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!