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Reader Comments (27)

Posted: Apr 25th 2009 9:49AM Crsh said

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I want to believe, but this is likely a fake.

The iPhone's hardware (or any currennt-gen smartphone platform, for that matter) is not advanced enough to support stuff that precise in OpenGL ES mode, and it likely wouldn't be able to cope with the heavy network traffic that MMOs generate to keep everything in sync at all times.

I very doubt these developers re-wrote the game engine to allow the game to run this well despite the low framerate (Blizzard would sue their collective asses into oblivion anyway).

Posted: Apr 25th 2009 10:55AM Krystalle Voecks said

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For what it's worth, Blizzard is in a partnership with Vollee already, although it's never been specified what exactly Vollee was doing for them.
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Posted: Apr 27th 2009 1:06PM SmileyBarry said

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Vollee apps don't render the graphics on your device, but render them on the server and stream them to the app, so that even a minimal 3G phone could run the app without any performance issues.
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Posted: May 12th 2009 8:54AM (Unverified) said

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Vollee is in partnership with blizzard. http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3166455

Recently, Vollee seemed to disappear off the face of the earth (As of this time, Vollee appears to no longer exist. Phone numbers for their California office have been disconnected and their website is no longer reachable.) I think I have a pretty good guess as to what has happened though.

(I hope I'm wrong because if I'm right, we won't be seeing this software anytime soon.) My guess is Blizzard has taken them under their wing, and Vollee will only be producing this software for Blizzards next MMO that's in the making.

If you would like to discuss this further, you can find me at Twitter.com/Keitherfly
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Posted: Apr 25th 2009 9:50AM TheJackman said

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Fake screen in the middle is cut off and blizzard never will make a crappy interface like that! This btw never gonna happen World of warcraft is a pc game and will go on in that way!

Posted: Apr 25th 2009 9:57AM (Unverified) said

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Blizzard developers have stated many, many times that they will not do a port of WoW to consoles because of the controller limitations. Do you really think they will allow a port to an iPhone with even less control available?

Posted: Apr 25th 2009 10:29AM AlamoeJones said

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probably a fake, BUT, how about an iphone app that lets you check your auctions, mail, and bank, and would let you transfer things between the 3! very limited, get in get out, but it would still be neat for people on the go.

Posted: Apr 25th 2009 10:38AM (Unverified) said

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Gotta love all these fake comments... :-) I don't say it's not fake, it's just that Vollee actually might be able to pull something like that off with their technology, as far as I know: They basically have a client that connects you to their network, the game is not running on the iphone... everything you see is streamed to you. So your iPhone is only displaying "pictures", like you'd watch a video or something in that direction. That's my understanding at least. Unfortunately, the Vollee site is not reachable at the moment. ;-(

Posted: Apr 25th 2009 10:45AM Kyoji said

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I'd say thats definitely what this is, its streaming WoW much like you would a desktop environment with a VPN. The question for me is whether this works with your own computer, or if you have to pay a fee for Volee to run it for you.
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Posted: Apr 25th 2009 10:53AM Krystalle Voecks said

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Vollee claims (from everything we've seen in press releases thus far) to have a proprietary tech called "VolleeX" that helps to compress the game for use on mobile handsets. Here's a snippet of what we'd gotten for the Second Life client, directly from their press release. (I'm including the source URL, but their site is down at the moment as you noted.)

"Vollee's proprietary solution is the only technology currently available that can stream high-end PC titles to mobile, including popular massively multiplayer online role playing games. The company's VolleeX engine adapts applications for screen size and key layout, and then streams the original application to mobile devices. Vollee's interactive video streaming platform optimizes compression to minimize bandwidth requirements and also leverages the 3G mobile networks in such a way that gamers can easily and smoothly navigate virtual worlds. Vollee's technology is also extensible to fast paced, high quality video games previously impossible on mobile."

Source: http://www.vollee.com/news/138_vollee_enables_25_more_handsets_for_second_life_mobile

The same release notes their connection to Activision/Blizzard:

"About Vollee

Vollee enables an interactive PC experience on mobile. By hosting unmodified PC applications on powerful servers, adapting them intelligently for mobile handsets and then streaming them over 3G networks, Vollee allows users to access MMOs and rich virtual worlds such as Second Life or play console quality games on mass-market handsets.

Vollee delivers its groundbreaking service through patented tools that radically change the return on investment for IP owners to bring their content to mobile. Vollee dramatically reduces the time to market as applications are adapted in a matter of weeks without touching source code, and increases deployment reach as Vollee enables just about all 3G and Wi-Fi enabled handsets to run these rich PC applications.

Vollee has already announced partnerships with some of the leading Intellectual Property owners such as ActivisionBlizzard, Linden Lab, Codemasters, and Encore Software. For more information, visit http://www.vollee.com/."

Who knows. Until we have official comment, it's just an interesting video. I'll post when we have something from Blizzard or Vollee.
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Posted: Apr 25th 2009 10:56AM (Unverified) said

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Thanks for the additional information. Sounds interesting. Hope you'll get get word back from either Blizzard or them soon. :-)

Posted: Apr 25th 2009 12:28PM Mr Angry said

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This is real. There are some things they've done with the interface which someone creating an elaborate fake wouldn't have bothered with as they are a bit of a compromise, but allow it to work. I can already use similar technology as an iPhone developer to stream from a server, the hard thing is to make the interface usable, and that's what they have done here. If they are working in partnership with Blizzard on this, I imagine Blizzard have added a few hooks into their client to allow this to work better.

Also weren't they talking about the arrangement at last years games developers conference, off the back of their second life client? I think a lot of the 'fake' contributers posted without thinking....

Posted: Apr 25th 2009 12:56PM (Unverified) said

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Wait...you're accusing people of posting something on the internet without thinking first?

No way. That never happens. I refuse to believe it.
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Posted: Apr 25th 2009 3:00PM Noah K said

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It's real.

Vollee has developed a special interface that runs on the iPhone that collects information from the WoW servers through their partnership with Blizzard/Activision. The actual gameplay shown is streamed from a special instance of the game running on your home computer and is compressed through Vollee's servers, so lag is under a second.

You will have to have WoW installed on your home machine, so yes it will have to be "online" in order to use this Vollee app on the go.

Posted: Apr 25th 2009 6:30PM (Unverified) said

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The cloud based gaming revolution is coming. OnLive is doing for notebooks, desktops, and TVs what Vollee has already done with Second Life and now apparently WoW.

Posted: Apr 26th 2009 12:02PM (Unverified) said

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Curious that the Vollee site is now down (12:02 pm - Eastern Standard Time). Anyone know how long it's been down?

Posted: Apr 26th 2009 6:42PM (Unverified) said

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Video requires me to be a friend? Great news.

Posted: Apr 27th 2009 7:15AM SkuzBukit said

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I saw the video but now it appears someone is doing a "hush up" job on the story, not sure whether that is a confirmation of it being genuine or a cleverly manufactured part of a hoax, but it adds intrigue either way.

For my 2 cents it looked genuine enough & I think Blizzard wanted the story killed off, the oddity one of my friends pointed out, after creating WoW to be capable of running on as many PC's as possible why would they create a port to run on only a tiny number of phones (iPhones).....so unless the Vollee tech can allow for a wide range of control option replacements & enable it to be ported to multiple handsets it might just be a tech demo & nothing more for now, perhaps Blizzard are interested in the tech but haven't decided whether they will fully support it or what product they will permit being released on that platform.
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Posted: Apr 27th 2009 7:19AM Krystalle Voecks said

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For what it's worth, Vollee has taken the SL beta client across multiple smartphones, so it's possible that they can port this one based on what they've already done to date.
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Posted: Apr 27th 2009 9:45AM (Unverified) said

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Two things:
1) I can't see the video. It gives me message saying "This is a private video and you must accept the friend request blah blah blah..."

2) The only reason I can't see this as being real is from a practicality standpoint. I've been an avid WoW fan for a long time, and probably the most difficult thing in the game to manage is the UI. Even with the full power of a high resolution screen, mouse and keyboard, and macros, I still find it hard to place and locate all the hot buttons for my various spells and abilities. At all times, I am moving, panning the camera around, throwing various spells under varying conditions, etc. Forgive me, but how the hell am I supposed to do all that on my iPhone? I've played Wolfenstein and Assassin's Creed on my iPhone with the little joystick thingy and the context sensitive action buttons, and even in those simplistic environments, it's inconveneint and flaky as hell to play. Trying to fit the WoW interface on there in any usuable way is an impossible task I say. And I design software UI's for a living.

Best of luck, but if it is real, it's gonna suck.

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