The streaming video game microconsole, OnLive has revealed details behind an upcoming subscription plan called “PlayPack,” which will beginning January 15 and will offer a specific backlog of games on the OnLive service for unlimited play for a flat rate of $9.99 a month.
The service, named OnLive PlayPack, has 14 games at the moment, including Prince of Persia, Lego Batman, Fear 2, and World of Goo. These games can be played for free with a subscription. Other titles, like Batman: Arkham Asylum, Borderlands, Assassin’s Creed II, and Unreal Tournament III are available for 3-5 day rentals and full purchase. All OnLive users have free access to the PlayPack service until it leaves beta on Jan. 14, 2011.
The PlayBack campaign allows OnLive users to play any of the games in the library of OnLive titles at no additional expense, and the games can be played for as long and as much as anyone wants. No discs, no lengthy downloads, no patches, just gaming. OnLive offers gaming via free trials, 3- and 5-day rentals, and a la carte PlayPass options for specific new-release games. It also sells the OnLive Game System (OGS) for $99, which includes a MicroConsole and controller for OnLive game access via HDTVs. OnLive said it started shipping the OGS today. But like Netflix, which has struggled to gain access to new release movies and television shows for its streaming service, OnLive is unlikely to get blockbuster games like Call of Duty: Black Ops for the subscription plan anytime close to their original release dates, Perlman concedes. Still, he believes publishers will be eager to grant rights for older titles because OnLive can help generate revenue from them.
“People love flat-rate plans for instant-play media, so it’s exciting to introduce this offering to the video game market for the first time,” said Steve Perlman, founder and CEO of OnLive. “With PlayPass games priced from $3.99 to $49.99, along with the new $9.99/mo PlayPack plan, OnLive’s growing library of games will suit any budget and any type of gamer, from casual to hardcore.”
OnLive is different from other consoles because it streams all games from remote servers, much like Netflix streams a movie from the Internet. Instead of having a lot of local processing power and a DVD drive, games are served via the net, making the system very affordable ($99 with a controller and free game) and compact.