Bright Canopy, seen by many as the successor to the SL Go from Onlive, have announced that they will be officially launching on August 29th :
After much work and preparation and tremendous help from the community testing our offering, we are proud to announce the launch of the full Bright Canopy service.
LAUNCH DATE: August 29th
EARLY BIRD PRICE: $17 per month*
BRING A FRIEND: Sign-up a friend and both you, and your friend, earn free time.
EAST COAST CLOUD: We will also be adding a brand-new, US. East Coast cloud, for faster ping times!
The asterisk next to the price is important, because the pricing will initially be experimental.
In the blog post, Bill Glover explains :
Our early bird price is going to be an experiment for 90 days. If you’ve been following the blog, you know we’ve seen price fluctuations on the back end, and we still need to watch actual usage of the service. $17 is a sustainable price if the instance costs return to their typical, historical values. It is not a sustainable price with the current spike in instance price. We may need to get creative with how we split instances, or we may need to raise prices. We intend to remain transparent as always and will keep you posted. Our goal is to continue to maintain a sustainable, affordable service.
The transparency here regarding the pricing is something to be admired. Pricing has been seen as the big barrier to streaming services such as Second Life. Pricing was something that SL Go from OnLive struggled with and it’s something that even the Lindens have admitted is tricky when it comes to offering streaming services.
At SL12B Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg was asked about Linden Lab providing a streaming service, his reply put the issue of pricing firmly at the heart of the discussion :
Streaming (render on the server) is interesting but the issue is cost. The day will come but we’re not there yet. Between nVidia, Amazon, Microsoft etc. hopefully the competition will drive pricing down soon to make it something we can offer at a price that users are willing to pay to make it worthwhile.
Therefore the approach from Bright Canopy is most definitely a sensible one.