OnLive launches $10/month gaming plan

Flat-rate PlayPack plan to launch on Jan. 15, 2011; will allow complete access to 40 games, including Prince of Persia, Tomb Raider, F.E.A.R. 2, and more.


In October, OnLive revealed it was scrapping its plans to charge a $15 monthly fee just to access its online gaming service. Today, though, it announced a new $10-per-month "PlayPack Plan" that will give access to not only the service, but an array of games starting on January 15, 2011. Those who own the OnLive microconsole (see below) can join the PlayPack Plan immediately in beta form.

OnLive's microconsole and controller.
OnLive's microconsole and controller.

Besides access to the game-streaming service, the PlayPack Plan's $10 monthly price tag carries with it entree to a 40-game library bearing some high-profile titles. These include Prince of Persia, NBA 2K10, Tomb Raider: Underworld, F.E.A.R. 2, Tom Clancy's HAWX, Unreal Tournament III, Wheelman, Lego Batman, and World of Goo. The company's five-day and three-day passes to single titles remain available, with prices ranging from $6 to $9. Prices for Full PlayPasses for a la carte titles vary from $4 to $50 and allow unlimited play of the game.

OnLive's announcement comes the same day it began shipping its TV-compatible microconsole to consumers. For $99, OnLive Game System purchasers will receive a microconsole TV adapter, an OnLive wireless controller, HDTV cables, and a Full PlayPass for any game on the OnLive Network. Previously, OnLive was only playable on PCs and Macs via a browser download.

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Avatar image for TurboGuru

AWESOME, weeee I can play games streaming through the interwebz..... oh ohhh spagehttios..... my internet has gone down, never mind, no multiplayer for me, I;ll just play some single player then...... SNAP!

Avatar image for krelmmaster

Another tempting offer from OnLive. All they need to do now is add more servers outside of the US. Living in the UK makes it impossible to use OnLive properly due to latency issues. If they bring the service to the UK soon then i will most definitely be using OnLive.

Avatar image for solus909

I think all gaming will take place online eventually but this service isn't gonna fly. Looking at their list, yeah, there's maybe one or two games that I missed that I wouldn't mind playing, but I'd just pick them up dirt cheap in the bargain bin and not have to worry about subscription fees or buying new hardware. There's far too much of a constant and seemingly endless supply of stellar new releases now. Unlike movies, games have a very, very short life so in order for a service like this to work, they MUST offer new releases which, seeing how game publishers protect their property, is unlikely -- for now. It would also be really tough at this point to decentralize gaming from the two big boys, Microsoft and Sony, because they've both developed very strong brands, a healthy competition that benefits both consoles, and achievements and trophies as well.

Avatar image for aGiantSquirrel

not a bad idea, but I dont think the market is ready for something like this yet. I do think that this will be the future of gaming to some extent, but not yet.

Avatar image for deactivated-591a658d5ed11

This kinda reminds me of the old Sega channel , lol

Avatar image for BetardxFoosier

$10 a month isn't bad. I usually spend $300 or so a year on games, so cutting it down to $120 wouldn't be bad at all. They just need to be able to incorporate new releases ASAP into their console for it to attract more users though. If I still liked console gaming, I'd definitely buy this, but since I've moved back to PC gaming, I can't use controllers effectively anymore :/

Avatar image for method115

@currymcflurry I think something like this will be the future but not the way onlive does it. People want to own the product they pay for in some way shape or form. The fact that we wont be using cd/dvds and all thats I do agree with though.

Avatar image for Megavideogamer

In a way having a On-live $10.00 paypass. Is akin to going to the arcade without going to an Arcade. Some of the games I bought for $10.00 Wheelman, Prince of Persia and Lego Batman. This is a workable plan for On-live. The $99.99 mirco-console is not available to be shipped where I live. Otherwise I would have tried this. Good way to see if the games are worth buying. Or at the very least being able to play all of the somewhat recent releases.

Avatar image for Venom341

I'm still waiting for an adapter that can let PS3 people play with 360 people or vice versa. THAT'S something I'd pay a lot of money for.

Avatar image for diggyman

I Agree with many of you. It's a great Idea and this is likely where gaming is headed, but just not right now. I admire their Gung-Ho efforts. Being the first to do something can pay off big. I'm just not sure if this is one of those times for them. We'll see... but I'm probably not getting it.

Avatar image for ManOfHorrer

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Avatar image for laplace985

nice idea but for an extra 5$ a month you can just go with gamefly and get unlimited access to all games on any system you own.

Avatar image for blakeney

@CurryMcFlurry People have thumbed you down, but you are right, this is where we are heading tech wise, cloud based computing is a reality now (the masses have most their music and pics either on their hdd or on a cloudbased setup), its only a matter of time untill hardware cloud based stuff takes off (onlive is the first of MANY). Then what you say about all our media going to/comming from a single box, will be very much a reality! People can thumb me down all they like, they are proberly still running windows 95 and using a dialup connection, in an attemped to hide from the future.

Avatar image for blakeney

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Avatar image for mpeg3s

Unless they get exclusive new AAA titles this will always be a 2nd or 3 tier platform for Mac owners or low tech PCs. If tech made platforms the PC would have won the race a long time ago. It's the games stupid!

Avatar image for Litchie

I don't understand how anyone could want to use this crap. The quality seriously stinks, from what I've seen.

Avatar image for acerpg007

@Evilnator Yup, and most people hate change or are afraid to accept change..

Avatar image for CurryMcFlurry

This is simply a case of the market not being ready for something as revolutionary as this. Although I 110% believe this is where the future is headed. In 10 years when Unlimited downloads and fibre optic net is the norm. Products like these will eat up consoles and gaming PC's. No doubt eventually all multimedia will be accessible through a single box.

Avatar image for Evilnator

I dont think this will do all that well.. It's too much of a change.

Avatar image for leviathanwing

does anyone else have the feeling that online employees and backers are camping out here voting all opinions down who question its viability and up for any positive comment whatsoever... no matter how benign and banal? you know somethings is amiss when "GOOOO ONLIVE!! WOOO!!!" gets like 10 thumbs up and a "ill wait on this" gets like 10 thumbs down.

Avatar image for fzd88

A service like this needs games. But look at their game list, it's obvious that many of the major publishers are not signing up. Onlive signed a few such as 2K, Ubisoft and Capcom. (or Onlive couldn't get the license as a reseller through the big publishers. I doubt they are going to the store to buy these . However, EA, Activision, Microsoft, Bethesda, etc. are all out of the picture. That means games such as Mass Effect 2, Dragon Age, Fallout 3, Crysis, COD, MW2, Need for Speed series, etc. will never appear on the list. These publishers probably have their own plans for "cloud gaming" so chances of them signing up will be slim.

Avatar image for Weddum

This service is great, but its simply far too ahead of its time. Even if it had a massive game library of thousands of games, most people wouldn't be able to use it because they either don't have a stable Internet connection or they have limited usage that the service would use in a day. If you ask me its probably better these guys put the project on hold for another 10 years or so when it becomes possible for most people to actually use it.

Avatar image for hasancakir

@Toysoldier34 I agree. I believe It has a lot of potential for the future but not for today. We just have to wait and see :)

Avatar image for Tony-Baxter

Crysis would make this service a winner!

Avatar image for Tony-Baxter

Lego batman? World of Goo? Was is this? 2008 again?

Avatar image for deactivated-5ae060efb3bf6

Let me think....uummm, PASS!

Avatar image for Toysoldier34

@hasancakir Yes I agree. I have OnLive but hardly use it mostly because I own every system and a very nice gaming PC. It has great potential, but people continue to bash it and it is suffering for it. While I don't foresee it being the future of gaming to me, it may be for others. And as gamers hoping something fails never really benefits us. We will just have to wait and see how it goes.

Avatar image for SkidRow18

not interested but i still give credits to them

Avatar image for hasancakir

@Toysoldier34 I understand. Then every system including Onlive has its advantages and disadvantages. I think we can talk about Onlive after a few years to compare it with others. It's still too early as I said.

Avatar image for aniMAXXX

release with MSG, Uncharted, Halo, GoW, Mario .....then i am in! *Slap-cheese-on-fanboys'-faces* ...I mean... its a great idea, but latency @ 'peak' hours, 'multi-platform' only games could be its drawback.

Avatar image for offspring94

A note to someone who thinks you have to re-buy onlive games every three years: WTF? Incorrect. The contract requires that onlive host the game for AT LEAST three years. That doesn't mean they'll take it away from you after three years. The CEO has personally stated that he doesn't think they'll ever have to boot old games off of the service. Anyway, it's not direct competition with console gamers. It targets a more casual market. For example, a few months ago, I rented Arkham Asylum for $7, played it and beat it on my netbook, and then moved on with my life. If I were the kind of person who wanted to exhaust every single detail of a game, I probably would have preferred a physical copy on a game console.

Avatar image for fzd88

Think of this service more like Cable Television. You pay a monthly fee and you get to watch whatever you want. However, you don't ever get to "own" any of the shows. If you do want to own them, you have to go buy the DVDs. And if you cancle the service, you can't watch the shows. Simple. OnLive has the right idea and this business model is no doubt the future of gaming (in 5+ years or so). They just have a big hurdle to overcome right now: - very limited game list - input lag - lower resolution - no mods, questionable DLC updates, patches, etc

Avatar image for SlowMotionKarma

@pogswarts I was referring to this $9.99/month deal. It's exclusive to the micro console. @bwgamer You should re-read the TOS you agreed to. You do not OWN anything you "purchase" on OnLive. You pay for a license to play said game for a set amount of time; 3 days, 5 days, or x years (depending on how long OnLive's license term is). If you do get the "unlimited", after the 3 or so years they don't have to renew the license (although they might) and you loose access to it. If OnLive closes up shop, you loose access to it. I'm certainly not knocking OnLive. I think they have a cool emergent game service that has a lot of potential to be a great way to access games on-the-go, or to have instant-gratification renting. But you DO NOT own anything you "buy" on the service. From the OnLive EULA: -OnLive or its licensors retain all rights, title and interests in and to the computer software and other materials comprising the Materials and the Service and all Intellectual Property Rights relating to any of the foregoing. -The Materials are licensed (and not sold) to you, and any and all rights not expressly granted to you in accordance with the provisions of Section 1 above, are reserved by OnLive and its licensor(s). -Component Parts. The Materials are licensed for use by you as a single, integrated product, and the aggregate parts of the Materials may not be separated for use in any other application(s)...

Avatar image for AugMcDog66

i like the idea of buying the game digitally personally because im one of those people who loses ALL of my video games. With OnLive i dont hav to worry about losing games because they're on my system! So personally i love it.

Avatar image for UFO2012

I rather have a real copy of a game in my hand than all this downloadable online stuff. Don't get me wrong I have no problem with downloading add ons and map packs and other stuff but as a collector I'm a sucker for hard copies and the way this is going is making me worried that in the end there will only be downloadable games and no more hard copies.

Avatar image for imprezawrx500

Not interested, far to expensive for old game with lag and eats up all my internet in a day.

Avatar image for MagusIM

Lag is always going to be an issue, unless we figure out a way to force the spin of a electron entangled pair and break an FTL limit we will have lag. Now this things is going to have even more lag. You press a button on your control it then compacts the message sends it to the reciever then sends that message to OnLive cloud. which then ports it to the appropriate game then the game responds to message and creates a packet of visual data to be send back down the stream to you. Once you receive the packet which I assume is encrypted or compressed you decompress and or decrypt and display on your screen. These issues are not unique to OnLive as even your offline game must send messages from your control to your console and from your console to the screen. However this would add more than double to already present delay.

Avatar image for theprocess420

You don't have to pay the $10 monthly fee to access the's an option. Basically you pay for the $10 playpack for a month to access 15 games or so... OR you can buy games a la carte if you wish. The fact that I can play this on my HDTV or on my MAC beats any console any day.Sure it's not perfect...yet. In the least it's a free service that let's you try out games before you buy. Is there a reason why people are inclined to play the NEWEST games right now? Just cause 2 is a lot of fun...

Avatar image for Hvac0120

I recently signed up for Onlive, but I haven't paid a cent. I haven't even played a demo on the service yet. They are certainly lacking in the number of titles available. If the plan allows for unlimited access to any of the games in their library and can be accessed by PC's in January, then this is a decent deal. If enough people buy into it, then it is more likely that more games will be added to the service because publishers will see it as another revenue source. I'm still reserved about OnLive. When I connect I get an error that my connection isn't in close enough proximity to their servers and I may experience connection problems. I tested my connection speed and it was 22Mbps down, 13Mbps up. So it's definitely a problem with connecting to their server. However, the connection error didn't seem to effect my experience. I was able to go into the spectator area and view people playing the games (seems to be a lot playing Assissins Creed). They show something like 10 vids at once and everything played very smooth. The menus and options loaded fast. I'll still hold reservations, but I think they've got a decent start. I want physical copies of the games I own, but this could be a new way for me to rent games.

Avatar image for lock445

OnLive could land in hot water by Activision or Microsoft... This is an AMAZING deal, and could revolutionize the economics and pricing structure of video games.

Avatar image for akgraves069

Marcus just so you know you do NOT speak for the entire gaming community. I would rather have an online service that had the games I want to play versus having a bunch of game disks and boxes laying around, so does that mean I'm not a real gamer? Maybe you should speak for yourself and not pretend that you know what everyone else prefers.

Avatar image for robbob1212

We are being striped of our right to keep things digital? Man, they'll be selling us air in no time!

Avatar image for robbob1212

Who in their right mind is going to pay money for something you can't hold in your hand?? If I don't have a disk or I am able to download it to a hard drive for my money, what am I getting?

Avatar image for N0tYrBeezin

@bwgamer You just come across too much like a OnLive employee to me!

Avatar image for japanesegoth

and is it just me or do some people commenting seem to work for OnLive? lol

Avatar image for japanesegoth
japanesegoth pay all this money over time then when you don't want to/can't pay anymore, poof, bye bye games. no thanks. i'll stick with the physical copy. besides, the games they listed can be bought for like $20 in stores..

Avatar image for shrink45

Damn, I wish I got the free console around Black Friday while I could.

Avatar image for Arther-la-Blunt

Great idea. The library seems kinda limited though.

Avatar image for Toysoldier34

@hasancakir The difference between the 3 services is: On Live your subscription only gives you access to the service where you still have to pay for everything you do. With OnLive the service is free where you pay for the games you want very much like PSN. Although, with OnLive they offer this new monthly service where you pay the subscription and get access to every game on there, much like PSN+. Since with PSN+ you pay a subscription and get some content free with some other bonuses. OnLive still has a free side but now they have this as a great deal.

Avatar image for IrshDrkWlf

@kerrman I have never been a big fan of XBL, being forced to pay to play games online that have no subscriptions just never appealed to me when I can play those same games online for free on PC or PS3 at the same quality. I have played on XBL as well and the quality is not any different, paid subscriptions suffer from lag and new games still have online problems first day free or paid. PSN Plus actually has good games for free and they change monthly; they vary from PSX and PSN games to DLC and themes/wallpapers.