Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 4th Jan 2011 16:04 UTC
Games Ah, OnLive. This company is trying to bring streaming gaming to the mainstream, and has has just announced a pretty significant partnership with Vizio, the US' largest LCD TV seller. Vizo TVs, smartphones, tablets, and Blu-Ray players will all come equipped, out of the box, with OnLive's streaming service.
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OnLive for low-budget gamers?
by NexusCrawler on Wed 5th Jan 2011 10:05 UTC
NexusCrawler
Member since:
2009-02-11

"Even if OnLive gets games a few months after 'real' consoles, more casual gamers, or gamers with a tighter wallet, will still benefit greatly from the service."

I'm not sure about the "gamers with a tighter wallet" part. For now I don't see OnLive as a cheaper way to game.

Sure you don't pay the hardware, but you pay a monthly fee and you still have to pay for the games at full price whereas you don't have any local copy to play whenever you want (either physical on boxed DVD or digital on your hard disk) whereas the OnLive service will allow you to play the game only as long as they provide it. And be sure that they will stop providing it as soon as the game gets old or unpopular to make room for the newer releases.

OK since the beginning of the year they added a new 'PlayPack' plan where you have access to unlimited play to a whole catalog of games for a fixed monthly fee. However the latest releases won't be part of that plan, so basically it will get you access to games that are already discounted in real-life or digital shops, and you still have to pay full price for the new releases.

Now let's make myself clear here: I'm now saying that the OnLive service is a scam or anything like that. Far for it. I think it is a wonderful service that I am eager to try as soon as it will be available in Europe.

But I don't really see as a good deal for the low-budget gamers. From my point of view, the best deal is still to invest your money in only one game-system (be it a reasonably-priced PC or a console) and buy selected games when they gets cheaper.

However the OnLive service is great for:

- gamers looking for mobility: you can play from everywhere with the same experience with no hassle as long as the Internet connexion is good.

- gamers looking for simplicity: no hardware to buy or upgrade, no software to install or update, no DVD case to buy and store or whatever, all digital in the cloud. Some people already prefer buying a DRM-ed game on Steam rather than a DRM-free boxed game, because they can easily install the game on any of their Steam-ready computers.

- casual gamers: from Thom article. Not sure if it will attract casual gamers, I guess it's definitely a possibility given the simplicity that gives the system (cf. previous point) and since the OnLive catalog is not solely targeted at hardcore gamers. And if money isn't an issue for them, they may love to just pay monthly fees (the PayPack plan) and don't care about the rest. Even if it's not cheaper in the end, it's much more convenient and hassle free; just wander in the catalog and play what you like. If it doesn't please you then just change to another game instead of trying to get a refund and be mad at yourself for not giving a look at the demo or reviews of the game before buying.

- high-tech gamers with money: as long as money isn't an issue, I can see gamers that add OnLive to their existing list of game systems; those people usually have at home at least three game systems from the XBOX 360, PS3, Wii and PC, why wouldn't they add OnLive? If they can afford it, why not? Maybe at longer term it could replace their gaming PC but I guess they would keep buying regular title when Steam or the local store does exceptional prices on selected titles. Maybe they would buy a mobile PC running OnLive to replace the big gaming desktop PC.

Reply Score: 1

orestes Member since:
2005-07-06

You missed the real killer app potential, namely short-medium term rental services and possibly new content discovery.

Reply Parent Score: 2