Tablets and smartphones may now be cemented as a solid platform for games, but there's still a big difference between the mostly casual games available in the Apple and Android markets and the titles aimed squarely at the hardcore gaming crowd. A large part of the issue is the hardware, since even the iPad 2 can barely hold a candle to the processing power of the Xbox 360 or PS3; and that's without even bringing up the capabilities of a modern gaming rig. The video game service, OnLive, however has found a way to bridge the two with its new app that delivers console and PC titles to portable devices and, more importantly, makes them playable.
OnLive has been around for awhile, but until now has required either a home computer or their MicroConsole and controller connected to a TV in order to work. All the available games are stored and played through a cloud system, meaning titles can be accessed without the need for any downloads or special hardware. This system for delivering games is what allows the company to move their service to iPhone, iPad, Kindle Fire, and other portable devices, since it effectively bypasses the hardware difference. Users can simply install the free app and start choosing games much like they would choose movies on Netflix streaming. Most games are available for either a few days as a rental or a full purchase that can be played endlessly; or players can get a monthly subscription to play all the games as much as they want. With the OnLive cloud system, players can even play saved games from their computer on their tablet and vice versa.
As any gamer will tell you though, no matter how impressive a video game service sounds, it still needs the games to back it up. Thankfully, OnLive seems to have that in mind, seeing as it already offers some of the most popular and recent releases, including Batman: Arkham City, Saints Row: The Third, and Assassin's Creed: Revelations, with L.A. Noire coming soon. OnLive is handling the conversion process required to make the games function on mobile devices, except for L.A. Noire, which is being handled by developer, Rockstar Games. Players can either control the action using on-screen touch controls or purchase OnLive's wireless controller. OnLive's app just became available the other day on the Apple and Android Marketplaces, and the company is expecting to build it's list of available games in the near future.