OnLive review

Cloud gaming has arrived in the UK, but can our infrastructure make the most of it?

Onlive - running on a pc

It's clear that the cloud is going to be a big feature in all of our lives, and that includes our virtual worlds as well, and as connections get faster and more robust things will get better and better.

OnLive is impressive enough to convince us that cloud gaming will play a part in how we consume videogames in future – but that doesn't necessarily mean it'll take over from the traditional method of sticking a disc in a box in front of the telly just yet.

OnLive on tablet

We liked

It's a remarkable system to witness in action and the social features that make up its flashy interface are very exciting indeed.

The user interface is well designed, and it is clear that this has been built with a community in mind, and our cynicism over the latency issue has been greatly reduced as we spent time trying out the games.

OnLive controller

For older games and those less reliant on super speedy reactions, the lag simply isn't a major factor, unless your connection is truly ponderous, prone to dropping out, or your ISP decides that OnLive is actually a P2P connection and throttles the speed.

Once the games library starts to fill up – especially with OnLive exclusive titles taking advantage of its superior hardware and iPad options – we can see the platform really taking off as an alternative to traditional out-of-the-box thumb waggling.

We didn't like

There's a part of us that's left feeling that it's not the gamers – the ones who'll care about the slight reduction in image quality and miniscule response lag – but the mainstream populous who OnLive should be aiming at.

The newer games are currently run on 'optimum' settings, which can mean that the super-high end graphics you are used to from your computer are simply not even attempted.

At the moment, there are parts of England that don't quite have the broadband connections to run every game at its top-notch capabilities. That said, we do urge those curious to give OnLive a go for free on their PCs before dismissing it entirely.


OnLive is an impressive glimpse into the future of gaming. It's not perfect, but it is far from the laggy-monster we feared. For casual gamers this is a very real option.