The iPad as a Gaming Console

OnLive on an iPad for gaming

The impossibility of technology can often be well…seemingly impossible. There has been some talk about OnLive. I say some because many have deemed what OnLive claims to be able to do impossible. Many gaming sites such as EuroGamer don’t believe it is possible, but with the testing of an avid gamer on Popular Science, Dan Nosowitz says that it is.

OnLive now offers the same abilities it once claimed to be available on the iPad, Honeycomb tables—like the Motorola Xoom—the Kindle Fire and Android smartphones. So what does that mean?

It means gamers can play full-complete games on your iPad. Yes, you heard right. On your iPad.

What gamer doesn’t want that? Nosowitz agreed and downloaded some games to see what the capabilities of the newest OnLive app really are. He found the good, the bad and made a final decision. Let’s see if you agree too.


The app is completely free, which is a great place to start. There are multiple ways to pay for the actual games. As usual, the cost for games will be the same. Whether you play on an Xbox 360 console or
OnLive instead, the cost of the games won’t ever change. So usually, new games are between $50 to $60. But as most options, you can also rent the games too. For a three-day rental, the games cost $6. A five-day only cost $9. Some may enjoy subscriptions, so a $10 per month fee is also an option. However you choose to pay, the games are ready for streaming.

The Good

It works!

That’s the best news that comes from Nosowitz. He tested out the iPad as his device. The best part is there is no downloading time. You simply hit play and the streaming begins. Saving the games is also really easy. The system does it almost without your notice, and you can always pick up from where you left off. The controller has the normal weight of a gaming controller. Not light and cheap feeling at all. The usual connection is Bluetooth and cost about $50, which isn’t too bad considering the price of most accessories.

The Bad

The Internet speed seems to be the number one problem according to Nosowitz. Between 10 to 12 Mbps, you will be fine; but drop below 5 Mbps, and the game chops, text becomes hard to read, and the lag begins. There were some glitches that caused the screen to black out and the control explanations of how to play to be wrong. One problem some gamers may not be fans of, those who choose the iPad as their console, is the lack of a vibration function. Some might not care, but others prefer the feature.

Another “bad” feature, again only seems to be on the iPad, is not being able to purchase a game from within the app. This is not true for the other available devices such as the Android smartphones, Honeycomb tablets or the Kindle Fire.

One final thought about the bad: the list of games that are available are limited. Hopefully more and more games will be available, but for now there are just some top-tier games. There are currently less than 200 games available, but Nosowitz feels there will be more coming.

Final Thoughts

OnLive is not perfect yet, and it still has its room to grow. As the program and fan base grow, there will be more fixes and better upgrades. The idea is amazing, especially if you can find a strong internet connection. So, break out the iPad and the controller. It’s time to play wherever you want.

Miscelleana Rhinehart writes for herself, companies and different websites. Currently she writes for Nexteppe, a marketing company that offers NY Toyota dealers options to help customers.

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