "b"). Unfortunately I sold that idea for a pint of Fosters to work colleague.

    • I can do better. I once sold 1/10 billionth of my remote controlled shower head idea to my younger brother for $1.00. Therefore its worth 10 billion dollars, and I am a billionaire. My accountant advises me to keep it in paper to prevent paying capital gains tax.

    • by Jawnn (445279) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @12:54PM (#41609213)

      I once valued my microwave at $1,100,000 but ended selling it for $20 on Craigslist. There was disappointment all around.

      As well, I once had an idea for a jetpack that I valued at $20 billion AUS dollars ("billion" with a "b"). Unfortunately I sold that idea for a pint of Fosters to work colleague.

      Yeah, but you didn't sell shares to clueless investors. Loser.

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by firex726 (1188453)

      > $20 billion AUS dollars

      And how much is that in real money?

      • by jburroug (45317)

        >> $20 billion AUS dollars

        >And how much is that in real money?

        About $20,484,000,000 USD.

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          >> $20 billion AUS dollars

          >And how much is that in real money?

          About $20,484,000,000 USD.

          Not USD, GP asked for real money!

    • by jd2112 (1535857)
      You could have just given the jet pack idea to your work colleague and not have to suffer through a Foster's.
    • by slapout (93640)

      So, what did you put in your microwave that was worth $1099950?

  • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @12:42PM (#41609057)

    Once over-hyped at $28 billion, Facebook sold today for $523 and a case of beer.

    • by azadrozny (576352)
      Depends on the brand of beer. I am not sure I would bid anything over Pabst Blue Ribbon.
      • by pla (258480)
        Depends on the brand of beer. I am not sure I would bid anything over Pabst Blue Ribbon.

        Pffft, that would only appeal to hipsters - And everyone knows they all still use MySpace for the irony-cred.
        • by gman003 (1693318)

          Pfffft, Myspace? That HTTP-using sellout?

          Real hipsters switched back to personal gopher sites a while ago. Soooooo vintage.

  • Sad, I didn't even know they had sold. I used OnLive's service for a few months and enjoyed it. Only quit due to changes in my personal budget. I wonder if the "spectate" mode is what took them down, where people could watch others play for free? Looks like Twitch has filled that spot.
  • by alen (225700) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @12:45PM (#41609097)

    i remember when onlive first came out i dumped my xbox and all my games in the garbage to join up. i mean gaming in the cloud is so much better than doing from a hard drive

    i know you end up paying more than owning physical games, but its da cloud. its the future and so much cooler

  • Even as someone who is not a gamer, I would think that I might have heard about a 2 billion dollar company.

    So where did the value come from. Facebook was worth gagillion dollars, but was offered for less than 100 billion and is now worth around 40 billion. Like so many people on this site, who believe a product is worth what it cost of what the seller believes it is worh, market realities are a harsh mistress.

  • I remember once seeing Activision's CEO praising OnLive and its concept.

    Figures that HE would love the notion of games being completely out of control of the player. That's the first step in turning games into a pay-per-view service where you play the first hour for 10 dollars--I mean 9.99--and then 4.99 for each additional hour.

    Unless you want the bonus content. Then it goes up by 1 dollar per hour. Oh, and if you want to play with double the health, that's just an extra 50 cents per hour! Ammo clips are 2
  • by TPS Report (632684) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @01:04PM (#41609335) Homepage
    I beta-tested OnLive a long time ago, and by the third day it was back in the box, ready to be shipped back. It took a long time to pre-buffer a game. The game prices were too high. The resolution wasn't that great, and it didn't have most of the games I actually wanted to play. A company with an existing revenue stream could get into this market and support the initial losses with their other products. Valve/Steam could do this. Valve already has an existing profitable business model (digital distribution of games on PC/Mac). They're branching out into distribution of apps. They already offer Steam on TV. But I just don't see the draw yet. A decent, $500 PC can run most games on acceptable settings. A gaming console is only $300 and there are tons of games available.

    I can see something like a hardware add-on that does game streaming, but both Sony and Microsoft (XBLA) offer game and video downloads. So I'm not quite sure where a dedicated game-streaming device will fit in (and be profitable). If I wanted to spend $50 on a game, I'd get it for PC or a console and have a much better experience.

    I don't think the market for something like this will happen until most of the US has affordable, reliable, and reasonably fast (10 mbit+) internet. And when it does happen, I think it's going to be a side-market by an already-profitable company.
    • by Splat (9175)

      Well said. If Ouya succeeds, it will also be a nail in the coffin of this business model. When you can do a gaming console for $99, or you've got stuff like Roku's for $79 with gaming baked in you no longer need a dedicated "gaming box"

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @01:04PM (#41609337)

    OnLive had a pile of debt and a pile of employees with a pile of stock options.

    The "bankruptcy" invalidates all those stock options and means that half the employees can be sacked. Many of those may not be needed because they worked on things like early stage development which is no longer needed.

    But guess what? The new company that "buys" the assets of the old company then basically becomes identical to the old company, except that you have suddenly sacked a lot of people, and the remaining employees including the CEO gets 2X the stock options they used to have.

    What's interesting is that the creditors and investors of the old company were happy with it being sold at only $5m. It wouldn't surprise me if the investors in the new company are identical to the investors in the old company.

    • by symbolset (646467) *
      This wasn't about gaming. It was about putting a permanent end to their very dangerous cloud desktop tech. That was a disruptive threat.
  • by Githaron (2462596) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @01:08PM (#41609395)
    With Onlive's ridiculous pricing, are people actually surprised? The last time I took a look at Onlive they were "selling" games at about the same price as retail. Why would I want to pay retail price for something I am essentially renting from a new and untested company while having no recourse when they go under?
  • Their service won't be viable for at least 10 more years. So it's not worth anything.
    • You expect the speed of light to be different 10 years hence?

      The business model of this company is flawed for many reasons. It's never going to work.

      • I did say at least. Realistically, it probably won't be but humans as a whole are pretty good at inventing shit. that and it would be at least usable for some games if they could at least guarantee broadband will maintain a minimal ping with decent bandwidth. So then it can be like mobile gaming where it just has a bunch of shit that only people who don't like games play.
      • I don't think the speed of light is that big a problem. Light in fiber travels at about 200 kilometers per millisecond. That means for every 100 kilometers of fiber you add about millisecond to the round trip time. With a base in each major city it should be pretty easy to keep the contribution to the round trip time caused by distance below 10ms or so.

        Bigger issues IMO are connections that sacrifice latency to get better efficiency (e.g. interleaving on DSL), congestion and the delays inherent in compressi

    • Two issues:

      1) Latency is still a problem. This idea that they'd ever be in local data centers all over the world is just stupid. That is expensive and difficult to do. The whole appeal of "cloud" type of stuff is you don't have to give a shit where you host. You pay someone like Amazon who has massive data centers in a couple locations to deal with your shit. So they'll always have interface latency problems.

      2) In 10 years, it'll be an even harder sell over cheap hardware. What low end hardware can do keeps

      • This idea that they'd ever be in local data centers all over the world is just stupid. That is expensive and difficult to do.

        Done properly it could just be like Akami. Think distributed web caching moving towards distributed application hosting.

        • And who is going to host that for them? The problem is that they don't have the money to set something like that up, and without it set up, it isn't low latency. You seem to have this idea like this is some inevitable path, it really isn't. It is the kind of thing for which there is a very limited time people would even be interested.

          As technology keeps improving you get better graphics/gameplay out of lesser systems. When cheap devices have powerful chips there is just much less reason to try and process s

  • by Control-Z (321144) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @01:24PM (#41609623)

    It refused to run on my ~1.5 megabit connection. So the only place I tried it was on my tablet at a restaurant for a few minutes.

    I could see it being ok for casual games, but anything requring precise timing would be very annoying.

  • Many companies have their day in the sun. Remember that Apple.
  • About a month ago we had a similar article, and it turned out that they were just going bankrupt so that they could start anew with less stockholders.
    Is this for real this time? or is this just a duplicate article?

  • All these useless overpriced IT companies will go the way of the dodo.
  • by Animats (122034) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @02:16PM (#41610329) Homepage

    Digg just sold for $500K. Also tanked or tanking: Tribe, Salon, Myspace... Tribe and Digg started to tank after they did a "Web 2.0" site redesign which users hated.

    With "social", just because you have "clicks" doesn't mean you make money.

  • that the value of a company is bullshit compared to the reality of what a company is actually worth. This is why the world's economy is in the tank, because there is a huge disconnect from the fantasy numbers that get thrown around and the stocks traded on compared to the real value of a company.

  • by Kiyyik (954108) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @02:31PM (#41610535)
    I am primarily a mac user, and this was the way I was able to play certain games that didn't get ported over, like Arkham Asylum and such. And they looked a heck of a lot ebtter than if I'd just run them in a VM or something like that. I had occasional bandwidth issues, but that was generally down to my ISP in any case. Frankly, I thought they were the bee's knees, and I'm sorry to see they seem to be going the way of the dodo. It's still a good idea, to my mind. Maybe just needs a little tweaking to make it a viable proposition.
  • that OnLive is OnDead?

  • I was inquiring w/Perlman for a friend that was about to interview there. He turned it around and tried to recruit me...(my friend did get
    the job however... along with a couple of other past co-workers...)

    I told him in email I was comfortable and did not want to risk a startup given I had a good paying stable job.

    to quote the Blues Brothers:
    "You'll never get Matt and Mr Fabulous outta them high paying gigs"

    H.

  • The lag, oh god the lag. Once the server receives data (if you&rsquo;re playing online) it has to then forward it to you, which then you respond to and forward it back to the server, which then forwards it to wherever you&rsquo;re playing. You&rsquo;re talking about a quadruple jump in latency. Double simply to respond. If you&rsquo;re cruising along at 20ms that is a lot less noticeable, but chances are people aren&rsquo;t. Basic input just to move your character is very noticeable.

    Vide
  • Minimal assets, no revenue stream to speak of. Legally dubious use of Microsoft software. "Yeah, we're worth $1.8bn!".

    Yeah right...

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