Mini-Review: Onlive gaming service for Macs and PCs ditches monthly subscription fees

6 10 2010

What is Onlive?
If you’re not familiar with Onlive’s gaming service it’s basically a cloud computer gaming service. If you have a Mac running OS X 10.6 or a PC running a recent Windows flavor you can create an account for free and play a multitude of games all without downloading or installing the actual games onto your hard drive. Onlive originally had planned to offer their gaming service for around $15 buck per month plus game prices but announced yesterday there will be no monthly fee to play games using the Onlive service. You will still have to purchase games you want to play with several options available. Many games offer a free timed demo, discounted 3 to 5-day game-play passes or full purchases of the games for unlimited play. Onlive even offers a very interesting feature of letting you become a game voyeur allowing to watch other gamers in which you can gage if the game perks your interest or even pick up some playing style tips from them as well.

My Onlive test drive
I signed up, downloaded a small 10MB app and ran some games in demo mode on my iMac i5 and was pleasantly impressed with how fast I could access the games with lag-less game play and quality of the graphics and sound overall. You basically play the game in HD, 720p so you’re not gonna get, in my case, true 2560 x 1,440 resolution but very excellent graphics considering you are essentially streaming the entire game. My whole Onlive experience was pretty much flawless with nothing stalling or delaying me from getting to the games with regards to my initial registering and clicking on a game to play.

This opens up the doors to many wanna-be gamers or budget students whose computer systems are simply lacking in processor power, a pixel-crunching graphics card or limited storage space. I have heard some netbook users having a pretty good experience as well. Currently they offer close to 30 game titles with more being added soon and titles are varied including titles like: Assassin’s Creed II, Borderlands, Darksiders, Batman: Arkham Asylum, F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin, NBA 2K11 just to name a few.

Overall
I think Onlive offers a great service giving budget or wanna-be gamers a pretty easy way to test and play a variety of games on their non-gaming and gaming systems. I think it also gives hardcore gamers a sweet avenue to easily squeeze in more game time without having to download demos or trek down to a store. It also seems like Onlive is sincerely listening to gamers who are using their service and striving to accommodate their requests which is always welcome.

So there’s really not to much stopping any potential gamers out there from checking it out and getting their game on.

Mini-Review: Onlive Mac and PC gaming service


Mini-Review: Onlive Mac and PC gaming service 5 out of 5 stars
Product:
Onlive.com gaming service
Version:
Small 10MB App. download to play all the games, version: 246.61376
Cost: Service is free, you just pay for the games you want play
My take: "Drop dead easy way to get your game on!" -RiscX
Onlive login screen

Onlive login screen

Onlive sceen in spectator mode view gamer playing Mafia II

Onlive sceen in spectator mode view gamer playing Mafia II

Onlive screen shot in spectator mode watching a gamer playing Mafia II

Onlive screen shot in spectator mode watching a gamer playing Mafia II

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