OnLive, the cloud gaming service, has launched an app bringing cloud gaming to Android devices. Just for downloading the mobile app, a free copy of Lego Batman was included with this launch.
My phone the Samsung Nexus S, was not included on the supported list. Supported Android Phones include: HTC EVO, HTC Nexus One, HTC Rezound 4G, HTC Sensation, HTC Sensation XL, Motorola Droid 2, Motorola Droid X2, Motorola DROID BIONIC 4G, Motorola DROID RAZR 4G, Motorola Photon 4G, and Samsung Galaxy S II 4G. Still the app installed and ran on my Nexus S. So I gave it a test run. This is not a review of Lego Batman, rather it is a review of a new gaming platform. Mobile gaming via cloud is very new and could change the way we play video games and buy hardware.The games look and feel much like the console versions. In fact it seems to just be that exactly. This of course makes the game very small on a phone screen. Game lag was a little noticeable depending on the strength of my wifi. On 4G, lag was often. This of course will depend on your 4G coverage. Pixelation seemed to occur well before any lag in movement which was not fun on that size screen with very small Legos flying about. I was surprised at the quantity of controls that feature two digital analog sticks and five digital buttons. These interfaces are transparent with a white outline (shown below displayed on my phone). The response was great, and the while a separate physical controller would be better, the on screen controls were more than adequate. Overall the gameplay is pretty enjoyable (over wifi).
This platform is nice in its portability and access to games that will never be made in specific mobile versions. Mobile phone and tablet gaming is still not for the hardcore gamer that needs the larger screen real estate to collect small items and find hidden secrets. Even on a tablet the screen size would be a problem for some games. The ability to continue games to perform repetitive tasks while on the go is a big plus. For anyone looking for short gaming fun on the go or to level up a character, this is a great way to do that. Couple that with the ability to play the same game on your computer at home and it’s already a winner. Modest pricing for game rentals, free demos, and no constant video card upgrading make this service one you just can’t ignore. My phone wasn’t listed as supported, so any performance problems could be stemming from that. Still the overall gaming experience was good. Better on a tablet instead of a phone no doubt. A list of supported tablets can be found at Android and Me.com along with some further details about OnLive products. You can download the app in the Android Market on your phone or online here.If your Android device can run this app I suggest you download it mobile gaming and give it a shot. I don’t think anyone will be giving up their console or PC for this just yet, but it’s worth experiencing what could be the cloud powered future of gaming.