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OnLive hits UK this week - All your questions answered

Everything you need to know about the ambitious cloud gaming service

Ambitious cloud gaming service OnLive arrives on UK shelves on Thursday and could well be the next major step in digital distribution and how we play games. That's if all goes well for the platform, anyway.


But it is a strange new concept, one that could confuse gamers who are used to their traditional console lifestyle. That's why we've put together this OnLive help page to get you through the basics.

If you have a burning question about the system that isn't answered here, ask in the comments below and we'll add it to the list and do our best to answer. These OnLive tutorial videos should answer a fair few questions to get us started:

What is this 'cloud gaming' thing anyway?

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What do I need to get started?

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That's all well and good, but do you have a neat little OnLive overview?

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That's a lot of American pricing. What will I pay in the UK?

We don't have official word on how it'll all convert into Pound Sterling. UK pricing will be detailed in full later this week.

Does OnLive stream PC versions of games?

According to OnLive's VP of Games & Media John Spinale, "Yes" although he told us that the games are modified into an OnLive version of their PC counterparts. "But at the core of our game servers is essentially a PC architecture," he emphasised saying that OnLive games do look better than the console versions.

What about lag?

OnLive admits that your game won't run as fast as if it were hosted on a server in your home but it does work to keep latency as low as possible "hopefully to the point where you don't notice it."

"At this stage in OnLive's technology evolution, most OnLive players report that they experience no latency or acceptable latency. But, some players will find the current latency unacceptable in some games."

It continues to say that it's always working to reduce latency even further all the time but the best way to find out how well the system runs in your home is to try some demos. All games in the OnLive library can be played for free for half an hour.

Should I go with a particular broadband provider for best results?

OnLive has partnered with BT in the UK. You don't have to be with BT to play OnLive but it will be working with the cloud-gaming company and optimising with OnLive in mind.

Can I play over WiFi?

The OnLive micro-console itself can only be used over a wired connection using an Ethernet cable. You can of course use a wireless connection when playing OnLive on your PC or Mac using the OnLive app.

If you don't have an Ethernet port close enough to your TV to use the OnLive micro-console, you can create a network bridge using either a Powerline Adapter (using mains plugs to bridge the gap), a Coax Bridge (using TV aerial port) or a Wireless Bridge (using two wireless routers).

Does it have decent developer and publisher support?

"Almost all publishers and developers are on board," says OnLive also pointing out that independent developers will be just as well represented as the big boys thanks to the ability to self-publish digital distribution provides.

"There's a large number of people on the platform right now and the vast majority of third-party games as they come out going forward will be on OnLive pretty much day and date," says the cloud company.

Where do I sign up?

Register your gamertag at where you'll be able to download the OnLive app for PC or Mac or order the OnLive micro-console at launch. Watch out for news on retail partnerships coming shortly.

[ SOURCE: OnLive ]