OnLive Game System Tech Review


Posted January 25, 2011 - By Moye Ishimoto

The OnLive game system understands that gaming doesn't have to be about expensive consoles and computers. Kevin Pereira and Candace Bailey review the gaming-on-demand system that offers anyone a chance to play popular titles all through the TV in HD. Find out if this black box is worth the $100 price tag.

OnLive Game System Review »

Find the full review from Gadget Pron on Attack of the Show after the cut.

What You Need to Know

  • The OnLive console is about the size of your hand.
  • It has an HDMI output and two USB ports for controllers.
  • To use it you have to have a wired internet connection.
  • You log in and it immediately drops you into the home screen where you can buy and play games, change your profile, or watch other players play.
  • It's incredibly intuitive and fun to navigate around.
  • There's also an overlay similar to Xbox Live, where you can perform all of these functions from a shortcut button on the controller.
  • The interface is our favorite part of OnLive.
  • If you want to play a game, it'll take a few moments to load up, but once you do, it'll start from where the game automatically saved last.
  • OnLive told us you'll need about a six mbps connection to play at highest quality on a 55” TV.
  • This means you'll need cable or FiOS to really make this work well.
  • Even then, though, you'll still see artifacting and a few network interruptions while playing.
  • The bundle controller feels stiff and laggy, so you're better off just plugging in an Xbox 360 controller or keyboard and mouse.
  • You also won't need a very powerful machine to play, though you can't adjust graphics settings for any of the games.


  • You can rent games for 3 and 5 days for $3 to $9 or buy a full game for $4 to $50.
  • There's also a play-pack that gives you access to a bunch of games like Prince of Persia, F.E.A.R. 2, and NBA 2K10 for $10 a month.
  • Think of it as the Netflix of gaming.
  • Plus, if you download the software on your PC or Mac, you won't have to pay $100 for the box and you get access to all these games.

Overall Rating

  • 3 Seals of Approval Out of 5 (How do we rate gadgets?)
  • We feel like OnLive has a lot of potential, but it's not quite there, mainly because the big games everyone wants to play aren't available yet.
  • OnLive has assured us these games are on their way.
  • In the meantime, everyone at home should give it a try on their computer, because the service is completely free to try until the end of the week.

Want something reviewed on Gadget Pr0n? Email us your suggestions to gadgetpron@g4tv.com.

OnLive Game System Tech Review


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