At the recent Eurogamer Expo, GGUK managed to sit down and have a chat with James Beaven of Indigo Pearl about the OnLive service that has recently been launched in the UK. We have already covered the basics of the service here, and Bazaboy is currently writing up his thoughts on the service which will hopefully be on the site before long. But from this chat with James came some interesting information that we would like to share with our readers.
Perhaps the most asked question, beyond “how fast does my connection need to be for this cloud gaming service”, revolves around whether or not MMOs will be coming to the service. Well, the good news is that they most likely will be. James told us that the OnLive model works well with MMOs and that they are currently in a number of discussions with MMO publishers to bring their games to OnLive. Whilst no titles were revealed and no dates confirmed, this is certainly very positive.
And on the subject of the connection speed question, James clarified a few things for us. The speed required is dictated by the amount of video data that is being sent through to whatever machine you are playing on, be it PC, Mac or TV with the Microconsole, and as such is dependant on the size of the screen. On a 1080p HD TV, OnLive will require around a 6Mbps connection. The smaller the screen, the less speed is required. So the average PC or Mac will need 3-4Mbps speed, whereas Tablet sized screens may require as little as 1Mbps.
Which actually brings us neatly onto the subject of Tablets. The apps for iPad and Android tablets are on the way. However, there is already a free OnLive Viewer app available for the iPad which lets you watch other peoples games in the Arena, view Brag Clips and even communicate with your friends. From Dust will be the first game released on the service to include native iPad controls, but most games will be played either with a screen overlay or with the upcoming Universal Controller.
This Universal Controller will be launching around the same time as the Tablet apps and will connect via BlueTooth. The controller can not only be used with Tablets, but also Blu-Ray players and Internet-ready TVs, removing the need for the MicroConsole altogether.
One last thing that we had to ask about was game DLC. If you purchase DLC for a game that you already own, that DLC will instantly be available in the game, or will be available once it is released if bought on pre-order. Games within the PlayPack will incorporate DLC free of charge, if and when it is added.
With the high possibility of MMOs in the near future, and playing such games on iPad or Android Tablets, the OnLive service looks as though it will keep getting better and better. Keep watching the skies, cloud gaming has arrived in the UK.