As most people are now surely aware, SL Go is a means of accessing the full richness of Second Life on a tablet (or mobile device with a large enough screen) via OnLive’s streaming service, with the options of also accessing it via a computer or via a television (additional hardware required in the case of the latter). The mobile offering is initially Android only, but an iOS version is also promised.
SL Go is was launched as a part of the overall re-emergence of OnLive from an 18-month, self-imposed silence following the original company getting into difficulties prior to being bought out by Gary Lauder, who was an early investor in the original OnLive through his company, Lauder Partners.
As well as releasing the SL Go Beta on Wednesday March 5th, OnLive also launched their new CloudLift games subscription service ($14.99 a month) and their OnLive Go service (of which SL Go forms a part), which is specifically aimed at getting people up-and-running with MMOs and virtual worlds.
A key sticking point with SL Go where SL users are concerned has been that of pricing, with the pay-per-minute (or pay-as-you-go, depending on your preference in referring to it) plan receiving a broadly negative response. During the podcast, Draxtor interviews Nate Barsetti, Senior Manager of Customer Relations at OnLive, and Dennis Harper, the Senior Product Manager for OnLive, and the subject of pricing and potential future options is raised, as I’ve commented upon in a post on the SL Go pricing model.
Nate Barsetti is very much the voice of SL Go, having appeared on both Designing Worlds during a special programme about the new service and a follow-up Q&A session, as well as spending around an hour talking to Drax about the service, much of which appears in this podcast. Again, as I’ve previously mentioned, Nate is actually in a good position to discuss both SL Go and Second Life; he is both an ex-Lab employee (Scout Linden) and a long-time and very active resident, leading a Star Wars role-play community. As such, he offers some interesting insight into the various decisions taken vis-a-vis SL Go.
Dennis Harper’s interview is equally interesting. Not only does it echo the potential for OnLive to revisit things like pricing models (this is only a beta, after all), but also because he talks about his own exposure to Second Life, which seems to amount to being given a copy of Wagner James (Hamlet) Au’s book and being told to get on with it! Dennis also offer-up and interesting view as to how OnLive themselves might at some point get more involved in Second Life, possibly helping those new to the SL environment. He also points-out that SL Go support is actually made-up of SL residents. Also interviewed about SL Go is none other than Strawberry Singh, who offers a balanced view of using the service.
Away from this, The Drax Files Radio Hour gained a new sponsor in the week ahead of the podcast in the form of Leap Motion. To mark this, the show is giving away two Leap Motion devices, one each in two separate competitions. For this podcast, the competition is open to those who use Facebook, while next week a second Leap Motion device will be given away in a competition exclusively for SL users who don’t use Facebook.
Draxtor has been involved in working with the Leap Motion controller with Second Life for a while, and produced a video on his attempts. More recently, Leap Motion reached out to Linden Lab about integrating the controller with the viewer, and members of the Firestorm team are now working with Leap Motion to make this happen.
Elsewhere in the show, SL advertising is touched upon, as is more unfolding news surrounding Bitcoin, and the re-opening of the SL JIRA gets a mention.
Even if you’ve read all there is to read on SL Go, the show is worth a listen-to. Both Nate Barsetti and Dennis Harper are pretty open and honest in their comments, and the conversations with them really do help put aspects of SL Go into perspective.