OnLive cloud gaming service swears it’s alive

Onlive or OnDead?Yesterday, we reported that rumors were bouncing across the Internet regarding the possible closing of cloud gaming service OnLive. As anonymous sources start speaking to the press, it’s becoming clear that OnLive services will not disappear immediately, but that’s little comfort to its former employees. 

OnLive has issued a statement saying that the company’s assets have been transferred to a newly-formed company “backed by substantial funding.” So for users, service should continue uninterrupted as the new company maintains OnLive’s servers and infrastructure. Of course, there’s no assurance that users won’t be hit with new subscription fees, or that the service won’t disappear if the new owners decide they’d rather unload the company’s assets rather than fix its problems. But it’s at least an offer of continuity for OnLive subscribers.

OnLive staff won’t be so lucky. Anonymous sources are claiming that at least half of the staff has been laid off, and others allege that as many as three quarters of the staff has been let go. OnLive’s statement claims that while it’s starting a new life with a skeleton crew, it plans to re-hire more of their former employees in the future. However, Kotaku reports that the re-hired employees will be paid in nothing more substantial than stock options, an unappealing compensation package from a new company with an uncertain future.

Stock options look especially dicey considering that there’s no indication that OnLive is on track to solve its fundamental problem: Massive infrastructure costs to support a relatively small user base. According to a report at Joystiq, CEO Steve Perlman blamed the company’s collapse on the cost of maintaining 8,000 servers, complete with demanding contracts, to support user numbers that never got above 1,600 simultaneous players. Lag-free cloud gaming is incredibly technically demanding, so there was never a way to avoid massive startup costs. Unfortunately, the users didn’t appear in large enough numbers to pay for all those servers, and OnLive competitor Gakai was the one to get the buyout offers that could lead to a tidy payday.

Ironically, this is happening after what was looking like a good year for OnLive. The company was going to be supported out of the box by the Ouya console, which had become a dramatic success story on Kickstarter. The OnLive Remote Desktop service impressed our reviewers in hands-on tests. Vizio recently announced a new set-top box that would provide video-game streaming via OnLive. And the company’s experiments in streaming games to tablets and smartphones seemed extremely promising. If the reformulated company going to stick around to see all these opportunities through, it will need to bring costs and revenues in line, and fast.

Computing

I tried an LTE laptop for a month, and I wasn’t really convinced

LTE laptops offer up plenty of benefits and are becoming more common. After spending one month with one in my daily life in New York City, I really wondered if it is something that consumers really need in their lives.
Mobile

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to endangered cats

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Computing

Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services

Browsing the web can be less secure than most users would hope. If that concerns you, a virtual private network — aka a VPN — is a decent solution. Check out a few of the best VPN services on the market.
Computing

Snatch Apple’s 2017 15-inch MacBook Pro for up to $1,200 off at B&H

The latest deal at B&H is offering up 2017 15-inch Apple MacBook Pros, in space gray and silver, with Intel Core i7 quad-core CPUs, 16GB of RAM, and AMD Radeon Pro 560 GPUs with up to 2TB of SSD storage.
Computing

Microsoft’s Chromium Edge browser may be adding your Chrome extensions

Fans sticking to Google Chrome because due to its vast extension library might be able to switch over to Microsoft's latest iteration of Edge, as a project manager confirms that the company has its eyes on Chrome extensions.
Gaming

Apple Mac users should take a bite out of these awesome games

Contrary to popular belief, there exists a bevy of popular A-list games compatible for Mac computers. Take a look at our picks for the best Mac games available for Apple fans.
Emerging Tech

An A.I. cracks the internet’s squiggly letter bot test in 0.5 seconds

How do you prove that you’re a human when communicating on the internet? The answer used to be by solving a CAPTCHA puzzle. But maybe not for too much longer. Here is the reason why.
Computing

Qualcomm’s dual-screen PC concept looks like two connected Surface Go tablets

In Qualcomm's video teaser, we got a glimpse of the company's vision for how a dual-screen ARM PC should work. The internet reacted to Qualcomm's video, calling the device in question merely a mashup of two Surface Go tablets.
Deals

Check out the best Green Monday deals for those last-minute gifts

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, but that doesn't mean you've missed your chance of finding a great deal. We're talking about Green Monday, of course, and it falls on December 10.
Computing

Hololens 2 could give the Always Connected PC a new, ‘aggressive’ form

Microsoft is said to be leaning on Qualcomm to power its Hololens 2 headset. Instead of Intel CPUs, the next Hololens could use a Snapdragon 850 processor, allowing it to benefit from the always-connected features.
Computing

Chrome’s dark mode may cast its shadow over Macs by early 2019

By early 2019 Google may release a version of Chrome for Mac users that offers a Dark Mode feature to match MacOS Mojave's recent darkening.
Computing

These laptop bags will keep your notebook secure wherever you go

Choosing the right laptop bag is no easy feat -- after all, no one likes to second-guess themselves. Here are some of the best laptop bags on the market, from backpacks to sleeves, so you can get it right the first time around.