Onlive MicroConsole: A hands on review
By: analogfight
Posted: 9/6/2011 12:00:00 AM

Ok so by now you know that OnLive is a cloud gaming rig, which is...well… tiny and can fit in your suite case (more on this later). I got one at PAX this year and honestly I was excited, not like I won the lottery excited, but pretty damn excited to get to play with a cloud gaming console. I have heard a lot of things about it and now it was my turn to check it out. But I was at PAX and I was going to have to wait till I got home to check out OnLives cloud gaming goodness or do I, I thought to myself. I had a 4g phone, a good connection in Seattle and a wireless hub. SO I rigged up and made the 4g phone a hotspot, linked the wireless hub to the phone, and then plugged in the OnLive MicroConsole. HOLY CRAP IT LOADED! I am gaming while traveling with a 4g connection! Much to my excitement I tried out one of the free trial games, Dirt 3. It loaded, and was slow at times but it was playable. You couldn’t play a FPS due to the lag but you could definitely play a single player game.

Once I was home I setup my MicroConsole so I could try it out on my 65” with HDMI and surround sound. I have a cox cable connection so my speeds are on the higher end, and the image was worthy to call HD. Sound was clear and did not have the digital crackle I was expecting.

The console itself, although small packs in a ton of features like the other consoles we all know. You can watch any game you are interested in buying or see others play a level you are stuck on. There is no viewer limit that I can see. You can record a “brag clip” which is started and stopped by the record button on the controller. The brag clip is displayed for all to see so make them good, not like my test example of me getting beat up in bloodrayne. It also has chat, you can chat while watching a friend play or while in multiplayer.

The setup I got at PAX was very impressive it had everything I needed and didn’t have to use any of my personal equipment, except for the hub. It had the MicroConsole, Wireless Controller, Power Adapter, HDMI Cable, Ethernet Cable, Rechargeable controller battery, USB Charge cable, and 2 AA Batteries. Overall I was impressed by the packaging and all the equipment that it came with, a very nice touch in my opinion.

When I first saw the controller I was shocked by how heavy it was, but after playing with it, I realized how much that OnLive packed into this thing. I am learning this company takes small packages and crams as much as possible in them. Not only is it a controller (with an xbox style layout) it is also you brag clip remote. Below the analog sticks there are your basic dvd player style controls with “record”, “pause”, “stop”, “back” and “forward.”

Game prices range from 4.99 to 49.99 and most games have a free trial option where you can play the game for 30 minutes a day. There is no limit either, if you only need a 30 minute fix of the game, then well you are in luck! If you decide you want to play past the 30 minute trial time you can purchase the game and it is yours. OnLive is expanding the titles weekly and you can even pre order Batman: Arkham, or buy Deus: EX Human Revolution. You can find out more on their website http://www.onlive.com/

In closing, this was way past my expectations, the UI is easy to navigate, it works on 4g, it works better on a high speed connection, and you can play on PC, Mac, or MicroConsole. I see this as being a nice addition to the gaming console world. You can order a MicroConsole for 99 bucks and it is available now.
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