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OnLive Founding Members get a free year

Gaming is a huge business and many companies sell the hardware at a loss to get the software business on the back end. This is how Sony positioned the PS3 for a long time, though with each successive update Sony inches closer to profitability with the console.

The future of video games may not center around a console or a PC, assuming the gaming hoards have access to the internet at speeds to prevent lag and poor graphics with cloud-based offerings such as OnLive.

OnLive is advertising a Founding Members program that offers a free year of service to those who quality. After the first year of service, there member will be able to buy a second year of service at $4.95 per month on a month-to-month basis. OnLive states no purchase is necessary for the free year, but those chosen for the free year will have to put a credit card on file.

The free year is subject to availability and only a limited number of spots are offered in different regions of America. At launch OnLive will offer over 20 game titles including Assassin’s Creed 2, Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands and Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction from Ubisoft; Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age: Origins from Electronic Arts; Batman: Arkham Asylum and Just Cause 2 from Square Enix; Borderlands, NBA 2K10 and MLB 2K10 from Take Two; Red Faction: Guerilla from THQ; Fear 2: Project Origin from Warner Bros. Interactive Games.

The service will get new games "constantly" according to OnLive.

OnLive was first demonstrated back at GDC2009. The service promises to stream high-end games from cloud servers to low end PCs and straight to TVs. Games that are offered on the service are some of the more graphically impressive titles that have been launched over the last few years. OnLive promises that the games can be streamed in up to 720p resolution at 60 fps. However, some early reviews of the service found issues with lag.

In September of 2009, OnLive secured additional funding to complete the back-end systems needed to host the games and announced that it was nearing a beta offering.

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Lag concerns were not a factor in Beta
By Red Storm on 6/18/2010 6:57:51 PM , Rating: 2
I got to try OnLive during it's beta run, and I was definitely expecting some noticeable lag while gaming. However, I experienced no lag at all during the many times I tried it. It was pretty cool being able to play Crysis on a Bootcamp MacBook while still having good graphics. It's definitely a service aimed at those who do not have high end video cards or high resolution screens.

However, I personally don't see myself using OnLive much. I'm the kind of guy who buys a few games each year and plays & replays the hell out of them for a good while. Also, I love modding and that's just not possible with OnLive.

That being said, it definitely is a cool service, all they need is more games and a cheaper price (I may try and get in on this free for a year deal).

By ET on 6/20/2010 7:52:30 AM , Rating: 2
I think it'd be really appealing if it could allow games on netbooks via wifi. The current technical FAQ says that the service requires a wired network and a dual core CPU, though it does say that wifi is technically possible, and I remember there being a promise to go down to 1.5Mbps in the future.

I find the idea of an instant on game on any device really appealing, it's just that I want it to work reasonably even under suboptimal conditions. I don't mind losing some quality even just to be able to play a game on a netbook at a fast food restaurant or wherever.

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