Question Concerning Onlive and Steam Games

#1 Posted by mazik765 (2315 posts) -

Sorry if this is a super obvious question, but I've been half paying attention to the upcoming games being offered by Onlive and I finally see the game I've been waiting for coming up (Dawn of War 2 - Chaos Rising) and I was wondering if, when I purchase that game to play Onlive do I use my Steam account? What sort of limitations are you given for using their computers instead of your own? Thanks in advance!

#2 Posted by mazik765 (2315 posts) -

Bump?

#3 Posted by lazyturtle (1228 posts) -
@mazik765:  I think you're confused. Steam and Onlive are 2 separate companies. With Steam you would buy and download the game. Your computer must be able to play the game already (same as if you went out and bought the game in a box). You'll play the game through the Steam client.  
Important note: If you have any problems with Steam, they will close/put a hold on your account. You will lose access to everything you've paid for. This happened to me when my wife contested a charge from Steam (she didn't know what it was). I sorted it out with the credit card company, but Steam put a hold on my account. Eventually I had to buy the game at full price and can never use that same credit card again on Steam. Caveat emptor. Aside from that I've never had any real problems. Once you buy the game (so long as you don't run afoul with Steam), the game is yours to play as much as you'd like. I'd imagine the situation is the same with Onlive.  You can also access a offline mode for travel/places with no internet access. You'll need to download and install the game on every computer you want to play from. Steam has a huge catalog of games and frequently has sales that are really good..you can buy games for next to nothing.
 
Onlive is slightly different. You download the client and then pay for access to the games (you can use a 30 minute free trial,  buy a 3 or 5 day playpass or unlimited play time). The game is run from the Onlive server, so its not taking up space on your computer AND (more importantly) your computer does not need to be  capable of running the game. This is a huge advantage for people with crappy, old computers (like me!). You can play the game from any computer where you've installed the free client. You must have internet access to play the games (so no gaming during power outages or during flights). The quality of your connection has a direct impact on the quality of your gaming and being on the US mainland really must help a lot. I live in Hawaii (so I'm far away from the servers) and have broadband. I get excellent graphics and play, with occasional burps in service (usually last 10-20 seconds max).  Onlive also has a console that plugs into a TV. You can play the same games on either PC or console from a single account. Onlive has also had several sales that have been pretty good. Onlive also is offering a playpack with a bunch of games for $10/month. The playpack gives you unlimited access to about 20 games. 
  
One other point of comparison: Onlive guarantees you'll have access to the games until a specific date (clearly stated when you purchase), but beyond that the game might not be available. Steam on the other hand, sells you a game and its yours to use until..whenever. Personally, I don't see this as much of a problem because the dates are 2 or 3 years away and the games will be old by then...in other words they'll be cheap and even crappy computers will run them if I really want to play. I know some people like to replay games, I'm just not one of them. 
 
Hope that helped.

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