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OnLive 2.0 lets you play Steam games on the go

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Cloud gaming, CloudLift, OnLive, PC games, Steam

OnLive 2.0 lets you play Steam games on the go

OnLive has always been somewhat ahead of its time. When it launched back in 2009 we were incredibly excited about it, but the service was hampered by restrictive bandwidth, piss-poor internet infrastructure, and unhelpful ISPs. There were a whole bunch of features that we really liked, married to a UI that was pretty cool, but the whole thing was dependent upon systems beyond the company's control, competing with services that had been around for years.

That's all changed now.

The key difference with the release of OnLive 2.0 is the shift from being a competitive service to a complimentary one. To be honest, that's been the case with cloud gaming and its perception in general -- we're not in a place where streaming can supplant offline media in this industry, but that doesn't mean they can't overlap.

The biggest addition to the service is a new initiative called CloudLift. The idea is that you buy a game on a digital marketplace and it also unlocks on OnLive, meaning that you buy that game once and then take it with you wherever you go. Better yet, this includes Steam games. Sync your Steam account with your OnLive account and you'll get Steam codes for the games you buy on OnLive, and you'll be able to start your game at home on your PC, then fire it up on your tablet or phone with the OnLive app, and carry on from where you left off via cloud saving.

Essentially CloudLift gives you access to streaming versions of games you already downloaded, and OnLive is the only service that offers cloud play as part of a game purchase.

"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," said executive chairman Mark Jung. "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."

It won't work with every game -- you'll be able to see participating titles in the CloudLift section via the OnLive interface -- but for £9.99/$14.99 a month, you'll be able to take a large chunk of your digital library with you without the need for a hefty PC or length download/install processes. That chunk will only grow larger as more publishers get involved, but with no need to re-engineer titles for hardware platforms, and a great opportunity to get games out to an even wider audience, it seems like a no-brainer.

The PlayPack is still there, of course, and it's important to note that CloudLift doesn't incorporate the PlayPack subscription. But for £6.99/$9.99 a month you'll still get unlimited access to over 250 games.

OnLive has returned in a big way, then, and the stability of the service has grown much over the past few years. OnLive 2.0 is in open beta and you can try out the new services for free. We'll certainly be back with some impressions in the very near future, but what do you make of this? Would you be interested in paying a subscription to take your Steam games on the road with you? Let us know below.

Add a comment7 comments
Adster  Mar. 6, 2014 at 12:36

Am I right in thinking that this costs £9.99 a month just to be able to play games I've already bought when not using my primary PC? It must be a small subset of people who would be interested at that price.

Looking at the onlive site, it appears you get to pay a very premium price for the games as well.

stevenjameshyde  Mar. 6, 2014 at 12:44

Adster - if you've already got a primary PC, then you're not the target audience for OnLive. It's aimed at people who like the idea of Steam sale prices, but only own a crappy old laptop or don't like the idea of regular upgrading

Adster  Mar. 6, 2014 at 12:51

Adster - if you've already got a primary PC, then you're not the target audience for OnLive. It's aimed at people who like the idea of Steam sale prices, but only own a crappy old laptop or don't like the idea of regular upgrading


Hmmm, thats not how I read it, I assumed you have to buy the game from onlive, and doing so you lose the benefit of steam prices.

Similarly if you dont have a decent PC, the steam code isn't of much use, just stick with the standard onlive offering.

stevenjameshyde  Mar. 6, 2014 at 12:57

"The idea is that you buy a game on a digital marketplace and it also unlocks on OnLive, meaning that you buy that game once and then take it with you wherever you go. Better yet, this includes Steam games" - I read it as you can buy Steam things and play via the OnLive streaming client, but admittedly the sentence immediately after supports your interpretation. As a crappy laptop owner, I'll be keeping an eye on it as more info is released

Jerec  Mar. 6, 2014 at 13:16

I got this set given to me during a Eurogamer event I went to a few years back, never tried it out then as my internet was rubbish, but nows it superfast but I have a decent gaming laptop.

The integration through the Smart TV's is brilliant though.

I wonder if my free game credit is still there!

Tsung  Mar. 6, 2014 at 14:16

I read it as you have to buy the game from On-Live and they give you a Steam Key as well. The choice is rather limited (it appears about 20 or so games work with this concept).

Now if they were going to stream my entire Steam collection to mobile devices it might be worthwhile investing in. But I'm never going to pay £30+ for a steam game just for the ability to stream it to my phone/tablet/tv.

Jerec  Mar. 6, 2014 at 15:24

I read it as you have to buy the game from On-Live and they give you a Steam Key as well. The choice is rather limited (it appears about 20 or so games work with this concept).

Now if they were going to stream my entire Steam collection to mobile devices it might be worthwhile investing in. But I'm never going to pay £30+ for a steam game just for the ability to stream it to my phone/tablet/tv.


I agree with that.

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