Thursday, March 26, 2009

Oh, How Fickle...

My memory isn't the greatest.

I don't remember names.

I barely remember faces.

Sometimes, I'll walk into a room and then forget what the hell it was I came in there for in the first place.

It's very disconcerting.

Though... I do get to meet new people everyday.

Despite this terrible lack of memory, I do seem to remember the epic failure that was the Phantom console.

Some of you may not have heard of the Phantom gaming console.


A few years ago, a company announced that they would be developing a PC-like gaming console that hooked up to your TV and streamed data across the intarweb.

This is the part where the entire internet started laughing.

Honestly, the whole thing was a galactic, mechagundam clusterf&%@. Every week brought about new hilarity as their once glorious vision was torn asunder by the internet as a whole.

It was like a terrible joke.

Thus, you can understand my confusion when a new streaming gaming console is announced and the whole internet welcomes it with open arms.

We don't welcome anything with open arms.

Okay... Maybe the porn thing.

We are very supportive of the porn.

Of course, without the porn, the internet would include maybe 4 websites.

OnLive is the new console tearing up the gaming media sites. All data will be sent to a secure OnLive server and then results will be streamed back to your screen in real time.

Apparently, the console will work on a variety of devices and all data management will be handled through their servers.

The servers will be composed of Adamantium and will be comprised mostly of dilithium crystals and flux capacitors.

That last part wasn't true. It might be, but at this point, all we really have is a whole lot of promises and not a lot of evidence.

Now, I've got nothing against the console. While I have a great deal of skepticism about how exactly they're going to make this system work, that's not really something I'm worried about.

I don't know how most things work.

Sure, I know my Wii is just two Gamecubes duct-taped together.

And my microwave uses dark arcane magicks.

But I don't really question the whole "how's it gonna work" thing.

Not my problem.

In six months when this epic new console is only able to stream flash games, then we'll talk about it.

No, my issue with the whole thing is how readily the gaming community is ready to just accept this thing.

Yes, it is very shiny. They're using intriguing words like "server-side", "broadband", and "Microconsole". They're promising, and I quote, "ultra high-performance gameplay on your TV or entry-level PC or Mac".

This sounds great, right?

Of course it does.

But since when does the internet take anything at face value or anyone at their word?

What happened to you guys?

Just a couple of years ago, you'd have called these guys a bunch of con artist bastards and then burned them at the stake.

That's actually what happened to the Phantom guys.

There were marshmallows.

Now, it looks like we've all gone soft.

Where's the harsh criticism? The barely restrained rage?

The harshly worded LOLcats pictures?


I'm actually a little ashamed right now. I have half a mind to turn off my computer and go drink some beer and play football.

That's the one with the bat, right?

Maybe... Maybe we've grown a little as a community. Maybe we've matured and are looking for a meaningful streaming experience.

Are we finally ready to give someone a chance?


Not really.

This is the honeymoon phase. We're still a little dazzled with the promise of new technology and the hopes for better gaming.

That shine won't last long. Pretty soon, we're going to be tearing this thing to shreds and leaving them broken and bloodied.

Oh, there will be blood.

And LOLcats.

Don't let me down, internets. Restore my faith not in your humanity, but in your unending torrent of hate and destruction.

That's why you are my people.

That's why the internet is my home.

... The porn doesn't hurt.


At 5:16 PM, Blogger bookwyrmpoet said...

I gotta agree with you [GM]Dave, I've yet to hear a single bad thing about OnLive, other then the fact that some people think it will make DRM look like a good thing

At 6:11 PM, Blogger tyranastrasz said...

While I haven't really heard of OnLive before, and I really only heard about the Phantom after the fact, I have two things to say about them.

1. As far as I can tell, OnLive is just a distribution service, not an actual console. There will BE a console, for people who don't have computers (insert laughter here), but the console isn't required or even really a main highlight.

The Phantom was slated to be a video game console that worked entirely through digital distribution. This was in 2002. As I recall, digital distribution as a whole hadn't really taken off to the degree it has today by that point. On top of that, why base a game console entirely around that rather than use the digital distribution platform to deliver PC games? It's like if Valve tried to make a console to play games over Steam. It just doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

2. The Phantom became easy to ridicule as time went by with no results. Everyone makes fun of vaporware, even Duke Nukem Forever is still entertaining to poke fun at now and then. If the same thing happens to OnLive - lots of time going by, no tangible results - then definitely expect the amount of ridicule to take a steep rise.

OnLive is in closed beta at least. Did the Phantom ever even GET that far? (O_o)

At 3:11 AM, Blogger noFuss said...

"closed" beta is always the last stage before the whole bunrning-thingy kicks in.

*grabs some cookies and makes himself comfortable for the burning*


At 6:56 AM, Blogger Shadowdancer said...

Hmmm. A console with streaming online porn. I'm sure there's a business model, like Wii channels. The bigger issue is, how many Nintendo execs would I have to mutilate to make that reality?

Oh, and one more thing:










Pretty please?

At 11:18 AM, Blogger Tansunn said...

Personally, I have a hard time believing it'll work. I get enough lag with online games where I send out control info and control info is all I get back. Now they expect me to believe that it'll work just fine when I send out control info and they send back real-time high def video of the game I'm playing?

I mean, yeah, it'll scale the graphics down to 480p if the connection's too slow so they don't have to send as much data, but still, this is supposedly realtime - you push the button, it goes to their server, their server renders the video and sends it back to your computer or TV for you to view.

They expect me to believe that the lag will be negligible if the controller input travels across the internet out to some server located who-knows-where?

Am I just thinking too much about this?

At 1:57 PM, Blogger jasonx254 said...

I don't need to hear a single thing about onlive to instantly hate it.

Firstly: You'll need broadband for it. Thats their first epic fail. The people they wanna con into buying this *dont know how to get it or cant afford it*.

Second: Who, in their right mind, wants to play all their single player games on an online console...? If the connection dies you're fucked.

Thirdly: Who in their right mind buys a console to play pc game son when they can simply buy a pc and do a billion more things with it? Most of them involving much enjoyed porn.

Thats just off the top of my head..

At 10:05 AM, Blogger heyytonytony said...

I've a magazine back from .. 2000? with a mini-article about the Phantom. Looked similar to an XBOX, if I recall correctly.


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