The weekend is here again, but this may feel more like Black Friday for the folks at online gaming company OnLive, who is rumored to have let its entire staff go today amidst rumors that the company is filing for bankruptcy and rebooting as a new entity. Quite sad if true, and our hearts go out to anyone affected by the situation. So without further ado, let's recap that and four other stories making headlines on this Friday, August 17, 2012.
OnLive's cloud-streaming gaming service allows folks to experience the latest AAA releases via a high-speed Internet connection, even if you don't have top-of-the-line hardware or a very recent Mac or PC. Following a long lead-up, OnLive is finally knocking on the door to the App Store with its submitted app, which lets iPad owners get in on the fun with either custom touch controls (for select games) or a Bluetooth wireless controller. As the app continues to await Apple's final approval, I've had a chance to try out several of the titles available on the service, and spend more time checking out the touch controls following an initial hands-on at the Penny Arcade Expo in August.
As of right now, the only way to experience the OnLive gaming service -- which streams full games to any compatible device through an internet connection -- on the iPad is via a free viewer app, which lets you watch any other user's public gameplay stream. It's a nice demonstration of the tech, but ultimately most folks would rather play a slick, thrilling game than watch someone else do it from afar. Luckily, OnLive has an all-new iPad app in the works that will finally deliver on its promise to bring rich, Mac/PC-quality gaming experiences to devices that lack the internal horsepower to run such titles outright.
Cloud-gaming service OnLive has some exciting announcements: Borderlands was just added to the all-you-can-frag PlayPack Bundle, and Duke Nukem Forever will be available on lauch day, with a sweet deal for anyone who preorders their full PlayPass now.
OnLive can already stream blockbuster games to your Mac or PC -- when we reviewed the service we called it "a water faucet for games." Now, the brand-new MicroConsole, which is available for preorder, is upping the ante by streaming those same games to your HDTV in glorious 1080p60 (or 1080i60 or 720p60) with killer stereo sound -- from a tiny piece of hardware that runs on just 6 watts of energy, less than a lightbulb.
You’ve heard of cloud storage, but what about cloud gaming? OnLive lets you play 20-some games--including Windows-only titles--running on servers in data centers up to 1,000 miles away, streaming HD video to your Mac while you control the action with your mouse, keyboard, or Xbox 360 gamepad. Launched at this year’s E3, the long-awaited service is free for one year to the first wave of members, with an optional second year for $4.95/month (month-to-month, no commitment). OnLive is letting players into the service gradually, to make sure their data centers can handle the load, but you can sign up for the waiting list at onlive.com and you’ll get an invite when they’re ready for you.
OnLive will be available today to Mac users everywhere after 9:01PM EDT/6:01PM PDT. The cloud gaming software will enable computer users to play high quality games on their computers regardless of system innards. The service will require a monthly subscription.
"This launch is just the beginning for the OnLive platform. We'll be rolling out new features, capabilities and performance improvements, continually adding new content along with the latest releases, and extending the service to more people," said Steve Perlman, Founder and CEO of OnLive. "Today we're taking the first step toward a future where video game content is increasingly free from the restrictions of device and location, while showcasing the ability to instantly play the latest, most advanced games at the touch of a button."