FOCUS: OnLive

Ben Parfitt
FOCUS: OnLive

Firstly, can we go over your GDC announcements?

We have made several major announcements, including:
 
Launch date: On Thursday, June 17th, 2010, OnLive will begin rolling out the PC and Mac versions of the OnLive Game Service to consumers throughout the 48 contiguous United States. We’re excited to get this into consumers’ homes at ever-increasing rates.
 
Pricing model: The OnLive Game Service will be supported by a monthly service fee of $14.95, which provides access to an ever-increasing library of high-end, new release game content and a host of exclusive community features such as Brag Clips and massive spectating. Individual titles will be available for purchase or rental on an a la carte basis.

Specific game pricing, including rentals, purchases and loyalty programs, will be announced prior to the consumer launch event at E3. We’ll also be announcing additional loyalty and discount programs for consumers in the coming months.

Major publisher support:
OnLive is being supported by and will offer content from the biggest, most influential publishers in the world. This list includes Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Take-Two Interactive, THQ and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.

Specific titles, pricing and revenue share models will be made public closer to the E3 launch. We’re very pleased with the degree of publisher support received to date and have seen a rise in publisher interest in the OnLive Game Service as their focus begins shifting dramatically toward digital distribution.

Titles: While the official list of launch titles will be announced at a later date, I can reveal that a few of the anticipated games include Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed II and Prince Of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, as well as THQ’s Metro 2033. We’re seeing the pace of title commitments accelerate dramatically as we approach our consumer launch.
 
What’s the most important thing that you have learned from the beta program?

Our primary goal has been to make OnLive accessible and enjoyable for the largest audience possible so at the outset we focused on testing the service in a variety of situations and configurations.

In addition to the technical data, we’ve also been asking each of our testers to provide detailed reports about their personal experiences. Which features do they love? What does the game service need that it doesn’t have? This feedback was equally as important as everything we found from the technical and configuration side and has helped us progress from a technology incubator to a ready-for-primetime consumer service.

It was during the beta phase, for example, that we learned how intensely gamers valued the ‘instant play’ capability of the service whereby a user can move in and out of games, spectate other players, send messages, and so on – all with virtually no delay.

The ‘experience now’ generation has clearly arrived.
 
You’re focusing heavily on the PC and Mac client but only make a passing reference to the upcoming MicroConsole. Is it still a part of the OnLive strategy?

The ability to stream games directly to the living room via the MicroConsole TV adapter is a fundamental part of our strategy and a huge component of the OnLive story over the long term.

The MicroConsole is a major part of our beta program and we’ve made some key developments on customizing and evolving the system over the past year.

Has the MicroConsole been delayed? And if so, when can we expect it to be made available?

For the initial rollout of the consumer service, we are focusing on delivering high-performance games to PCs and Macs and we will be making an announcement regarding our plans for the MicroConsole rollout later on in the year.

What are the main geographical and setup factors that contribute to the best-possible connection?

As with any dynamic-media delivery model, the faster a consumer’s connection the better the overall performance of the service will be.

However, in OnLive’s case, the technology framework enables the delivery of a first-class experience over almost any home broadband-connected PC or Mac. For the optimal performance, a user needs to be within around 1,000 miles of one of our OnLive data centres.  
 
Are there any high-profile OnLive exclusive titles currently in development with any of your partners, excluding classical, indie or casual games?

While we can’t comment on games currently in production, the OnLive SDK is being used by a host of developers, both big and small, and we expect original, exclusive gaming content to be a major component of our service moving forward.
 
Finally, what’s the timetable for a European launch?

We are very focused on launching the service in the US at the moment, but stay tuned for our European plans.

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