OnLive Launching in June, Pricing Detailed

By Chris Faylor, Mar 10, 2010 10:50am PST Game streaming service OnLive will launch June 17, offering PC and Mac owners the ability to play games remotely through their web browser at $14.95 a month.

Between a dozen and twenty-five titles will be available at launch, OnLive executive Steve Perlman told VentureBeat. The company has partnered with various publishers including Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, 2K Games, THQ and Warner Bros. to offer subscribers a selection of titles including Mass Effect 2, Assassin's Creed II, Borderlands, Dragon Age Origins, Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, and Metro 2033.

However, that $14.95 per month fee "does not include the purchase or rental of games," according to the company, which has yet to specify purchase or rental prices.

A break from the traditional mold, OnLive doesn't require players to download or install games. Instead, processing is handled externally by OnLive's servers, with visuals streamed to clients through a browser plug-in and their inputs piped back to the server.

The company vows that latency is not an issue, so long as your internet connection is up to snuff, due to the proprietary technology it spent over eight years developing. It previously specified that a 1.5 megabit per second connection would be required for standard definition visuals, with 720p requiring a 5 megabit connection.

Initially, the service--currently in closed beta testing--will be available in the United States. The MicroConsole TV Adapter, which allows the service to be used on a television without the need for an accompanying computer, will ship later in the year.

Discussing exactly what that monthly service fee provide, the company explained:

Included in your monthly service fee are OnLive-exclusive features such as instant-play free game demos; multiplayer across PC, Mac and TV platforms; massive spectating; viewing of Brag Clips video capture and posting; and cloud-saving of games you've purchased-pause, and instantly resume from anywhere, even on a different platform."

Also included in the monthly service fee are features you'd expect from standard online games services such as gamer tags, user profiles, friends, chat, but with a twist: everything is live video. You'll be friending through multiplay, Spectating, Brag Clips, or by flipping through video profiles of friends of friends of friends. OnLive is delivering the first instant video-based social network. It's really cool.

Once you are on the service, instant-play, top-tier, newly-released games will be for sale and for rent on an a la carte basis. Specific pricing will be announced as games are released, so you'll hear about the pricing of the first games by E3, but needless to say, we expect them to be offered at competitive prices. Games are always updated with the latest versions, and purchased game add-ons are playable instantly.

Registration for OnLive is now open over at the official site, with the "first qualified 25,000 users" to successfully register getting their first three months of service free.

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  • Good idea, but not sure if I'm interested. It appears to solve many of the issues I have with pc gaming at the moment but it creates new issues. The nicest thing is 0 minutes install time and 0 minutes download time and no disc required for your games (once you have the onlive client of course). It is great technology but sort of expensive. If I'm paying $15 a month I feel like I should be getting free games out of it or x free hours of every game they own at least. And I would hope that games are cheaper on this service. But as a gamer who's almost entirely migrated to 360 and wii and uses gamefly, I would have to stop buying something else I buy.