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Onlive and Steam: A Marriage Between the Two Top Names In Cloud Gaming
By now, virtually everyone has heard of the implosion of cloud-gaming pioneer, Onlive. The company that was once heralded as the final answer to cloud gaming was forced to file an assignment for the benefit of creditors, which would ultimately put them in the hands of investment firm, Lauder Partner.
The reasons behind this meltdown are pretty easy to identify. Reports indicate that Onlive was shelling out over $5 million each month supporting over eight thousand different game servers, while only sporting under two thousand gamers playing at any one time during peak hours. While Onlive claimed an active user base of over 1.5 million subscribers, money is not earned if people are not actually using the service.
So that’s where the story ends, right? Not even close!
Onlive has once again captured the headlines of major news outlets with their recent pairing with online-gaming provider, Steam. This service will be markedly different than what they offered the first time around. Rather than solely offering games themselves, which could be played as much as you wanted for a specific amount of money each month, users will now be able to purchase their games through Steam and play them on any device they own.
How is this accomplished? One word: CloudLift
What Is CloudLift?
Onlive’s new service, dubbed CloudLift, is able to detect which games you have already purchased through Steam and streams them directly to the device you want to use. CloudLift provides support for all aspects of gaming through Steam. This means you can still enjoy multiplayer with other gamers, as well as all of the achievements and download content that is available.
Current CloudLift Games
Given that Onlive and Steam just recently finalized their partnership, it should come as no surprise that the number of currently supported games is pretty small. As of the time of the writing of this article, the number of supported games totaled to around twenty five. However, while the number may be low, AAA titles such as Batman: Arkham City and Darksiders 2 are among the available titles.
Steam integration is not the only way to currently play games through Onlive. PlayPack, a feature that has been with Onlive from the very beginning, is still available for $9.95 per month. With PlayPack, you have access to over 200 games, which can be streamed to a PC, tablet, smartphone or TV. These games are not purchased beforehand, such as what is involved with CloudLift. Rather, all games can be played simply by paying the monthly fee.
CloudLift is not the only innovation from Onlive to make recent headlines. Onlive Go, which is being promoted as a gateway to virtual worlds, will make its debut with the popular alternate-reality game, Second Life. Onlive Go will provide access to small developers as a way to make it possible for users to play them directly in the cloud.
Onlive’s marriage to Steam is some of the hottest new to hit the cloud gaming industry in a while. Is CloudLift or Onlive Go services you would enjoy? Let us know in the Comments section below!
By Joe Pellicone