Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Wargame: European Escalation Joined the OnLive PlayPack

Wargame: European Escalation released on OnLive in May as a PlayPass title. The game now joined the OnLive PlayPack. It's priced at $39.99 in the US ($27.99 PlayPack), £29.99 in the UK (£20.99 PlayPack) and €39.99 in Belgium (€27.99 PlayPack). The OnLive PlayPack is now at 244 games and counting.

Wargame: European Escalation is a real-time strategy simulation game published by Focus Home Interactive and developed by Eugen Systems, which is more known for their Ubisoft published RTS game R.U.S.E. The game also uses an improved version of R.U.S.E.'s IRISZOOM engine.

Wargame: European Escalation is an intense and spectacular real-time strategy game, where realism and strategy are brought to the front lines. With a phenomenal range of vehicles and units (over 350 different models), build your army and enter a huge military campaign across Europe of the 80's, as the Cold War is about to become World War 3. With the powerful IRISZOOM, Wargame offers breathtaking graphics and battles as spectacular as they are strategic. Prepare to bring hundreds of units of all kinds--tanks, helicopters, squad Infantry, etc.--under your command in intense battles on gigantic maps stretching up to 60 square miles!

Set in the rarely explored Cold War period of 1975-1985, Wargame: European Escalation explores the battles 'that could have been' if history had taken the wrong turn at some point in the conflict. On both sides of the Iron Curtain that tears Germany in two, the two military alliances, NATO and the Warsaw Pact, are on the verge of war. The zeal of a patrol close to the East-german border eventually leads to a firefight with their enemy brothers.  Soon the local skirmish pushes the already-tense relationship between NATO and the Warsaw Pact over the edge into all-out war.

Both superpowers have enough nuclear fire at their disposal to annihilate all life on the planet, but of course this is the very last resort; if an open conflict was to happen, it would take the form of conventional warfare in Germany, and throughout Europe.

The world is about to fall into the feared 3rd World War. Wargame: European Escalation plunges you into the midst of this conflict, through a big and explosive military campaign!

With rare strategic depth, Wargame: European Escalation stays accessible, and gives all strategy fans, beginners and experienced players alike, a unique, innovative and realistic gaming experience.

Whether solo-playing through a large campaign or fighting against other players from all over the world, reflection and situation awareness are determining factors for victory. Players will have to account for numerous parameters, such as covers, supplying and refueling, and morale, which influence the abilities of their units. They will also have to make good use of recon in order to discover what their opponents are planning and to plan their own tactics and battle plans accordingly.

Every one of the over 300 units in the game possesses realistically rendered performance and behavior. Players must monitor which weapons systems their units may use, allowing or forbidding certain weapons in order to save precious ammunition.  This allows users to tailor their battle strategy to a given situation; it is particularly useful in stealth maneuvers, in which a player could forbid the use of weapons until his troops are at close range and then take his enemy by surprise.  When a unit fires a weapon, many parameters (including the optical systems used, the experience of the unit, if it or its target is moving or stationary, and whether it already had fired at this target before) are taken into account in order to determine the probabilities for each weapon system to hit their targets.

Wargame: European Escalation also offers localized damage. For instance, if you take an enemy's armored formation from behind, you will surprise the opponent and inflict maximum damage on his tanks, which have lighter armor at their rear and flank. It's also possible to inflict critical hits that temporarily or permanently damage some embarked systems. The crew of vehicles is also prone to be hit, making a seemingly intact unit impossible to operate.

Morale is another important battle parameter. It is possible, with a barrage, to destroy the morale of the enemy units. Even if they are not destroyed, they will see their abilities reduced and, under the stress, will be much less efficient in battle.

The individual experience of units plays a critical role in the outcomes of battles. During missions, units gain experience points. A small amount of experience is given to your troops for every successful shot, while the total destruction of an enemy unit gives much more experience. The more expensive and experienced the destroyed unit was, the more experience is earned!

Along the battles, your armies will level up through 5 experience levels, from mere rookies to elite units. During the solo campaign, all surviving units will follow you from mission to mission. You will have to protect them in order to benefit from their earned experience in the long run.

An experienced unit will not be more powerful or resilient than a similar, rookie unit, but it will be more lethal because able to act more efficiently. It will be much more accurate with its weapon systems, will spot enemies faster, and will also be less prone to lose morale and abilities under heavy fire. Used with wisdom, a veteran unit will be able to face several units and still be victorious.

In order to support your assault troops, artillery plays an essential role. Though shots are quite inaccurate at first, they slowly gain precision and focus. If an allied recon has a direct line of sight on this target, the shot correction will be much faster. But the artillery has its downside: ammunition heavy, it will need a regular and frequent resupplying, and will be more efficient when placed next to a Forward Operational Base, which means a depot of ammunition and fuel. This makes it a very easy target for the enemy to spot.

In order to maintain the combat ability of your forces, you will need to resupply them. You will have to maintain the stability of your terrestrial and aerial supply lines in order to repair damaged units and provide them with fresh ammo. This will also allow you to make sure your vehicles do not run out of fuel, as everyone knows a stationary tank is a sitting duck waiting to be destroyed. When facing an opponent heavily outnumbering you, attacking his supply lines becomes a particularly viable tactic!

By taking position on specific key areas and on the battleground, you are able to gain command points and control reinforcement zones. Attacking becomes gratifying, as it allows you to call in for reinforcements, fresh units replacing your losses and changing the course of battle. However, only the fragile and costly command vehicles are able to claim to such areas, and you will have to protect or hide them if you do not want to see your last hopes of victory slip through your fingers!

Wargame: European Escalation is powered by the second generation of the performing IRISZOOM engine. This powerful and high-performance engine allows the game to deliver spectacular clashes rendered in incredible detail.

The IRISZOOM is able to render up to 100 million scenery objects on maps as large as dozens of square miles. The impressive zoom feature allows you to dive down in an instant, without any transition, to the heart of battles involving hundreds of tanks, helicopters, or infantrymen, in order to follow your units during the fight.

This is a grand visual showcase that takes life before your eyes. From the explosions to the lighting, the raging fires to the high-resolution textures, and the sound effects to the numerous post-processing effects, everything has been designed and developed to produce a photo-realistic rendering of the battlefield.

This is complemented by highly detailed models of more than 300 different playable units: tanks, ground-assault helicopters, infantry, anti-air defense pieces, artillery, transport vehicles, supply trucks, recon units... all boast their own models, rendered in very high detail and faithful to their real-life counterparts. Zoom down from the sky to reveal even the smallest bolts and tank treads! Flying units also have their own flying models and move in the more realistic way above the battlefield.

In addition to its deep and tactic gameplay, Wargame offers a particularly impressive and spectacular visual experience. Never before has a strategy game seemed so realistic!

Wargame: European Escalation provides a multiplayer experience as rich as the one it offers through its solo campaign.

Online service EugenNet provides a full multiplayer experience with creation of clans, organizing games, and world rankings where up to 8 players can compete simultaneously in massive battles involving hundreds of units!

Friendly games are possible in order to take part in a short and fun skirmish between friends, but competition is also very present, with official rankings supported and calculated through an Elo system.

Develop your tactics and unlock new units in order to add them to your 'deck' for you next battles. Will you choose a crushing strategy with huge numbers of weak yet cheap tanks, or will you try and manage small squads of expensive but skillful elite units?

With more than 300 units with unique characteristics, tactical possibilities and strategic combinations are nearly unlimited. Wars of harassment with fast but fragile units, choking techniques by attacking the enemy supply lines, squashing under overwhelming numbers; all strategies are viable if you plan carefully! In the end, only the tactical acuity of the players will determine the outcome of the battles. Do you have what it takes to reach the higher echelons of the official world ranking?

Online services provided by EugenNet allow Wargame: European Escalation to benefit from a complete and easy-to-use multiplayer experience. Create your team or organize tournaments between several players and teams! From 1vs1 to 4vs4, all versus configurations are possible!

Metascore: 81

You can play the free demo and buy Wargame: European Escalation for the US, the UK and Belgium powered by OnLive.

Little Racers STREET and Bridge Constructor Joined the OnLive PlayPack

Little Racers STREET and Bridge Constructor were added to the OnLive PlayPack. The OnLive PlayPack is now at 243 games and counting.

Little Racers STREET

Little Racers STREET is an indie racing game published and developed by Milkstone Studios. The game was previously available on the Xbox marketplace, but thanks to @MasterBlud, Ady Carter (they're both featured in the game as AI racers) and several others OnLive contacted Milkstone Studios and they've ported the game to OnLive.

Milkstone Studios presents the next installment in the indie racing series!

Drive the 30+ high speed cars on a 3D, weather-changing city!

The career mode provides hours of fun, challenging races. You need to tune your car and earn money to get the most wanted cars. Pursuit the top ranked drivers and become the best in the world!

Underground urban racing has never been so much fun!

Sadly, as has become customary for PlayPack games, OnLive hasn't implemented multiplayer for the game. But there is still hope that it will come later as Milkstone Studios has tweeted, "@Gamergeddon Small correction: The OnLive version doesn't feature multiplayer. At least not for now."

You can play the free demo of Little Racers STREET for the US, the UK and Belgium powered by OnLive.

Bridge Constructor

Bridge Constructor is a bridge building simulation game published by Headup Games and developed by ClockStone.

Bridge Constructor puts you in the role of an engineer! Design and create bridges that span deep valleys, dangerous canyons, city streets or raging rivers. Sure you got it right? Send cars and trucks over your bridges and see what happens! Bridge Constructor features complex physics, realistic materials, and an introductory tutorial. Creativity and ingenuity required!

You can play the free demo of Bridge Constructor for the US, the UK and Belgium powered by OnLive.

Monday, 30 July 2012

OnLive Launched in Belgium

After some dress rehearsalsOnLive the cloud gaming service, has launched in Belgium. Belgium is OnLive's first foray onto the European continent and the second country in Europe after the UK where the OnLive cloud gaming service is available. You can find OnLive Belgium at www.onlive.be, and you can view the page in Dutch at nl.onlive.be and in French at fr.onlive.be. You can sign up for free at www.onlive.be/go/signup, in Dutch at nl.onlive.be/go/signup and in French at fr.onlive.be/go/signup.

The OnLive Game Service is a groundbreaking on-demand video gaming platform that delivers the latest and most advanced games instantly over an internet connection. Users can play everything from indie puzzle games to multiplayer classics to blockbusters such as Saints Row: The Third, Pro Evolution Soccer 2012, Sid Meier’s Civilization V, Batman: Arkham City, Assassins Creed: Revelations, The Darkness IILondon 2012 - The Official Video Game of the Olympic Games and soon Darksiders II on virtually any PC or Mac. Gameplay on tablets, smartphones and TVs is live in North America and the UK, and will be coming to Belgium soon. The OnLive Game System and the Universal OnLive Wireless Controller are not yet available in Belgium, but OnLive writes that they are coming soon.

OnLive has created an entirely new way to play, watch, share and try premium games. Users can subscribe to the OnLive PlayPack to play an expanding selection of over 200 games as much as they like, or purchase Three-Day, Five-Day or Full PlayPasses for games in the ever-growing OnLive game library. Free 30-minute trials for almost any game enable gamers to test-drive full-featured games before buying. OnLive’s cloud-based platform also enables unique social features. Users can watch and voice chat with gamers across the world in the massive OnLive spectating Arena, and soon will be able to spectate three other game sessions while playing their own game with OnLive MultiView in-game live spectating. Brag Clip videos enable players to record their best gameplay moments and share them instantly with friends on the service. Players can also use Facebook notifications to post their videos on their Facebook wall, announce in-game achievements and let friends know what they are playing through simple links that instantly launch the game.

OnLive announced in May 2010 that they will come to Belgium. Belgacom, the largest broadband operator in Belgium, has made an investment in OnLive, and has partnered with them to deliver the OnLive Cloud Gaming Service to their broadband customers. Belgacom has the exclusive right to bundle the OnLive Cloud Gaming Service in Belgium and Luxembourg with their broadband services, but gamers in these countries also have the option of ordering directly from OnLive through any internet service provider. It has taken OnLive more than 2 years to launch in Belgium, since they announced their coming to the country.

As the national currency of Belgium is the euro, OnLive is now supporting billing in euros. The games in OnLive's Belgium library are therefore priced in euros. Some game prices are straight number to number conversions from dollars to euros, and some prices have been adapted to the exchange rate. The game publishers choose how to convert the prices.

The OnLive PlayPack in Belgium is also a straight number to number conversion from dollars to euros, as it costs €9.99/month. The OnLive PlayPack is a monthly subscription cloud gaming service from OnLive, where you pay $9.99 per month in the US, £6.99 per month in the UK and now €9.99 per month in Belgium to get access to a growing list of over 200 games. As a member of the OnLive PlayPack you also get 30% off of any OnLive game or hardware. The OnLive PlayPack features a wide range of games, including action, adventure, first person shooter, sports and puzzle games, with something for gamers of all ages, skill levels and interests. The OnLive PlayPack includes anything from AAA games like Batman: Arkham Asylum, BioShock, Borderlands, F.E.A.R. 3 PlayPack Multiplayer, Homefront Large-Scale Warfare Multiplayer, Just Cause 2, Sid Meier’s Civilization V, LEGO Batman, NBA 2K11, The Witcher, Red Faction: Armageddon, Prince of Persia to fun games like Flatout 2 and Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords, old game legends like Deus Ex and indie game hits like World of Goo. The games are in English but will soon be available in Dutch and French.

To support their OnLive investment, starting today Belgacom’s internet customers can discover OnLive’s instant-play game service. Belgacom offers an exclusive one month free OnLive PlayPack subscription worth €9.99 with unlimited access to more than 200 games from more than 60 major publishers, with more games added weekly. The special OnLive PlayPack subscription offer is available through 30 September 2012 to any Belgacom internet customer, 18 years of age or over, who registers online at www.belgacom.be/onlive.

One interesting tidbit is that Frozen Synapse, a game that was part of the OnLive Indie Showcase, is available to demo on the OnLive Belgium web page. The game is nowhere to be found on the other OnLive web pages. Ravaged is also available for pre-order for €19.99 (€13.99 PlayPack), which is 20% off from the full price of the game when it launches. The full launch price will be €24.99 (€17.49 PlayPack). Belgian gamers can also pre-order Darksiders II for €49.99 (€34.99 PlayPack) and get upgraded for free to the Limited Edition of the game which includes the Argul's Tomb add-on pack, which will become available one month after the Darksiders II launch in August 2012, so sometime in September of 2012.

Since OnLive Belgium is now also in Dutch and French, the Netherlands and France are the next obvious targets for OnLive's European expansion. Now that OnLive has the euro billing down, I think the European expansion of OnLive will proceed swiftly, at least in the countries that have the euro. OnLive has a data center set up in Luxembourg, which will geographically and infrastructure wise be able to support OnLive cloud gaming for most of the more populated places in Europe. Of course the speed of OnLive's European expansion depends on the demand that will be placed on OnLive's servers and if there will be any problems during the expansion.

LG U+ Launched C-games Cloud Gaming Service in South Korea Powered by Ubitus and NVIDIA Geforce GRID

LG U+, a leading telecommunications operator in South Korea, launched a cloud gaming service named C-games in South Korea. C-games is powered by Ubitus GameCloud solutions and NVIDIA's Geforce GRID cloud gaming technology.

LG U+ calls C-games a N-screen cloud gaming service because LG U+ subscribers can enjoy a hassle-free cloud gaming experience with their smartphones, tablets, connected TVs, STBs or PCs anytime, anywhere over the cloud. LG U+ plans to make C-games available on Smart TVs by September this year. The platform will also be compatible with the Google Chrome browser next year, expanding beyond Windows and Internet Explorer. C-games will also be accessible on HTML5 cross-platform mobile applications.

The LG U+ nationwide Long Term Evolution networks have made it possible to establish the download-free and installation-free infrastructure for users to play cloud-based streaming games that have high-definition resolution and carry a large amount of data. The company will make the platform open-source so that customers of SK Telecom and KT, South Korea’s two biggest mobile carriers, can also play the games next year.

Partnered with leading game studios and OEMs around the world, Ubitus GameCloud enables LG U+ to deliver on-demand gaming services to consumers on the devices/screens they prefer. To bring more games to the C-games service, Ubitus also announced a Game Development Kit (GDK) for cloud gaming in a LG U+ business seminar which allows developers to convert their PC games into cloud-ready games within a few button clicks.

“Ubitus is incredibly proud to bring a instant-play cloud gaming service and a GDK to Korea. It has always been our mission to support game developers to deliver on-demand gaming to everyone, everywhere,” said Wesley Kuo, CEO of Ubitus, “Other than mobile devices and PCs, we will further extend the service to connected TVs and STBs later this year, as an integral part of the living room entertainment system. LG U+ users can enjoy seamless gaming experiences no matter they are relaxing at home or on-the-road.”

“LG U+’s superior LTE network, together with Ubitus’ innovative game cloud technology, unleashes powerful new entertainment possibilities for gaming enthusiasts in Korea,” said Byung-Wook Chun, SVP and Head of Service Platform BU of LG U+, “We care passionately about delivering the best content and most premium experiences possible for our valued customers; more exciting announcements about the cloud gaming service are soon to be released. We are excited to be working with Ubitus on such properties.”

“KGDA has been a leading organization representing tens of thousands of game developers in Korea”, said Seung-Hun Lee, President of Korea Game Developers Association (KGDA), “we are excited about the cloud opportunity for our game developers and publishers. We will work closely with Ubitus to support our members to best leverage the power of cloud to develop more attractive contents for the Korean gamers.”

Looking through the C-games games library, OnLive's games library feels outright crowded with high quality games. First there are not many games yet and the most notable games are Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition, RollerCoaster Tycoon 3, King's Bounty: The Legend, Ghostbusters: The Video Game and Dark Void. LG U+ has enabled virtual touch controls for Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition and other games, for instance the OnLive version of Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition doesn't have virtual touch controls. Looks like C-games has at least some support from Capcom and Atari, but they have a long way to go to build up a competitive games library. Working with both domestic and foreign game developers, LG U+ plans to release up to 100 titles by the end of the year.

This marks the first time for a South Korean company to venture into the cloud-based content business that aims to provide a new way to play games and replace traditional game consoles such as the PlayStation and the Xbox, LG U+ officials said. Just recently South Korean cable TV operator CJ HelloVision and cloud gaming company Playcast announced a partnership to bring cloud gaming to CJ HelloVision customers. Since South Korea has one of the best internet infrastructures in the world it's no wonder that cloud gaming competition between South Korean telecom companies is heating up.

Seeing as how the various cloud gaming services springing up around the world use NVIDIA's Geforce GRID cloud gaming technology, NVIDIA must feel pretty happy and proud for their foresight to go with guns blazing into cloud gaming so early in the game.

SOURCES: The Korea Herald, The Korea Times.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Google is Using OnLive to Showcase Google Fiber

It isn't surprising that Google is using the OnLive cloud gaming service to showcase Google Fiber speeds of 1 Gb at their Google Fiber Space showcase in Kansas City, when one considers that cloud gaming is a large bandwidth hog that requires sustained high quality internet connections and very low latencies.

In the videos below you can see people playing Pro Evolution Soccer 2012, Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands and BioShock. The former two are great games that are PlayPass titles in OnLive's games library and the latter is a great game that is part of the OnLive PlayPack. One can clearly see the OnLive Game System below the TV, that is being used to stream OnLive games from data centers in the cloud.

Playcast will Launch a Cloud Gaming Service for South Korean Cable TV Operator CJ HelloVision

South Korea’s leading cable operator, CJ HelloVision and cloud gaming company Playcast Media Systems announced that they have entered into a deal to launch a cloud gaming service set to change the way video games are played in South Korea. The service will allow cable-TV subscribers to play console-quality video games from the world’s major game publishers through their existing set-top boxes. The new cloud gaming service will offer an assortment of the industry’s leading game titles in an affordable monthly subscription package. CJ HelloVision has 3.51 million subscribers and is a subsidiary of regional giant CJ Corp.

Playcast is partnered with renowned game publishers such as Activision, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Disney Interactive Studios, Atari, Capcom, Codemasters, Sega, THQ and more. Playcast has also partnered with NVIDIA and will install NVIDIA's Geforce GRID cloud gaming technology into their data centers.

CJ HelloVision is a leading multi-system operator in South Korea, offering cable TV and over the top video streaming, as well as broadband, telephony and mobile services. CJ HelloVision commercialized the world's first open cable digital broadcasting service in 2005. In 2006, CJ HelloVision received the International Interactive Emmy Award, the first for an Asian company. Its TVing service (Over The Top service) was given the Best Application for Portable Device 2011 IBC Connected World TV AwardCJ HelloVision produces and features regional programs such as news, journalism, game shows and much more.

South Korea’s video games market has very limited home gaming options. The new cloud gaming service by CJ and Playcast brings console-quality gaming to many South Korean homes for the first time. In the US, Europe and Japan, the multi-billion dollars per year market has been dominated by physical distribution of game DVDs to dedicated gaming hardware, such as Sony’s PlayStation and Microsoft’s Xbox. With few game consoles in South Korea, gamers attend one of more than 20,000 internet cafes (PC bangs) to play games. Playcast’s video games streaming solution brings console-quality gaming without the need for a console, the games DVD, or leaving home – it’s as simple as zapping into a TV channel.

Young-gook Lee, Chief Marketing Officer at CJ HelloVision commented, “We are very proud to offer the cloud gaming service with such high quality games to our subscribers. With our strength across both cable and over the top services, and Koreans’ insatiable appetite for video games, we are looking forward to make a historical shift in the marketplace.”

Guy de Beer, Playcast Media CEO said, “Korea is a gaming nation – one of the largest consumers of video games in the world, yet consoles are practically non-existent. Our service leaps beyond legacy consoles, and straight into cloud gaming. The best gaming content becomes available to millions of Koreans with in a click of the TV remote control.”

Playcast and CJ HelloVision have yet to announce a release date for the cloud gaming service or details on its monthly subscription package, but when it launches South Korean gamers will have a hell-of-vision on games.

Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo and Retail are Afraid of OnLive and Want OnLive in the Dust

Recently a comment on a Digital Trends article about the OnLive mobile launch last December was brought up. Here's the interesting part of that comment, "That's cool, I have a friend that works for one of the largest game developers out there (hint, they just made their own competitor to Steam..... guess.. go on guess.. ) and he was mentioning that the big three are paying arseloads of money to have OnLive put down/ignored by media, you can only ignore a technology so much before it dominates. The big thing holding it back is the somewhat terrible internet infrastructure of the US."

Below I will write why I think that there is a lot of truth in this comment.

For some time I believe that it's indeed the way that this comment is saying. Seeing as how some companies and media outlets behave towards OnLive, you can hardly find some other sensible explanation. But I wouldn't say that the console guys and retail outright pay cash to those guys to ignore or trash talk OnLive, of course some cash might also be involved. I would say that the console guys and retail are using their whole corporate weight to apply pressure on games publishers, media outlets and other companies to put OnLive down.

I guess the company that just made their own competitor to Steam would be EA with Origin. OnLive has a nice partner in EA that has screwed them time and again. It's not really hard to guess why, as the number one cause is of course Origin, and then you can add the pressure and incentives from the console guys and retail. Activision also makes most of their money with Call of Duty on the Xbox 360 and PS3 at retail, so the console guys and retail have them by their balls that are full of money that Bobby Kotdick has stashed away. Don't forget that Microsoft put OnLive as a threat and an acquisition target in their leaked Xbox 720 roadmap.

The other large publishers that support OnLive like Take-Two Interactive and Ubisoft are also supporting OnLive half-heartedly and I think this also has much to do with the console guys and retail. THQ is the exception with their strong support for OnLive, but they have nothing to lose as they might not make it for much longer and they are betting on OnLive and cloud gaming.

The hotly anticipated RPG The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings wasn't mentioned from OnLive for some time and the publisher of the game also doesn't mention it anymore coming to OnLive. I think since CD Projekt Red released The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings with great success on the Xbox 360, OnLive support has been going down from them. I don't think the game will come to OnLive or it will come very late. And I don't think that I'm the only one who thinks that Microsoft has something to do with this.

Some of you might remember last year's problems of OnLive with GameStop. I think GameStop is also putting a game stop on OnLive for the biggest blockbuster games.

Companies hate those who disrupt the status quo. Many businesses would prefer that the model that currently works lasts forever or at least as long as it suits them. Reinventing oneself requires a lot of thought, time, work and money.

The console guys and retail are afraid of OnLive, and rightly so. OnLive and cloud gaming is bound to disrupt their business.

One has to consider that OnLive has investors like Warner Bros. (Time Warner), AT&T and BT behind them. When these guys put their whole corporate weight behind OnLive, this could grow to a great threat for the console guys and retail. Even the leaked Xbox 720 roadmap mentions AT&T as OnLive's partner that could give or subsidize hardware to consumers, and monetize on a subscription service and games. AT&T has already ran some promotions with the OnLive PlayPackWarner Bros. is also supporting OnLive with games like Batman: Arkham City, and BT helped launch OnLive in the UK and partnered with them on many promotions. But I think they are waiting for the internet infrastructure and OnLive's infrastructure to be ready, before their full support for OnLive will kick in.

Some might say that these are all conspiracy theories, but the conspiracies behind these theories have a lot to do with the lack of game content on OnLive and why OnLive can't get more quality game content.

I will say it again, OnLive has to produce their own game content to mitigate these problems.

Update on FortressCraft for OnLive

Adam Sawkins (DjArcas) of ProjectorGames is testing out FortressCraft on servers running in OnLive's data centers. He tweeted, "I've just been testing FortressCraft, running on the #OnLive server farm. Wow, it runs SMOOTHLY. I must try higher draw distances... :-)" He is quite enthusiastic about the game coming to OnLive and how good it runs on the OnLive servers.

DjArcas also tweeted the to-do list for FortressCraft on OnLive, "I'm working on the final work-list for Onlive now. What's in, what will come in a patch, what needs fixing and polishing: ." It looks like he still has a lot of work to do before he can release the game on OnLive.

Finally, DjArcas is very excited about FortressCraft coming to the OUYA Android game console via OnLive, as he tweeted, "Confirmed : FortressCraft will be coming to OUYA, via OnLive." Just on Friday OnLive and OUYA announced that OnLive will come pre-installed on the OUYA Android game console when it launches in March 2013 for $99.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

OnLive will Come Pre-Installed on the OUYA Android Game Console

Cloud gaming company OnLive and OUYA have announced that OnLive will come pre-installed on the Kickstarter funded open-source software based OUYA Android Game Console when it launches in March 2013 for $99. OUYA is a poster child of Kickstarter and has already amassed $5,688,078 in pledges from 44,396 backers, which is way beyond their $950,000 goal. They still have 11 days to go on Kickstarter.

OnLive UK general manager Bruce Grove wrote in a blog post:

When OnLive first heard about OUYA, we were excited to see console gaming becoming more available and open. Like OUYA, we came to gaming with a new vision for making top-quality gaming accessible to more people, and we continue to look for ways to expand on that vision.

OUYA is rethinking the console business, making waves by using standard technology to make gaming for your living room accessible, affordable and more innovative than ever. In OnLive’s case, we pioneered a groundbreaking, cloud-based system that instantly delivers games to any device on demand.

We are pleased to announce that OnLive will be available on OUYA at launch, extending and building on our commitment to make the best games available to everyone, everywhere.

What does that mean for OUYA backers?
  • OnLive will deliver a full console-class experience, bringing hundreds of top-tier games from more than 80 publishers to the OUYA console for play on demand.
  • OUYA owners will be able to jump in and play any of these games both at home on their OUYA console, and on the go on PCs, Macs, tablets and phones, never leaving a game behind.
  • Instant demos will be available for nearly every game in our ever-growing library—from eagerly anticipated indie titles like Ravaged, to hot blockbusters like the upcoming Darksiders II. Players can experience up to 30 minutes of each game for free before deciding what to buy. If they like it, they can continue playing where the demo left off.
OnLive already delivers a premium gaming experience to tablets, smartphones, PCs, Macs, connected TVs and HDTVs via the OnLive Game System or dedicated streaming devices like the VIZIO Co-Star. We’re pleased to deliver the same OnLive experience on the OUYA console when it launches next year.

In an interview with GigaOMOUYA Founder and CEO Julie Uhrman said, "There’s a lot of content and games that we want for OUYA and we listen to our audience. They wanted OnLive so I made it a point to go out get them. OnLive signals some of the types of partnerships we can have on OUYA. The idea is we can have streaming and downloadable content. Because it’s open and built on Android, all different kinds of content would be available: games, videos, streaming and music content. OUYA is about being open and bringing the best content to gamers and anyone who enjoys entertainment. We don’t think OnLive’s content cancels out any publishers or developers, it enhances the platform."

OUYA is a new game console for the TV, powered by Android. OUYA is a little box packed full of power. Developers will have access to OUYA's open design so they can produce their games for the living room, taking advantage of everything the TV has to offer. Best of all, OUYA's world-class controller, console, and interface come in one beautiful, inexpensive package. All the games on it will be free, at least to try.

OUYA has the same price as the OnLive Game System and both come with a wireless controller. It remains to be seen of what quality the OUYA controller will be in comparison with the very high quality OnLive wireless controller. Additionally OnLive sells the Universal OnLive Wireless Controller for $49.99 (£39.99 UK), and that controller can be used for OnLive gaming on PCs, Macs, TVs, Tablets, Smartphones and other devices. It also remains to be seen if and how compatible OUYA's controller will be on other devices. Since the OUYA is an open device and it comes with an USB 2.0 port, support for other gamepads is a given, at least for standard USB XInput controllers.

Developers can wave farewell to the roadblocks of bringing a console game to market. Anyone can make a game: every OUYA console is a dev kit. No need to purchase a license or an expensive SDK. It's built on Android, so developers already know how it works. That doesn't mean OUYA is an Android port. You can create the next big title in your bedroom, just like in the good old days! OUYA could change AAA game development too, as there are no licensing fees, retail fees, and publishing fees.

The OUYA is also open to hackers. It's easy to root (and rooting won't void your warranty). Everything opens with standard screws. Hardware hackers can create their own peripherals, and connect via USB or Bluetooth. OUYA is even open to give people their hardware design.

OUYA Specifications:
  • Tegra3 quad-core processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8GB of internal flash storage
  • HDMI connection to the TV, with support for up to 1080p HD
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth LE 4.0
  • USB 2.0 (one)
  • Wireless controller with standard controls (two analog sticks, d-pad, eight action buttons, a system button), a touchpad
  • Android 4.0
  • Ethernet

Friday, 27 July 2012

With the Help of OnLive Vizio Sold Out the First Batch of the Vizio Co-Star Pre-Orders in Just 12 Hours - Pre-Orders are Back Up

Just 12 hours after the VIZIO Co-Star went up for pre-order on www.vizio.com/costar, the pre-orders for the little stream player with Google TV and OnLive were sold out. VIZIO posted on Google+, "Thanks to our fans support, we sold out of the #VIZIOCoStar pre-order in the first 12 hours. We are happy to announce that we have pre-orders back up and running!" This post confirms that the pre-orders are back up.

The VIZIO Co-Star turns any HDTV into the ultimate Smart TV. With 1080p and 3D support; the Co-Star offers the distinct advantage of connecting to a cable or satellite box. This feature allows viewers to enjoy full screen web browsing via Google Chrome with Adobe Flash Player and HTML5, access to entertainment apps such as the OnLive Cloud Gaming Service, Netflix, YouTube and thousands more without switching inputs or remotes thanks to the universal touchpad remote with keyboard and integrated IR blaster.

The VIZIO Co-Star is the first stream player to offer video games on demand. Through OnLive, users can demo, watch and play hundreds of top-tier video games directly from the cloud, eliminating the need for an independent game console. In addition, the VIZIO Co-Star offers popular apps such as Amazon Instant Video, YouTube and iHeartRadio and more – all available for download through the Google Play Store.

The fact that the OnLive App comes pre-installed on the VIZIO Co-Star surely helps VIZIO sell many of these little stream players. Let's hope that OnLive's data centers can cope with the day one demand from many Co-Stars turned on and streaming high-end gaming from the cloud. Of course it might well be that VIZIO is limiting the pre-order numbers to not put too much of a day one strain on OnLive's data centers.

If you want to know more about the VIZIO Co-Star, here is more info about it.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

OnLive Founder and CEO Steve Perlman Again Posts on the Official Google TV Blog - OnLive is Coming Soon to Google TV

OnLive Founder and CEO Steve Perlman had the honor of again posting on the official Google TV Blog, after he had already done it early this year. This shows the confidence that Google puts in OnLive for streaming high-end games to Google TV Smart TVs and devices, as well as Android tablets and smartphones.

Here's the blog post OnLive Founder and CEO Steve Perlman had the honor to post on the official Google TV blog:

OnLive: console-class gaming on Google TV without the console

With Google TV, a vast world of entertainment is always at your fingertips. Movies, TV shows, YouTube channels, music, apps—through live TV or streamed to your living room. OnLive is proud to bring yet another popular form of entertainment from the internet to you: console-class gaming. From family-friendly titles like MLB 2K12 to favorites such as Batman: Arkham City, Darksiders II and more, OnLive delivers hundreds of top-tier video games from more than 80 of the world’s best publishers directly to select Google TV devices, with more devices on the way.

Grab your remote, a Google TV-compatible controller or, better yet, the Universal OnLive Wireless Controller and in just a few taps, you’re gaming. Play the first 30 minutes of nearly any game free. Subscribe to the OnLive PlayPack for unlimited access to 200+ select titles, or purchase the latest hit games a la carte for play on your TV and all your favorite displays. With OnLive, you can start a game on your TV and continue playing it anywhere, on nearly any PC or Mac, Android tablet or phone.

You can also take advantage of free cloud-based social features, such as watching other gamers play live in OnLive’s massive worldwide spectating Arena, voice chatting with friends and spectators, or combining everything in the forthcoming OnLive MultiView, which lets you watch and chat with three friends or teammates as you play.

OnLive is integrated into the VIZIO Co-Star and will also be pre-installed on the LG Smart TV with Google TV (G2 Series) via a future software update. For other Google TV devices, an OnLive app is on its way to Google Play, making console-quality top-tier gaming a standard capability for any Google TV device.

Just as Google TV has reimagined how people watch television, OnLive has reimagined the way people game—making playing the latest top-tier titles as simple and as instantaneous as streaming a movie. Welcome to the future of video games.