OnLive, that gaming on-demand cloud-based service you’ve been hearing so much about, has found its way to the iPad but not in the way you might suspect. No you cannot demo and purchase games on Apple’s ubiquitous device; what can do, however, is hook up to OnLive’s servers to watch other people play games. With the free OnLive Viewer app you can spectate live gameplay, view and rate Brag Clips, add your favorite players to a friends list and send them messages, and view trailers for current and upcoming games. Says John Spinale, OnLive VP of Games and Media: “Watching live games and interacting with the people playing them takes social gaming to an entirely new level. It’s unlike any other experience. And people love it.”
But this is just the beginning for OnLive on portable devices. The company promises that the update will receive an update sometime next year that will allow users to demo, purchase, and instantly play games and create Brag Clips–so much more than just spectating. What they’re waiting for is games to become “touch- or motion-aware” so that gameplay is more suitable for a touchscreen experience a la the iPad. CEO Steve Perlman says that the app “is the last piece of the puzzle to unify the worlds of TV, computing and mobile all under one real-time cloud-based platform, enabling previously inconceivable experiences, capabilities and live, video-rich social interaction.” Beyond gaming, Perlman’s plan is to have the app bring the touch-based Windows 7 OS to OnLive users, effectually porting Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight to iOS and Android devices.
For now you’re stuck with spectating–but it’s not all that bad actually. Download the free app here and give it a whirl. An Android version is currently in beta.