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OnLive Gaming Service Announces It’s Going Free

OnLive Gaming Service Announces It’s Going Free  (photo)

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One of the most onerous things that comes with video gaming is the initial investment. No matter where or what you’re playing–even if it’s a handheld platform–you’ll need to add a new thing to your living room, messenger bag or desk.

OnLive‘s offering a promise to minimize such acquisitive angst–what console do I buy, when do I upgrade my PC’s video card–with their revolutionary service. The basic concept is cloud gaming, where the hardware that runs the game lives somewhere else and all you need is a PC or a TV. The secret sauce is in the streaming technology which delivers near-instantaneous response to the remote servers. I’ve tried out OnLive a few times and it’s impressive. Even the graphical beasts used to benchmark how awesome a computer is–like “Crysis”–look good and perform sharply over the service.

The beta for OnLive launched about a short while ago and they’ve made some important overtures to the indie developer community. They’ve made their development tools available to indies, so that you can play small-studio titles like “World of Goo” on your TV with the need for an Xbox 360 or a Wii. But the biggest change with OnLive of late was their recent announcement that they’re dropping their subscription fees. In March, they announced a monthly subscription fee of $15. But now, well before launch, OnLive’s scuttled that and will only charge for games on an a la carte basis. That means it’s essentially like Netflix’s Watch Instantly offering, but only for games.

With that change, OnLive’s become a much more viable option for both developers and consumers. Developers can get feedback directly with the service’s community tools and consumers can sample at will if they’ve heard good things about a title. A few of this year’s major game releases–like “Mafia II,” “Kane & Lynch: Dog Days” and this week’s brand-new “NBA 2K11”–have hit the service the same day as they arrive in retail, allaying any fears users may have about being stuck with a bunch of back catalogue stuff. The next major move from OnLive will be the rollout of their micro-console, which connects the service to TVs. No date’s been announced yet, but look for that in thenext couple of months.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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