OnLive, the cloud gaming service that allows anyone with a decent broadband connection (ideally 5 Mbits / second, minimum 2 Mbits / second) to play the latest games, even if they only have an old computer, is coming to smartphones. OnLive was welcomed by gamers when it released for PC (and TV) in September 2011, because it finally gets rid of the need to constantly upgrade your hardware and even to buy and store software (all the games are stored and played in the cloud, and most users pay a monthly subscription fee for unlimited access to games, rather than a per-game title fee). It’s www.friv.plus
even potentially available on your television, via a cheap and cheerful dedicated OnLive console. The main requirement on either TV or PC is a wired modem with sufficient bandwidth to ensure your cloud gaming experience is lag-free.
As of now, OnLive is also available as a free download for Android phones, but the iOS version has not yet passed Apple’s rigorous apps vetting procedure. OnLive representatives have said that should be no problem, though arguably the service competes with iTunes game app sales.
Rockstar Games are working closely with OnLive, so LA Noire will be available in a smartphone and tablet version via the service. The new version will have a new, specially customised interface, adapted for touchscreens. For customers who prefer a more traditional console-style controller, OnLive also has those available in a wireless version for your tablet or smartphone (£39.99).
A total of 25 touchscreen-control OnLive games are already available at launch, with more scheduled to be added. The OnLive management are working with other games publishers to ensure that OnLive games are optimised for
the cloud gaming setup, which frequently means bringing new features to old classic games. Anyone who has an OnLive subscription of any kind will have access to the games they have bought or gained access to (which vary depending on the subscription package) on any device that is OnLive-enabled. So, if you have OnLive on your home PC, you can continue a saved game on your Android phone (or eventually, on your iPhone), as long as the game is available for both platforms.
The planned rollout for iPhone and Android is exciting news, though there have as yet been no announcements about how OnLive will deal with bandwidth issues. 4G customers should have no trouble, since that service is faster than most wired ADSL connections, but 4G has no widespread availability in the UK yet and won’t for another year or two. The UK average speed for 3G devices is 2.62 Mbits / second, not much more than the bare minimum requirements for the PC version of OnLive, and of course half the time you will get less than average reception. For many games this will not be an issue, but we anticipate problems for anyone wanting to play a real-time strategy, first-person shooter or similar game, particularly in rural areas. Even many cities have 3G connections that barely register over 2 Mbits /second on average.
OnLive Android app requirements:
The OnLive app requires at least Android 2.3 Gingerbread and has been tested on the following devices: Acer Iconia Tab A500, ASUS Eee Pad Transformer, HTC Evo View, HTC Flyer, HTC Jetstream, Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Sony Ericsson Tablet S, Toshiba Thrive, HTC EVO, HTC Nexus One, HTC Rezound 4G, HTC Sensation, HTC Sensation XL, Motorola Droid 2, Motorola Droid X2, Motorola DROID BIONIC 4G, Motorola DROID RAZR 4G, Motorola Photon 4G, Samsung Galaxy S II 4G.
The Universal OnLive Wireless Controller has been tested with the Acer Iconia Tab A500, ASUS Eee Pad Transformer, Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Toshiba Thrive.