OnLive …. D.O.A.?

Posted by Murphys Law on June 28, 2010

OnLive …. D.O.A.?

So let me start this off by saying OnLive works for all practical purposes when it comes to gaming.  I was a pretty big skeptic, but I am a believer in the tech.  It is solid and it really does provide a good gaming experience for the average consumer.   I signed up to their initial registration, and have explored the services top to bottom.

The initial list of games are not all that impressive and basically are a smattering of cross platform games that will have a fairly broad appeal.  However their is no “killer game” on their list.   Everything on there is old and or at minimum available elsewhere.   Coming games seem to be a much better step in the right direction with the likes of Home-front and Red Faction Armageddon they certainly will have that day one appeal.

Pricing of the service still seems to be getting worked out.  So far game costs seem to compare with retail stores.  This is a bit of a sticky point for me as you never own any of the games outright.  You buy the license to play them which for many right now goes until 2013.  So pricing feels steep compared to owning a disc.   Service will run $14.95 a month and again feels a tad steep considering you are still paying full boat on the games.  They do offer up a nice 3 or 5 day rental option as well as free demos on most of the games so buyers can at least get a sense of what they are getting before jumping in.

So the tech works great, pricing seems to be a bit of a niggle and the games list is decent but promising for down the road… so whats not to like really at this early stage?

I was part of the initial promo group that was offered up a full year and a free game code of my choice.  Sweet right?  Well, after getting my initial invite to register (which I did using my Comcast email address) I was told to wait for a coming email with instructions on how to register and my game code.   A full week went by with no such email and so I took matters into my own hands and registered up and got the service up and running.  So far so good, just a little annoying.   Well about this time I  switched over my service provider from Comcast to ATT U-verse.   I figured this would be simple enough to deal with so I began searching for how to do this as I still hadnt got my free game code and didn’t want to miss out.  After trying numerous ways to edit my profile to no luck I finally broke down and called them.  My customer support rep informed me that at the moment they had a technical issue and customers couldn’t switch emails.  What?  I asked him to repeat that and he told me that it was through no fault of my own but as of now and the pending future, your account was directly tied to the email you gave them on sign up…AND COULD NOT BE TRANSFERED TO A NEW EMAIL.  Now I am no rocket scientist but I think its pretty clear that this is a huge issue for them and could lead to legal issues once you actually have paying customers whom need to transfer their accounts for what ever reason.   He also told me that although I was on their list for getting a promo code for a game that it would most likely be sent to the email address on the account and if I couldn’t get it then I was out of luck.   Lastly, if I wanted to use my new email…I would have to set up a new account and wouldn’t be part of that initial offering they already gave me.

So now that the waters of OnLive are becoming clearer in terms of what it will offer and deliver versus what was promised its clear, they have many growing pains ahead of them if they are to succeed.   Are they D.O.A.?  Not quite, but I see the medic has the defibrillator out and at the ready.

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4 Responses to “OnLive …. D.O.A.?”

  1.  Chris says:

    I have used the OnLive service and have two primary impressions. First, the interface is awesome. Steam is good in terms of organization, but OnLove also has the organization thing AND a kick-ass futuristic graphical browsing system.

    My gripe with OnLive (and this is a deal breaker in terms of using the service on a regular basis) is that the game play is laggy. Remember, you are essentially playing a game on a remote computer. Single player FPS games like FEAR3 and Batman have lags and momentary stutters that are like what one gets from online multiplayer with 100+ ping. There is a constant delay between pushing a button and the resulting action that makes gameplay feel almost unplayably sluggish.

    Given that one could purchase the game for the same price that OnLive charges, the benefit to Onlive at this point seems to be purely a savings of hard drive space. I hope that the service continues and that they find solutions to all of their problems. I think that the service has a lot of potential.

  2.  DukeSkath says:

    Very interesting.. I’m amazed they’re charging the same for games as retail discs; that’s just silly.

    The convenience would be nice, but it’s not worth $15 a month. Thhbpt!

  3.  beandip says:

    I have to agree that the monthly cost of the service needs to be removed. I understand that it is their servers that are doing the work and they need to be compensated for cpu time, but it doesn’t make much sense to pay a monthly fee just to access the games that I have purchased outright. Also, I have no problem using them as a rental service, once again it is still hard to swallow the initial monthly cost; I’d rather put that toward a MMO.

  4.  Murphys Law says:

    Sorry friend, I dont know. I run a cabled connection myself and still saw the niggle of lag but that ironically wasn’t durring gameplay but durring a brag clip.

    As for wifi… The main issue with Wifi is that you need a 5mbs connection. Typically Wifi isn’t that fast. I know some people are running the wifi on PC but I havent heard how they did it. I would suggestion doing a google search on the topic and see what you can find.

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