Jun 08 AT 9:18 AM Alberto Vildosola 14 Comments

OnLive shows the future of gaming, web browsing on Android

A few days ago, we told you OnLive was bringing its video gaming service to Android devices later this year. Coincidentally, there was a little something  going on this week called E3 where the company unveiled all the details–and then some–about its Android app.

For those of you who don’t know, OnLive is a cloud gaming service that processes and renders video games on its data centers and then streams the video to your device. By offloading the workload to the cloud, OnLive lets you play console-quality games on even the most wimpy netbook. The end-result is the same as playing a game on your console or PC, but without the hassle of installing any software or spending a small fortune upgrading your PC.

As we told you before, OnLive will be releasing an Android app later this year (we’re hearing around August) that will let you play any game that the service offers. If your heart just stopped when you thought about playing Duke Nukem: Forever on your Android tablet, you’re not alone. You’ll be able to play games by using either on-screen touch controls, which developers have to implement, or the OnLive Universal Wireless Controller we showed you last week.

There seemed to be a lot of confusion about the Universal Wireless Controller when I wrote about it last week, so I’ll try to explain it better this time. The controller connects wirelessly to your Android device without anything in-between. There’s nothing to hook up and no other device is needed to connect to your Android tablet/phone. The controller can also connect this way to your PC, Mac and some Vizio TVs. In the rare case that your device doesn’t support the Universal Wireless Controller, OnLive will sell you a USB dongle that will let you connect it.

While playing console-quality games on our Android tablet is enough to send us into a geek-induced comma, OnLive has some much more interesting and mind-blowing stuff coming down the pike. Like how you’ll be able to use your Android device as a controller for OnLive. Or how the company will use the same video-compression technology that it’s using on games to give you a full-blown browser that has a 10-Gbit Internet connection. Wait what?

That’s right. The company is working on a “web browser” for Android devices that works just like its video game app, but instead of streaming a video game, it gives you a full-desktop browser with Flash included. The company demoed how fast full Flash websites like Mercedes Benz’s would load on your device. Also, since none of the rendering is done on the actual device, the “browser” allows you to watch content from Netflix and Hulu right on your Android device. Are you excited about OnLive now? Well, you haven’t heard the best part yet.

The company is working with video game studios to bring OnLive-exclusive video games to the platform. This will allow video game developers to take full advantage of OnLive’s processing power, which is several times more powerful than the most high-end desktop computer available today. The company showed how, by using OnLive’s servers, video game developers could build games that looks just like real life–or better. The company said the technology to bring life-like games to console and computers is not here yet, but it does exist on data centers.

Steve Perlman, CEO of OnLive, gave us a glimpse at the kind of graphics we can expect from games that use the power of the cloud. Basically, games would look just this Batman Arkham City trailer–as realistic as it gets. Virtual reality, here we come.

Show Press Release

iPad, Android Tablet Instantly Becomes Touch/Motion Controller
or Standalone Cloud Gaming System with Touch/Motion or Game Controller
Seamless Integration of Tablet with or without HDTV
First Touch/Controller Game from Major Publisher Unveiled
for OnLive
Unparalleled Multiplayer Mobile or In-Home Experience
Available in Autumn 2011 in US and Europe
Los Angeles, Calif. (E3 Expo 2011) – June 7, 2011 – OnLive, Inc., the pioneer of cloud gaming, is pleased to report that gamers throughout the world can immediately experience the seamless integration of tablets and HDTVs with high-end gaming. Their current iPad or Android tablet and current HDTV will not only provide this experience in 2011, but will provide it with far higher performance, richer gameplay and deeper social integration than any console announced for 2012, with more than 100 games available today.
OnLive is pleased to announce the OnLive® Player App for iPad and Android. Like the recently announced consoles, the OnLive Player App will enable gameplay of virtually all OnLive games on an iPad and Android tablet with touch or OnLive’s new Universal Wireless Controller. In addition, the OnLive Player App allows the tablet to be used as a touch and motion controller combined with an HDTV (or PC/Mac® if preferred), and allows both synchronized or independent video on the tablet and HDTV screen, enabling combined gameplay with tablet and HDTV, or separate gameplay on tablet and HDTV.
Full voice chat-enabled multiplayer is supported, both in-room and with others throughout the world, providing a complete multiplayer experience whether at home or on the go with a mobile device.
Core patent-pending exclusive OnLive cloud gaming features such as massive spectating of live gameplay throughout the world, instant no-obsolescence gameplay, Facebook integration with Brag Clipâ„¢ videos, etc., will work seamlessly on both tablets and HDTVs and will continue to distinguish OnLive from consoles, both in 2011 and beyond.
“The power of the cloud is definitely the theme this week, displacing what had been assumed to be platforms that could never be displaced,” said Steve Perlman, Founder and CEO of OnLive. “The OnLive Player App for iPad and Android shows how with the power of the cloud, the question is not whether cloud gaming will be able to catch up to consoles, it will be whether consoles will be able to catch up to cloud gaming.”
OnLive is excited to demonstrate the first game from a major publisher supporting both OnLive’s iPad/Android tablet touch and game controller, as well as running seamlessly on an HDTV, PC and Mac, to be released later in 2011. Come to OnLive’s booth (South Hall, Booth #801) for a demo.
For gamers preferring a smaller screen, OnLive will provide the exact same functionality on iPhone and Android smartphones, allowing them to be used both as game systems themselves with touch and the OnLive Universal Wireless Controller, or as a controller to an HDTV (or PC/Mac), for simultaneous or independent play.
OnLive is also unveiling as part of this experience the first 10 gigabit cloud-based full-featured browser for iPad, Android and HDTV; bringing the full richness of the Web loading from ultra-fast 10 gigabit/second Web connections to OnLive’s cloud-based servers, including support for full-featured Flash and video sites. Mobile and home devices will no longer be limited to the speed of their local connection for Web browsing or Web plug-in compatibility, opening up access to Flash games and social gaming for tablets and HDTVs.
All OnLive games played using the OnLive Player App will play seamlessly across all OnLive-compatible devices, including iPad, iPhone, Android, on HDTV via the OnLive Game System, on connected HDTV and Blu-ray/media players and on PC and Mac.
The OnLive Player for iPad and Android is being showcased live at OnLive.s booth (South Hall, Booth #801) and will be available later this year. For a video presentation please visit http://www.onlive.com/corporate/pressroom.
About OnLive
OnLive is the pioneer of instant cloud gaming, delivering real-time interactive experiences and rich media through the Internet. With groundbreaking video compression technology, OnLive harnesses cloud computing to provide the power and intelligence needed to instantly deliver the latest, premium game titles to any HDTV via the OnLive Game System or nearly any PC and Mac via a small browser download. The OnLive Viewer app is available for the iPad and full gameplay is coming to both iPad and Android tablets. OnLive is currently available in North America, and will be available in the UK and expanding into Europe later this year. OnLive technology is backed by hundreds of patents and patents pending. The company is headquartered in Palo Alto, California. OnLive investors include Warner Bros., Autodesk, Maverick Capital, AT&T, British Telecommunications (BT), The Belgacom Group and HTC. More information is available at www.onlive.com.
Alberto is a college student living somewhere between Miami, Sarasota and the World Wide Web. Although a former iPhone owner, Alberto is now a proud Android enthusiast. You can follow Alberto on Twitter and Google+ for his thoughts unworthy of an article.

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  • http://Website Brian

    Just curious, How is this browser different than Skyfire browser already available on android market?

    • Alberto Vildosola

      It’s not really a browser. It’s more like a video player that shows the real browser that it’s running in the cloud.

  • http://Website Adam

    This doesn’t really make any sense. why is steaming a browser better than just using browser on your phone or tablet. doesn’t video use more bandwidth than browser itself?

    the game on other hand…

    • Alberto Vildosola

      Watch the video.

  • http://Website Alex

    I’m wondering how the controller will work for the HTC EVO 4G or in fact for any HTC Sense device that IS NOT rooted? The market place has apps to connect Wii controllers to play along with games, but it even mentions that devices running HTC Sense who are not rooted as I am and don’t plan to root is wondering how OnLive controllers will connect with our phones?

    • Alberto Vildosola

      The company didn’t talk about how it’s doing it.

  • http://Website Lucian Armasu

    They should just make it a Google TV service. Google TV will have gamepad support in fall.

    • Alberto Vildosola

      Yep they said OnLive is coming to a lot of Internet-connected devices later this year, so we can assume this is all coming to Google TV.

      With OnLive support, Google TV would go from not having any console-quality games to being able to play more advanced games than Xbox 360 and PS3

  • http://Website Zer0-9

    Android support is awesome, but I would also like regular linux support.

  • http://www.avaqom.com HackNet

    Atrix Webtop Gaming + Gamepad = love

  • http://Website Kleptine

    A streaming browser is really a bad idea. All a hacker would have to do is find a vulnerability in Flash, Quicktime, Shockwave, etc, and build a page to exploit it and give him control over the server.

    I wonder what their plan is to block that.

  • http://Website jdog25

    Damn this fing awesome.

  • http://www.giquegear.com GiqueGEAR

    Unreal ! Just when I thought the next-gen Android phones were incredible, this comes along and makes me wonder if phone horsepower will turn out to be a secondary consideration.

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