GamesBeat

OnLive rolls out parental controls and group voice chat

Games-on-demand service OnLive has rolled out parental controls, group voice chat, and Facebook achievement sharing in the latest upgrade to its service.

The company has steadily rolled out new features since its debut in mid-2010 in a quest to offer just about everything that rival consoles or PCs offer.

With parental controls, parents can manage how their kids use the OnLive Game Services by sharing their own accounts in a restricted mode. Once an account is set up with the controls, anyone accessing the game service with that account won’t be able to access mature-rated titles. They won’t be able to chat with strangers, spectate games, or view Brag Clips. Parents can enter their own secret passcode to remove the restrictions.

OnLive has had two types of voice chat so far. It offers game chat for multiplayer sessions and spectator chat for chatting while watching someone play a game. Now, the company is offering group chat for friends, regardless of what they are doing. You can create a group chat with friends that will persist from one game session to another. Instead of tracking down friends to play, you can now jump into voice chat as a group. You can use it with any feature such as browsing the market or playing a game.

Yesterday, OnLive also launched a big promotion with the debut of Eidos Montreal’s Deus Ex Human Revolution. The game is getting good reviews and includes a free version of the OnLive game along with purchases of the disk-based game. That means users will be able to play Deus Ex Human Revolution via the OnLive portal on devices like the iPad, laptops, and friends’ computers.

Lastly, OnLive has added one more feature to Facebook sharing. The company has already made it possible to export Brag Clip videos to Facebook. Now you can share achievements from games directly to Facebook. Friends can make comments on or issue “likes” for your posts. Joe Bentley, vice president of engineering at OnLive, said the company will continue to respond to requests for new features.

OnLive recently said it would expand to the United Kingdom in September. Rivals include GameStop, Valve’s Steam and other cloud gaming companies such as Otoy and Gaikai.

OnLive’s investors include BT, HTC, Warner Bros., Autodesk, Maverick Capital, AT&T and The Belgacom Group. The company was founded by entrepreneur Steve Perlman nine years ago and has more than 200 employees.


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