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OnLive US launch date, subs rate announced

11 Mar 2010

The developer of the controversial cloud-based gaming service OnLive has announced that the service will launch for PC and Mac platforms in the US on June 17th this year.

OnLive is a cloud-based gaming service that allows gamers to stream games where the processing and hardware is hosted elsewhere. It essentially negates the need for PC gamers to constantly upgrade their machines since all the processing work is handled by OnLive’s servers.

However, OnLive theoretically requires a substantial internet connection in order to deliver both a high-definition and lag-free gaming experience. Critics are skeptical of the service’s performance even in the US, let alone other countries with a lesser broadband infrastructure. However, OnLive developer Rearden Studios claims that the servers are calibrated in such a way that they will deliver video feeds with a ping of less than a millisecond. The service also makes use of a patented video-compression method that compensates for lag, jitter and packet loss.

The service will cost American users US$14.95 per month (approximately NZ$21) and games purchased or rented will net users an as yet unspecified additional cost on top of their subscriptions. OnLive also previously announced it would release a low-cost, “mini-console” that will offer non-PC gamers the same service. There is no news on the console version just yet, although OnLive CEO Steve Perlman advises that it will be launched at a later date that will be made public in the coming months.

OnLive will experience a number of upgrades as the service is rolled out, including support for full 1080p at 60 frames per second as the required bandwidth becomes available.

Perlman also promises that there will be a full demonstration of the final version of the service at E3 2010. There is no word yet as to whether the service will see a New Zealand release.

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