Alan Smithee

OnLive Starts its Hype Machine

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This is their plan for the 'consoles' that might be rolling out sometime next year 2011.

We here at MediaWhoreNetwork have been following the buildup of the two giant cloud computer gaming companies since we were founded back in 2008. Right now it’s Dave Perry’s Gaikai vs the guys at OnLive. The promise of not needing any high end computing system / graphics card to play some of the most awesome PC games or console games out on the market is very promising, but at the same time very scary for guys like me who collect games with a passion.

I had received an email from the OnLive guys earlier this week about them wanting me to log into their service with a special link so they can get connectivity stats before they go live this June. I’m still not completely sold on the experience, or sure if I want to be part of this new technology.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to be the old man sitting on his front porch yelling at kids to get off his lawn. I’ve been around since the 80s and have seen technology shift in ways that kids of this current generation will probably ever have the ability to appreciate. Going to a gaming service that requires you to pay a monthly fee for use of their system that you at one time could pay a flat rate to own and use (I’m talking about gaming consoles here) doesn’t seem like that much of a deal.

The service at OnLive, when it comes online, will be a $14.95 monthly fee, much in the same way that most MMOs are at the moment. What does this get you? I’ll tell you…access. That’s just about it. Sure you get demos and a Xbox Live / PSN themed experience, but little else. Any games that you want to play the full version of, you’ll need to buy, but the game will be kept on the server for OnLive, not your PC.

I might give Dave Perry's Gaikai more of a chance, I mean, the guy DID make Earthworm JIM, that's an automatic pass for Dave.

I’m sorry I think I’m going to pass here. I can handle paying for digital distribution and that was one hell of a hurdle to get over, but was made so much easier with Valve’s Steam gaming service, but I’m simply not ready to have what boils down to a terminal that accesses data I’ve purchased that I can’t physically manipulate on my own HDD or run when the network is down.

I’ll keep my eyes open on this new technology, but I don’t see it being the “next big thing”.

Quoted below is the CEO of OnLive, Steve Perlman’s entry on the company’s blog.

On June 17, 2010, during the E3 2010 show, the OnLive Game Service will be available for users in the 48 contiguous United States!
Everyone here at OnLive is just incredibly excited about this milestone. It’s the realization of a dream that we knew would be a huge undertaking, but also one that would change everything.
OnLive fundamentally transforms the way users experience games and interact with each other, and in time, will transform the way games are developed and marketed. By distilling specialized game hardware out of the equation, OnLive will allow games to be played as a pure media experience on virtually any device, with the same flexibility and instant-play experience that we’ve come to expect from online video and music.
For gamers, this means you never have to do anything for your gaming experience to keep getting better. And developers now can unleash unbounded creativity to deliver state-of-the-art gameplay that they know will reach virtually any gamer—instantly.
Today we also announced OnLive’s base service pricing, and a pretty cool special offer.
The base month-to-month service fee is $14.95. Loyalty programs (e.g. multi-month pricing) and other special offers will be announced by the start of E3. We’ve got a great special offer for starters: The first 25,000 qualified people to register on the OnLive Game Service will have their first 3 months’ service fee waived. You’ll find all the important details here, and note that the service fee does not include the purchase or rental of games.
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 à 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.
Initially, we’ll be offering the OnLive Game Service for PCs and Macs through a small browser plug-in. Later this year, we’ll announce the public availability of the MicroConsole™ TV adapter. And, we’ll be steadily expanding to other devices over time.
So, there it is. After a long and arduous journey, OnLive will be coming to a screen [really] near you.

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