OnLive cloud-gaming service launches in UK

The on-demand cloud gaming service OnLive is finally going to see the light of day, as its launch in the UK has been announced at the Eurogamer Expo 2011 in London.

With over 100 games currently available it seems that the OnLive team is making all the right noises to attract would-be converts. Games can be played via almost any broadband Internet connection on your HDTV, PC or Mac; and there are plans to bring the service to iPad and Android tablets.

If you're worried it might not be your cup of tea, you can sign up for free and instantly play demos of around 150 top-tier titles for half an hour, spectate all games live from the arena or rent for 3 or 5 days. This should give you enough of a taster to then make a decision as to whether you want to buy outright.

As the blurb puts it:

"OnLive is a revolutionary new concept in video games, instantly delivering the latest high-end games on demand through the Internet to virtually any device, regardless of its performance capabilities, with the simplicity of streaming video.

"No console, no high-end computer, no discs, no huge downloads. Plus unprecedented community features like massive spectating, Facebook integration, Brag Clip videos and spectating voice chat, both throughout the UK and across the Atlantic."

To coincide with the launch, OnLive partner BT is offering its broadband customers 3 months free and unlimited access to a PlayPack1, which includes more than 100 video games.

Warren Buckley, managing director, BT Retail’s Customer Service, said: "This is a fantastic new service for the UK. The three months free PlayPack subscription is a great offer for BT broadband customers and there are no strings attached. It’s not part of a contract and we’re waiving usage allowances until the New Year."

The new OnLive system works by streaming games to your home from suped-up machines in server farms. By way of a small set-top-box you can then play on any web-connected machine with little or no latency whatsoever and in high definition - past experience in the U.S shows that you can get 720p at 30fps with a 5mbps connection, whilst standard definition is possible at 1.5mbps.

With BT as a partner it seems that OnLive should get off to a good start here in the UK, and the ability to play anywhere on anything, as long as your signed in, should make for mass appeal; there's even a universal controller to allow for proper gaming on the various form factors.

Games available at launch (or coming soon to the platform) include:

Assassin's Creed Revelations

Assault Heroes 2

Batman: Arkham City

Bulletstorm

Call of Juarez: The Cartel

Civilization V

Driver: San Francisco

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

F1 2011

Football Manager 2012

Great stuff.

Excited about the OnLive launch? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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