Onlive if you don't know is an upcoming cloud gaming service, which up until now has been based in America. Today it crosses the pond and makes its way to the UK. You can now sign up for free, which I did shortly before writing this, purely to see what it's like. So I downloaded and install the OnLive program, first thing I noticed was it is in fact a full screen application, I just assumed it would come in the format of a desktop client like Steam or Origin.
The layout of the program is seemingly simple and very easy to navigate. Once you get the program up and running you have a simple menu with 9 options which are: Arena, Profile, Marketplace, Showcase, the OnLive logo, My Games, Last Played, Brag Clips and Friends. Most of these menus are self explanatory.
'Arena' brings you to a menu where you can actually watch people who are currently playing games through this service letting you either watch and listen, or start a voice chat with them while they play which is a pretty cool feature. We then have the showcase menu which is pretty much their advertising page, letting you see what deals and offers they have on the go. The 'Onlive logo' brings you to the settings menu, which you can also get to by pressing escape. Last we have the 'Brag Clips' menu and according the email I received from them which says 'Create Brag Clip Videos of your finest moves or most hilarious fails and share them friends of Facebook or the whole OnLive community'. So it would seem like they have a built in game play recorder which is a nice touch.
I had a look in the marketplace and they do seem to have a fairly decent selection of games which you can either buy out right to play whenever you choose or you can rent them. Which I can see being quite popular as there isn't really a market for renting PC games these days due to the amount of drm and digital downloads about leading to the demise of the PC rental market being none existent. They do have quite a good deal on at the moment with their 'Playpack Bundle' which gives you access to 100+ games to play whenever you choose for £6.99 a month which is more than a decent offer. This bundle includes games such as Bioshock, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Deus Ex, Unreal Tournament 3 and Just Cause 2 to name a few, full list of games in this bundle can be found on their website. Along with all these games you will also receive a 30% discount off all other purchases. You also have the chance to test out games before you buy and or rent them with their game demos. I believe this is every game on their system, but don't quote me on that.
I think this is a frankly great idea and do wish the OnLive guys luck with it, with internet connections these days constantly getting upgraded and faster this is a good way to go on the gaming front. My connection at the minute isn't the greatest, it should be alright for this though. Once I get some disposable income available I am going to try this out as recently my graphics card crapped out on me leading to me having to downgrade to my brothers old ATI 3850, so until I get a new graphics card funded I'm sat on lowest settings on any relatively new game. I'll see how OnLive compares.
Last thing before I finish this post. If you register before the 9th October, OnLive has an offer letting you get your first game from them for a mere one pound, this offer is valid on any game which isn't a pre-order game. Also if you happen to have your internet though BT, you will have access to the 'PlayPack' bundle for 3 months for free and OnLive data will not count towards your usage limits on BT until at least the 2nd of January.