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OnLive Extends Free Subs For Pre-Registrants

OnLive's first 25,000 wait-listed registrants will receive a free year's subscription and free game, instead of the original three free months -- a move likely aimed at sustaining userbases and attracting more publishers.
Users who signed up earlier this year to be among the first to experience cloud-based streaming service OnLive are getting a bit of an unexpected boon today: The first 25,000 pre-registrants will pay no subscription fee for their first year, and they'll get a coupon for a free game, too. Initially, OnLive had solicited early sign-ups promising no fee for the first three months (the "priority wait list" is now closed). But a free year appears aimed at incentivizing a larger group of individuals to stick with the service during its fledgling period -- key if OnLive hopes to sustain broad and long-term publisher support. The service, which launches June 17, is $14.95 a month -- not including the price of the games, which users buy or rent separately. Alternately, users can access OnLive through a free "portal" which allows free demos and "select" rentals without a subscription. OnLive promises to allow even individuals with modest PC and Mac hardware specs to play cutting-edge games by rendering them remotely on a server and streaming them. Publishers Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, 2K Games, THQ and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment have been announced as planning to release their titles via OnLive. Though there are competitors in the cloud computing game-service space, such as Dave Perry's Gaikai, OnLive became the first to enter into public beta late last year.

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