Tuesday, 20 September 2011

OnLive is Gearing Up for Thursday's UK Launch

OnLive will launch in the UK this thursday at the Eurogamer Expo 2011. Because of this, they have moved this week's new game releases from today to said thursday. OnLive is also sending out hints that they have big things in store for the UK launch, but they keep pretty mum about what that could be. One could say, this is the calm before the storm.

Above you can see the map that will be handed out to attendees of the Eurogamer Expo 2011. As you can see, OnLive is prominently featured among the Expo partners and intends to launch in the UK with guns blazing. The OnLive booth will be in ZONE02 that’s located in the center of Earls Court One Arena, among names like Microsoft and games like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Batman: Arkham City and Star Wars: The Old Republic.

So, what could the big things be, that OnLive keeps in store for us? Well, Onlive let loose some info and there are also some wild rumors circulating the internet. OnLive made it clear that they are working hard on bringing the OnLive Player App to iOS and Android tablets and smartphones for the UK launch, but this isn't sure yet. OnLive also plans to integrate its service into TVs and Blu-Ray players like those from Vizio, maybe they will show some fruits of their labor at the Expo. It is foretold that OnLive will release and announce some big games like Street Fighter IV, the touch enabled OnLive version of From Dust and maybe other touch enabled games for tablets. OnLive has clearly stated that they will give away for free thousands of OnLive Game Systems and hinted at other giveaways like free PlayPasses, T-Shirts, Sweepstakes and other cool swag. OnLive is also working hard to have the 10 Gbps OnLive Web Browser available around the UK launch, but they are in no rush with this.

Then there are the rumors like OnLive coming to the Xbox 360, games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3 coming to OnLive, publishers like Activision Blizzard and Bethesda Softworks joining OnLive and announcements of other big partnerships and games.

Enough with rumors and straight to the facts. OnLive's VP of Games and Media John Spinale stated that where as the service "limped out" in the US with basic functions, UK customers will receive a far more complete service later this week.

"We haven't really talked about OnLive much in the UK yet so I don't think we deserve any credit, but soon hopefully we'll get some good reactions," he said.

"We started off in the US with a soft launch. We did some PR and said 'hey, this is neat and revolutionary technology', but we didn't really market or push it hard because we were still developing what it was.

"We limped out with the fundamental architecture... but we didn't have a fully robust feature set that gets everybody excited," the exec added.

"Now we have a really robust platform so we have the ability to come out guns blazing in the UK and show everybody the opportunity is huge."

"We've put everything together over the course of the last year and there's a library of games and a really cool feature set that other platforms can't do, such as the fact that you're playing super high-end games on a tablet for example."

In the UK, BT has the exclusive rights to bundle OnLive together with its broadband service offerings, although customers will also have the option to order directly from OnLive to run over any UK ISP.

Alongside its streaming platform, OnLive is promising "over 100 top-tier games instantly available for play via almost any broadband Internet connection throughout the UK on HDTV, PC, Mac, and iPad and Android tablets."

Membership is free, along with free access to demos for all games, exclusive mass spectator features and voice chat during any live game in play on OnLive-whether in the UK or around the world.

OnLive hasn't clarified their pricing for the UK yet, but they have stated, that the prices will be comparable to existing digital channels like Steam.

UK gamers interested in OnLive, can sign up for free at onlive.co.uk, and get priority access on the launch date with almost any PC or Mac via a small browser download, a free app on the iPad or Android tablet, or on any HDTV via the OnLive Game System.

OnLive sure likes to keep us in suspense about what they have cooking behind closed doors and it's no different this time.


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