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Old 17th Dec 2009, 12:01   #1
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Dyack: "Cloud gaming is a win for everyone"

http://www.bit-tech.net/news/gaming/...for-everyone/1

Silicon Knight boss Denis Dyack reckons that cloud computing is the best way forward for the games industry.

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Old 17th Dec 2009, 12:18   #2
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But it still falls down over one hurdle: network speeds and latency. I'm still unconvinced that current networks are capable of such sustained data rates reliably, even if data is compressed. Add network latency and the latency of compressing all that video data, and I'm just not sure it's possible at the moment.

Added to which, I think the possibility of one of the 3 console companies winning the console war outright (such that the other two players just back down totally) is highly unlikely to happen.

It's all well and good making blue-sky predictions like this, but that's all that it is: pure imagination.
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Old 17th Dec 2009, 12:19   #3
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one think i really dont like about htis is we lose our privacy

what is too stop them looking at all our data,private information like emails
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Old 17th Dec 2009, 12:23   #4
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It's mildly amusing that Denis Dyack still thinks he's somehow relevant.

With the way his outdated studio operates, I'm not surprised he wants a one-console, cloud streaming future.
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Old 17th Dec 2009, 12:32   #5
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why dosnt he just have a server and everything loads of that when it is turned on?
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Old 17th Dec 2009, 12:33   #6
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umm what about when my router dies as it inevitably does once a night, or when im on a laptop with no internet, or when my wife is watching a HD video from Iplayer. Im sorry but people do not want. stop trying to push this on us
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Old 17th Dec 2009, 12:37   #7
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ideal business model:
Since the untimely demise of altruism this should be understood as ideal for the company and ideal for the share holders. Very few, if any, modern corporations build a business model around the customer. In spite of their claims modern business consider the customer as an unreliable and inconvenient revenue source.

Cloud anything:
The removal of choice, the removal of individual control. It is the computer model that died with the birth of the Personal Computer.

and the used games issue:
Is solved by preventing the individual from buying or selling used games. Genius, maybe I can hire this guy for my next brain storming meeting.

The idea is it would be an open standardised format where anyone could manufacture:
Been done, works well, it's called the PC
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Old 17th Dec 2009, 12:49   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flibblebot View Post
But it still falls down over one hurdle: network speeds and latency. I'm still unconvinced that current networks are capable of such sustained data rates reliably, even if data is compressed. Add network latency and the latency of compressing all that video data, and I'm just not sure it's possible at the moment.

Added to which, I think the possibility of one of the 3 console companies winning the console war outright (such that the other two players just back down totally) is highly unlikely to happen.

It's all well and good making blue-sky predictions like this, but that's all that it is: pure imagination.
True, especially if your isp likes to throttle you badly (pipex, tiscali)
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Old 17th Dec 2009, 12:56   #9
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you forgot bt and they limit you even on unlimited nbroadband to 100gb a month thats barely 3.3gb a day!!!
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Old 17th Dec 2009, 13:10   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thEcat View Post
The idea is it would be an open standardised format where anyone could manufacture:
Been done, works well, it's called the PC
I was 100% in agreement with you until this. Since when are the masses of different possible hardware configurations considered standardised?

It might look that way to the user ("It's a PC") but for the developer it is a worst case scenario. Why do you think the consoles get so much attention? Not only is it a bigger general audience than the PC gaming crowd, but it is infinitely easier to developer for between 1 and 3 set consoles than it is for the essentially unlimited number of PC configurations.
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Old 17th Dec 2009, 13:11   #11
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Are there "wins" for the consumer? I don't see any? "(it helps)... the used games issue, because you buy something and it's yours forever" Wait, what? I spend money on a product and lose the right of resale and that's a "win" for me? Oh, good; I thought it was the opposite!

He basically means, "this is a win for everyone on my side of the market". Will this stop publishers charging the same, or more, for digital copies as physical ones, even though the marginal costs of manufacture and delivery is practically zero? Will it stop them dictating prices by limiting the available avenues for purchase, ("Buy it on Steam for Ä50 or bugger off to the shop! Wait, with cloud computing you can't go to the shop any more! Ä50, please.)?

The Correct Business Model: this isn't it.
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Old 17th Dec 2009, 13:12   #12
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That's supposed to be 50 Euro, bloody forums...
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Old 17th Dec 2009, 13:18   #13
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Sounds like a WIN for the game developers but FAIL for consumers such as myself.

Apart from the internet speeds, latency and server load issues, these people will learn the hard way that cloud based computing or gaming is a controversial thing with consumers. The idea may be extremely beneficial and attractive to some consumers, but the complete opposite for many others.

So in this free market world, the consumer will have the ultimate decision regarding who or what services are WIN or FAIL.

People will walk into a game store and decide whether to purchase a traditional home console instead of the cloud based one.

Especially as I am a hardcore gamer, I want to own my powerful local processing hardware locally.

I want to mod it and marvel at it like a fan boy.

I want my DVD and Digital Distributed games owned and stored locally.

I don't want to know that if the remote servers are under stress or the internet is playing up, I can't even access any of my game collection at all - not even local single player.

I want to know that if the cloud game delivery company goes out of business, I can immedietely continue to play my games offline. At least with Steam, you can play offline.

I also want the option of showing my local dvd or digital game collection to any future grand children, rather than trying to explain via the art of imagination and word of mouth what type of games I used to play in my fantastic cloud gaming days.

Just like I can now dig up my own Atari 1040ST, Commodore 64 games and various other home computer machines and consoles that I grew up with.
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Old 17th Dec 2009, 13:44   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skiddywinks
Quote:
Originally Posted by thEcat View Post
The idea is it would be an open standardised format where anyone could manufacture:
Been done, works well, it's called the PC
I was 100% in agreement with you until this. Since when are the masses of different possible hardware configurations considered standardised?

It might look that way to the user ("It's a PC") but for the developer it is a worst case scenario. Why do you think the consoles get so much attention? Not only is it a bigger general audience than the PC gaming crowd, but it is infinitely easier to developer for between 1 and 3 set consoles than it is for the essentially unlimited number of PC configurations.
I know exactly what you are saying here and I agree the reality of the PC often includes incompatibilities. This does not however detract from the fact that every PC component conforms, or should conform, to a hardware interface specification and ideally a software interface specification, eg. my graphics card works on the PCI-ex bus and supports DX11; my usb flash drive conforms to the USB hardware specification and the USB media device software specification (or whatever it is called).

In truth I experience very few compatibility problems these days, or maybe I was desensitised by Win95/98, but if the standards and qualification procedures need beefing up then so be it. We already have a highly functional and very flexible open platform at our disposal, it would be a shame not to build upon it.

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Old 17th Dec 2009, 14:23   #15
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His comments fall way off the mark for me. Let's see why that is.

Quote:
"In some ways it's the absolute elimination of any hardware as far as the consumer is concerned, because the hardware is the cloud,"
So. Dennis, no hardware as far as the consumer is concerned? That's great. Are you going to be the one to pay for the absolutely massive server farms to fuel the entire games industry? This isn't small-scale tests, this is literally millions upon millions of computers who have the hardware to kick Crysis in the nuts (since I doubt you'd want to limit yourself to one game per computer). Oh, and there's that whole latency thing. If there is going to be a 100ms+ delay for the user, all the time (and yes, there will be for many, until you start putting servers in every single town in North America, Europe, Mexico, Asia, etc.), that is noticeable and recognisable for the user as a hardware problem. So is having to pay $6,000 in overdraft charges on your monthly Internet bill.

Quote:
It helps on so many levels because it resolves the piracy issue, which is a massive problem today, and the used games issue, because you buy something and it's yours forever – it resides on the cloud. These are wins for the consumers and wins for the game developers.
Why does it solve piracy? What's to stop someone from physically stealing a game's code, then putting a cracked version online? Yes, you can put up safeguards. You can shoot everyone who walks into the building. Once they have your code, though, your game is as good as pirated.

As for used games, yeah, sure, I guess it's good for... oh wait, who? The publisher, and not the customer. Not at all, in fact - it's much worse for the user, since the user has no choice in whether they could sell or keep their games. Wouldn't a world without choice just be so much better? There'd just be one religion, one type of food, one piece of artwork... oh wait, no, that sounds like a terrible idea.

And wait, what about this 'you buy it and it's yours forever" bit? No, I don't think that sounds right at all. What if I stop paying for my account? Then there goes my save file, I guess. How about if the company providing the service goes out of business? Well, there go all of those games I could access without a hitch just a few minutes ago! We know that space on one of these servers is going to cost money; is there just going to be one super-cluster which stores all games, for everyone, forever? No, of course there won't be!

In fact, this entire idea of cloud computing presumes that there will be some totally unbiased and altruistic mediator who takes responsibility for distributing all games equally. This would require an insane amount of money and a business model that probably would not be economically feasible, since startup costs alone probably couldn't be recouped by user subscriptions. These guys would also have quite a lot of work to do in convincing everyone to jump on their service, all at once (since a service with one publisher's games is something most people won't spend money on, and new publishers won't sign up unless there's users; this is what they call a catch-22). Let's see, keep making money and putting out new games that your customers enjoy, or risk everything to sign up with some unproven startup who might not even be able to make any money for you, not to mention you'll have to split some of the profits with your competition, since users will likely be paying the same subscription for all games. Hmm, I think I'll take door 2, Bob!

"Less choice" is never really a compelling argument, nor is "no ownership" and "magic computer technology", unless you are dealing with three-year-olds. Do you take your gamers for children and idiots, Dennis? If so, thanks, I don't think too much of you these days as well.

Quote:
People confuse a one console future as a monopoly and that's completely wrong. The idea is it would be an open standardised format where anyone could manufacture. If a grandmother goes into a store and wants a specific game for her grandson, she has to figure out the console, the ratings system, and all these barriers that have been artificially created.
I give it about 3-5 years maximum before a company (probably whose name begins with A and ends with N) comes along and creates their own standard that you can only play their games on, and, backed by a stable full of popular titles, goes on to sway the market, while the rest of the competition is left trying to catch up by introducing their own standards all over again. Do you seriously not think this will happen? Companies want competitive advantage. They want to stop consumers from being able to buy the other guys' products. Limiting their availability with closed platforms is an awesome way to do it. This particular publisher I mentioned has already expressed ideas of creating its own console (or at least some "console-free" system, which sounds, in practice, about the same), and this is with three major consoles already dominating the market. If this "one platform future" took off, nothing would stop these guys at all from coming out with their own platform and marketing it as "the only way to play Call of Duty".

Quote:
People think that's normal because that's all we've ever had. This is a win for everyone.
Our current system works pretty well, and has for a while. It's got some problems, but no more problems than what you'd have elsewhere. Plus, users still seem to have some semblance of ownership over the products they buy - hey, they can even resell them! What a cool concept! Sure, we need to nail this whole digital thing down, and figure out how to get rid of the piracy problems plaguing us, but we don't necessarily need to overhaul everything and restrict the rights of users in significant ways to do so. Every industry which revolves around intellectual property has the same problem - when something gets popular, people will steal it. You can never totally stop theft, but you can curb it by providing... get this... a better product and a better service. Valve and Blizzard understand this in their respective ways, but it seems few others do. Why do people use Steam? More or less, because it's convenient and easy and provides a nice centralised hub for the games on your computer. Why do people pay for World of Warcraft? Because the paid servers provide a vastly superior experience to private servers, which are at best unreliable. These sorts of ideas seem to be making everyone involved more than enough money.

One thing I touched on briefly was how this is an extremely ethnocentric sort of way of distributing software. By and large it is only some parts of North America and some parts of Europe that have access to a stable, fast Internet connection. While this will certainly improve with time, there are still huge markets in literally the entire rest of the world who simply do not have the ability to stream media 24/7. In fact, even within the United States and Canada there are still many regions where people do not have capable Internet connections. Before we talk about how "it'll all be in the cloud", I think we need to have a long talk about getting people around the entire world connected... and then we can talk about if cloud computing represents an ethically, logistically and economically sound method of distributing games to users. After that, well, maybe we can see if they actually like it.

Last edited by sear; 17th Dec 2009 at 14:38.
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Old 17th Dec 2009, 14:38   #16
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How do you own something that 'resides on the cloud'? I own something when I go can go and pick the disk off the shelf, and use it without having to connect to a third party service to verify ownership of the product.
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Old 17th Dec 2009, 15:02   #17
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Cloud - good for save games and setting only imo, being able to access your save game from any machine without having to use some sort of folder sharing program would be really handy. Really wish this had been implemented for PvZ - It's a pain to transfer games between systems (different OS's keep the data in different places - IMO save games should be placed in that games dir, I install all my game to my secondary drive so if I need to install my OS I can do so without damaging my games. It annoys me when games store their save data in their own dir, ProgramData AND your user dir, and the loss of any of these means something breaks. Makes backing up so much harder.
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Old 17th Dec 2009, 15:43   #18
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I'm actually a big fan of small scale Cloud Computing and would support a system that I could set up as a personal cloud out of my own home. The idea of Cloud computing is sound. I'm just not a fan of allowing someone else to be in charge of my cloud. I like to locally host my own files. Just because I can watch Arrested Development on Hulu, doesn’t mean that I don't want a copy of my own hosted on a PC at home. There are a variety of reasons for this including quality, ease of accessibility, bandwidth and much much more.

If I could set up my own Cloud Server for Games in my home and then play games on something as portable as a netbook from anywhere in my house, or have multiple people play from the same Cloud Server so I can play locally with my friends at home then that holds a tremendous appeal for me.

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In fact, this entire idea of cloud computing presumes that there will be some totally unbiased and altruistic mediator who takes responsibility for distributing all games equally.
Because I don’t believe that that entity will ever exist ever, period, I will never support a cloud computing system that takes away control and privacy over my own created user data. As its been said before, why stop at games? Why not artwork created digitally thru Photoshop? Why not videos or music recordings that is stored on that cloud. I want the ability to CHOOSE what I share with the world. Not just make everything I do open to the public. Certainly not make things I do open to certain private entities who could potentially misuse my data.
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Old 17th Dec 2009, 15:51   #19
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So basically this is onlive again with a different name.

I think all the issues have been brought up already so i won't mention them again
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Old 17th Dec 2009, 16:04   #20
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Reading through the thread I see a lot of comment about compatability problems with the PC as a platform.....I understand that these arise from both hardware and software considerations but would it not be a big step forward to have a dedicated simpler stripped down O/S just for gaming that would at least cut down on alot of the software incompatibilities which occur when you try to use one system/OS for everything...as regards hardware issues they are probably less prominent as the hardware is designed to work together to agreed standards anyway.
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