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Gaming for the Chronically Cash-Challenged: Part 2

Inexpensive video gaming really does exist! OnLive is a new service that delivers hundreds of games for a fair price via cloud gaming. Read more about it in this second edition of Gaming for the Chronically Cash-Challenged.
This article is over 11 years old and may contain outdated information

As I am sure you already know, gaming takes a financial investment. Sometimes, that investment is so large that it threatens marriages, results in utilities being shut off, and malnutrition. These consequences can be avoided, and I am here to show you how. This second installment of Gaming for the Chronically Cash-Challenged features a service that brings over 200 games that you actually want to play to you for the price of a medium cheese pizza. This is made possible through one of the newest and most innovative gaming models to hit the scene- Cloud Gaming.

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The service is called OnLive. It features games from most genres, including relatively current titles. Your can buy and own games with OnLive, but you won’t be saving much money this way. Their true benefit is their cloud gaming feature. For $9.99, you have access to a large library. The downside is that you don’t own the games. The upside is that OnLive lets you save your game progress in the cloud, allowing you to access it anywhere. Anywhere isn’t an exaggeration either, as they support a range of devices including Smart HDTVs, Android enabled phones and tablets, Mac, and of course PC. Furthermore, unlike renting, there are no late fees, or chance of receiving a broken disc from that mailed services. Other benefits include game demos (those things that seem to be disappearing that let us see if we like a game before handing out moolah), a very cool dashboard, and the ability to cancel anytime.

Sounds good, right? So what’s the catch?

Well, so far, I haven’t found one that has completely turned me off. I should mention that they do sell a game console for televisions that runs for $99.99, and a wireless controller that costs $49.99. The controller is interesting, as it is compatible with several Smart HDTVs (LG Google TV for instance) as well as tablets and smartphones. I guess if forced to pick out just one negative, it is the absence of a FAQ from their website. It did make finding answers to simple questions a bit more challenging, but a quick click on the support page and a little research cleared most of that up.

The bottom line.

Basically, if you have a spare ten bucks, this is a great service to consider. The add-on peripherals are not needed for basic PC play making this a perfect candidate for my list of inexpensive gaming resources. One short download for over 200 games, most of which any gamer would definitely play, is a great deal. The ability to start on one device at home, and continue on a tablet while away is even better. OnLive has taken online game delivery to the next level, and for a price that won’t cause you to go into debt.

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Adrienne Brown
Gaming since PacMan was high tech and AOL was only available on floppy disks.