OnLive OnLine

October 8th, 2011

Back in March 2009 I wrote about cloud gaming. Reading it back to myself two things spring out:-

1) I’ve had a blog since 2008, I did not know that.

2) I appear to have written something with seemingly no opinion in it, it’s a loose collection of vague facts.

Anyway, OnLive launched in the UK a few weeks ago. I felt obliged to sign up and buy one of the micro consoles that connect it to the TV (£69). I felt obliged because I’d written the previous thing a few years ago, or at least that was the tenuous explanation I gave myself for buying another much needed gadget.

You don’t need to buy the console to sign up. You can get OnLive to run on any PC and Mac as long as you have a sufficiently fast internet connection. I think this is a crucial point. If you sign up for free you can play demos of any game they have on OnLive, also for free. Also if you sign up before the 9th October (in the UK) you can get one game for £1. This includes any of the big releases they currently have. I got Dirt 3 for £1 which is a bargain.

Overall I’d say my experience of using OnLive has been very very positive. Much better than I thought it was going to be. It is important to say that all of the games I’ve played, at least graphically, have not been as good as the console/PC equivalent. The quality of the graphics is determined by connection speed and with 20mbps (I never get that speed) all of the graphics have a slightly washed out feel. Overall I reckon they’re about 95% of the way there.

Other than that gameplay has been flawless. After a couple of hours playing Space Marine I had forgotten that  the game was being generated remotely.

Mentioning Space Marine reminds me of another nice touch, after ordering the micro console it did take some time to turn up, this didn’t surprise me, after all I’d ordered it on the launch day and sometimes  things are delayed. Never the less  I had an email from OnLive saying I could have any game for free, a great bit of customer service.

Though this did highlight one of the biggest problems with OnLive, the choice of games isn’t great. There are some great games from the last  year or so, but mainly ones I’ve played on the PS3, when it came to choosing an extra game I found it hard, so went for Space Marine which isn’t something I ever intended to play. As it goes it isn’t a bad game.

Although the range of games isn’t great they do offer a monthly subscription of £6.99  a month which gives you access to package of over 100 games. Mainly old ones, but quite a few I had intended to play years ago and never got round to buying, it seems a good deal.

Other nice touches are, whilst playing anyone logged into OnLive can sit and watch you play, any interesting thing that happens in game can be instantly loaded as a video on to your profile and the controller. The controller that comes with the micro console is fantastic, by far the  most comfortable controller I’ve ever come across.

The thing with OnLive is that I’m still not sure what it’s market  is. For people with a Mac or older PC it is a great way to play more recent games but, at present, the quality does not compete with a high end PC or console.  Having said that the micro console only costs £69 and theoretically will never need to be upgraded.

I can’t see it replacing my PS3 soon but I will use it to play games, especially demos.

The technology is very impressive and with a greater prevalence of proper broadband I can see this as being the way we will see games in ten or twenty years  time. I see that there are plans to integrate the console into TVs and provide an app to play games on tablets and phones, this is the surely the future, but not quite yet.


Posted in Games | Comments (1)

One Response to “OnLive OnLine”

  1. Daz Wright’s Blog » Blog Archive » Free Stuff Says:

    […] you’ve been here before you might well know that I’m an enthusiastic supporter of OnLive. Since I wrote that post I’ve found myself using it more and more. I’ve also now got […]

Leave a Reply