Streaming game service OnLive said Thursday that it will begin its beta for wi-fi support this month, along with Labor Day promotions that the company hopes will attract more users.
Currently, OnLive, launched in June, requires a wired Ethernet connection to play a library of server-based games.
OnLive's website explains that the service had to launch with no wi-fi support in order to allow technicians to root out and troubleshoot internet-related issues first.
"Since wireless connections are subject to interference and drop-outs, when users are connected to OnLive through wireless, it adds another layer of network issues that are hard for us to separate out from internet issues," the company says.
OnLive COO Mike McGarvey said that wi-fi support has been the "most requested feature" among OnLive users. "We’re continuing to add new features and enhance the service, as well as expand the list of top new-release games," he added.
In order to attract more OnLive users, the company said it is extending its AT&T "Founding Members Program" promotion, allowing new users to sign up for a free one-year subscription to OnLive and an optional second year for $4.95 per month. The program is now extended until December 31 this year, while the initial program ended July15.
Additionally, during Labor Day weekend in the U.S., OnLive is discounting all of its games by 50 percent. Currently, users can purchase an unlimited "Play Pass" to obtain the license to use the server-based games for between $4-$60. OnLive also game rentals for a lower price.
In August, reports emerged that OnLive has a hefty valuation
of $1.1 billion, although the company is not commenting on those rumors.
Streaming services like OnLive have potential to disrupt the traditional game market, as the service allows users to run high-end PC games locally from remote datacenters -- players don't have to install the game onto their hard drives, and can select and play games from a browser. It circumvents retail and is not confined to a proprietary game console.