OnLive was one of my personal highlights of last years GDC and the service made another announcement at this year’s outing. OnLive will finally launch on June 17th in the United States at a monthly subscription fee of $14.95. Loyalty and multi-month pricing will be announced at E3 later this year. There are currently no details on how much extra rentals and purchases of games will be.
The cloud computing service could steal a lot of Sony and Microsoft’s motion tech thunder if it becomes a hit. But why can it also fail?
I raise this question for one specific reason, pricing. At 15 bucks a month an OnLive subscription will get consumers many features such as instant play demos of all games, cross platform multiplayer (PC, MAC, OnLive Mini Console), Brag Clips and spectating but there is a hook – no rentals are included. I can perfectly understand that full purchases will cost us money but why rentals? I can pay 15 Dollars a month and get unlimited rentals from GameFly or Gamerang including console exclusives which WON’T be available on OnLive. I believe the pricing structure for game rentals will be a pivotal point for OnLive’s success. If consumers have to shell out an additional 8 bucks or so to rent a game this service will cost a lot of hard earned cash.
Will consumers buy into cloud gaming or will they look elsewhere if an annual subscription can cost us up to 180 Dollars to simply play demos ‘instantly’?
I personally have a problem with this unless a weekly rental is sub 3 Dollars or the monthly fee is decreased since 180 bucks only provide limited access to this gaming platform. Sure, the service will allow owners of mediocre spec computers to play games like Burnout Paradise and Crysis but the cost at accessing the service might be too high.
OnLive also announced that the first 25,000 people who pre-register here can get 3 free months of OnLive to get a taste. Hurry and sign up!