Onlive Launches for the UK

Almost a year and a half after we posed the question ‘Onlive set to change the way we play our games, but will it work?’, Onlive finally goes live in the UK.

Since our last blog post on Onlive, the ‘Cloud’ has become the main buzzword of the top I.T companies in the world today. Cloud computing has many forms depending on the requirements.

    • Google Docs allows the user to run a local version of their Office Software in JavaScript via an internet browser, which is re-loaded on every visit. This ensure that the user always has the latest version of the software and has access to the same documents wherever they connect to the system. It also allows easy document sharing with peers.
    • Microsoft have opened up a host of their most popular programs to a Cloud version, included Office 365. This is similar to Google Docs but with a team with years of Office development behind it.
    • Microsoft, Apple and Linux all have their own flavours of ‘online directories’. This is not a new idea but far more mainstream now, where a folder on a users Operating System is synced up to an online account for backup and non-local data retrieval.
    • Smart phones Operating Systems Android and IOS, sync up settings and contact details in the Cloud, depending on setup, allowing for easy phone update/replacement.

With all these innovations, no-one has attempted to go as far as Onlive, in terms of real Cloud computing. Meaning data storage and processing all happing on a server. You can now in the UK, setup a free account, download a 1.2mg file and be playing some of the biggest games on PC and Consoles, within a matter of minutes.

And to answer the question of our previous post, yes it works, it works very well indeed.

As discussed previously, the 1.2mg file works a little like a browser with FlashPlayer on. It allows your local machine to run a video of a game being processed on a server in a data centre, which you can control in real time.
I use the term ‘Real Time’ loosely. The game control does happen live, but there is a lag due to the internet connection and video compression on the server.

After spending several hours last night on the launch day, playing through various game types, I am very impressed with what I’ve seen.
I personally wouldn’t use Onlive for one of it’s surprising choice of flagship titles, Dirt3. While the game is playable, the lag does cause some frustration during some tricky parts of the races that require fast reflexes and especially in multiplayer mode. Making me question certain game types through a system such as Onlive.
At the same time I was happy to pay for and play Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Conviction. These are both games that rely heavily on stealth and are less about quick reactions during shooting scenes, so lend themselves very well to the product Onlive are offering.

Whether you find Onlive the solution to your expensive hardware purchasing or you think it’s not quite there yet for your expert reflexes; Onlive has offered a very new and exciting area, well worth further Research and Development.