OnLive Now Makes Less Sense
OnLive was once a decent-enough idea (a PC games service that streams the games to you), but we’re now struggling to figure out why anyone would use it. First, it requires a dualcore processor and an active 5mbps download connection, and you’d think those with dualcores wouldn’t need this streaming service because they have computers actually capable of playing the games. Second, it’s not really cost-effective. Or, it’s not really not cost-effective, but it just seems pointless to do it like this. Hit that jump, brah.
Here’s the deal: you pay five bucks a month to use the service. Then you can rent games for three or five days or forever. And you have to keep your subscription to play the games. The short-term rental prices are about like what you would find at a Blockbuster, and the prices on the forever rentals are exactly what you would find at a store for a copy that doesn’t come with subscription-based DRM.
For example, Borderlands costs $5.99 to play for three days, $8.99 to play for five days and $29.99 to play forever. And then five bucks a month.
Look, I get why this model costs what it does. On top of selling games, OnLive has to pay for constant server upkeep and maintenance, because the entire company depends on that. And so a subscription fee is absolutely necessary.
However, I pay $30 per month for Gamefly, and from that service I get three games at a time. That’s $360 a year. That sounds like a lot, but I play 40-50 games a year, so I’m actually saving a lot of money. Now, if OnLive charged, say $50 a month and let you play whatever you want whenever you want, it would be a fantastic deal. It would work, and it would keep the servers running. And it wouldn’t matter if you lost access because the service goes under or it loses some game licenses, because at no point would it feel like you’re paying to own a game, as it does presently.
But, hey, I’m just a kid from Alabama with no fancy schmancy college degree, so I couldn’t possibly be right, right?
If you want more details, head over to Eurogamer, where they have more games prices. I’d have all this myself, but my ennui toward OnLive is so strong I forgot to activate my account three weeks ago.