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Stream Steam Games with OnLive's CloudLift for $7.95/mo

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 15 comments
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Streaming the games you own just got a little cheaper.

OnLive announced on Friday that it has slashed the price of its CloudLift service in half, which now costs $7.95 USD instead of the $14.95 price tag. This should open the doors to an even wider audience looking to stream their favorite PC games on their favorite devices.

In addition to lowering the CloudLift subscription service, the company has also added five great games. These include Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate, Injustice: Gods Among Us, LEGO The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings: War in the North, and the indie hit reboot Shadow Warrior.

So as it stands now, OnLive has two subscription models: CloudLift for streaming games you own via Steam, and PlayPack that provides an all-you-can-play buffet for $9.95. Games included in the PlayPack include Batman: Arkham City, Darksiders II, LEGO Harry Potter (both editions), Borderlands, The Witcher 2 and dozens more.

What's interesting about the new CloudLift service is that you can purchase games directly from OnLive, and what you get is a code to unlock the game on Steam. The game is yours to keep until the end of time, and because your Steam account is connected to OnLive, that game is made available to stream.

That said, gamers with low-end machines can still purchase PC games and then stream then via OnLive. They need to have a Steam account, and activate the game, but downloading is not necessary. Once gamers upgrade to a new machine with better hardware, the game will still be in their Steam library. Of course, the game will still be listed on CloudLift as well.

Unfortunately, not all Steam games are supported by CloudLift… at least, not at the time of this writing. There are only around 27 right now, including Saints Row 4, LEGO The Hobbit, Dead Island Riptide, Darksiders II, Batman, Batman: Arkham Origins and so on.

For publishers and developers, OnLive is a great way to expand their audience to gamers in the low-end market. For more information about OnLive and the CloudLift service, head here.

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  • 8 Hide
    cewhidx , April 11, 2014 7:30 PM
    Maybe it's just me, but I'm having a hard time understanding why I would purchase Steam games that I cannot run on my current hardware, and then paying someone else a monthly stipend to stream them to me.
  • 6 Hide
    teh_chem , April 11, 2014 7:39 PM
    I understand they're providing a service, but... There's something very asinine about paying a monthly fee to play games I've already paid for...
  • 1 Hide
    anathema_forever , April 12, 2014 3:24 AM
    I like the idea for a inexpensive pc's, small pc's, low power pcs, and linux boxes but it has to have better game support.
  • Display all 15 comments.
  • 4 Hide
    ddpruitt , April 12, 2014 8:00 AM
    So I can't afford the (low end) PC that runs Dead Island or Riptide but I'll be able to afford the (high end) low latency high bandwidth internet connection required for OnLive?

    Right, No wonder they keep going bankrupt.
  • 5 Hide
    Shodoman , April 12, 2014 11:46 AM
    @ddpruitt In my country that kind of internet goes for 7$ per month, 15 if you want cable tv and a phone line with it, while a pc capable of runing these games is ~700$. It's a good deal and as a kid i dremt of such method for playing games
  • 0 Hide
    razor512 , April 12, 2014 2:40 PM
    For the monthly fee, it would be cheaper to simply buy something like the GTX 750 ti.

    They tried to fix one issue by allowing you to have a local copy of the game in case they go out of business, but the service is still a bad value because it does not provide maxed out quality for the games it does run, so it is not like you are going to pay a monthly fee and enjoy a top of the line gaming PC experience.

    You still have the latency issues, so you will likely not be running the more demanding and visually intensive games. So you are likely to see games that are not demanding to begin with.

    Overall, it is still a bad deal.
  • 0 Hide
    Datcu Alexandru , April 12, 2014 5:16 PM
    Quote:
    For the monthly fee, it would be cheaper to simply buy something like the GTX 750 ti.

    They tried to fix one issue by allowing you to have a local copy of the game in case they go out of business, but the service is still a bad value because it does not provide maxed out quality for the games it does run, so it is not like you are going to pay a monthly fee and enjoy a top of the line gaming PC experience.

    You still have the latency issues, so you will likely not be running the more demanding and visually intensive games. So you are likely to see games that are not demanding to begin with.

    Overall, it is still a bad deal.


    Whoever is in charge probably does not understand the huge amount of money needed to get a business like this on it's legs properly. The streaming RnD alone is through the roof. Not to mention servers to play said games on a quality high enough to justify not saving for a personal machine. It's been like what 2-3 years since onlive was started? And it's still too dam early for this.
  • -1 Hide
    photonboy , April 12, 2014 7:27 PM
    Netflix HD movies support 3GB per hour at 24FPS. At slightly higher quality which you'd really need, AND at 60FPS you'd then need a minimum of 10GB per hour as the video is streaming exactly like Netflix (you're just uploading controller presses).

    If you played 10 hours per week then your monthly bandwidth requirement is...

    400 Gigabytes!!

    So, for those lucky enough to truly support this you'd likely be paying a LOT extra for that premium in most countries. Even if I said $30USD extra for the network, plus $7.50 for the service that's $1350 over three years which would build a really nice gaming PC.

    And as said, there's the LAG. It's truly annoying to see a DELAY after you press a button, or worse yet DIE just standing there and not knowing why...
  • 1 Hide
    trog69 , April 13, 2014 2:30 PM
    I guess I need to learn more about this, but from what I've read so far, this seems like a great idea for those with a low-end PC or one without a discrete GPU installed, especially if they're just getting their feet wet with PC gaming, and want to see what genre of game they'd prefer.

    As for the pricing, for those on a tight budget, I don't think it's fair to say they should just save up for a GPU or a higher-end PC.

    I would like to see it become more robust with game availability, but as a single-player only gamer, I could see using this service. Of course, it's easy for me to say that when I have a high-end gaming PC already.
  • 1 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , April 13, 2014 10:48 PM
    Quote:
    Maybe it's just me, but I'm having a hard time understanding why I would purchase Steam games that I cannot run on my current hardware, and then paying someone else a monthly stipend to stream them to me.

    Quote:
    I understand they're providing a service, but... There's something very asinine about paying a monthly fee to play games I've already paid for...


    Instead of seeing onlive as a service that lets you play games you already own, see it as a leasing contract for the hardware needed to run it. If we assume my house is burning to the ground right now, and I hope it's not, I might want to just buy a cheap intel nuc and put that in my livingroom instead of actually buying a new big gaming computer. Personally I don't think it's the time yet, but I have no doubt the day will come.

    ps. last I looked at onlive it didn't look very promising - the forums are almost completely selfhelp based and appearantly you can't get any nonrumor based answer on there unless it's fanboyism and thus very subjective. So I'd most definetly hold off until the number of titles has hit 1K or the support system significantly improves.
  • 0 Hide
    Achoo22 , April 14, 2014 3:08 AM
    Quote:
    Netflix HD movies support 3GB per hour at 24FPS. At slightly higher quality which you'd really need, AND at 60FPS you'd then need a minimum of 10GB per hour as the video is streaming exactly like Netflix (you're just uploading controller presses).

    If you played 10 hours per week then your monthly bandwidth requirement is...

    400 Gigabytes!!

    So, for those lucky enough to truly support this you'd likely be paying a LOT extra for that premium in most countries. Even if I said $30USD extra for the network, plus $7.50 for the service that's $1350 over three years which would build a really nice gaming PC.

    And as said, there's the LAG. It's truly annoying to see a DELAY after you press a button, or worse yet DIE just standing there and not knowing why...


    You ought to maybe actually try the service before you continue spreading false information. I'm not exactly a supporter of the service, as I live in the country and the best Internet available at any price is worse than 1.5 mbps. Still, I've used the service quite successfully on a 5mbps line. Even if it were maxing out the connection (which it wasn't), that would only amount to about two and a quarter GB/hour. I didn't notice significant lag in games I tried, though there were some minor visual artifacts in some of the titles. On the other hand, they offered a very slick interface and it was kind of cool to be able to browse your friends' streams to see what games looked good or to switch games instantly.
  • 0 Hide
    cats_Paw , April 14, 2014 6:39 AM
    This makes no sense at all. Did not do before, dosent now.
    There are many reasons for it, but the key element and most importantly the reason it is doomed to fail is how different the gamer situation can get.

    If everyone had the same internet speed, PC and mentality, sure makes sense.
    But trying to get into a market where there are so many variables, with a fixed formula works only when it can at least "satisfy" everyone (expcet haters, those are gonna... exactly).

    There are so many types of gamers that will not want this form of services for one reason or another (fear it will go bankrupt and stop providing the service, fear it wont have support when patches come, fear it wont have the game that "I" want, fear it will lag, fear it will depend on my internet not shutting down, fear of not beeing able to install mods, fear of the multiplayer to not be connected to the public servers.... to name a few).

    And the pool of people it will aim to target might be too small to invest in servers around the globe to make sure everything runs fine and dandy.

  • 0 Hide
    Murissokah , April 14, 2014 9:32 AM
    Quote:
    OnLive announced on Friday that it has slashed the price of its CloudLift service in half, which now costs $7.95 USD instead of the $14.95 price tag. This should open the doors to an even wider audience looking to stream their favorite PC games on their favorite devices.


    Yeah, it's particularly appealing to the audience that failed at math.
  • 0 Hide
    teh_chem , April 15, 2014 7:57 AM
    Quote:
    Instead of seeing onlive as a service that lets you play games you already own, see it as a leasing contract for the hardware needed to run it. If we assume my house is burning to the ground right now, and I hope it's not, I might want to just buy a cheap intel nuc and put that in my livingroom instead of actually buying a new big gaming computer. Personally I don't think it's the time yet, but I have no doubt the day will come.

    Very true and a fair point. The service is vague though; with an onlive subscription, didn't you have full access to their game library? What I don't understand is...are these Steam games not otherwise available to play unless you own it already? Or is this just a feature that will sync your game data to Steam if you play through onlive?
  • 0 Hide
    photonboy , April 16, 2014 6:03 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Netflix HD movies support 3GB per hour at 24FPS. At slightly higher quality which you'd really need, AND at 60FPS you'd then need a minimum of 10GB per hour as the video is streaming exactly like Netflix (you're just uploading controller presses).

    If you played 10 hours per week then your monthly bandwidth requirement is...

    400 Gigabytes!!

    So, for those lucky enough to truly support this you'd likely be paying a LOT extra for that premium in most countries. Even if I said $30USD extra for the network, plus $7.50 for the service that's $1350 over three years which would build a really nice gaming PC.

    And as said, there's the LAG. It's truly annoying to see a DELAY after you press a button, or worse yet DIE just standing there and not knowing why...


    You ought to maybe actually try the service before you continue spreading false information. I'm not exactly a supporter of the service, as I live in the country and the best Internet available at any price is worse than 1.5 mbps. Still, I've used the service quite successfully on a 5mbps line. Even if it were maxing out the connection (which it wasn't), that would only amount to about two and a quarter GB/hour. I didn't notice significant lag in games I tried, though there were some minor visual artifacts in some of the titles. On the other hand, they offered a very slick interface and it was kind of cool to be able to browse your friends' streams to see what games looked good or to switch games instantly.


    I have used the service, and more importantly I have experimented with compressing video to compare quality.

    I'm talking about video quality that is almost as good as what you'd see on a PC/Console. To get 60FPS at 2.5GB per hour would require a noticeable loss of quality.

    Here's an example. If I take a high-quality BluRay title I can compress that to roughly 4GB per hour. Anything below that I start to see compression artifacts especially on SMALLER TEXT. That's at 24FPS, so I'd need 2.5x that and that again works out to 10GB per hour.

    If I compress to HALF of that you can get pretty good quality still, especially if there's larger text that won't look as blurred, but it would be noticeably lower quality if comparing side-by-side.

    When we get H.265 at half the bandwidth at some point, and factor in those like you who are satisfied with slightly lower quality video you can get the bandwidth down. Lag is a different story of course.

    Regardless, this WILL succeed in the future but the entire network has to get to the point it easily supports it to be truly successful.