Should I still be paying monthly fees for games? Part 2 – OnLive and Cloud Gaming
If it wasn’t clear from part 1, I think MMOs in general represent horrible value for money. If games like White Knight Chronicles didn’t drive the point home (with so much online content it becomes an MMO by accident) then Guild Wars and its well received sequel must make players of World of Warcraft, DC Universe and everything in between feel like chumps.
How then must such gamers feel when a service offers over 200 games a month for less than any of those games charge a month (251 games at £6.99/month at the time of writing). The only catch is that your Internet needs to be nice and lean; high speed, low latency.
The service is OnLive, and while others such as Gaikai (whom Sony have bought, for a cool $380 million) have come along since, OnLive is the original and best. To me at least. Played on their micro console with an Xbox 360-inspired controller, it’s an experience almost indistinguishable from console gaming… At best, anyway. A lot of the games are mouse and keyboard only, meaning PC/Mac time. That’s fine for the most part, but for games that were on consoles or their prequels support controllers, your left scratching your head as to why. Still, if you play over 10 hours of anything a month you’re beating the value proposition of most XBLA/PSN titles, never mind boxed retail games.
And that’s not all! I can’t help but feel like a salesman a la Ghostbusters 2 (gotta love that Ghostbusters is in the iOS dictionary), but subscribing to the OnLive PlayPack gives you a 30% discount on PlayPasses. Allow me to decipher their marketing speak: PlayPack games are the ones you can play as long as you’re paying your seven quid each month, whereas PlayPass games are yours as long as the service exists.
Now there could well be the elephant in the room here, as the recent shake up at OnLive hasn’t filled customers with confidence. Perhaps it’s my outlook, that nothing is permanent, but I’m not worried and I’ve had good experiences with OnLive to date. I got Space Marine for £1 on the UK launch, a few games on humble bundles and freebies from OnLive’s Facebook page. Even without all that, the bare bones of the PlayPass continue to live up to OnLive’s tagline: The best deal in gaming. I just wish more games had achievements….