launch date and price for its MicroConsole today, OnLive has confirmed that it intends to introduce a flat-rate pricing plan before the end of the year that will provide access to back-catalog and indie games for a fee comparable to Netflix Instant Streaming (think the $10 range). "We don't have everything together just yet, we want people to at least have this in the back of their mind when they decide whether or not to get the MicroConsole," OnLive CEO Steve Perlam told Joystiq regarding the decision not to announce an exact price at this time. "In December we'll announce pricing and the lineup of games. It's literally just a matter of getting publishers to sign this that and the other thing."
Like with the decision to eliminate a monthly subscription fee for the service, Perlman said that the idea of flat-rate pricing was something that was arrived at after polling OnLive's user base and crunching numbers. "We couldn't be sure that [flat-rate pricing] would really work until we began to see the economics," he said. "We just had to test people and ask what people wanted. Of all the survey questions we asked people, over 90 percent of the people surveyed were interested in a flat-rate tier. Knowing that these are older games and that newer games will continue to be a la carte."
Details on specific flat-rate tiles are expected to be revealed along with the finalized pricing, but Perlman confirmed that the back-catalog releases won't be titles currently available on the service. "[They will] sometimes not be as polished. They might say 'exit to Windows' instead of 'go to OnLive,'" he told us, stating that, "I think for people on this flat-rate tier, if they can just play something they've already paid for, they won't really care. They realize it's a classic title and off they go."
Perlman would like to see "related" titles added to the flat-rate tier to accompany new game releases in a series, using Duke Nukem Forever as an example. In this case, he said, Duke Nukem 3D would ideally be playable via OnLive around or on the same day Gearbox's latest effort ships.
We'll have more on the titles planned for the launch of the flat-rate tier, as well as pricing, as soon as it's available.