Today, I receive my invitation to join OnLive I had signed up for it the same day it went live. OnLive is a gaming system, that runs over the internet. You don’t need a high end machine to run the game, because, all the work is done on Onlive end. In fact I was playing games on my three year old MacBook.
The hardest part of the whole process was signing up. After putting in my user name and password, I got a connection error message. However, when I went to the site and tried to sign in, it let me to continue the process, it went fine until the last connection, which took me three attempts before it went thru. Once you are finished signing up, you then download an app which is 8.5 mb in size. When you click on the application, you have to give your email address and password. My one complaint is that there is no paste option for entering your password, which discourages the use of a hard password in my opinion.
The first thing you see when you sign in is the Dashboard. The Dashboard is where you enter the Marketplace. Once in the Marketplace, you can purchase games or play demos. The demos last 30 minutes. Right now there are not that many games available. Hopefully, more games will be added quickly. In order for this to happen gaming companies have to see the value in the service. This may take some convincing. OnLive does have some good games such as Assassin Creed, Batman Arkham Asylum, Prince of Persia and Goo among others. If you aren’t ready to play a game, but rather observe one, you can do that through the Arena. If you are an observer you, can give the action a thumbs up or down and add the player as a friend.
I tried the Batman demo, at times I thought there was some lag, however it might have been my imagination. I haven’t played PC games in years, so the lag may have been on my end. I also tried Goo, and that game played great with no problems. Goo is a puzzle game and doesn’t require any quick reaction. The lag problem will show up the most in those games that require precise timing.
When I played this afternoon, I had no problems as far as connecting to the network. However when I was playing last evening I kept on getting a network error message. I am on cable so as more people are online in my area, my available band width goes down. If I was a serious gamer I definitely would consider going upgrade my bandwidth. This is a big problem for the OnLive Service. There is nothing more irritating to a gamer then to be in the middle of a game and have the server disconnect and loose everything you worked for. Unfortunately, as more people join the service this problem may get worst. Especially, among those whose ISP, limit how much they can download.
Despite these problems I do think OnLive may have a bright future. Especially if they can work with the various ISP’s and Gaming Companies. I can see this being used by gamers who are traveling and doesn’t have their console, but wants to do some gaming. It is also great for someone like me, who doesn’t own a console or a powerful PC, but would like to play a game on occasion.