The OnLive service can do many things, it allows you to play top-tier games on a less powerful gaming PC/Mac. It allows you to play games such as L.A Noire on an Android tablet. It even allows you to use certain other controllers from other video games consoles in the USB ports of its MicroConsole (wired Xbox 360 controllers, Sony Six-Axis Controllers)
The only stumbling block I have hit so far is that in my position – where I usually use my OnLive account on my laptop – if I want to play a game like Batman: Arkham City for example I would much prefer to use a controller than the traditional mouse and keyboard approach but having only purchased wireless controllers for my Xbox 360 this proved somewhat problematic.
But not anymore! Now OnLive have produced a Bluetooth Wireless Controller, compatible with PC, Mac and several tablet computers*
What’s in the box?
OnLive’s packaging hasn’t changed since they released the MicroConsole last September at the Eurogamer Expo – the stylish black box is reminiscent of some high end mobile phone companies and always has a nice finish to it.
The box contains the following:
OnLive Bluetooth Wireless Controller
2 x AA Batteries
1 x Rechargable battery pack
1 x Charge cable (1 ft) 0.3m
1 x USB Bluetooth Dongle
The style and feel of the control pad is identical to the bundled controller that came with the MicroConsole so there is an instant feeling of familiarity with the hardware. Both controllers are equal in size and weight and the only difference is the small universal ‘wireless’ logo on the Bluetooth version.
Set up was surprisingly easy – following the two illustrated instructions that are provided of ‘Insert Batteries’ (and presumably USB dongle at this point), and ‘Press Sync Buttons’, the small orange lights on the OnLive Bluetooth Wireless Controller cycled through its player indicators for a few seconds (roughly 10 seconds) and then settled with the Player One indicator, signifying that the controller could now be used.
Many people I have spoken to in regards to the OnLive service all seem to repeat the same concern – Lag – that difference between pressing a button on your keyboard or controller and the character on screen performing the desired action. I found very little (if any) latency between pressing the button on the OnLive Bluetooth Wireless controller. Recently it appears that the Europe servers for OnLive have been going through some changes and upgrades (such as adding surround sound and 1080i/p to their visual options) and also the streaming service appears to have been given an overhaul, offering a smoother experience throughout.
I used the OnLive Bluetooth Wireless Controller at 15:00 GMT on a Saturday, usually a busy time for services like the Playstation Network, Xbox Live and OnLive but there was no significant moments which affected or halted my gaming experience.
I have included a sample video of my experience with the Controller below:
*Tablets currently tested are as follows:
Acer Iconia Tab A500
ASUS Eee Pa Transformer
Samsung Galaxy Tab
OnLive provided SlimGamer.com with a Bluetooth Wireless Controller for review purposes