Two years ago, OnLive launched with a dramatic plan to upend the gaming industry: By putting game processing in the cloud and streaming over the Internet, it could enable a whole new realm of devices to access games that were previously only playable on high-powered PCs and gaming consoles. Now it’s expanding availability beyond its own desktop applications and streaming console to make games available on more devices and web destinations.
At this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), OnLive is announcing a couple of new platforms that its cloud-based gaming system can run on. That includes the ability to play its games directly from next-generation LG Smart TVs with Google TV installed, as well as the ability to access them on nearly any browser on any device.
First, the LG news: At E3, OnLive will be showing off an integration with the LG Google TV sets that will make more than 60 games instantly playable from the TV, without having to hook up a console or PC. The LG Smart TVs will be able to connect directly to the OnLive Wireless game controller, so that users can jump right in to purchasing games or playing demos, with all the same social spectating, BragClip video recording and Facebook sharing available on other devices and platforms. Oh, and since the LG Smart TVs are also 3-D capable, a future update will make select games available to play using that feature as well.
OnLive is based in the cloud, so the processing and video rendering doesn’t happen on the device, which opens up availability on low-power devices. And since the next-gen Google TV platform will support OnLive, we can probably expect other upcoming devices with the TV OS could also be able to run the gaming service. In addition to LG, OnLive is also working with Vizio to bring its games to that CE manufacturer’s devices as well.
In the meantime, OnLive is also enabling one-click gaming on Mac and PC web browsers. That means that publishers and retailers who offer games through the service will be able to take advantage of browser-based gameplay on their own websites. The white-label service will enable its partners to create their own online gaming service, without users having to log in to OnLive to access those games.
Partners will be able to customize the player to match their own websites, but gaming features will be the same as on the OnLive service: Users will have access to multiplayer, voice chat, touch support, and live spectating of other players’ gaming sessions.
In-browser gameplay is live in North America and Europe today, and will soon be available worldwide. The company is also working to support in-browser gaming not just on PCs, but on other devices with a web browser — including connected TVs, mobile phones, and tablets.
A lot of OnLive’s E3 announcements have to do with distribution, but it is also adding new gameplay features. That includes the introduction of OnLive MultiView, which will let users watch others’ sessions while participating in their own. Players can view up to three other player’s games, which will be perfect for multiplayer and cooperative games where they coordinate with teammates. Currently in beta, the feature will be released later this summer.