OnLive has announced that its streaming gaming service will be available on Android and iOS devices. For those of you not familiar with OnLive, it’s a cloud-based service that brings high-end gaming to a variety of devices; since the heavy processing is done on the cloud, the service can work on relatively modest hardware. For gamers, this means that they can play games with PlayStation 3-level graphics on their iPad or Android tablet. Previously, OnLive could only be accessed through the company’s proprietary boxes or PCs. As of this writing, the OnLive app is available on Android Market and not yet available on iTunes.
Here’s a snippet from the press release:
Over 25 OnLive titles, including L.A. Noire, family titles like LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 and 5-7, and indies like Defense Grid Gold, will work with touch control on tablets and smartphones. And most of the nearly 200 games in OnLive’s growing library, including recent top-tier releases like Batman: Arkham City, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations and Lord of the Rings: War in the North, are immediately playable on virtually any device with the Universal OnLive Wireless Controller, which utilizes OnLive’s exclusive adaptive wireless technology to automatically find an optimal wireless connection for a given tablet, smartphone, PC, Mac, TV or Blu-ray player. The Universal OnLive Wireless Controller will be available soon for purchase in the US and the UK, for $49.99 and Â£39.99 respectively.
I think OnLive is a wonderful service and I’m thrilled that it’s going mobile. Before you get too excited, there are some things to keep in mind. In my experience, there can be slight lag issues with OnLive over DSL and cable-modem connections. Although the company claims “compatibility with 4G LTE cellular service”, I expect lag to be more common over 4G. I love me some LTE, but the latency (ping rates) doesn’t compare to what you can get at home.
While the controller is “optional”, it’s definitely a necessity for serious gamers. I don’t care how much LEGO Harry Potter and L.A. Noire have been tweaked. I guarantee you that the experience will be better with a traditional controller.
Having said all that, this is tremendously exciting news. I love that console-quality gaming will be available on tablets. I love that OnLive accounts can be enjoyed at home or on the road. This is a huge step for OnLive and a glimpse at the future of gaming. Being tied to a box is so 2000-and-late!
What do you think of OnLive for Android and iOS? Are you excited by its potential? Now that the service is mobile, will you subscribe to OnLive?