At GDC 2010, details concerning OnLive, the streaming video game service, were made available.
Often considered little more than a fantasy, OnLive is currently taking pre-registration for launch of the service in the “48 contiguous United States!” on June 17, 2010.
Initially, OnLive will only hit the PC and Mac; the micro-console revealed at last year’s GDC won’t be ready for launch, so you’ll have to have a high-speed internet-capable computer to get access to OnLive.
The streaming game service will cost consumers a monthly fee of $14.95. This price could go down with a multi-month purchase and other “special” offers as yet unrevealed.
Disappointingly, whatever you end up paying for the service, it won’t get you access to any games; you’ll have to shell out additional funds to rent or purchase titles. This is not the fee structure we were initially envisioning; i.e. games on demand for a flat-rate fee.
Essentially, OnLive, at least at launch, will be a beefed up Steam (except you won’t have to have a quality gaming rig). A lot of important publishers are set to back the service at its outset, however, so we expect it to be a viable service shortly. Certainly there are a lot of potential gamers out there with less-than-stellar computers just itching to play quality new releases.
Launch software and industry big boys supporting the service include: Mass Effect 2, Dragon Age Origins, Assassin's Creed II, Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, Borderlands, Metro 2033, and more; Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, 2K Games, THQ, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, and more.
Below you’ll find the official blog post published by OnLive’s Founder and CEO, Steve Perlman.
After almost 8 years of development, thousands of partner meetings, millions of lines of code, and an uncountable number of all-nighters…
Drum roll please…
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.
—Steve Perlman, OnLive Founder & CEO
GDC 2010: OnLive Dated, Detailed, and Priced!