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OnLive Cloud Gaming Service Now Offering FREE 2 Week Trial

Good news, bad news.

The good news first. OnLive is offering a free 2 weeks trail of their cloud gaming service to anyone with a computer and an internet connection (no credit card required). The bad news, should you decided to take them up on their offer, prepare to hate your internet service provider (ISP).

OnLIve’s on-demand gaming service runs over the internet from state-of-the-art game data centers. Controller actions and game play are replayed through your internet connection, thus eating up your bandwidth like a summa-ma-bitch.

Impressions thus far

I’ve signed up and had the opportunity to try the service on 3 different ISP packages, and only 1 of the 3 worked. The one that worked was my own home connection, as I have the highest upgraded service package from Rogers designed for gaming. The other two connection I tried using the service on all lagged out and I couldn’t even start a game without a connection error message coming up. OnLive recommends making sure your WiFi download connection speed is consistently above 3 Mbps (and ideally above 5 Mbps). You can test your speed here. Mine was running at 15 mbps ATOT.

OnLive does offer a pretty good play pack of games to try out if you are able to sustain connection, they include:

One cool feature OnLive offers is “The Arena”, a place where you can watch other players play their games live. And free replayable demos on every game in the library with no install necessary doesn’t suck either. The regular service will set you back $9.99 a month, but it includes unlimited gameplay from OnLive’s growing game library.

The service has its goods and bads. When it works, it works well and can be quit enjoyable. The negatives are, if your a PC gamer, you probably have no interest in playing these gams at 1280×720 (from my experience it’s actually closer to 640 x 480), when you could just buy them and play on your own machine at 1900×1080. Which leads me to the other drawback of OnLive. You don’t actually own any of the games through the service. Which means, if they go tits up, you are SOL and left with no physical copy of the games you’ve been playing. If they go, the games go.

OnLive is available for PC and Mac. It’s free and if you have a solid connection, I’d at the very least take them up on their 2 week trial.

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