OnLive Pre-Registration Opens With Freebies

The long awaited OnLive Game Service is just around the corner, scheduled for a June 17th launch, when they’ll begin activating “launch member” accounts. The OnLive Game Service is an on demand service for games, capable of delivering major game titles via home broadband. The best part? You don’t need a massive graphics card or large game download to play, just jump into a capable browser and start gaming!

Read on for more OnLive registration and gaming news.

Overview

If you haven’t heard of OnLive, it’s a cutting edge gaming service that was announced at the Game Developers Conference in 2009. The service is considered cloud computing as the game is stored and processed on a remote server and delivered to the user via browser or OnLive MicroConsole.

How OnLive Works

How OnLive Works

The major benefit of cloud-based gaming for users is they’ll no longer need powerful computer hardware or gaming consoles to play high-end games. Any computer capable of video streaming with an internet connection fast enough to support the service will be able to play OnLive. A 1.5Mbps broadband connection is the minimum requirement for standard definition while 5Mbps+ is required for high definition.

The next great benefit of cloud-based gaming is instant gaming. With OnLive you’ll no longer need to install games locally or wait long periods for games to load. It’s not clear at this time how many or what specific game titles will be available upon launch.

Game Titles

Game Titles

Pricing

Initial pricing appears to be set at $14.95 per month plus the cost of renting or purchasing games, though OnLive has begun sending out pre-registration “coupons” that include one year of free gaming service along with one free game purchase.

At $14.95 per month plus the cost of games (likely the same as a physical copy), the service may have a hard time winning over those who already own consoles or dedicated gaming rigs. However, the Mac crowd will likely welcome OnLive with open arms and massive smiles.

Pre-Registration Offer

If you’ve already registered to be invited to OnLive, you may receive a pre-registration offer including the one free year and one free game as mentioned above. These pre-registration invites include reserving your gamer tag and setting up your basic profile information.

Profile Setup

Profile Setup

Once OnLive launches on June 17th they’ll begin activating “launch member” accounts. Who are launch members? — Those completing the pre-registration invite offer, which closes June 3rd.

Pre-Registration Offer

Pre-Registration Offer

Hardware and Controllers

While you’ll be able to play via your computer (keyboard and mouse), you could optionally pick up OnLive’s MicroConsole for your TV or even compatible computer monitor. The MicroConsole gives you the added option of using OnLive’s gaming controller. Though it’s not clear

Controller and MicroConsole

Controller and MicroConsole

The MicroConsole will be able to connect up to four wireless controllers and bluetooth headsets for your typical console multiplayer gaming. It also has two USB ports for adding a keyboard and mouse. You would think the MicroConsole would be a relatively decent size, though smaller than today’s consoles, but it is in fact comparable in size to their wireless controller (likely smaller).

MicroConsole

MicroConsole

OnLive Demo

OnLive Crysis Demo

Final Thoughts

OnLive is a very promising gaming service, though it’ll be very interesting to see if lag will play a significantly detrimental roll in the service’s capabilities. It seems that they’ve spent a lot of time working to overcome many obstacles, such as lag, and the demos I’ve seen appear very playable. We’ll have to wait and see how it does in the hands of the hardcore gamers though.

Another potential issue OnLive may face is the bandwidth restrictions some ISPs are placing on their subscribers. For heavy gamers, a constant stream of 720p (or higher) video for hours will certainly consume bandwidth quite quickly.

Along with the benefits I’ve mentioned here, there are many more I didn’t mention such as no longer needing to worry about game updates and patches, immediate game availability, game demos before buying, etc. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this exciting new service and whether or not you were lucky enough to obtain this pre-registration offer. Thanks!

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  • Vincent

    Hmm… It says “Sorry! The OnLive Pre-Registration Offer is now closed.”

  • http://fromscratchto.com jon

    I hope they’re not charging full price for games. $59.99 for a game that you don’t actually recieve, plus $15 a month. If I cancel service do I lose the game?? That’s not good!

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