Cloud gaming service OnLive has finally launched in the US, offering the first year of streamed games totally free to an initial batch of selected gamers that are first to sign up.

Unfortunately, for us Brits, you have to be located in the US to try the service out right now, with no word on plans for a European and UK launch as yet.

Lag to be fully tested

OnLive has come under a lot of fire since the service was first announced at 2009's Games Developers Conference in San Francisco, with many gamers and critics claiming that lag is going to be the major issue with the service for seasoned players.

We'll finally see if this is the case or not, as the first reports from our American cousins trialling the service are sure to come 'streaming' across the internet very soon.

"We are showing off what we've got," OnLive senior product manager Michael Miller said at E3. "We are excited because we know this is the first step in cloud gaming."

OnLive already features 23 titles for users to stream to their PC or Mac, including Assassin's Creed 2, Batman Arkham Asylum, and the new Lego: Harry Potter.

"Nobody else offers a one-click, instant-on gaming experience with these high quality titles," Miller said. "We think we've taken a huge step forward but we still have a ways to go.

Micro-console soon

"Saved games, configurations, purchases are saved and accessible from anywhere," Miller added. "You can log-off at home, travel to another state and pick up in a game where you left off. We think that's really powerful."

A micro-console that connects to television sets and the internet to let people play OnLive via the telly is "coming soon."

"This is the device that is going to bring on-demand gaming into the living room," Miller said. "Plug into the Internet, plug into the TV and you are ready to play the hottest games. This is cloud gaming."

OnLive partners in the UK with British Telecom (BT). More on UK launch plans shortly.

Via Welcome to OnLive!