OnLive plans to start selling its gaming console for $99 on
Thursday, with delivery starting on Dec. 2.
OnLive lets players stream video games over the Internet using
technology similar to what is already used to stream movies.
Games can be rented or bought with prices ranging from $4 to
$50. OnLive offers 3-day or 5-day rentals and Full PlayPasses
for the latest new-release titles, together with an upcoming
flat-rate plan for unlimited access to the library of games and
indie titles that will be available later this year.
At its launch, the OnLive Game System bundle will include a free
game, the MicroConsole TV adapter, an OnLive Wireless Controller
and all the cables needed for a current HDTV. Users will just
have to plug in power, TV and Internet, sync their Wireless
Controller and log in.
Streaming games is more difficult than music and movies because
they cannot be compressed into smaller files before they are
sent over a broadband connection. Since they are interactive,
video games require an immediate reaction to the player's
actions. According to OnLiv'es Beta testers, going from opening
the box to playing a game in under 3 minutes. And after that
first installation, from power-on to game start is as little as
15 seconds. Once connected to OnLive, most games start in less
than 2 seconds, OnLive claims.
The OnLive gaming system plays games instantly without discs,
downloads or updates needed. Users will be able to test-drive
games and if they like them, they will be able to convert the
trial into a rental or Full PlayPass instantly without having to
start from the beginning. In addition, users will have the
chance to watch live gameplay instantly played from everywhere,
check out player profiles and "Friend" them.
The gaming performance is defined by OnLive?s data centers?not
by the player's local hardware. The MicroConsole TV adapter is
1080p60, 3D TV-compatible and can be connected to a TV through
HDMI or component video. It supports digital audio, surround
sound through HDMI or optical and is equipped with
low latency wireless or wired controllers. The device is also
Bluetooth or USB headset-compatible for both in-game and
out-of-game voice chat while it is also silent and energy-saving
The OnLive Wireless Controller has been ergonomically designed
to minimize fatigue and carefully weighted for comfort and
performance. Exclusive media controls give users direct control
of video, including snapping Brag Clip videos at the touch of a
button. Variable-rate rumble also give users the feel of the
game as you play.
Users who have PlayPasses for OnLive games on their PC and Mac
can play those games on their MC and vice-versa. Some games
require a keyboard or mouse, which users can hook up to the MC.