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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Onlive Cloud Gaming

How and Does it work?

Video games, simulations of lives that could be, portrayed by taking control of a character in a setting different than our own world. Often in order to play intensive games one would require an expensive gaming computer or a console that can sometimes cost just as much. Not anymore says Onlive, a video game streaming service. Onlive is a service that you install on your computer. The service is set up to allow high end games that are graphic intensive to run on low end computers. This is achieved by having all of the actual processing of the game happen on a server located somewhere else. The server takes a screenshot of the game and sends it to your account where you are viewing a continuos feed of images that make up the game. Any controls that you use are submitted back to the server and processed on the game. Think of it as using a wireless keyboard and monitor with a desktop set up in another room. The service can run off a wired ethernet connection or a wireless connection although the wifi option is still in beta so be warned. I have tried out both wired and wireless connections and for me both work amazing. I am using a cheap $300 computer that I bought for school work and with a wired connection there is no lag at all. The experience is actually rather enjoyable. With a wireless connection I find that it is best to be close to the router however even at the max distance I seem to be able to play with minimal lag. The service works surprisingly well and should deserve a look at.


 The list of games available right now is limited, however there are new editions being added frequently and some good titles have already been added such as Just Cause 2 and Mafia 2. Most if not all games have a free trial period of 30 minutes. After the trial period you can choose to buy a playpass. There are options for renting the game for a certain number of days or a full pass which is basically just buying the game.

Other Features

 Onlive also offers users a profile to keep track of friends and show off Brag Clips, 10 second movie clips of gameplay, The profile is a minimum with a little information and then selections for games you own, friends, and the Brag Clips.
The Arena is an area for anyone to just hang out and watch other people play games. When selected, you are brought to a screen with many icons showing the games in progress. When one is selected you are brought into the game seeing the action from the point of view of the player. While spectating you have the options to cheer on the player, jeer the player (thumbs down) or befriend them. Anyone can view your gameplay.


 Overall Onlive is a pretty good service seeing as it is the first of its kind. It does actually work which is a big plus obviously. Gameplay is very enjoyable and the community is a nice place. It will become a better option to many as it gathers more deals with game publishers. There are however always downsides. The biggest of these is that because the service is in the cloud, if the company shuts down you lose all of the games you have bought and everything else with it. Also you are relying on there servers to be up and for you to have a relyable connection. All in all it is a great service for people with low end computers that want high end gaming.

Do you use Onlive as a gaming platform? Why or why not? Leave the comments in the box below and feel free to follow the blog.

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