Important note: The SL Go service is to be shut down on April 30th, 2015. For more information, please read this report.
In March 2014, Linden Lab and OnLive, the games streaming service, announced the open beta of OnLive’s new SL Go service, a means by which SL users could access Second Life via tablets and mobile devices using a full viewer streamed directly to the user’s device.
At the time of the launch, I was one of a number of people who were able to provide a review of the service, having been offered access to it ahead of the launch.
One area of upset with the service which quickly became apparent was the payment plan, which was based on a pay-as-you-go approach, with an hour of use costing $3.00, three hours $8.00 and ten hours $25.00. In response to criticism of the model, OnLive sought to make it clear through various mediums – notably Designing Worlds and Drax Files Radio Hour – that the plan was only an initial step, a means to gain data and feedback, and that options such as subscription plans had not been ruled out. The service also came in for criticism that it was only available in the USA, UK and Canada.
On Thursday April 3rd, OnLive followed-up on these comments by announcing they are both introducing a revised payment plan and extending the service to more regions. Linden Lab also followed-up with a post of their own. The OnLive announcement reads in part:
Since launching the beta of SL Go about a month ago, OnLive reports they’ve seen a very positive response to the Second Life® Viewer for Android™ that allows users to access Second Life over wifi or 4G LTE on tablets and laptops.Today, OnLive has updated the SL Go beta with new pricing:
- Monthly unlimited-use subscription for $9.95 (USD) / £6.95 (GBP). No contract and no commitment
- Reduced hourly rate: $1 / £0.70 per hour.
The previously available offer of a 20-minute free trial still stands.
In addition, and with the announcement, SLGo is now available in 36 countries worldwide, including Austria, Belgium, France, Greece, Iceland, Israel, Luxembourg, Scandinavia – even the Vatican City! The full list of supported countris can be found in the OnLive blog post.
Commenting on the move, OnLive’s Vice President of Product and Marketing, Rick Sanchez, said:
We’re grateful for the opportunity to support the Second Life community, and pleased to be working with such a passionate and creative group. We look forward to further developing SL Go with their feedback and suggestions.
How popular this makes the service, remains to be seen. But for those on low-end computer systems who would like to have access to Second Life in all its glory, $9.95 might not be considered too much to pay per month until such time as they upgrade their systems.
Certainly, the $9.95 price-tag for the monthly is lower than the figure I had been anticipating following post-launch activities by OnLive; I’d been expecting the price to perhaps be on a par with their CloudLift service ($14.95 a month), which launched at the same time as SL Go. Similarly, dropping the pay-as-you-go rate to flat $1.00 per hour should make the occasional access via tablet or mobile device even more attractive you those who might need it. For those who are interested, and following-up from my initial review, I also have an article about running SL Go on a Nexus 2013 HD.