Is it the future of gaming? No one’s certain yet, save perhaps for OnLive themselves. OnLive, which renders high-end games on a series of servers located remotely at their datacenter and then streams the video content to computers across the country, has come out with a new comeback against criticisms of its dubious value.
The new service, called PlayPack, will cost gamers $9.99 a month, and for that ten-dollar fee, you get to game as much as you want. Of course, not every game is on the service – PlayPack seems to be oriented toward getting money for some of those older or less popular games, like Prince of Persia, Tomb Raider: Underworld and LEGO Batman, among other indie and classic games.
To help gamers play, OnLive recently started shipping a $99 OnLive Game System, which is a tiny box that connects to HDTVs and lets users access anything available from the OnLive service. More interesting, perhaps, is the new OnLive iPad app. Before you get your hopes up, the iPad does not support actually playing games – it’s limited to watching others (either your friends or random strangers) play games, live.
This voyeuristic service is something that OnLive has offered from the start, and brings to mind the old days of getting a group of friends around one TV with one controller as everyone cheers that one person on. At E3, OnLive specifically mentioned that a full-fledged game-playing iPad would likely never see the light of day, since it would wrest control of programming content out of Apple’s hands.
That’s not to say it can’t do it, however – in their booth, the staff had an iPad that could actually play games. So it’s out there, waiting. The OnLive team also mentioned that an Android client for the new OnLive Viewer was in the works. For those who like to dream, Android wouldn’t offer the same barriers to a playing app that iOS does, so an Android tablet client isn’t entirely out of the question.
Stay tuned for our upcoming look at the OnLive Game System and PlayPack.