June US kick-off for PC/Mac streaming service; $14.95 subscription and publisher support; No details on Euro launch yet

GDC: OnLive dates launch, pricing for US

Controversial games streaming service OnLive will launch in the US on June 17th backed by Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Take-Two Interactive, THQ and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.

Details for the cloud-based gaming service, which was unveiled amidst much attention at GDC last year, are to be given in a Wednesday keynote this morning at the GamesBeat one-day event at the 2010 Game Developers Conference.

The serivce launches on PC and Mac, and costs $14.95 a month, the firm told our sister magazine MCV.

That price "provides access to an ever-increasing library of high-end, new release game content and a host of exclusive community feature such as Brag Clips and massive spectating," said COO Mike McGarvey

"Individual titles will be available for purchase or rental on an a la carte basis. Specific game pricing, including rentals,purchases and loyalty programs, will be announced prior to the consumer launch event at E3. We’ll also be announcing additional loyalty and discount programs for consumers in the coming months."

Major publishers have already backed the service – and while specific titles, pricing and revenue share models will be made public closer to the E3 launch, McGarvey told us that a few of the launch games include Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed II and Prince Of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, as well as THQ’s Metro 2033.

At GDC, the firm is also courting independent developers to help hem understand the benefits of distributing their games through OnLive as well as traditional retail and increasingly-prominent download channels.

"We’re seeing the pace of title commitments accelerate dramatically as we approach our consumer launch," said McGarvey.

"We’re very pleased with the degree of publisher support received to date and have seen a rise in publisher interest in the OnLive Game Service as their focus begins shifting dramatically toward digital distribution."

OnLive effectively streams game content direct to computers, without the need for a game download, and effectively cuts down the digital distribution process to its simplest essence.The service launched in a closed beta late last year.

But what about the Micro Console – a small unit which plugs into a TV for those who don’t just want to play on computers – which the firm touted at GDC last year. And when does the service head to Europe?

The MicroConsole hasn’t been forgotten, said McGarvey – but the firm is focusing on the PC and Mac version first: "For the initial rollout of the consumer service, we are focusing on delivering high-performance games to PCs and Macs and we will be making an announcement regarding our plans for the MicroConsole rollout later on in the year."

As for Europe: "We are very focused on launching the service in the US at the moment, but stay tuned on our European plans," McGarvey told MCV.

A full interview with McGarvey will appear over on MCV very soon.

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