Giant Bomb News


OnLive On For June

Pricing and availability announced for streaming game service.

 Users will be able to exchange video of their gameplay exploits and browse video user profiles.
 Users will be able to exchange video of their gameplay exploits and browse video user profiles.
In a talk given at GDC this morning, OnLive's Steve Perlman announced that the OnLive Game Service will go live on June 17, provided you live in the continental US. The base level of subscription service will run $14.95, with potential discounts for people willing to sign up for a multi-month subscription. That subscription doesn't include the actual rental or purchase of games, which will cost extra.

In case you forgot, OnLive is designed to be a streaming game service. Rather than running games on your local PC hardware, OnLive runs them on some server farm somewhere and streams video of the game directly to your device. The demos keep showing Crysis running on an iPhone, which is a funny little proof of concept, but not an especially useful one. You'll be able to stream it to "virtually any device," according to the announcement, but at launch this really means "PCs and Macs through a small browser plug-in." Last year, the company showed off a tiny video decoder device that'll let you stream out to a TV, as well. This "MicroConsole TV adapter" will be discussed later this year.

As for publisher support, OnLive is set to have games from THQ, 2K, Ubisoft, EA, and WBIE. The service is expecting to have somewhere between 12 and 25 games available at launch, and some of the included titles are Mass Effect 2, Assassin's Creed II, and Borderlands.

I'll be interested to give this another shot at some point, but I remain very skeptical. Last time I was able to actually play a game via OnLive, it seemed like a neat idea that would never work for action games that value split-second timing, such as Burnout Paradise, which is what I played when I saw it. But paying a monthly fee, then paying additional rental/purchase fees, just so I can play a latent version of a game doesn't replace having actual hardware in your home. If that problem hasn't been solved, then it's hard to imagine OnLive appealing to anyone other than less-discerning players who wouldn't know any better.
Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
114 CommentsRefresh
Avatar image for cylemoore
Posted By CyleMoore

I'm sure this thing will fail.

Avatar image for bravetoaster
Posted By BraveToaster
I don't like this and I hope it does really bad. Why pay a subscription fee and have to pay a rental fee per title?  
@PenguinDust said:
" If I am going to be renting, I prefer my subscription to Gamefly where I never have to worry about any lag issues except those from my own network.  "
I agree with you. Also, what happens when you're in the middle of a single-player game using OnLive and their network begins to have issues? With a disc you don't have to worry about that.
Avatar image for crusader8463
Posted By crusader8463

Oh joy, another Yankee only service. Just what the world needs.

Avatar image for cl60
Posted By CL60

Bring this to Canada >.<

Avatar image for xeiphyer
Posted By Xeiphyer

Well, If you can stream it to a PSP screen, I could hook up a ps3 controller via bluetooth. That would be crazy playing mass effect 2 on my PSP.
Or I could just play it on my 360.

Avatar image for cmac2099
Posted By cmac2099

It depends how much each game costs. $14.95 is definitely a better price to pay than the thousands it costs to make sure your PC is always up to snuff.

Avatar image for willy105
Posted By Willy105

Seems like the only thing left for this to prove is the games!

Avatar image for spiral_stars
Posted By Spiral_Stars

Wow, first news for OnLive for a long time.

Avatar image for crono
Posted By Crono
@crusader8463 said:
" Oh joy, another Yankee only service. Just what the world needs. "
Guess you should develop something worth having in your country and make it exclusive.
Avatar image for rhcpfan24
Posted By RHCPfan24

The concept is interesting but this really doesn't appeal to me at all. I prefer just buying my games in physical form or, at the very least, on my hard drive.

Avatar image for jediautobot
Posted By JediAutobot

Let's hope for Jeff's sake they don't offer a lifetime subscription :)

Avatar image for wickedcobra03
Posted By WickedCobra03
@Ghostiet said:
" @DewRequired said:
" $15 a month plus the price of the game? Pass, I'd rather buy a piece of hardware and not have to pay a monthly fee. "
This. Also, renting? No way. "
Yep, plus the fact that;
1. The game is mine forever...none of this, once your subscription ends, all your games go bye bye.
2. Any kind of internet outage, or being in a location where you don't have 5-7Mbps internet connection, you are not going to be able to play any present gen games smoothly.
3.  And like companies have showed us countless times; tech sucks on their end too and that a lot of the time keeps me from playing games.  Ubisoft with Assassins Creed 2 DRM, EA with Bad Company 2... and this crap was all within the last week. 
Avatar image for themustachehero
Posted By TheMustacheHero

The only thing that I could probably use this for is... PC games that I can't run, and 360 games that I can't play in HD.

Avatar image for drwhat
Posted By DrWhat

All I'm sayin'....
  Results 1 - 10 of about 13,300 for onlive "never work". (0.42 seconds)

Avatar image for brackynews
Posted By Brackynews

These box-attachment services don't have a great history of success *coughSegaChannel* in that, while nifty, there is never enough momentum to displace the established products. Namely retail games.
Inevitably network bandwidth will cease to be an issue, but server technology won't.  We're hearing this announcement on the heels of Ubi-server downtime.  You bet your ass that a constant internet connection is required for OnLive to work, but if their servers quit, then the entire catalog is inaccessible.  I don't think even Steam is so limiting, not that I'm aware if Steam's "launch check" servers have ever gone down....?
This is why I'm also leery about multiplayer-only console games.  Eventually that sucker goes next to your Matrix Online box.  Nothing to resell or trade in.  Just memories and screenshots, and some "feeling" of value extracted.  I think it's Yahtzee that refers to it as the "muh-more-pegging" (MMORPG) of the player experience.  Will what amounts to $15 per month and $1 per play make me feel the same way?
Despite that OnLive is in no way targeted to me, I am very interested to watch what effect it has on the industry.  Becoming the Netflix Instant-On of gaming may not happen, but it will make publishers rethink everything about their pricing structures, pay-to-play models, episodic delivery... even instruction manual design.  This compact physical product called a "boxed retail game", that has a beginning, middle, and end.. a contained experience... that containment no longer has to exist in order to bring a product of any size or scope to market.
And let's not forget that David Perry has his sights set on this space too.  I would call Perry a smart man.  It's going to be an interesting year.

Avatar image for lambert
Posted By Lambert

OnLIve is going to fail, and is going to fail hard. I hope it does. The only reason publishers are on board is so they can take even more control away from us gamers. This overpriced piece of shit needs to fail miserably. If my internet goes down, I lose all access to my games? Fuck that. 
OnLive is a terrible idea, and the infrastructure can not support this. It is worse than digital distribution on consoles. The console that has the worst online connectivity, the Wii, is the most popular system. I doubt people would want to try out this service. If the hardcore doesn't want it, who does?

Avatar image for bubahula
Posted By Bubahula

eh, no thank you. none of your crazy cloud talk just yet.

Avatar image for fluxwavez
Posted By FluxWaveZ
@dcpc10 said:
" It's not gonna be available here in Canada? Fuuck. Well I doubt it'll be around long anyways xD "
@CL60 said:
" Bring this to Canada >.< "
You guys can't possibly want this...  Although, I am slightly dissapointed it's not coming to our country.
Avatar image for demonstride
Posted By Demonstride

Good idea that probably won't work. I t would be nice if it worked well but still, paying monthly then paying for games it doesn't sound like a good deal to me.

Avatar image for bybeach
Posted By bybeach

No. I can see a few advantages, niche and perhaps main. But besides that monthly whatever being so high, or in conjunction with it, paying for games and not having them is a big no-no. Consumers are setting themselves up for Publishers paradise, where so much money flows on literally virtual products. I barely accept steam, but i am riding on their insistance that they are going to be honest and good, none will lose their games even if they fall.  This company On-Live has no pretense it sounds like, you are only buying the right to play the game, and we are  jammed against that wall, already. I understand how piracy has screwed things up, but this just sounds like a blatant rip the other way. 
Not doing it, even if it benefieted me. which it doesn`t, So thats easy.
Avatar image for jayzilla
Edited By Jayzilla

I like all this talk of, "I want a hard copy of my games", "not paying a monthly fee+ price of games". Am I the only guy with a steam account and a gold membership that buys arcade games on xbox live  all the time? I think the thing that is gonna hurt them is the fact that it ISN'T coming in HD resolution until next year. But hey, if you're a Mac user you are stoked on this and Steam.

Avatar image for juggaloacidman
Posted By JuggaloAcidman

This is a great concept, but I'm not willing to pay a membership fee and pay to rent games! We live in the world of Gamefly, RedBox, and Blockbuster... Then you get an actual disk that doesn't lag. Quite frankly, this is stupid business. OnLive is shooting themselves in the foot. People want a service like this to be simple, like Netflix. Thats why Netflix and Gamefly are doing so well... One monthly charge, keep it as long as you want. Simple! I'm not interested in micromanaging an account I use for FUN! I micromanage my bank account cause I have too... Not cause I want too. Anyway, if they want to make a service I'll use, 3 things have to happen. 1: One monthly fee  2: Save games have to be stored on MY device, not they're server... In case I want to purchase the game for-real-zees and use that save game  3: No lag from the servers... Flawless online play! Borderlands is laggy enough without streaming it from a remote location first!     Until then....... PASS!!!!
Avatar image for hamz
Posted By Hamz

Conceptually it seems like a great idea but put into practice I can't see this working all too well.

Avatar image for darkgameroo7
Posted By DarkGamerOO7

Oh OnLive yeah that sounds cool, oh wait I have to pay $15 a month just to get access to the service and then pay more to actually play games? Yeah no thanks.

Avatar image for DrSwank
Edited By DrSwank

Yea, some very interesting points were brought up. The resell is a huge issue. Say you do pay $360 dollars for two years of subscription, and say you spent about $200 on games, when you're done, you can't resell anything! Even an old PS3/Xbox 360 with a lot of good games will resell for $200 at least. 
So keeping that in mind, the monthly cost of subscription is more like 20-30$ when considering the exorbitant cost of depreciation with OnLive. The fact that you CAN'T sell your games, OR the console that you've spent $360 + on.  This is a LOSE LOSE situation for OnLive.  
This is more expensive than hardcore PC GAMING!!!

Avatar image for kahi
Posted By kahi
@DarkGamerOO7:  If it means I can play Crysis on my Alienware M11x then I am all for it. Oh wait TEEHEE! ... in all seriousness though I would pay $15 a month if it meant I can play games without downloading/installing on my work PC and/or laptop for when I'm out and about bored at an airport/coffee shop/class/convention/etc...
Avatar image for spazmaster666
Edited By spazmaster666

For me the appeal of OnLive has always been the technology and its potential in other fields such as video conferencing, rather than streaming games. So while I doubt it will catch on with most people (I mean its target audience is decidedly small to begin with) the tech may end up being more remarkable than the actual intended application.

Avatar image for takua108
Posted By takua108

I will definitely give it a try, if only because I'm curious as to how well this is going to work!

Avatar image for spacekatgal
Posted By spacekatgal

I'm going to take a different position than the majority here. I'm a Mac girl. I have definitely spent my time PC gaming, but have had my fill. I will never go back to Windows, and even find Boot Camp irritating. I am really interested to see if this pans out. I'd really love to be able to play Crysis on my Macbook Air! I'm definitely going to try it when it comes out. 
I'm a lot more enthusiastic about Steam coming to Mac, though.  

Avatar image for mracoon
Posted By mracoon

$14.95 a month is a bit of a hefty price just for the ability to rent more games. I'm still very sceptical about OnLive but I guess I'll have to see how it fares out in the wild before I totally dismiss it.

Avatar image for ebritt
Posted By ebritt

Great idea, i sort of have faith that latency wont be too much of an issue, but at that price, i dont understand who would buy it. Casual gamers wont want to front the price and all those harcore enough for it to be worth the money, will believe they need a in house console for true gaming experience.
Maybe in a year or two it will come down in price as the technology gets cheaper but I dont think it will survive that long in the market at a price like this. If they have the money they should defiantly be taking the hit early on like MS and Sony do to reap the rewards later.  
We will soon see the price of new games and how they reduce over time and I understand the technology behind this must be very expensive but the average consumer doesn't care about that. They care about the product they receive at the end and the price they pay.

Avatar image for renegade
Edited By Renegade
@bybeach said:

" No. I can see a few advantages, niche and perhaps main. But besides that monthly whatever being so high, or in conjunction with it, paying for games and not having them is a big no-no. Consumers are setting themselves up for Publishers paradise, where so much money flows on literally virtual products. I barely accept steam, but i am riding on their insistance that they are going to be honest and good, none will lose their games even if they fall.  This company On-Live has no pretense it sounds like, you are only buying the right to play the game, and we are  jammed against that wall, already. I understand how piracy has screwed things up, but this just sounds like a blatant rip the other way.  Not doing it, even if it benefieted me. which it doesn`t, So thats easy. "

I don't see why this complaint of paying for games and not having them is consistently being brought up. This is not taking over the world of gaming, this won't be the only way to get your games ever. This is simply a solution for people who don't have enough money to afford a high end PC, but still want to play anticipated games at a nice framerate without worrying about system specs.
People, please, get off your anti-corporate horses and take a breather.
Avatar image for mcxci
Posted By MCXCI

This sounded like a longshot last year and it doesn't sound any better today. I don't even think enough of the world has the online infrastructure to support OnLive enough for it to be profitable (awkward sentence, sorry).

Avatar image for lhaymehr
Posted By lhaymehr

The latency problem simply CANNOT be solved in the near future. Only solution is to convince users this is the shit so they eventually become numb to OnLive's shortcomings. We've seen Microsoft pull that off in pretty much anything they do. This, unfortunately, will probably be no different.
Fuck all.

Avatar image for addictedtopinescent
Posted By addictedtopinescent

Neat idea, but I'm skeptical 

Avatar image for fuzzylemon
Posted By FuzzYLemoN


Avatar image for brunchies
Posted By Brunchies

15 dollars a month not including the games, I have a feeling this will bomb. 

Avatar image for metiphis
Posted By Metiphis

Is there a chance the track could bend?

Avatar image for crusnchill
Edited By crusnchill

I don't like having to pay monthly fees for MMO's let alone anything else, so unfortunately this is a fail for me. :-(
Besides, I Iive in the UK so yes it dosn't affect me in any real way yet, but I'm still put off by the continual monthly fee. Especially so if it came over the pond to my country.

Avatar image for wwfundertaker
Posted By wwfundertaker

So its costs monthly and thats not for the game, whatever.

Avatar image for kimparnage
Posted By KimParnage
@addictedtopinescent said:
" Neat idea, but I'm skeptical  "
What he said.. 
Avatar image for raikoh05
Edited By raikoh05

no ones isp is fast enough to make this better than using a real ass pc or console. when internet gets faster, it might be a worthy alternative for people without the hardware, maybe. 
but at the price it costs to get that service, if you really care about games you will buy your own hardware anyway. who is this for again?

Avatar image for bd_mr_bubbles
Posted By BD_Mr_Bubbles

The inevitable lag will make this service useless for most games I see this failing rather quickly.

Avatar image for ptys
Posted By ptys

They're too late!.. This was announced last GDC... we now all own both console's so they're just not going to have a market to sell to in my opinion.

Avatar image for regal
Posted By Regal

It's kind of sad seeing several people saying that they would want to see this fail horribly and how they would laugh if it did. I've been following Onlive for a while and and it's incredible what these guys are doing from an engineering perspective. It's interesting hearing about all the patents they've filed about things like compression algorithms and server routing that could have neat tech implications for more than just gaming in the future.  
I don't know why but I thought the GB community was more open minded. Had a more - healthy - skepticism that isn't expressed by scorn at people who are putting it on the line for something cool which they believe in. In my book you can respect that even if you obviously have no respect for the idea itself (but apparently literal-minded hate, strangely enough.)   

Avatar image for cube
Posted By Cube

People who complain about not actually owning a game - I hope you've never bought a game on Steam.

Avatar image for angelkanarias
Posted By angelkanarias

now prepare for uninformed news reports all over this on summer.

Avatar image for bybeach
Posted By bybeach
Because of your first sentence-"I don't see why this complaint of paying for games and not having them is consistently being brought up. "  
The break in logic smacks one in the face, although yes there are variations of this model, sort of. With steam, I have forgone the packaging and hard disc that represents and is the game. This saves the publishers tons of money. But it is my choice and at least as I understand it, Steam will not deny you the game, again even if they fail. So it was my choice to pay the same price, but  have the game in digital form. After all, it is downloaded to my HDD. Steam does do the service of storing games for me, and eases dl'ing, mostly. They act as the material disc. Still of course there may be limited downloads by the company itself, and that is a point of contention. But with On live, it`s all on their side, your 50 bucks plus monthly charge and the very game you suppossedly bought. And thats exactly the cynical bs thats as bad as pirating. From my point of view, they deserve the pirates, not me who remembers that owning something mean`t i bought possesion and at least the personal liberty to use my copy, whenever. Like a book. like a cd. Even if virtual without the pages or plastic. 
I do have sympathy, but hell, somebody will always hustle you for need. Thats how they do it.
Avatar image for fur1ousapollo
Posted By Fur1ousApollo

I think what I would have said has already been said above.
I think latency, the possibility of this going out of business and the subscription plus expense of games purchases that they might actually remove from the service at some point all make this sound hellishly unattractive.

Avatar image for dante_the_jedi
Posted By Dante_the_Jedi

What is going to happen the there severs are games for you! I can very easily see there severs getting DDOS. But for me this is nothing as i live in the UK so we will not be getting this so on well.