|First release date|| NA June 17, 2010|
UK September 22, 2011
OnLive is a cloud gaming platform launched in 2010 by OnLive Ltd. The system runs by storing and running game files and save data in the cloud, and transmitting a high definition video feed to the client computer, effectively allowing a low-end computer to play modern games, so long as it is able to handle the video feed. OnLive natively supports PCs running Microsoft Windows XP, Vista or 7, as well as Intel-based Macs running OS X 10.5.8 or later.
Because of the uniqueness of its service, games are tied to the user's OnLive account, and cannot be modified or moved onto the client computer. Furthermore, the user may be unable to access their games if the OnLive servers are interrupted. OnLive recommends an Internet connection of 5 Mbit/s or faster, however a 2 Mbit/s connection does meet the minimum system requirements.
Many users still report issues with lag even on high speed connections. OnLive have stated that the service will become more reliable in the months to come.
Because of the lack of availability of high quality internet connections, OnLive currently utilises a resolution of 1280x720 (720p) when streaming any game. This means that users with native resolutions higher than this may receive a blurry or pixelated image which can distract from the game. There is currently no fix for this issue, however, OnLive have stated they plan to provide a higher resolution service once higher sustainable bandwidths are widely available, indicating the use of 1920x1080 (1080p).
OnLive is currently offered in the US, Canada, and the UK. The company haven't stated whether or not content is accessible when travelling abroad, merely stating that the user should try it out.
Some users have reported issues when starting the service whereby the audio plays but there is a blank screen displayed on their monitor. This can be resolved by ensuring that your monitor is set to its native resolution. You can change the resolution by right clicking on the desktop and selecting "Screen Resolution" in Windows 7. The monitor's native resolution is marked as "Recommended".
If this does not resolve the issue, the user should try selecting a lower resolution than that currently selected, or, if running the game in full screen mode, try switching to windowed.
If when starting OnLive for the first time, you are presented with a message warning you that your computer does not meet the minimum system requirements, the user should first try to close any other open applications that may slow down the computer. If the service is to run on a laptop, the user should check that the power settings are set to run at full performance. However, most modern PCs and all Intel-based Macs meet the minimum system requirements for the service.
If the user is still experiencing issues, OnLive offers a five minute system check tool which scans the user's computer and can be sent back to OnLive so they can assist you more appropriately. The check is available for download here.
Sometimes the image may appear too dark or washed out. This can be resolved through the OnLive dashboard (Center Button on a Controller or Alt+O/⌥ Option+O on keyboard), via the Settings page under Video. Here, the user should adjust their brightness to the stated recommendation.
If the user is still unable to see the displayed logo even at 100% brightness, or if the logo is prominent even at 0% brightness, the user should adjust their contrast level, trying to get the logo to be only slightly visible, but if unsure about how to adjust the contrast, it is best to set it to 50%.
Some users may experience periodic drops in video/audio quality, disconnection or service interruption. OnLive offers a number of simple steps the user can take to attempt to resolve these issues:
- Check if your Wi-Fi functions by attempting to access a website through your web browser
- Improve your signal strength by relocating your computer closer to the access point
- Test your connection speed to see if it matches the minimum system requirements by using a website such as Speedtest
- Avoid using a shared Wi-Fi network, as this can reduce the speed of your connection - the fewer users the better
- Avoid areas with many Wi-Fi networks as the more Wi-Fi networks your computer lists as active in your location, the more likely you'll experience connection problems - try to relocate to a place where there are fewer networks nearby
If none of the above steps work, there are more technical options available in an attempt to get the service running smoothly:
- Change your Wi-Fi version by choosing a different router. Your router produces a Wi-Fi signal in one of a number of bands, identified by the letter after 802.11. The highest quality signal is produced by an 802.11n router, however 802.11g is acceptable for the purposes of running OnLive. The service does not recommend using 802.11b, as it produces the worst signal. If the user has no choice but to use a "b" band router, they should ensure the computer is very nearby.
- Change your frequency band - Wi-Fi is available in two frequencies; 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. Whilst 2.4 GHz has further range, it is less reliable than 5 GHz, and should not be selected for the best performance. Unfortunately, the default for dual-band Wi-Fi routers is to automatically select either 2.4 or 5 GHz, and 2.4 GHz is often selected. So, the user must configure the Wi-Fi router to lock a Wi-Fi network to 5 GHz (in most cases, a router can be configured to simultaneously provide a separate 2.4 GHz network as well).