OnLive Launching in June, Pricing Detailed

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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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From The Chatty

  • reply
    March 10, 2010 10:57 AM

    $15 a month is one thing (same as any MMO). But I want to hear about how much each individual game is going to cost. If they charge a lot to "rent" each game, this service might be too expensive for most. Any word on how much it costs to play the games?

    • reply
      March 10, 2010 10:59 AM

      $14.95 a month.

      • reply
        March 10, 2010 11:00 AM

        There was talk of having a subscription just to use OnLive, and then a per-title basis fee (with available time-limited demos as a possibility). Has that changed?

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          March 10, 2010 11:06 AM

          only the subscription fee was specified in the article

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            March 10, 2010 11:09 AM

            Someone else found this: "The monthly service fee is currently $14.95, subject to change. ....does not include playing full versions of games, which are to be purchased or rented separately"

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              March 10, 2010 11:15 AM

              yeah, i just found the official faq and updated accordingly.

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      March 10, 2010 11:00 AM

      IIRC - it costs nothing to play a game. Just pay the 15 per month.

      I could be wrong though, I do that a lot.

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        March 10, 2010 11:04 AM

        Nope you still have to purchase games. $15 a month gives you access to use onlive's services, nothing else.

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          March 10, 2010 11:08 AM

          That's not how I interpreted the article. Sounds like 14.95 a moth to play whatever you want.

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            March 10, 2010 11:09 AM

            Ah I see now in joystick's story they do say you have to buy the games as well...I wonder for how much? It better be very, very cheap, or no one is going to use it.

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              March 10, 2010 11:11 AM

              My bet is the games will be full price, which is why so many publishers are on board.

              But yeah we're now in the era of the Steam Holiday Sale so who knows.

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                March 10, 2010 11:22 AM

                Thats nuts....At full price I can't see many people using this service.

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                March 10, 2010 11:56 AM

                I would REALLY hope that the games are not full price. I see this as renting video games from the publishers, if you will, instead of blockbuster or gamefly. This is a big market that they should try to tap into; NOT try to cheat customers by forcing them to buy them outright to play them at all. As a rental service, though, depending on the price, I can see this maybe catching on when word of mouth spreads how good it is (or not at all, if the word is it's bad).

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            March 10, 2010 11:11 AM

            Nope, this is how it's been from the initial announcement.

            Users need only subscribe to OnLive and purchase individual games from the library, with the option of buying the "MicroConsole" device for television functionality.
            http://www.shacknews.com/onearticle.x/57804

        • reply
          March 10, 2010 11:22 AM

          "note that the service fee does not include the purchase or rental of games"

          http://blog.onlive.com/2010/03/10/onlive-coming-to-a-screen-near-you/

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      March 10, 2010 11:06 AM

      joystiq's story says, "The service will initially be available to PC and Mac owners for a monthly service fee of $14.95. Each game purchase and rental will carry a charge on top of the base subscription. " http://www.joystiq.com/2010/03/10/onlive-launching-june-17-for-pc-and-mac-15-per-month-service-f/

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        March 10, 2010 11:53 AM

        For someone who has just purchased a 360 or a PS3, not to mention a high end gaming rig, I can't see this catching on. But for those who don't own either, this might be a viable option. It's definitely better than purchasing a high end gaming pc; I would just hope the games don't cost a whole lot.

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          March 10, 2010 12:50 PM

          Especially if that console owner also has gamefly.