First of all, a public service announcement. Many of our dearly beloved bloggers were given equipment and an extended trial to test SL Go by Onlive. This means those bloggers can give a far more informed opinion on the technology than many of us. However please don’t take this to mean those bloggers have been paid, they haven’t. Providing people with equipment and extended free trials is perfectly normal and perfectly above board.
Some of these bloggers are being unfairly criticised over this and I say unfair because those bloggers have declared they were involved in the trial and in some cases provided with the equipment or even working as a consultant. That the bloggers are declaring this is positive, if they were hiding these facts I’d be highly critical of them, but they aren’t hiding these facts.
Obviously this means they have a different perspective on matters in some cases because they have had more time to play with the technology, but they have provided a hell of a lot of important information on this product. Having said that, I can declare I have been given nothing at all and have not been involved in the trial in any way, shape or form. Indeed my sources didn’t even tip me off about this or give me any inside information! My sources are currently being frowned at, a lot.
Now let’s take a look at the actual product. Actually first of all, let’s look at the blurb:
Enjoy Second Life at speeds over 50 FPS with a 512-meter draw distance. During each secure session, a powerful cloud-based server streams SL in full 3D to your mobile device in real time over any fast Internet connection.
Stay connected to your in-world friends and events. Manage your virtual business from anywhere you can get online. You’ll have access to the full Second Life Viewer interface, plus touch controls for navigation. Leave your desktop computer at home and let us do the heavy lifting.
Bold claims, can it deliver, well actually, yes it looks like it can. I’ve tried it for a few minutes on a Google Nexus 7 and for a few minutes on my desktop PC. Let’s just pause here and be a tad critical of the free trial, at twenty minutes long it is nowhere near long enough for people to appreciate this product and therefore want to pay for the service. Having said that, I would highly recommend people who are interested in how this works do engage with the free 20 minute trial, it will only cost you time. Oops, you have to be in the USA, Canada or the UK to try this unfortunately, but the trial, as brief as it is, is worth engaging with.
I’ve been impressed with the performance on both devices. On my desktop, I can set the graphics to a higher setting than my desktop PC suggests I should set them and I can walk around happily with those higher graphics settings.
I did experience a few glitches, yesterday the desktop client informed me I hadn’t configured my firewall for UDP, today it loaded fairly happily. I received a warning about my controller, which isn’t surprising as it’s a Nostromo N52 and I received a warning about low power settings, but it worked, I could login to Second Life.
Now this is where the short trial really is a pain point, it’s easier for me to play around with the desktop client because the controls are ones I’m familiar with. On my Nexus 7 they aren’t, but you feel rushed by the limited trial and so I felt the desktop version was the way to go.
Another glitch was that the text on the menus sometimes went blurry, I’m not sure why that was but as I’m sure some of you will have figured out, I don’t exactly have a state of the art PC!