On March 5th, the launch of OnLive’s cloud-streamed third party viewer service SL Go was announced on Linden Lab’s official Second Life blog. This new TPV offered a way for users of tablets (Android only, for the time being) and owners of lower-spec desktops and laptops (no Linux version yet, sadly) to enjoy Second Life with all the visual eye candy that can be offered by the official viewer, with the performance that would be expected of a high-end machine. Unlike typical TPVs that are installed and executed locally, SL Go is a commercial service, so its use is not gratis.
Its introduction was met with considerable drama that had to do with (i) its initial pricing structure, (ii) the misconception that, from now on, Linden Lab would require that users use SL Go and other subscription-based services to access Second Life. The former has been duly addressed by OnLive, and the pricing structure is as follows:
- $9.95/month for unlimited access, which starts with a 7-day free trial.
- Pay-as-you-go for $1.00/hour.
As for the latter (the misconception that caused considerable drama in the blogs and forums), perhaps it has to do with the fact that OnLive’s service is endorsed by Linden Lab. Thankfully, it cleared up soon enough. I reviewed SL Go back in April, so for my opinion on SL Go on both tablets and desktops, please read my review.
Now, while SL Go was praised for its performance and visuals, there was some well-deserved criticism. For starters, its camera offsets are even worse than those of the official viewer; navigating low-roofed and cramped buildings becomes nigh-on impossible, because you can easily end up seeing the roof, or the floor above, and not your avatar. Second, it did not support fitted mesh at all. So, any avatars that wore fitted mesh garments were plagued by the well-known “stretch to (0,0,0)” issue.