Cloud-based gaming service has predictably high latency


— 4:06 PM on July 9, 2010

It's mid-afternoon on a Friday, so my head's a little in the clouds. But then so is everything else these days. Cloud-based storage has become more and more popular, and it's being joined by an increasing number of applications. Even games have floated up into the cloud, including recent titles like Mass Effect 2, Borderlands, DiRT 2, and Just Cause 2, all of which are available from OnLive's game-streaming service.

Latency is a huge potential issue for any cloud-based gaming service, and it appears that OnLive isn't immune. A blog post over at EuroGamer teases some preliminary findings from an in-depth article on the service that will be published tomorrow. The site tested OnLive in the United States on a generous 25Mbps FiOS connection and observed latencies no lower than 150 milliseconds. Some games fared worse than others, with latencies in Assassin's Creed 2 hitting 216 ms.

Obviously, such high latencies are going to turn off hard-core gamers looking for a responsive experience. They're also quite a ways off claims made by OnLive head Steve Perlman, who said latencies are typically "between 35-40ms". The blog post hints that latency might not ruin the overall experience, but that may ultimately depend on the expectations of the gamer. At the very least, it looks like OnLive has a ways to go to measure up to its own expectations.

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