Need to Know – OnLive’s UK launch

The pioneers of on-demand instant gaming arrive in the UK

We don’t know what black magic OnLive uses to pump Crysis out to netbooks in HD, but we do have some solid facts regarding future developments, its UK launch and a refresher on what it bring to the gaming ecosystem.

Instant gaming

Maxxed-out rigs may soon be a thing of the past as OnLive’s generous servers host and run all games remotely in the cloud. As long as you’ve got a screen, compatible equipment and a half-decent broadband connection, you’re good for instant HD gaming with no installs required.

Wallet friendly

All hardcore gamers (casual Wii wagglers not included) know how expensive it is searching for the next pixellated hit. OnLive’s game rentals and purchases are more flexible and the PlayPack bundle with 100-plus games for US$10 a month may mean that you can ditch the supermarket own-brand food once and for all. 

Coming to the UK

The service has been making baby steps across the pond for nearly a year now and it’s finally ready to tackle the UK in Autumn, later this year. Hit up the OnLive site from 8pm on June 7 to register your own unique Player Tags before all the good ones go. Stay tuned for specific dates, packages and launch details.

UPDATE OnLive has now launched in the UK. Pricing is £7/month or individual games from £2. The Game System is £70. Game on.

Social gaming

The service will offer the deepest level of gaming-social network integration yet by allowing Facebook users to watch friends play in real time online, with the ability to join in with a single click of a button. ‘l337 skillz’ can also be shared/scorned in the form of Brag Clip videos, uploaded directly on to users’ walls.

100 games and counting

Although still dwarfed by the gargantuan console and PC game libraries, the future looks promising as the service’s 100th game, Red Faction: Armageddon, will join the service on June 7. Disney Interactive Studios has also joined, offering Split/Second and Pure as an aperitif.

Mobile gaming

Future plans include universal wireless controllers that will work with all compatible devices, including tablets, televisions, existing OnLive adaptors and PCs. The HTC Flyer is expected to demonstrate tablet gaming at E3 next week, where we look forward to having our minds blown. The Witcher 2 on a tablet? Lunch breaks will never be the same again.

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