OnLive's PlayPack subscription service moves out of beta

By on February 2, 2011, 9:00 AM
It took a couple of weeks more than originally expected but OnLive's all-you-can-eat PlayPack plan has just moved out of beta and is now available to anyone for a monthly fee of $10. The pioneer of on-demand instant-play video games first announced the move in December and is hoping to disrupt the gaming market as it exists today, much in the way Netflix disrupted DVD rentals and sales when it offered monthly subscriptions for its catalog of movies.

There are 38 games in the current line-up for PlayPack, though more will be added on a regular basis according to the official site. They are different from the stand-alone game offerings, which tend to be newer and more popular titles, but still include some noteworthy games such as F.E.A.R. 2, the original Bioshock, and the indie hit World of Goo.


First time members will get the initial month for free, and like all OnLive titles, PlayPack games play instantly on TVs, via the $99 MicroConsole system, or on a PC or Mac via a small browser download. Access via Android tablets, smartphones and Blu-ray players will reportedly be available soon. OnLive will continue to offer its current free trials, three- and five-day rentals, and Full PlayPass options for la carte new-release games in addition to the new flat-rate plan.




User Comments: 5

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TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

You know, on the surface, this looks like a great business model. But in the end I think it's going to fail. If this had come out 5 years ago I think it would have had a shot.

First you have the PC gamers which will have nothing to do with this due to limitations (limited game selection, no mouse/keyboard option and only 720p graphics). So basically, they're counting on potential console users to buy this.

But consoles don't just play games. They play blu-rays, have the motion detectors, online access, etc. They're not going to be interested either.

If this had come out at the same time as when the XBox and PS3 were released, think it would have had a shot. But now? Wouldn't be surprised if the whole thing goes belly-up within a year.

Johny47 said:

I don't think this will fail and I hope it doesn't, 9.99 a month is brilliant value for money. Just imagine if people like console gamers or just people who are new to games and don't have the money to buy a gaming PC or console, as it says you can try it free for a month to see if you like it.

This is like the love film of the gaming world, well done, now only time will tell how good it will be.

RaiDeR55 said:

Yes you can use keyboard /mouse combo on yer PC or the little black box.Which has 2 usb ports for that or you can use that hand controller..

My question is if you play a multiplayer game in there, can others(friends) join in game too?Or is it walled garden,stuck playing against players that are on Onlive only?? Which is kinda lame..

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Right now the Netflix analogy holds true if Netflix sent you 4.39 GB rips of regular movies. They send you regular copies of the movies, so you're getting the same product as in the store.

When they're able to offer games at the same quality and user experience as players who are running the games on regular hardware, then they might have a shot.

I just don't see the long term value here either. You can pick up a console for about two hundred bucks, at which point you can pay the same amount for games, and not worry about lag or anything.

And once the technology matures enough where you can deliver games with no noticeable difference between streaming and local games, then Steam, Games for Windows, Direct2Drive, GamersGate, etc, will begin offering those services anyway, and with their huge built in customer bases, blow Onlive out of the water.

The only way they would survive is if they sell brand new games at a substantial discount to the other companies, which will never happen. I can buy all these old games on Steam for a fraction of their full price, and play them locally whenever I want.

Tomorrow_Rains said:

I agree With Tom.

Massive Fail.

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