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    OnLive launches in the UK today, September 22nd; rolling out to rest of Europe soon

    OnLive launches in the UK today, September 22nd; rolling out to rest of Europe soon

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    OnLive, the cloud gaming service that has been sprawling its way across the United States since June of last year is today going international. The UK is the first new market to officially go live, though OnLive is testing its infrastructure as far afield as Moscow and promises a "rapid" rollout across the rest of Europe.

    As a quick refresher, what OnLive offers is essentially distributed processing for PC games. Instead of purchasing and maintaining a high-end computer yourself, you sign up with the company, paying for either a single-game permanent license (PlayPass) or a monthly subscription package (PlayPack), and then you just stream all that goodness, in high definition no less, back to whatever device you have handy. And it's really becoming a case of whatever device, as OnLive is inching ever closer to releasing apps for the iPad and Android tablets, allowing users to play with either onscreen touch controls or the upcoming Universal Controller. That's on top of the PC, Mac and MicroConsole options already available, and will be augmented by OnLive integration in future HDTVs and Blu-ray players. For full details of pricing and launch deals in the UK, jump past the break.

    Britons can expect to pay "competitive" prices for PlayPasses for the latest games, though the best value looks to be the £6.99-a-month PlayPack, which gives you access to 100+ older games, multiplayer versions of "AAA" titles, and a 30 percent discount on new purchases. The MicroConsole, should any of the other options for playing OnLive not appeal, will cost £69.99 and come with one wireless controller. Eurogamer Expo attendees today should also make sure to drop by OnLive's booth as the company is giving away "thousands" of consoles, showing a commitment to establishing an audience in the UK.

    OnLive has also secured a pair of strategic partnership for its launch in the UK. The first is with BT, the benefit of which will be felt by BT Broadband customers, who will get the PlayPack subscription for free for the first three months after signing up. The second deal is with local games retailer Game, which will promote OnLive both through its online store and across its 615 retail locations in the Queen's realm.

    One final note of import: OnLive's UK site will be taken down for up to 24 hours today while it transitions into its new role as an open sign-up portal. The service itself will be live and continue ticking -- CEO Steve Perlman is rightly proud of OnLive's 100 percent uptime record -- it's just the website that'll be out of reach for a while.

    Source: OnLive UK