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OnLive Just Got A Whole Lot Better – $9.99 a Month for Unlimited Gaming

Want to play PC games from your couch and not have to shell out much cash to do it? OnLive has the hookup. There’s a catch, but it’s still pretty slick.

The OnLive service was announced a few years back. At the time, it seemed like another one of those completely impractical ideas. It lets people play games on the cloud, streaming them the way you’d stream a movie. OnLive doesn’t require a fancy PC or a great graphics card – all you need is a decent internet connection.

The service finally hit, and it works well for those with the right connection. I get 5-7 Mpbs on average, and I’ve successfully played trial versions of OnLive games without too much hassle. Some work better than others due to latency, but everything’s fairly smooth.

For those without a PC, OnLive launched a system that connects to the OnLive service for $99. It’s small, it’s slick, and it comes with a controller and a free game. It was a nice setup at first, but today things just got a whole lot better.

OnLive system owners now have access to the PlayPack plan. It’s a $9.99 a month plan that gives you free access to a variety of games. It was like the Blockbuster on Demand of games before – charging full price for each title. Now it’s more like Netflix.

The downside is that, like Netflix, there’s no access to brand new titles with the subscription plan. There are plenty of good games like ‘Lego Batman’, ‘F.E.A.R. 2′, ‘Prince of Persia’, and ‘World of Goo’, but nothing new.

OnLive’s PlayPack plan is free until January 14th, and the company says that more games are on the way.

The service may not appeal to the hardcore gamer who wants everything Day One, but it seems great for those catching up on some older titles. The real test is how often the plan is updated, and how good the added games are.

3 comments

  1. I saw that they had a gaming system on a commercial earlier this week. It sounds like you have had hands on experience with it. So, is it like old PC games, console games, etc? What are the graphics capabilities of said machine? I am extreamely intrigued by this as a casual gamer, and I would dump my one-game out at a time with Blockbuster in a heartbeat for an OnDemand service like Netflix.

    Key questions – do they have Katamari, Zelda, and Mario?

    • Well you’re right on top of it then :)

      I haven’t used the console version, but the PC version is available free and I gave that a whirl. You can only play 30 minutes of a game before you buy it, but it’s enough to see if the service is going to work well.

      I strongly considered buying games on OnLive rather than upgrade my computer. Looking at their library though, I didn’t find enough that I liked. Plus Blizzard games aren’t on there, and that’s a must for me.

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