TBTU Reviews

Yesterday gaming mega site G4 did a six minute video review on G4′s Attack Of The Show covering the OnLive service as a whole and showcased the MicroConsole briefly. They concluded that the service was currently rated a 3 out of 5 and had potential for the future. While a 3 out of 5 is a decent score according to G4, we were left a little perplexed why they omitted some key features of the service and why we believe a more appropriate rating would have been 4 out 5. A score of 4 may have caused more consumers to consider OnLive as a legitimate console replacement while a 3 likely won’t.
The Good

The fact that a hugely popular and generally well respected site such as G4 took the time to do a featured video review of the OnLive service at all is a positive for OnLive. Hundreds of thousands of users who may have never heard of OnLive were given an opportunity to hear about the service. This exposure will potentially drive users to learn more or possibly sign up for the service and more users benefits all of OnLive’s fans.

Also, it is impressive that they were able to give a broad overview of a service as complex as OnLive in a five minute segment. They touched on most of the major points and it was evident that Kevin Pereira at least had used the system and understood what it was about. He also highlighted the ease of use and, while it was a bit odd in his emphasis, appeared to really appreciate the service’s UI.

The Bad

We felt there were quite a few omissions concerning OnLive that G4 should have clearly mentioned. If these omissions were considered we feel they would have bumped the service up from a 3 to a 4 out of 5.

Firstly, G4 correctly mentioned that you don’t need a MicroConsole to experience OnLive, but they never mentioned the benefits of the MicroConsole. They didn’t touch on the fact that the MicroConsole has optical audio capabilities and that in early 2011 OnLive will be getting 5.1 SRS surround sound implemented. This is likely something audiophiles would love to know about.

They mentioned that the MicroConsole required a wired connection which technically isn’t true as users can hook a wireless bridge up to the device if they desire. They also slipped up by stating the service was free until the end of this week. Instead, the PlayPack is free until January 31st as the OnLive system will always remain free to access.

G4 didn’t mention that the MicroConsole will upscale the video to 1080p on your television or monitor and offers the best quality of graphics of the clients. The failed to mention that games can be started on the desktops saved and continued on the MicroConsole freeing the binds of one specific device. The closest they came was they mentioned that you could save your game and start up right where you left off, which is a pretty trivial feature all gaming devices share.

Nor was there a mention of the Steam-like sales where consumers can buy and rent games at ridiculously low prices throughout the year. Also it wasn’t mentioned that as time progresses the OnLive system will actually improve as OnLive’s infrastructure is improved as opposed to traditional consoles which slowly become outdated and obsolete, that OnLive offers consumers the freedom from MicroSoft’s red and Sony’s yellow rings of death or a mention of the impending movie rental service.

Again, we understand that you can not review a service based on features that are not currently enabled in the case of movies or SRS, and that they had limited time, but the fact of the matter is that those features should have at least have been mentioned. Mind you none of the above omissions are horrible, but the clear lack of detail again could potential steer users away from the service.

The Ugly

The piece started with an attempt at humor during the introduction of the service by Candace Bailey who started off the show by telling users “If you want to game but don’t want to buy all the consoles” only to be interrupted by co-host Kevin Pereira whom chimed in with, “Then you’re cheap! And also you might be in the market for OnLive”.

While we understand that there was no intent by G4 or the hosts to put down the system, the fact that they said cheap and OnLive together could potentially classify the service as a gimmick or inferior product when compared to other systems. Classifying OnLive as “cheap” is something we here at OnLive Informer firmly disagree with. We’re not getting our panties in a bunch over it, but we are pointing out that we wished they would have taken a slightly more serious tone with such a revolutionary service.

Overall, while we feel that the review of the OnLive system left out some pretty important features of the service though we do appreciate that OnLive is starting to get the recognition it so truly deserves however it’s a shame when these mega sites leave out vital information that can affect peoples opinions of the service.

How do you think OnLive is being portrayed by the major press sites, and do you agree with a 3/5 rating G4 gave OnLive? Let us know in the comments below.