OnLive expands to Android phones and tablets

Streaming games service OnLive is expanding its offering to Android tablets and phones today, enabling gamers to play modern PC and console games on their mobile devices.

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Streaming games service OnLive is expanding its offering to Android tablets and phones today, enabling gamers to play modern PC and console games on their mobile devices. A new OnLive controller, shipping later this week, will allow gamers to play every game available in the OnLive catalog on their phone. But for now, a select catalog of touch-enabled games can be trialed on the Android app.

Some of the games currently available through OnLive streaming for Android include Bastion, Darksiders, Dirt 3, and Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II Chaos Rising. A limited time promo encourages gamers to try the service, unlocking a free copy of LEGO Batman.

The OnLive app requires Gingerbread (Android 2.3), and has been tested on a number of popular 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.

I tested the new client on a Samsung Galaxy S II with both wi-fi and WiMAX 4G. I was impressed by the fluidity of playback on both wi-fi and mobile connections. Presumably, the lower resolution of the mobile screen (540p instead of 1080p+ for computer monitors) makes for more lax bandwidth requirements.

I wasn't impressed by the implementation of the virtual controls, however. In every game I tested, including Darksiders and Dirt 3, I found using the virtual analog stick dificult, and the on-screen buttons to be confusing. This is not an ideal way of playing games, to say the least. The controller should alleviate control concerns, but the real question is this: do you want to ride the bus, tablet in your lap, with a wireless controller in your hand? (I couldn't test the controller, as that is not available for sale until later this week.)

Although the currently library of touch-enabled games is quite small, OnLive promises to make all games on the platform touch-enabled in the future.

One of the more exciting developments in the pipeline for OnLive is the addition of modern games adapted for touch screen play. LA Noire, Rockstar's big-budget crime adventure game, will be the first game "developed specifically for touch-enabled play" that will be exclusive to OnLive. Although the game was supposed to be ready in time for today's mobile launch, the touch-enabled version of LA Noire is still MIA.

Despite some hiccups (especially with the library and virtual controls), OnLive's mobile deployment is, at the very least, a technical accomplishment. An iOS version for Apple devices is "coming soon."

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    December 8, 2011 8:15 AM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, OnLive expands to Android phones and tablets.

    Streaming games service OnLive is expanding its offering to Android tablets and phones today, enabling gamers to play modern PC and console games on their mobile devices.

    • reply
      December 8, 2011 8:17 AM

      Does this service work with something like a PS3 controller? Would be pretty cool to play some games on my Touchpad using OnLive + a PS3 controller.

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        December 8, 2011 8:28 AM

        The controller they supply is very similar to the PS3 one. It's slightly chunkier, but it's better for it I would say.

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          December 8, 2011 8:29 AM

          Yeah I was just curious since I already have a PS3 controller.

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        December 8, 2011 9:17 AM

        i wouldnt even bother unless i could somehow pair a controller with my android tablet

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            December 8, 2011 9:22 AM

            that's cool but will onlive be compatible since they seem to be in the business of putting touch screen controls on games that will suffer from them?

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              December 8, 2011 9:32 AM

              What? They have their own PS3-like controller. I'd be suprised if they didn't support the PS3/360 controls that tegra-powered tablets officially support.

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                December 8, 2011 10:41 AM

                the only controls mentioned in this article are touch screen controls and there's mention of adding touch screen controls for all of the devices. there's no mention of if they will natively support a PS3 controller or some other kind of onlive controller. some hacked together set of controls that aren't supported by the app are going to be clunky

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                  December 8, 2011 10:48 AM

                  I mentioned the physical controller in the article, but noted that it wasn't on sale yet. Once I get my hands on a controller, I will let you guys know how it goes.

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                    December 8, 2011 5:32 PM

                    don't you know that i don't know how to read?

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              December 8, 2011 9:48 AM

              Onlive will sell their own. They demo'ed hands on it at the last e3. I didn't play it myself but watch someone who did and it was pretty slick.

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          December 8, 2011 9:49 AM

          You can pair BT devices to most Android phones even, I'm sure tablets are easy as well. I use a Wiimote for controlling emulator games on my phone.

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      December 8, 2011 8:20 AM

      The future is gonna be awesome!

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        December 8, 2011 8:51 AM

        I hate the fact that you have to purchase games on OnLive rather than it simply being a monthly service. Also, this will be awesome when connection technology makes an enjoyable gaming experience over OnLive more possible. My current internet provider, and I bet many others, do not make ping times a priority and won't guarantee results other than possibly the data throughput. So really, games over OnLive end up being less playable, depending on genre. Once that connection technology catches up and business models begin to make more sense, OnLive, and other streaming services will be in a better position to take serious market share.

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          December 8, 2011 9:07 AM

          Lol I like how when OnLive was first trying to get its foot in the door in the industry everyone made the BIGGEST shit about the monthly subscription (you lose your games if you stop paying, etc.).

          Playing games on a phone vs. a PC is going to net a much better experience overall I think, due to the lower resolution/bandwidth required. Touchscreen controls are still fucking awful, however.

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          December 8, 2011 7:43 PM

          In the UK, they are partnering up with some ISP to make things much smoother for the customers. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before that type of thing appears in US too.

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      December 8, 2011 8:39 AM

      This is awesome, i wish the rest of the world can have a similar service

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        December 8, 2011 8:49 AM

        I've said this a hundred times now, but if Steam were to launch a streaming service to coexist along side their download-for-local-play, and expanded to ARM devices, everyone with massive steam libraries would then be able to play 200+ games from virtually ANYWHERE.

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      December 8, 2011 8:41 AM

      Fucking finally. Please support my Xperia Play's controller, please please please.

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        December 8, 2011 9:26 AM

        Keep us posted on weather or not that works!

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          December 8, 2011 9:58 AM

          It doesn't, even though they demoed OnLive with an Xperia Play last month. Currently the XDA forum members are sending them emails to try and get support added.

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            December 8, 2011 9:44 PM

            Thanks for the follow up, hopefully they'll support it.

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      December 8, 2011 9:23 AM

      I thought it was pretty cool to watch people playing Space Marine on my phone. Over the wifi it actually looked pretty damn good. I'm not sure if it's because I don't have the 'official' release.. but I can't launch any games... just watch.

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      December 8, 2011 10:02 AM

      No way I'm supporting this service, or anything like it.

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      December 8, 2011 10:05 AM

      I want a TV with Android in it. Goodbye next gen consoles.

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        December 8, 2011 10:23 AM

        Actually i suppose one could just output hdmi from their tablet to the TV, hook up a controller and play that way.

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        December 8, 2011 7:48 PM

        Isn't that what google tv is?

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          December 8, 2011 8:53 PM

          The early version of google tv (that failed) wasn't. I suspect when it finnally comes out it will be "Android for your TV".

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      December 8, 2011 7:41 PM

      I tried to download their Android app on my dad's Sony Tablet S, but it said I couldn't because my country (Canada) isn't supported. Disappointing. =(

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        December 8, 2011 8:53 PM

        try "market enabler" and choose a different country

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          December 9, 2011 6:47 AM

          Thanks!

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          December 9, 2011 4:22 PM

          Ok, it that didn't work for me. I'm guessing I need to root my tablet, and I don't wanna do that just for one app. I'm used to iOS where everything works without hacking... :\ Thx anyway.

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