You may recall a post from a few weeks ago where Dan Ackerman and I reported on our experiences with OnLive, the cloud-gaming service that launched on June 17. We both had good things to say about OnLive. We were impressed that it lets you play PC games on computers not normally meant for gaming, Macs included. We were also pleasantly surprised by the connection speed and the in-game responsiveness, two things about which many people remain skeptical.
Though OnLive made a strong first impression, we still have lots of questions about its ability to handle an increased user load, the future of its MicroConsole set-top box, video quality and other topics. And what ever happened with Dragon Age: Origins and Mass Effect 2? Steve Perlman, OnLive's CEO, answers these questions and others in the lengthy interview that follows.
Rich: What are some of the challenges you've faced since the launch?
Steve: We got hit with a far bigger wave of people wanting to get on than we expected. We're running at our fall projected subscriber numbers, so adjusting was a bit of a challenge. We were hoping to have a gradual ramp because it takes time to get servers deployed, but we managed to catch up. It was a little uneven in some regions of the country. We were able to bring in some people a little sooner than others just because we didn't have servers everywhere. We still have spot shortages here and there. Dell's been a terrific partner, they make most of our servers for us, and we've been able to keep up. OnLive has been up and running 24/7 since our launch date. We haven't had any downtime, and people seem to be happy with it.
Some things like when you bring up your brag clip list, those 10-second gameplay clips people can make and upload to OnLive, we just never expected to have that many so it takes a couple of seconds before you see them on the screen. That doesn't affect your gameplay at all, but it's a user interface that we have a fix rolling out for.
Rich: Most journalists have reported on a smooth OnLive gaming experience, but in our post commenters were still skeptical about OnLive's ability to handle player load, whether it's with current users or as membership scales up. Is that simply a matter of adding more servers?… Read more