What about lag, you say? OnLive's technology "incubator" Rearden Studios claims that its servers will deliver video feeds that have a ping of less than one millisecond.
Either that's an overenthusiastic marketeer talking to a gullible journalist, or they've invented time travel! I'm on a solid 7 Mbit/s ADSL line, and typically get 60 millisecond (mS) round trip ping times - and no technology short of time travel will bring that down to below 1mS. Light in a fibre takes 5ms to travel 1000km, or 8ms to travel 1000 miles (assuming 66% of c), then on top of that there's the packet serialisation time and processing time in each device that the packet transits - and note that these are one-way figures - they have to be doubled for round-trip times! For comparison, very low latency links (between data centres, for example) run at 3-6 millisecond latency (again one-way), and they are very expensive - and distance limited. Maybe I'm just being cynical, but from where I stand that basic factual error makes the rest of the article doubtful. I'm sure they mean that the latency in their servers
will be less than 1mS, but:
A. It makes very little difference, the real problem is round trip lag across the Internet
B. I don't believe they'll be able to afford to scale their infrastructure to maintain that level of performance at all times and under all loads, and people measure their satisfaction of on-line services based on the worst performance at peak times, not on how well it works at 3 a.m.!
And, having deployed and used Citrix (the same principle but designed for Office apps- remote access to conventional desktops over the Internet), I doubt very much that they can compensate for Internet lag - it's bad enough optimising the data flows to get fairly static screens with occasional typing (like Word or Excel) to respond acceptably. "Conventional" on-line gaming services (like Xbox Live) struggle occasionally as the Internet or their servers get congested, and they're just sending basic position and action information, not rendering the whole screen. OnLive may have made their beta test work over a limited trial using hand picked ISP connections, but it won't survive contact with the real Internet and high volumes of users. Anyone who uses iPlayer knows how choppy it can get at peak times, and that's medium definition video with buffering - but you can't buffer a real-time game.
I'll not be buying shares.......!