I’ve only just received this rather shocking news directly from Dennis Harper, Sr. Product Manager at SL Go.
I’m quoting from his email here;
It breaks my heart to tell you that OnLive (OL2, Inc) has been acquired and will be closing down the game service, including SL Go. The official press release is attached.
SL Go Island will continue to exist for a while, but we have removed the Pay with L$ feature.
The OnLive and SL Go services will continue to operate in full capacity until April 30. All services will be free to anyone who has or creates an account. All prices for the service have been set to $0.00, including SL Go.
From the Press release;
OnLive today announced that Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. will acquire various assets of OnLive, including its U.S. and foreign patent portfolio covering its substantial innovations in cloud gaming.
“These strategic purchases open up great opportunities for our gamers, and gives Sony a formidable patent portfolio in cloud gaming. It is yet another proof point that demonstrates our commitment to changing the way gamers experience the world of PlayStation,” said Philip Rosenberg, VP, Global Business Development of SCE and SVP Business Development and Publisher Relations of SCEA.
Users will continue to have access to OnLive’s services until April 30, 2015, including the OnLive Game Service, OnLive Desktop and SL Go (Second Life). After today’s date, no further subscription renewals will be charged for any of these services. Users whose subscriptions renewed on or after March 28 will be refunded. Following the termination of the company’s services and related products, OnLive will engage in an orderly wind-down of the company and cease operations.
The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Just to be clear; SL Go as well as Onlive will cease to exist.
Sony bought Onlive just to because they wanted the patents for a new product they are working on or to improve their own streaming service.
Maybe something new is planned in connection with their VR headset.
And they of course don’t care about the people using any of the Onlive services at the moment.
Personally I am very sad because I really enjoy using SL Go, it allows me to enjoy SL on my 6 year old macbook and make snapshots with full ultra graphics settings.
My snapshots will decline in quality dramatically and I’ll also have to start carrying my very heavy Alienware laptop with me every time I leave home but want or have to access SL.
To me, at the moment, this was the only way to experience SL the way I think SL should be experienced.
Onlive has been looking for a new owner for months and Sony has shown interest for even longer than that, but they always made clear they only wanted the patents.
So the Onlive team looked for a buyer who would continue the service, but in the end they had to go with Sony before the deadline of their (probably very generous) deal came.
It would have been great if LL had bought Onlive, imagine, they could have given every SL user streaming service, allowing everyone to enjoy a Second Life that looked good and worked on almost any machine.
After all, SL Go was Onlive’s most successful product!
So, I am sad for myself, but even more so for the SL Go team.
In a very short amount of time they got stuck into SL, spend many hours there, actually understanding what the users wanted and needed.
They really tried hard to listen to the user-base, they interacted with us inworld in the SL Go group and on the SL Go island, they really cared.
And now it is over, not just is something they really loved over, they are actually losing their RL jobs.
I fear that on top of all this, they will now also get quite a bit of flak from the SL users.
So if you’re reading this and as upset as I am, keep in mind that for the SL Go crew its even worse.
Keep that in mind.
One good thing to come out of this is that the SL Go people who have come to SL for this project have discovered a place they really liked and will keep visiting our virtual world.
I can’t help but thinking that this is just one battle in the VR wars I’ve been talking about, one of many still to follow.
Companies are all preparing for the new world and the battle will be fierce and dirty.
Bri Ryan said:
I HATE this announcement !
I was an early user and still believe SLGo was one of the top user technical creations in my 10 years of Second Life. Every trip it’s now back to carrying my Alienware 14 at 6 lb and leaving my 1 1/2 lb. Tablet at home. 😦
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Beatrice Cerise said:
So sad about this… I don’t have a computer that will work on ultragraphics…
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You know, I keep telling people that the industry in general wants to bury SL because they need it to disappear. It is the ONLY successful VR on the market. The ONE. All others have failed. And by most reports, HiFi won’t be setting anything on fire.
It is amazing to me that LL doesn’t realize they are in the middle of war, in a game of GO. They are being surrounded and the air cut off. That they refuse to take any preemptive actions worries me, either they are that naive or they don’t care if SL disappears. If the latter, they better hope the new VR they make is all that and the kitchen sink.
LL is working SL2. If that’s preemptive, i don’t know what is.
I’m shocked by this sudden turn of events. I feel sorry for On Live and their earnest employees who worked hard for SL Go. I loved and used SL Go too! It made it possible for me to shoot video in SL. I feel sorry for how hard team Firestorm worked on SL Go and Sl Go mobile. SL Go Mobile only just went live March 24th! …. There are people who don’t think this sudden move by Sony had anything to do with SecondLife, SL on Mobile, or any kind of war for dominance of the VR marketshare. It was just getting some patents for streaming video games on playstation. But there is curious timing in that Sony’s Playstation Home, their version of SL, was closed yesterday. Regardless, this year and next year we will be seeing new developments in Virtual Worlds for sure with High Fidelity and Second Life’s next gen platform. Anything after that will most likely be another sudden surprise…
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DD Ra said:
Sad new for users who do not (can not) have a powerful PC with good graphics just for SL…
Eddy Ofarrel said:
I hadn’t got round to trying SL Go yet, and now really want to see what it was like before it disappears completely.
I noticed above it says: “The OnLive and SL Go services will continue to operate in full capacity until April 30. All services will be free to anyone who has or creates an account. All prices for the service have been set to $0.00, including SL Go.”
So I’ve just tried to create an account… all of the website pages just seem to redirect to the “farewell” page, so no luck there. I downloaded the SL Go Android app, and I’ve managed to create an account from there… but then it just says “You need time credits to launch this game. Please visit http://slgo.onlive.com to check and refill your credits.” And of course that just redirects to the farewell message again…
I’ve also tried the desktop OnLive client downloaded from that page – logged in with the account I created on Android, and can get into the main dashboard thing, but I can’t find SL Go or Second Life anywhere in the list of games on there.
Does anyone with more experience of SL Go have any ideas how I might be able to get it going?
Just as I had found Firestorm on SLGo and had let gone of Lumiya… Damn you, Sony! Don’t count on me to buy any of your products ever again!
Oh well, I was planning to get a muscled notebook anyway when Windows 10 comes out. In the meantime, I have Lumiya… 😦
Erik Mondrian said:
Frankly, I think this sucks. (Bad, Sony. Bad!) Though I hadn’t tried SL Go yet myself, I had been thinking about maybe getting a tablet as my next device purchase so that I could then — with SL Go’s help — take Second Life with me when I’m out and about or on campus. I don’t really know too many people where I’m living right now; I’m alone a lot, even when going out to eat or wherever else, and being able to have a whole world at my fingertips, at any time, would have been great.
My mom, too, would have been a perfect candidate for SL Go. I’ve been wanting to get her into Second Life for quite a while, but her current computer, a little netbook, wouldn’t be able to run it. She could more easily afford a good tablet than a high-end laptop… though I guess the former’s no longer an option, at least not for SL.
As for PlayStation Home, I hadn’t heard about it shutting down until I saw this; thanks, Devin, for mentioning it. Never having owned a PS, Home wasn’t somewhere I’d been, but I did follow the news about its 2008 launch and continued development with some interest. Don’t know how strong a community they had in there at the end (and it does seem like a lot of opportunities to make the place more engaging were missed by Sony’s management), although it still irks me how a company can just pull the plug on something like that. A world, gone.
I’ve seen enough virtual communities die over the years — whether because the company involved went bankrupt, got bought out, or simply moved in another direction — that it’s a constant concern of mine. Until we see a virtual world platform that’s completely in the hands of its users, having that world suddenly disappear one day will remain a risk. (Just look at what happened to CloudParty, for another recent example.) High Fidelity might be leaning in this direction, thankfully, since from what I understand the software is open source and you can run your own servers; Linden Lab’s next-gen project, on the other hand, might not. I believe Ebbe mentioned that it wouldn’t be open source, at least not at the start — and indeed, might never be?
I only hope that in trying to retain control and guide the project forward with a firm hand, LL doesn’t inadvertently overextend themselves, dooming both it and Second Life to oblivion. There’s a reason the Internet has survived this many years and managed to adapt along the way… and it wasn’t because any one particular company held the reins.
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Sadly we will see worse, with the big ones just acquiring patents to avoid competition to do so.
And perhaps this will work.
From Firestorm blog:
Best alternative I’ve found is Splashtop, a personal video streaming service. It’s sold to most people as a remote desktop solution but it is optimized for streaming realtime video/graphics from games, just like Onlive. Using Splashtop you can use an old computer to run SL at full speed just by linking the old computer to a new one, which can be any computer in your household. Let’s say you want to run SL from a laptop (old or new) away from home – Splashtop to your home computer and run it full screen.
Here’s the kicker: Splashtop is also optimzed for tablets, so you can run SL at full speed from your Android or Apple tablet just like Onlive. You can even run it on your mobile phone if your screen is big enough.
It gets better: on a mobile device you can enhance the user interface to include a virtual joystick and virtual buttons so you even get an OnLive style control interface for your tablet. If there is enough interest I can write a blog page that explains how I did this.
Splashtop is pretty cheap and it’s a one-time purchase, unlike OnLive. You can also use it to stream any game even top-notch graphics games to your tablet or older PC, as long as it can run in windowed mode.
Also see Windows Borderless Gaming to run SL in a pseudo full-screen view that trims off the title bar.
Another tip: use reso.exe if you want to run SL at lower resolution than normal for high speed on older PCs. After you exit SL from reso.exe your desktop returns to its previous resolution. Also very cool for use with Splashtop from your tablet since you can configure it to match your tablet’s native resolution.
Finally, you can have Windows run SL at high priority to reduce lag. Here is the shortcut that does this and includes reso.exe
put it in a .bat file, why not
cmd /c start “Firestorm” /high C:\Windows\reso.exe “C:\Program Files\Firestorm-Releasex64\Firestorm-bin.exe” 1366 768 32 60
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