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OnLive Will Stream Games From Your Steam Library

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 13 comments

OnLive has fired up another subscription service that links to your Steam account.

OnLive has remained relatively quiet for a while on the PR front. When I visited the company during E3 last year, there wasn't really anything new to announce. They were there mainly, it seemed, to reassure publishers and developers that the company is still around. However, I was told something was in the works, and now we know what that is: CloudLift.

This new subscription service, costing $14.99 per month, takes a different approach than the all-you-can- eat PlayPack OnLive has offered since day one. CloudLift links to the subscriber's Steam account, and will provide a number of those games in the cloud to stream. For example, if you've purchased Dead Island on Steam, then you can stream that game to any OnLive compatible device… and with no local install on the PC.

While that may not sound like a big deal for PC gamers running the latest Haswell processor and three water-cooled GeForce GPUs in SLI, this could be a big deal for those with low-end desktops and laptops that don't have the hardware capable of a satisfactory experience. Gamers in this market could feasibly purchase something like Saints Row 4, stream the game in HD for now, and then install it whenever a new, highly capable desktop or laptop is purchased. Game saves from supported titles are also stored in the cloud.

Some of the titles offered in the CloudLift subscription include Batman: Arkham City and Batman: Arkham Asylum GOTY Editions, Saints Row 4, LEGO Lord of the Rings, Scribblenauts Unlimited, Dead Island Riptide, Painkiller Hell & Damnation, and more. Gamers can purchase Steam codes for these titles directly from the Onlive website, and receive a 7-day free trial of CloudLift in return.

"We've listened to our players. They want the convenience of instant access to their games wherever they are, but they also want to own the game and be able to play it locally on their home PC. With this new offering, we're continuing to expand on the compatibility, freedom and instant access our users enjoy, with the added flexibility of owning a local copy of their games," said Mark Jung, OnLive's Executive Chairman.

In addition to CloudLift, the company has also introduced a revamped desktop client and a revamped website, making it easier to find, purchase and play OnLive games. The company also introduced OnLive Go for MMOs and virtual world experiences. This essentially provides players with an immediate streamed entry into a game, and allows customers to play these games on their tablet. Second Life is the first to take advantage of this new tech.

"OnLive has also invested in significant technology upgrades within the last year, adding thousands of new servers using the latest available technology," reports the company's press release. "To meet increasing demand for capacity, OnLive has opened data centers in Chicago and Seattle, and increased footprint in existing data centers in Virginia, the San Francisco Bay Area, Dallas and Luxembourg. OnLive's servers have been upgraded with the latest gaming GPUs and CPUs to enhance OnLive's already top-quality game streaming experience."

We'll give the new updated service a spin and report back with our experiences. Stay tuned!

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  • 0 Hide
    icraft , March 5, 2014 3:35 PM
    While this is good for long distance streaming now, steam is working on this now. They already have the in-home streaming public.
  • 1 Hide
    twelch82 , March 5, 2014 3:42 PM
    OnLive's business model is not viable in the US, and probably won't be for at least 20 years - and that's being optimistic about it.I think they should refocus their streaming expertise and try to get a jumpstart on the in-home streaming market which will probably be a big deal in a few years' time.
  • 0 Hide
    airsoftsoldrecn9 , March 5, 2014 4:26 PM
    This intended to work with SteamOS?
  • Display all 13 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    bigshootr8 , March 5, 2014 4:29 PM
    They have the right idea essentially this enables you to play games without much hardware except perhaps a good internet connection and a subscription. However, will be a hard sell at the current moment as others have said bandwidth being the big thing right now for 60+ fps gaming.
  • -2 Hide
    antilycus , March 5, 2014 6:00 PM
    My OnLive OUYA just became that much better. 99 bucks and my steam library on any TV..thank you jebus.
  • 1 Hide
    lpedraja2002 , March 5, 2014 7:46 PM
    A lot if reviews I've seen said that the quality of the stream looks like a youtube video and there's lag on the controllers.
  • 0 Hide
    DrBackwater , March 5, 2014 8:03 PM
    If live can tailor to the pc community ways to make pc users stream to their tv situated in lounge room witht he option to go live for those who have the noted laptops or underpowered setups would be awesome.I stream all my movies from my pc, but cannot stream to my pc unless I have a 60ft long hdmi cord and a controller that's so non-existent. it exists but live should build a level of business to cater to.Hardcore couch gamers who need a break from the keyboard.And those who need the live service that can stream form the servers.
  • 2 Hide
    back_by_demand , March 5, 2014 11:12 PM
    When Valve offer the same service for free as part of a future update this will kill Onlive
  • 0 Hide
    edogawa , March 6, 2014 2:01 AM
    I was in the Onlive BETA, and received a free game years ago. I think Onlive is absolutely awesome, but there are some serious flaws to the whole system.

    I played assassins creed through this service years ago and I could not really see any discernible lag, but for a competitive shooter this service would be a deal breaker unless it offered near-zero latency. Another major issue is Internet is the United States alone. I have a 50mbit/25mbit FIOS Internet connection with no caps so I am lucky, but a lot of people have slow connections and caps which will be hit hard fast. I was only using 5mbit to 7mbit of my connection while trying to game on Onlive again today too. Let's say you have a 10mbit internet connection with a cap of 250GB a month, you will hit your cap in 50 to 60 hours of game play for the month, not good! There are a lot more flaws like in this whole thing that make this a no go.

    There are some really amazing features though like brag clips, watching live plays, instantly starting any game on any device without a powerful system, gaming anywhere in the world, and more! To be honest though, the service feels much worse than it was four years ago in performance, and design. Onlive now feels really sluggish, things are hard to navigate and ugly, it's been 4-5 years now and everything looks like it's 480P to 720P with no AA still. The service feels worse than when it originally released.
  • 2 Hide
    teh_chem , March 6, 2014 5:46 AM
    I really like the idea of game streaming technology, like OnLive (played during the beta--my experience was only so-so, but of course, it was still in development).However, $15/mo for a game streaming service...I guess I'm not the target demographic, it's too pricey for me; I don't buy a lot of games in a year, definitely less than $180 worth. I acknowledge that there are people who spend a lot on games each year who might find this appealing (discussions of 'owning' the game aside, being able to re-sell when done, etc. aside).But here's the thing for the Steam game topic. If I've already purchased a game on Steam, I then have to pay the subscription fee to also stream that game with OnLive? I know it takes their bandwidth, processing, and resources to enable that, but I couldn't see paying twice to play a game, where one of those payments the game purchase and the other is a monthly recurring cost.
  • 2 Hide
    daekar , March 6, 2014 7:57 AM
    And when the court struck down Net Neutrality, this dream died. If they're actively throttling Netflix and YouTube, what makes anyone think that this won't suffer the same abuse?
  • 1 Hide
    Christopher Shaffer , March 6, 2014 10:50 AM
    Quote:
    OnLive's business model is not viable in the US, and probably won't be for at least 20 years - and that's being optimistic about it.I think they should refocus their streaming expertise and try to get a jumpstart on the in-home streaming market which will probably be a big deal in a few years' time.
    Exactly what I've been saying since they started. I *wish* the internet infrastructure was there (along with the dumb pipe service deals) to support such a model, but it just isn't and won't be for a long time.That said, I still feel strongly that streaming games is a novelty that most avid PC gamers won't find that appealing. We like our hardware, we like to run the game locally, we like our graphics. All of these things go out the window with streaming. And input lag? There's only so much even a fiber connection can do when the server is thousands of miles away.The only appeal I see is "enabling" those without a real gaming PC to play these games, and for that, a console make more sense when it's an option, and when it's not, I doubt this oddly niche crowd will be enough to keep this company afloat.
  • 0 Hide
    gallidorn , March 6, 2014 12:48 PM
    The problem I see is many people will need to upgrade their internet speed and then add another $15 for the ability to stream Steam games through OnLive. OnLive was STUPID to charge $15 per month, because you will get less people using your service, than when it was free! If OnLive was smart, they would offer the service for FREE and then charge a small one-time fee of $1.00 per Steam game that you enable for streaming through OnLive.