Gaming is pretty common on iPad and iPad 2 these days, with a number of available apps to choose from, including best-sellers like "Angry Birds" and "Cut the Rope." However, OnLive is looking to change how consumers play games on their iPads and Android tablets by introducing a new cloud-gaming service aimed at these devices.
If you’re unfamiliar with OnLive, here’s a refresher. The company launched its cloud-based service earlier this year, enabling PCs and MicroConsoles to stream high-quality video games over an Internet connection, without the need for secondary media or high-end consoles. Users can play these games on a trial basis, then purchase them using a PlayPass, which ranges from $9.99 to $49.99, depending on the title. A variety of games are available, including the recently released "Duke Nukem Forever" and the upcoming "From Dust" and "F.E.A.R. 3."
In addition, other services will be available as well. Users can record and send “brag clips” to their friends and fellow gamers, should they perform remarkable feats in a game they want to show off. An Arena mode is also available, allowing players to peek in and see what others are playing, in real time. OnLive has released a viewer application, available now in the App Store, which enables you to see how these features work.
However, the big draw will no doubt be the ability to download and play games. For this, OnLive is introducing two choices. Those who prefer to go hands-on with the iPad can use a virtual control set-up on the screen, featuring a directional pad and buttons. The other is using a Bluetooth wireless controller that works in synchronicity with the iPad, making it feel more like you’re getting the console gaming feel. Both feature seamless menu interaction, so users can pick whichever games they want and get right to their gaming fun. The controller will be sold separately and available by the time the service launches.
OnLive rep Brian Jagewitz explained the importance of bringing the service to the iPad. “OnLive’s focus is basically bringing top-quality AAA titles, really good content, to any display. That’s all the way from mobile up to television,” Jagewitz said.
“We feel like there are gamers of all shapes and sizes wanting to play really good quality games on all sorts of devices. And while the living room has been typically the place for the most robust gaming experience, we also recognize that more and more people are not in front of their big-screen TVs and are using these tablet devices.”
In a recent video presentation, OnLive CEO Steve Perlman went into a demonstration of how the service will work and showed how smoothly the video would run on an iPad device. Even for more complicated games like the upcoming "From Dust" (which includes a lot of detail, from what we’ve seen), the service seems to run very smoothly — though that’s probably dependent on the speed of your Internet or 3G connection.
“What OnLive does, it doesn’t run this game [on the iPad]," Perlman said. It’s running in a data center, in the cloud. And then what we’re doing, we’re sending the video from the cloud down to this device and it makes it completely interactive.”
OnLive will also introduce interactivity with a secondary OnLive connection, either through a PC or a MicroConsole connected to a television. Simply set up the game on the iPad, start up the OnLive service on the other device, enter Arena, find the game, and then run it on the bigger display.
[Read also ‘The PC (As We Know It) Is Dead.’]
A release date hasn’t been given yet, and OnLive hasn’t revealed the full slate of games that will be available for play on the iPad.
For more information on the OnLive service, or to see what specials the company is offering, visit http://www.onlive.com.