OnLive has extended its "Founding Members Program" into September, offering new members a full year of free access to the cloud gaming service.
OnLive, which officially opened its doors to the public a few days ago, promises to offer all the goodness of real videogaming without any of the usual hassles: All the work is done at remote servers and fed to pretty much any halfway-decent PC with a broadband connection, which means no more worries about system requirements, upgrading to the latest console every few years or ever having to leave the house to buy a game.
Of course, such a new and different approach means that questions and doubts are many, so to entice gamers to give it a shot, OnLive came up with a "first-come, first-serve" Founding Members Program, making the first year of service free and the second year available at only $4.95 per month. The promotion must have been a resounding success (or, I suppose, an abject failure) because the deal was originally set to end when the service opened to the public but has now been extended to September 6.
There are a few catches, of course. The "free" bit includes only the normal monthly service fee, so access to demos and community stuff is covered but full versions of games and other content will still need to be purchased separately. More interesting is that the Founding Members Program is currently the only membership option available, but there's no guarantee that applicants will actually get in; after filling out the application, OnLive will send out invitations "subject to service availability and the satisfaction of other criteria," which includes location, age requirements, sufficiently phat pipe and numerous other factors.
I don't know if there's an actual lottery system at work here or if this is just some pushy marketing meant to dial up the interest, but it's free either way so if you're at all curious about OnLive or cloud gaming in general, you might as well give it a rip. Find out more or just put your name in the hat at OnLive.com.