SL Go: New Pricing, Support for More Countries

Posted in Game Releases, OnLive 2014 on April 3, 2014 by Rick Sanchez


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It’s been almost a month since we launched the beta of SL® Go, our mobile viewer for Second Life®, and the response from the SL community has been very positive. Second Life residents have said they love being able to access Second Life in full 3D using Wi-Fi or 4G LTE on a tablet or lightweight laptop. We also know they want a subscription plan with unlimited usage and would like broader international access.

So today, we’re releasing updates that will allow more people to experience SL Go and that offer more choices and flexibility in our pricing.

SL Go updates (effective immediately):

  • Monthly unlimited usage subscription plan for $9.95US/£6.95UK. No commitment – cancel anytime
  • Reduced hourly rates – only $1US/£0.70UK per hour (the free 20-minute trial remains in effect)
  • Expanded international support: now 36 countries (listed below)

SL Go is now supported in the following countries:

Andorra France Lithuania San Marino
Austria Greece Luxembourg Slovakia
Belgium Hungary Malta Spain
Canada Iceland Monaco Sweden
Croatia Ireland Netherlands Switzerland
Cyprus Israel Norway Turkey
Denmark Italy Poland United Kingdom
Estonia Latvia Portugal United States
Finland Lichtenstein Russia Vatican City

 

We’re grateful for the opportunity to support the Second Life community, and pleased to be working with such a passionate and creative group.  We look forward to further developing SL Go with their feedback and suggestions.

Rick Sanchez, VP Product and Marketing

The ‘Respawn’ of OnLive

Posted in Game Releases, OnLive 2014 with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 5, 2014 by Gary Lauder

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This is a proud moment for OnLive.  It is the culmination of a lot of thought and effort on the part of many talented people.  After examining what gamers really want and need, we realized that we could do a better job for them by not trying to be their everything, and to do for them that for which we are uniquely suited.  In other words, our new CloudLift service improves the user experience by enabling gamers to both download/play their games locally when they are on a platform capable of it (i.e. gaming computer), while still enjoying the benefits of OnLive’s portability when they are not.  This capability should further improve the advantages of downloaded games over physical media due to the portability we bring.  Not only do we enable one to move between PC, Mac, Android and TV’s (platform portability), but between one’s home, office, friends’ house, vacation spot, etc. (geographic portability).  Downloaded games are otherwise cumbersome to re-download at a friend’s house.  We think that our additional functionality conferred to existing and new games is great for gamers, and good for the whole category of downloadable PC games.

This change has also allowed us to on-board games more quickly due to not having to modify the games.  This should allow us to deliver games on their retail launch dates.

In addition to offering our traditional fare of games, we have added MMO’s  (Massively Multiplayer Online games), under a new brand: “OnLive Go.”  We just announced the first two: Second Life from Linden Lab (not a “game,” but a virtual world), and War Thunder from Gaijin Entertainment.  Second Life is available now under the name “SL Go” and works on all of our platforms except iOS (click here to be notified of when it is available on iOS).

These applications are designed to do best on high-end computers with fast GPU’s. Most people are not buying those, and instead migrating to laptops and tablets, on which these applications do not perform as well. To use these apps, you have to either own or rent the fast computer. OnLive Go, including SL Go, lets you rent the way an Internet café would, only it gives the freedom to use it anywhere that you have high bandwidth. This cost is in line with most forms of entertainment (see: http://kk.org/thetechnium/archives/2011/03/your_attention.php ). This variable-rate billing model seems very 1990’s, but is inescapable since so many MMO users spend large fractions of their lives connected, sometimes only in the background. Think of it this way, at 5 cents/minute it is 37% cheaper than a Skype call to Italy from the USA, and it’s a connection that consumes >100X Skype’s bandwidth and includes a very powerful computer that would only have been cheaper to have owned after you used it for almost 1000 hours, and even then, it could not achieve our speeds since our data centers benefit from gigabit connections to the internet. The latter claim can be verified by subscribing to our amazing OnLive Cloud Desktop (for iOS and Android) and running SpeedTest.net or similar bandwidth tools. SL Go is a power tool that delivers a fast and immersive experience that enables one to experience Second Life in all of its beauty and complexity. If you want almost-free with less performance, use Lumiya for Android. This power tool is for people who value their time and getting the best graphical experiences where they are or would like to be.

Speaking of bandwidth, residential Internet bandwidth continues to increase by leaps and bounds.  According to Akamai’s most recent State of the Internet Report (3Q13 (5 months old)), the percentage of US homes with bandwidth over 10Mbps has gone up by 82% in the prior year (from 19% to 34%).  The US average data rate was 9.8Mbps, and 75% have a connection ≥4Mbps.  These trends will only continue.  We can work with as few as 2Mbps, but faster connections result in better performance.  We claim no credit from this trend, but we claim tremendous benefit from it.

Organizationally, we have improved in many ways.  Following the maxim of always hiring people that are smarter than you, I have hired Mark Jung as Executive Chairman (the boss).  I will just be director (of the board) and lead investor.  Mark has recruited some amazing additional talent that are enumerated in today’s press release.

All in all, we have come a long way.  The table below summarizes some of the key ways that we have changed since OnLive “respawned.”

OnLive Change Log

OnLive Inc. (OL1) pre-8/17/12 OL2 Inc. (doing business as “OnLive”)
Services: PlayPack, PlayPass, OnLive Cloud Desktop CloudLift, OnLive Go (SL Go), PlayPack, OnLive Cloud Desktop
All game play only from cloud Game play choice (cloud and/or local)
Custom modified games Little to no modifications
Game platforms: PC, Mac, Android & OnLive Game System (for TV) Added: LG TV’s (GTV), VIZIO Co-Star. Side-loadable: (nVidia Shield, Ouya)More to come.
OnLive brand centric Game brand centric
4 Data centers (server locations) 6 Data centers (server locations)
US bandwidth: % >4Mbps: 62% (3Q12) 75% (3Q13 (5 months ago))
US bandwidth: % >10Mbps: 18% (3Q12) 34% (3Q13 (5 months ago))
Office location: Palo Alto, CA Mountain View, CA
# of Employees: >200 >100
# of Issued Patents: 14 95 (w/214 more pending or allowed)
Technology breakthrough Scalable business


Biking Home for Charity

Posted in OnLive 2013 on August 29, 2013 by olwriter

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Following a week working out in Cologne at the Gamescom expo a small group from various UK games companies got together to ride back from Cologne to the UK, a distance of 350 miles over three days.  In the process we raised around $8000 for children’s charities.  There were six riders in all including two from OnLive, myself and James Beaven along with two drivers in the support vehicle. Having never ridden more than 60 miles in one day before this was something new altogether.

Stats across the three days include:

Total distance: 352.4 miles (91.8/134.5/115.5/6.5)

Total climbing: 18445 feet

Total riding time: 29 hours

Calories burned: ~22,000

Countries crossed: 5 (Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France, UK)

Crashes: 3

Ibuprofen consumed: Significant

Was a great adventure and a huge amount of fun.

Bruce Grove, General Manager OnLive UK

Team OnLive at GamesCom

Posted in OnLive 2013 on August 22, 2013 by brucegrove
Bruce Grove, General Manager OnLive UK

Bruce Grove, General Manager OnLive UK

Guten tag from Cologne!

This week on the OnLive Blog we’re heading to Cologne, Germany, for an onsite report from our OnLive UK team direct from GamesCom.

GamesCom is a cross between PAX and E3, but with more beer and sausage. This year over 150,000 gamers are expected to descend on the Koln Messe exhibition hall for a 5-day gamefest.

The excitement is growing as gamers from all over Europe pour into this historic city. Big publishers like Warner Bros, Square Enix, Sega, and Ubisoft are showing off their latest releases, and we may even see some announcements for new games coming next year. Yesterday, GamesCom opened its gates to stampeding hordes desperate to get hands-on with the latest games – and we do literally mean stampede!

Team OnLive will be here meeting with game publishers and developers, and of course checking in with some of the highlights from the show floor. On Saturday morning, as the doors close on the event’s business area, James Beaven and I will be packing away the demo gear and breaking out the lycra for an epic, insanely long 352-mile cycle ride for the games industry charity, GamesAid.

352 miles doesn’t sound too bad – unless you try and do it in three-and-a-half days! Yup, instead of flying back from Germany to the UK like normal people James and I, with four other similarly deranged game execs, will be taking the long way home.

Starting from their hotel in Cologne, Team OnLive will be spending up to 12 hours a day in the saddle, across four countries to the ferry port of Dieppe, France. After a short crossing, we’ll complete the last 40 miles into the UK’s seaside town of Brighton.

We promise to do their best to report in with updates, locations and photos from the ride. We’ve also devised a pain-o-meter to help describe the levels of soreness we’ll experience over the three-and-a-half days.

Wish us good luck.

Bruce Grove, General Manager OnLive UK

MotoGP™13 revs up for cloud launch: Hit the starting grid for the fastest race of your life!

Posted in Game Releases, OnLive 2013 on June 21, 2013 by Kevin Keating

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Twist the throttle on MotoGP13 and rev your adrenaline into the red! From the second you dump the clutch in motorbike racing, physics becomes your nemesis as you coax a 200+mph machine into corner after corner, shifting your bodyweight and fighting the front wheel’s urge to go airborne. Every essence of this insanely fast sport is captured by Milestone Studios, the developer of MotoGP13.

If you’ve never experienced MotoGP, there are three basic categories: MotoGP is for bikes up to 1000cc, Moto2™ has an official 600cc engine supplied by Honda, and Moto3™ includes bikes with single-bore 4-stroke engines up to 250cc. As the official videogame, MotoGP13 brings to life all the tracks, riders and unforgettable exhilaration of the 2013 MotoGP season in a race experience unlike anything you’ve encountered before.

With OnLive, you can drop into the action whenever and wherever you are, on PC, Mac, Android tablet and the big screen of your TV. Pick it up as an individual purchase for $39.99/£29.99/39,99€ or as part of the PlayPack monthly subscription package, and get unlimited access to more than 250 console-class games at an incredible value.

Graphically the game is photo-perfect, capturing in glorious detail each of the riders, the bikes and the tracks – including a brand new track, Circuit Of The Americas, the first purpose-built Grand Prix facility in the U.S., near Austin, Texas. This impressive 3.43-mile track completed in 2012 has a total of 20 corners and a 41-meter elevation change, ending with an exciting incline on the home straight.

Scalable rider aids mean you can play the game from arcade-style right up to full simulation for the ultimate rush, and a new career mode with first-person elements, like 3D pits and helmet views, takes the realism up a gear lap after lap.

Special attention has also been placed on the inevitable-but-spectacular crashes in game, making for great Brag Clip™ videos. Milestone used a professional stunt rider and purpose-built rig to motion capture in superb detail every millisecond of when rider and bike part company.

In short, if you are looking for a thrill ride you have to try out MotoGP13.

Watch the launch trailer:

Come play the free demo at
http://games.onlive.com/launch/trial/MotoGP13.

See you out on the track!

Kevin Keating, Publisher Relations

New Update Puts You in the Driver’s Seat

Posted in OnLive 2013 on April 17, 2013 by John Speck

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New Update Puts You in the Driver’s Seat

Some of you noticed that we added some new settings to the OnLive Game client that can enhance the visual quality and responsiveness of your game experience. We’re excited to see that the new options have been well received by our customers. That makes sense, because most of these improvements came from suggestions that our online community made to us. My thanks to all of you who have spoken up!

Whether you’re one of the many newcomers to OnLive or a longtime cloud gamer, here’s a quick walkthrough of what’s new, and how to get the best results for your computer and connection.

Bandwidth: In most cases, OnLive automatically detects the correct bandwidth for your connection. However, we wanted to give users on the latest and greatest high-speed connections the ability to try out the higher data rates. You may now override the automatic detection and specify up to 12Mbps. Alternatively, if you’re on a low-end machine or connection and have had trouble staying connected to OnLive in the past, choose a lower setting such as 3 or 4 Mbps. Select “Automatic” to let the game service determine the bandwidth.

Window Modes: This sets the window mode that OnLive will start in: choose Low-latency Fullscreen, Fullscreen, or Windowed. If you’re into high-speed action and responsiveness is your priority, we recommend selecting the Low-latency Fullscreen option. Fullscreen Low-latency may also help to improve performance on low-end machines. This option is only available on Windows machines.

Netbook Mode: Toggle this On to optimize play for lower-performance machines or to try and conserve battery power.

 

Optimize for Wi-Fi: It is not always possible to detect Wi-Fi connections for users using wireless bridges. This option allows you to override this. Toggle this On to for optimal play over a wireless connection.

 

Play Audio in Background: Set audio to play even when OnLive is not the main window.

Vertical Sync: Disabling vertical sync can improve performance and reduce latency, but at a cost to visual fidelity. As with the screen mode, you might want to toggle this on if graphics are high priority, but toggle it Off for faster-action games.

Last Performance Test: If you’re not sure what your machine can support, you can also review the results of your latest performance test on this screen, including latency, bandwidth, packet loss, and an assessment of your computer’s ability to decode video.

Some of our customers have asked when this functionality may be available on our other clients. OnLive users have a wide range of setups—and preferences—depending on how and what they like to play. We rolled out these choices to see what’s most popular with PC or Mac users as these users benefit the most from the new features, and to respond to demands from fans. As we gather feedback on how these improvements are used, we’ll look to which make sense to bring to our many other client platforms. For those of you with an OnLive Game System, know that you’ve been getting the benefit of many of these optimizations since day one.

If you’re one of the many who have checked out these features, we’re really proud and grateful for the enthusiastic support. If not, we hope you take a moment to download the client and check them out for yourself.

Enjoy,

John Speck, Director of Engineering, OnLive

Note: The “More settings” option appears on the Sign In screen of the OnLive client on your PC or Mac. If your client is setup to connect automatically, hit cancel during the connection process.

Get in the Race and Win Big! WRC3: FIA World Rally Championship Community Tournament 2013

Posted in OnLive 2013 on April 12, 2013 by olwriter

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Fire up that turbocharged beast for a run through the world’s most demanding FIA venues. Whether your poison is the Citroën 300 bhp DS3, or the Mini Cooper 1.6L bad boy, these demanding courses will cause your teeth to chatter and leave your hood flapping in the wind!

We’re excited to announce the WRC3: FIA World Rally Championship Community Tournament on the OnLive Game Service. We are going full blast this time around with a Qualifier + 5 round tournament bracket. We’ve upped the prizes, we’ve upped the level of competition, and we’ve selected a series of tracks that we think will challenge the experienced and provide a progression for those getting into rally racing for the first time.
The Qualifier Round is happening now! Submissions must be received by April 17th. The top 32 racers will be seeded in the tournament and begin the head to head competition, leading to the championship face off on May 22.

-Grand prize includes an OnLive Game System, a Universal OnLive Wireless Controller worth $150!
-Second place receives a Universal OnLive Wireless Controller and 3 months of PlayPack.
-2 runners-up receive 3 months of PlayPack!

For complete rules and to check out the bracket, updated weekly, visit http://games.onlive.com/WRC3contest
Go! Go! Go! Go!

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