OnLive Takes Cloud Gaming Mobile With iOS and Android Apps

Cloud gaming specialist OnLive is expanding from the PC and micro-console markets, launching clients for Android and iOS devices as it announces a new head for its UK arm.

OnLive shot to fame when it launched a cloud-powered gaming service in the US, which shunts the heavy lifting of PC gaming - the rendering of complex scenes, which traditionally requires a powerful graphics card for high-quality visuals - off to remote server farms in order to allow cheaper PCs to play the latest games.

The company also launched a 'micro-console' adapter, allowing those without PCs at all to play the latest titles on their TV via their broadband service. These console proved a hit when offered as a freebie at the Eurogamer Expo earlier this year, helping OnLive to make a serious impact in the UK gaming market.

The company's latest announcement is the launch of gaming clients for Android and iOS powered tablets and smartphones, including Apple's iPhone and iPad devices. These clients allow the mobile devices to tap in to the same cloud gaming infrastructure as the PC client and micro-console, bringing full-fat PC games - such as Deus Ex: Human Revolution and L.A. Noire - to mobile platforms for the first time.

"Today marks a major milestone: OnLive is now delivering the latest, console-class, top-tier games-literally to your fingertips-on tablets and phones for instant, on-demand play anywhere, anytime," crowed Steve Perlman, OnLive's founder and chief executive, at the announcement.

"Through the free OnLive app, tablet and smartphone gamers can play top console and PC titles like Assassins Creed: Revelations and L.A. Noire - one of the most highly acclaimed, graphically sophisticated games to date - with exclusive OnLive Cloud Touch controls or with the new mobile-compatible Universal OnLive Wireless Controller. Tablets and smartphones, the fastest-growing consumer product categories in history, are now capable of running the hottest, highest-end games. Gaming and mobile devices will never be the same."

While the games can be played via on on-screen touch-sensitive overlay, many titles will be difficult to operate under such conditions. As a result, OnLive is launching a Bluetooth-connected gaming controller, while owners of certain Android devices can already connect existing game pads such as Microsoft's wired Xbox 360 Controller, for an improved experience.

In tandem with the announcement, OnLive has promoted Bruce Grove, previously the senior director of engineering at the company, into the role of UK general manager to help push its UK expansion plans.

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