OnLive, the cloud gaming system we gave a hardcore test-run in our current Gadget Gift Guide, has now extended its accessibility from computers and home entertainment systems to phones and tablets. Launching today on Android devices, the OnLive app will give users access to 25 games, with titles such as Batman: Arkham City that would otherwise be unplayable on handhelds.
By hosting games on their own servers, players connect to the Internet and play OnLive's games through the cloud, eliminating the need for any top-notch hardware since OnLive's machines are doing all the legwork. Now that the technology is being applied to mobile devices, any owner of a compatible phone - the company said iOS devices will be included in this list once approval is completed - can get gaming with nothing but a solid internet connection and a few bucks.
The free downloadable app comes with the complimentary game LEGO Batman, and currently boasts some hot, high-quality titles including Rockstar's L.A. Noire and Assassin's Creed: Revelations. All the games have been converted for touch screen playability, but purchasing a $50 controller will make the experience feel more comfortable for console-goers.
With smartphone and tablet games on the rise with improving device graphics and a wider selection of apps, the introduction of cloud technology will change how people think about mobile gaming. OnLive's ability to kick down the computational hurdles faced by comparatively puny processors on phones and tablets means that mobile devices may actually begin to offer substantial alternatives to standard console gaming.
“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,” said Steve Perlman, OnLive's chief executive officer, in yesterday's press release.
Of course, "anytime" is really "anytime you have a strong Internet connection." While the program will run on a 2 Mbps connection, somewhere closer to 5 Mbps is needed for the best experience possibly. To accommodate players in all locations, the mobile version will be compatible not only with Wi-Fi but 4G LTE as well, OnLive said.