Cloud-based gaming service Onlive isn't due to launch in the UK for many months but thinq_ has discovered a sneaky way of trying out the service using the company's USA servers
Even if you have already signed up for a UK account, you will not be able to sign in using the client application but thinq_ managed to stumble upon a way of gaining access to the gaming service using one of the company's own web sites.
Apparently, running the 30 minute Red Faction: Armageddon demo from this site opens up a back door to the wonderful world of Onlive which isn't officially set to open until Autumn this year.
Quitting out of the demo before it times out brings up the entire Onlive US dashboard giving acces to undreds of other games with free 30-minute demos.
"Everything seems to work as far as our brief exploration went. Those games with a try-before-you-buy option allowed us to frag away merrily for up to 30 minutes and we tested that out on Aliens V Predator and Alpha Protocol among others," said the thinqers.
You can even watch hundreds of other players doing their thing in the 'Arena' Spectator mode which is a pretty good way of seeing if unfamiliar titles are your particular cup o' char.
Asked to comment, a spokesman from the cloud-based gaming outfit said, "OnLive has many users already playing the US service from the UK and checking out demos of games via the client. However, given the distance to the datacenter, they will not be getting the best possible experience.
"All that changes this autumn when UK users will benefit from a centrally based European datacenter. By signing up early and registering their gamertag, these founding players will be given first access when the UK service goes live.
"Meanwhile, OnLive's UK launch partner, BT, is already conducting trials with subscribers ahead of the UK rollout."
So Onlive doesn't mind UK gamers having a snoop around, and you're welcome to snaffle up as many 30-minute demos as you can eat while you're there, but don't be too disappointed if things are a bit quirky because that's a hell of a lot of data being squirted across the Atlantic.
We have to say the user experience was pretty impressive here, but that was before thinq_ let the cat out of the bag, so to speak.