It's been almost a year since OnLive first unveiled its ambitious games-on-demand service at the 2009 Game Developers Conference. Now, after going through a rather limited "public" beta stage and facing both praise and skepticism, the company is getting ready for a commercial roll out on June 17. According to an official announcement today, OnLive will launch in the 48 contiguous United States and will cost $14.95 per month.
That fee, however, only includes playing demos, several social features, and watching other people's games in real time. If you want to play a game yourself, they are offering the option to buy or rent for an additional lower-than-retail price. OnLive's games library will include between one and two dozen titles from the likes of Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, 2K Games, THQ, and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.
There have been some concerns regarding the service's quality but the company is promising a fluid and lag-free experience – clearly they have a lot to live up to. Standard-definition games will reportedly require a 1.5Mb/s connection, while 1080p high-definition gaming at 60 frames should be available sometime in 2011 and will require 5Mb/s. OnLive will initially be available on Windows and Mac OS X systems through a small browser plug-in, with a MicroConsole that can be attached directly to HDTVs arriving later this year.