OnLive, the streaming game service that plans to take the world by storm, has announced today as the launch day for its official OnLive iPad viewer. The free service allows users to watch any game being played by any member of the OnLive community at any time. So if you’re feeling like a video game voyeur then this may just be the perfect app for you.
The app comes with a few strings attached, so make sure you know what you’re getting into before you install. First off, this is a viewer only, so you won’t be able to actually play any games, but rather instead only watch them. If you want to interact with the titles available on OnLive first you’ll need to set up an account and then stream the games to either a PC or the newly released MicroConsole. Also, keep in mind that OnLive requires a rather large chunk of bandwidth, even to simply watch games, so make sure you’re running an Internet connection that can keep up with the requirements. In our quick tests, the quality was not so great on 802.11g, but very good on 802.11n. But it’s free and your mileage may vary.
Some might scoff at merely releasing a viewer rather than a full-on OnLive client, but OnLive representatives have explained to us that the games on the service have been tuned for consoles and PCs and aren’t yet ready to run on the iPad. The conversion of PC video games that are used to a full keyboard and mouse to a touch only device, just isn’t that easy. Does that mean we might see a true iPad client down the line? Absolutely, it’s just a matter of letting the OnLive crew continue to tweak and hone the service until it’s ready to support actual gameplay. Basically, users should think of this as an important first step and a sort of proof of concept for what will be available on down the line.