If you’ve been to any gaming blog in the past year chances are you’ve ran across the name Onlive. If you’ve read any of those articles the brief summary has always been, “This is the future.” Well, if your one of the ones who don’t visit gaming blogs often, or maybe you didn’t open that article let me tell you about Onlive in a nutshell. Basically they’re offering a service where you can stream games straight to your PC, Mac, or Television set. There’s no special device needed, unless you stream to you TV, and there’s also no download required. With no download required you’ll be able to pick your game and play it almost instantaneously. Right now they offer a monthly plan that covers about 60+ games for $10 a month. It is a pretty good deal for that quantity, I don’t feel ready to subscribe myself, but that’s due to other games on my plate. I figure if you can find at least 4-5 games you want to play, as long as you’re not taking a month to beat each game, it would be a worth while investment.
If you do a ‘Onlive vs _____’ search into google, you find that a lot of people have been comparing the service to Steam. While I can understand this comparison, a far better one would have been to Gamefly and Blockbuster. Gamefly’s charges $15.95 for one game out at a time. It will take time to get to your house, time to beat, and time to ship back before your able to play your next game. People justify this with the fact that you might be playing $60 games, but chances are you’ll never get the game you really want to play on your queue. When Onlive gets a slightly better collection, or gets a few new titles to go straight to their monthly plan they’ll be able to give Gamefly a scare.
The negatives of Onlive are you’re relying on the streaming. How many times have you been watching a Netflix movie and had to rebuffer? I’ve seen people talk about a delay in character movement from the buttons they’re pressing, which can make all the difference some fast paced shooters. There’s also quality, if your saying everyone can play it regardless of their hardware, what exactly are we giving up? How far back do the graphics have to go to make a game able to stream? Also Gamefly will always have the cartridge advantage. I don’t think it’ll be any time soon that we can stream a DS or 3DS game without if feeling just wrong.
Onlive reminds me of Gametap, I’m only hoping they can do something a bit more. Gametap you’d have to download the game you want to play and you’d also have to have a computer you could run it, Onlive lets you be an any set up to play the game you want to play. This could open up gaming to more individuals who just never had the money to go out and get an amazing gaming desktop. As more and more people get into this idea of streaming games will be sure to see their library triple in size. Providing people with an economical way to game is great, I hope to see this service grow larger so by the time I’m done with my backlog I can play some more titles.