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Free-To-Play OnLive Game Portal Will Allow Individual Rentals, Demos

Steve Perlman, CEO of streaming games service OnLive revealed the OnLive Game Portal, which allows "direct access to OnLive games without being required to subscribe" to the full $14.95 monthly service.
Steve Perlman, CEO of streaming games service OnLive revealed the OnLive Game Portal, which allows "direct access to OnLive games without being required to subscribe" to the full service. Perlman said via the OnLive blog that the OnLive Game Portal will be a companion to the complete OnLive service. When it launches sometime this year, the portal will let users take advantage of OnLive's streaming service by letting them rent individual games and access demos. (The full OnLive service, announced last week is slated to launch on June 17 and will require a $14.95 monthly subscription, but won't include the price of the games themselves, which users will be need to purchase or rent separately.) "Through the OnLive Game Portal, gamers will be able to play select games directly on a rental basis as well as game demos for free; subject to available OnLive service capacity and whatever usage limits are associated with each given demo." he wrote. "Rentals will be priced on a per-game basis. There is no service fee for the OnLive Game Portal." Perlman hopes that not only will the Portal offer another option for users to experience OnLive's service, but that it will give them the opportunity to test drive the service, and consider signing up as a regular subscriber. "Of course, like all games in the OnLive Game Service, games in the OnLive Game Portal start instantly, are always updated, and don’t require high-end hardware to play high-performance games," Perlman added. "It only takes seconds to install OnLive’s small browser plug-in, and only seconds more before you’re playing a top-tier game. And, of course, OnLive Game Portal games will also play through OnLive’s MicroConsole TV Adapter on an HDTV." OnLive came onto the scene with a high-profile announcement at last year's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. OnLive's service does all of the game's video and audio processing on remote servers, then streams the images and sound back to the user quickly enough to play games in real time. As the servers shoulder the processing work, users don't need high-end local hardware, a scenario that can potentially open up a new market for high-end gaming.

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