What’s in the Pipeline for OnLive?

by on October 10, 2011
 

With an iPad and Android OnLive viewer already available via the App Store / Market, it won’t be long before we see the release of an actual OnLive player for tablets/mobile devices, with the addition of touch screen capacity.

During our interview with Bruce Grove, he mentioned the upcoming OnLive Universal Wireless Controller will work with any Bluetooth capable device. That means not only will the controller work on PC, Mac, Internet TVs (Vizio are onboard), BluRay players, but it’ll sync fine with tablets (including iPads) and mobile phones too. In the not too distant future, we’ll be able to play OnLive with a controller on pretty much every device we own. Not to mention the WiFi version of the Micro-Console that’s under way, when this bad boy comes out, you’ll be able to pop it in your pocket and take it anywhere with you. Imagine pairing that with a GAEMS G155. Brings a whole new meaning to gaming on the go, doesn’t it?

Some other features Bruce mentioned, got us quite excited about coop gameplay. Features like Picture-in-Picture gaming and multi-device gaming – the ability to play on a TV/monitor and a tablet at the same time, with a single login. Handing over controls to friends (Friend Assist), and observing friends whilst playing your own game (which is possible, right now!). OnLive is going to enhance cooperative gameplay in whole new ways. According to  Joe Bentley, OnLive’s VP of Engineering, cross-platform game-play isn’t completely ruled out either. They’re leaving that one up to the game devs themselves to decide.

During an interview with Eurogamer, Steve Perlman mentioned a couple of interesting features on the software side, most importantly OnLive for Linux – which would easily make OnLive the most cross-platform gaming system on the market. But also, OnLive at boot-up, which would be an interesting option for dedicated gaming PCs/laptops.

In another interview with Beef Jack, John Spinale mentioned that commentary and audience interaction are built into the engine at some level, already. Once the tech is transformed into features, we could see a revolution of eSports here, with gaming celebs commentating to large groups of spectators. Spinale mentioned rewind capabilities of game playback, too. This could be developed into a clan system, for practising in-game tactics.

Then there’s the business side of things, with partnerships springing up left, right and centre. What OnLive have managed to pull off with GAME is, quite frankly, astonishing. Being a high-street retailer, OnLive is the evolutionary competition. For them to jump onboard and form a partnership is a promising sign. Eurogamer and CVG have already added OnLive categories, similar to our own. Gamespot are promoting an “Instant Demo” feature, which allows gamers to jump straight into a game, after reading the review – an interesting touch. With the top digital publishers getting involved in this way, the future for OnLive related content looks bright.

We already know that the backbone servers powering OnLive are capable of so much more than current-gen consoles, or even home PCs, for that matter. So it won’t be long until we start seeing OnLive exclusives, that will out-perform every other platform. Once the Internet infrastructures in the US and Europe are improved, OnLive will bump the standard resolution up from 720p to full 1080p high definition, with the addition of 3D also a possibility.

We won’t even go into DIDO technology just yet – Steve Perlman’s latest innovation. That’s another article entirely. But let’s just go on record and say that we believe OnLive will be the first platform to support a 4k resolution at 240 FPS.

4k-resolution

4k resolution

And of course, most importanly, we’ll see a greater and greater number of games being released on OnLive as the product matures. Not only AAA titles, but indie releases too. The number of huge publishers they have onboard is astonishing, but after talking with Bruce Grove, we know that they’re still in talks with a few of the big boys. An a completely unrelated note, we noticed that Treyarch were advertising a job this week, the role entails “bringing our hugely successful game to a new console”. Just saying, it could happen!

A list of some of the games confirmed to be arriving on OnLive in the near future (curtesy of admin at OnLiveFans.com):

  • Air Forte
  • Assassins Creed Revelations
  • Assault Heroes 2
  • Atom Zombie Smasher
  • Avadon: The Black Fortress
  • Batman: Arkham City
  • Borderlands 2
  • Bulletstorm
  • Call of Juarez The Cartel
  • Capsized
  • Civilization V
  • CreaVures (confirmed by Publisher)
  • Dead Island
  • Driver: San Francisco
  • Dungeon Siege 3
  • F1 2011
  • Fallout Tactics
  • Fallout: A Post Nuclear Role Playing Game
  • Flotilla
  • Football Manager 2012
  • From Dust
  • Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
  • Inversion
  • L.A. Noire
  • Lego Harry Potter: Years 5–7
  • Limbo
  • Lord of the Rings: War in the North
  • Kaptain Brawe: A Brawe New World
  • Might and Magic: Heroes VI
  • MLB 2K11
  • NBA 2K12
  • NCIS: The Video Game
  • Operation Flashpoint: Red River
  • Orcs Must Die
  • Red Bull X Fighters, International Freestyle Motorcross
  • Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad
  • Roller Coaster Tycoon 3
  • Saints Row the Third
  • Sniper: Ghost Warrior
  • Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition
  • The Haunted: Hell’s Reach
  • The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
  • Trine 2
  • Wargame: European Escalation

Again, while chatting with Bruce Grove, he mentioned that the US and UK versions of OnLive would be run somewhat independantly, in that each region would benefit from different special offers and holiday sales. For example, the US might be treated to a 4th July sale, which would mean nothing in the UK, and the UK might celebrate a Guy Fawkes sale.

This did raise some concerns about segregation. Something that’s becoming common place on the Internet as of late, due to content licensing issues. Sites and services such as Spotify, Pandora, Hulu, iPlayer are prime examples, with some services being completely restricted in certain regions (Hulu, Pandora), whilst others offer the same service, but with slightly different content options (Spotify).

It looks like OnLive is going down the Spotify route. While the majority of the time, we’ll see a pretty similar service between OnLive US and OnLive UK, the gap is already starting to show. The following tweets show exciting offers, that are only available for US customers. There’s no apparent cultural reason here, which means it’s probably down to licensing agreements.

http://twitter.com/#!/OnLive/status/121272074584072192
http://twitter.com/#!/OnLive/status/120927510413316097

Another one that grabbed our attention was the recent addition of The Witcher, to the PlayPack. We booted up OnLive to get some playtime with this fantastic title, only to find that the release is US only. As was the same, with Ghostbusters, Lego Pirates of the Caribbean, Pure and Split/Second – all fantastic titles that we’re unfortunately missing out on, outside of the US.

This contental segregation is most probably the fault of legal teams at the respective publishers, and very little to do with the OnLive team, but it’s affecting the service never-the-less. The Internet is supposed to be a World Wide Web, we’re not fans of compartmentalisation and so hope that going forward, OnLive find ways to work around publishers to get their games released globally, the only restrictions being local laws.

Concerns aside, OnLive is something we’re extremely excited about at GodisaGeek. We were planning on providing you with a review of our thoughts on the service as a whole. Then we stumpled across this review by Ben Ingber at AVForums and released it encaptulated everything we could possibly want to say about OnLive. Enjoy:

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