Online gaming service OnLive is launching on tablets and smartphones, via a free app that is available today on the Android Market.
OnLive is a cloud-gaming service that enables users to play full-length games over the web, without using a console. It launched in the UK earlier this year for desktop computers, but it’s now portable too, so (in theory) 500 million phones and tablets will be able to start online gaming across the UK and the USA.
OnLive’s stable includes an impressive 200 titles, including an exclusive tablet-optimised version of L.A Noire, which is the first console game to be developed especially for tablets. 24 other titles including LEGO Harry Potter and Defence Grid Gold also feature touch controls created for tablets.
Steve Perlman from OnLive comments: Today marks a major milestone: OnLive is now delivering the latest, console-class, top-tier games—literally to your fingertips—on tablets and phones for instant, on-demand play anywhere, anytime.”]
OnLive for mobile and tablets launch date
On OnLive's website it states it is available now ‘release dates and times (are) subject to mobile app store certifications. ’ We've checked today and it's not available to Apple iPhone or iPad users yet - only OnLive viewer is available on the Apple App Store.
The Android version is available now. On the Android Market it states that it's compatible with handsets running Gingerbread 2.3, including: the Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy Tab, HTC Sensation, HTC Sensation XL and Samsung Galaxy S2 4G.
Using a UK Samsung Galaxy S2 we couldn't even find OnLive using the mobile version of the Android Market, however we could install it remotely using a desktop computer.
OnLive Mobile: Hands-on and first impressions
In order to play OnLive you need an account, which we suggest setting up using a computer first. Once launched, the interface is the same as the desktop version, which means some controls can be a little fiddly, although you can pinch to zoom, which makes things easier.
There's a list of games optimised for mobile devices, each of which has a free trial. Otherwise it costs £6.99 for the PlayPack Bundle, or £3.99 for 3-day rental and £5.99 for 5-day rental, alternatively buy the game for around £39.99.
We fired up Lego Batman over WiFi. Motion is smooth, without cutouts over our office connection. With bold colours and deep blacks the Galaxy S2’s Super AMOLED screen ensures the picture looks fantastic, it’s not HD though, so the picture soft rather than sharp, but it’s very playable. Sound quality isn't bad either, although we'd suggest a good pair of headphones.
You get two virtual controls for movement and looking, along with a series of console-like buttons to control: Attack, Jump, Change Character etc, we found these to be a little small on the Galaxy S2's 4.3-inch screen and we can imagine on a smaller phone it is even more problematic.
However, we're really impressed with OnLive, we love the free trials and now it's available for handsets, it's infinitely more usable. too.
Have you downloaded OnLive? Does it run smoothly on your handset? Is there any game in particular that works well? Let us know below or via Twitter and Facebook.