Thursday, 8 December 2011

OnLive Releases App for Mobiles and Brings High-End PC and Console Games to Mobile Gamers

Today OnLive announced that they are bringing high-end PC and console-class video games to mobile tablets and smartphones. Gamers will now be able to play games such as L.A. Noire, Defense Grid Gold, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II Chaos Rising, DiRT 3, LEGO Batman and more via touch controls on over 500 million tablets and smartphones.


You can already download the OnLive App for Android devices from OnLive US or OnLive UK. You can also download the OnLive App for Android devices directly from the Android Market for free.

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. OnLive will continue to update this list on the OnLive App Android Market download location, as additional smartphones and tablets are tested.

The OnLive App for iOS devices should be available soon, but it all depends on when or if Apple gives the green light for the App to launch. The OnLive App for iOS will not feature the ability to purchase games from within the App. Unlike the Android version, the iOS version features grayed-out buy buttons that are unable to be clicked. Why, you ask? Apple has arguably restrictive in-app purchase rules. In a huge issue that Amazon faced just months ago with their Kindle App on iOS, Apple requires a massive 30% cut of the profits from any purchases made within any App downloaded from the App Store (aka ALL Apps on iOS). Companies such as Amazon and OnLive operate at such slim profit margins that these kind of profit cuts are not just impractical, but impossible.

This harsh practice has earned Apple the ire of many, companies and consumers alike, and has undoubtedly cost Apple some apps and customers as, to some, they would rather deal with the much less restrictive Android marketplace.

But whatever your take on Apple’s rules, whether you see it as a legitimate but harsh business move, or just greedy abuse, it doesn’t appear to be changing anytime soon. For iOS users, the inconvenience is small but irritating.

Of course you can buy your OnLive games with other OnLive clients for Android, PC, Mac or TV. You can also buy your OnLive games directly on the OnLive website for the US and UK, Apple's Safari web browser will do just fine for that.



In wake of this announcement, OnLive is giving LEGO Batman to gamers for free, just for downloading the OnLive App. LEGO Batman is automatically added to a user’s My Games list within 24 hours of connecting to the OnLive Game Service from the OnLive App for Android or iPad when available.



All-in-all there is a growing library that already consists of over 25 games (see list below) that has touch controls enabled. Virtually all of the nearly 200 games on the service are playable on tablets, and smartphones using the new Universal OnLive Wireless Controller. The new wireless controller is compatible with most tablets and many smartphones. It 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 controller shipps with a wireless adapter (USB 2.0 plugin), a rechargeable battery pack, the needed Alkaline AA batteries, and a 1 foot long USB charging cable. The controller lasts approximately 36 hours of play time on a single charge. The wireless adapter works with up to 4 separate universal controllers at once, as well as one Bluetooth headset (used for voice chat within the OnLive service). The wireless adapter is recommended for optimal performance, but you can sync the controller with any device over Bluetooth. Bluetooth synchronization has higher latency and doesn't perform as well as with the wireless adapter. Tablets like the Kindle Fire don't work with the Universal OnLive Wireless Controller and are only able to use touch controls with the OnLive App.

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. OnLive will update this list on the Universal OnLive Wireless Controller page as the OnLive App is available and tested on additional tablets and smartphones.


The Universal OnLive Wireless Controller is available for purchase via the online OnLive store and can be found at http://www.onlive.com/controller (US) and http://www.onlive.co.uk/controller (UK). The price is set at $49.99 (US) and £39.99 (UK). OnLive PlayPack members in the US and PlayPack members in the UK can take an additional 30% off these prices.



The highlight of this announcement is the fact that games that couldn’t have even been considered playable on tablets or smartphones in the past, become as simple and easy to play for these mobile devices, as they have been on PCs and consoles for decades.



Developers have been working with OnLive for quite some time. More specifically, Rockstar Games has been working feverishly to bring genuine touch controls to L.A. Noire, exclusively for OnLive. The developers of the game actually created a version specifically for use on tablets through the OnLive service. This is just the start, and just one of over 25 games that are available with touch controls already or will soon be.

In talking about the touch controls for L.A. Noire, OnLive founder and CEO Steve Perlman said, “It’s a very immersive experience, and Rockstar Games has done just an absolutely beautiful job.”

Perlman also briefly talked about his experience with touch controls on another popular OnLive title, Defense Grid Gold.

“In Defense Grid Gold, there is a lot of zooming in and zooming out, so they did swipes and pinch and zoom,” explained Perlman. “And it’s incredible. I think the best experience is with touch on Defense Grid Gold.”

The entire list of games on OnLive that should have touch controls enabled at launch or shortly thereafter is as follows:

  • Ancient Spirits: Columbus' Legacy
  • A.R.E.S.: Extinction Agenda
  • Bastion
  • Cake Mania: Lights, Camera, Action!
  • Darksiders
  • Defense Grid Gold
  • DiRT 3
  • Flock!
  • Future Wars
  • A Kingdom for Keflings
  • L.A. Noire
  • Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light
  • LEGO Batman
  • LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
  • LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
  • Mini Ninjas
  • Osmos
  • Puzzle Chronicles
  • Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords
  • SpaceChem
  • Split/Second
  • Steel Storm: Burning Retribution
  • The Ball
  • The Maw
  • Virtua Tennis 2009
  • Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II Chaos Rising


  • “Today marks a major milestone: OnLive is now delivering the latest, console-class, top-tier games—literally to your fingertips—on mobile tablets and phones for instant on-demand play anywhere, anytime,” said Steve Perlman, OnLive Founder and CEO. “Through the free OnLive app, tablet and smartphone, gamers can play top console and PC titles like Assassin's Creed: Revelations and L.A. Noire—one of the most highly acclaimed, graphically sophisticated games to date—with exclusive OnLive Cloud Touch controls or with the new mobile-compatible Universal OnLive Wireless Controller. Tablets and smartphones, the fastest-growing consumer product categories in history, are now capable of running the hottest, highest-end games. Gaming and mobile devices will never be the same.”

    Gamers will be able to connect to OnLive via tablet and smartphone using a Wi-Fi connection or AT&T and Verizon’s 4G LTE cellular service. OnLive is unveiling compatibility with these 4G LTE cellular services, enabling full, HD-resolution, low-latency cloud gaming everywhere there is 4G coverage on devices such as the HTC Jetstream, Samsung Galaxy Tab and Motorola Xoom. With this new compatibility, OnLive is truly playable everywhere, whether indoors, outdoors or even in the back seat of a car at highway speeds, for the first time bringing complete mobility to console-class gaming.

    When talking about playing OnLive on a 4G LTE connection, Perlman said, “LTE is the first cellular standard that was designed for cloud gaming. When AT&T invested in OnLive a couple years ago, the very first thing they did was say, ‘hey look, we’re rolling out this new high performance standard,’ and our wireless guys met with their wireless guys. We made sure there was a mode in LTE that was very low latency, specifically for cloud gaming. If you use OnLive on LTE tablets, it’s really incredible. You can drive on a highway, and the kids are in the backseat playing OnLive, and it’s fine.”

    The HTC Flyer is the only current tablet that comes with the OnLive App already installed. However, users of all other tablets and a large amount of smartphones can simply download the App from their respective App stores. The OnLive App is available in the Android Market and will be as well in the iOS App Store and the Amazon Kindle App Store.

    OnLive will run on 3G and non-LTE 4G devices, but there could be a few issues with latency. Smartphones will run a lot better on the slower, lower bandwidth connections than the tablets will.

    As for the growing list of games, that will have touch controls enabled; OnLive will continue to implement touch into both current and future games. Many developers will also begin adding touch controls into their games with OnLive in mind.

    “The effort required to go and add the touch capability to a game is relatively small, compared to the development effort of making the game overall,” said Perlman. "With that said, there are some games that aren’t really amenable to touch.”

    You can signup for free at OnLive in the US or UK.

    SOURCES: OnLiveFans, OnLive Informer.

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