OnLive Game Demos Come to GameSpot

Get a quick rundown of how you can play demos of popular games instantly through GameSpot's new partnership with the cloud gaming service.

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You read the review and you watched the video review, but maybe you're still on the fence about throwing some cash down on a particular game you've been considering. We here at GameSpot are trying to make that decision a little easier by partnering with the cloud gaming service known as OnLive. If you're not really familiar with what OnLive is, you can check out our in-depth breakdown of the overall service here, but this is the short version for those who don't have the time: OnLive is a cloud gaming service, so you never have to worry about hardware requirements or compatibility because the games are all running on OnLive's own hardware located in a hub, which then broadcasts a video signal back to your computer of what you're playing. All you need is a decent Internet connection and you should be all set. It all sounds like some crazy magic act, and it's still possible that some kind of Internet wizards may be involved, but it's an impressive service.

You can try it out for yourself by simply visiting one of our gamespaces that has an OnLive demo, like Batman: Arkham Asylum (new demos are being added all the time, with some arriving day and date with major upcoming games). A prompt will appear that gives you some basic information on the game, as well as a link to download the small OnLive client. Once that's finished, you set up an account, click connect, and a few moments later, you're playing Batman. Each OnLive demo is 30 minutes long, so you'll have plenty of time to get a basic grasp of what a game is like and it's free. Give it a try and let us know what you think in the comments below.

If you want to check out some other games with OnLive demos, here's just a small sampling:
Red Faction: Armageddon
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction
Just Cause 2
Borderlands
Darksiders
NBA 2K11

Upcoming day and date demos:
Saints Row: The Third
Batman: Arkham City
Assassin's Creed: Revelations

Discussion

150 comments
zeussrapidfire
zeussrapidfire

GAMESPOT I LOVE YOU WITH ALL MY HEART =]. Thanks for everything, cant wait to set it up and see how it goes (internet connection). Gamespot rules!

yab19998
yab19998

I have OnLive but the claim about hardware isn't true. Like my netbook sometimes it says my GB of ram isn't enough sometimes it is. GaiKai never works on my netbook even though my connection is really fast.

JediKnightJace
JediKnightJace

@kytomasi, Skargamer: Just go to onlive.com and download the launcher (about 1.1 MB) and play those demos (and many more) from that.

JediKnightJace
JediKnightJace

Due to various promotions, I bought Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition on OnLive for \$3.50, and Batman: Arkham Asylum for $0.69 (that's not a typo). Neither of them would run on my computer without OnLive. Needless to say, I'm quite happy with it.

ljspeece
ljspeece

When the OnLive service was originally offered, I pre-ordered my unit immediately. (It reminded me of the Phantom console that never happened!) I have tried various connections and have found cable broadband to be very good. The controller (wireless) takes some getting used to, but most of the games can be played via a keyboard/mouse combination as well. I am really enjoying the service. I should mention that I use the micro-console wired directly to my router, rather than connecting via my wireless network. It does make a significant difference. And, from what I have read, NetFlix may become an offering on the OnLive service at a future date. For ten bucks a month, I am extremely pleased with OnLive!!

ALLoY1717
ALLoY1717

AFTERTHOUGHT! I can play games at work now! Muhahahahahaha

ALLoY1717
ALLoY1717

Im connecting from Kuwait on a 4mb connection and I got to say I'm impressed. I wasn't even expecting it to work at all. Obviously the stream quality I'm getting isn't great and lag over this distance is a major factor (from the feel I'm guess 400-500ms), but if it means I can try a demo instantly I'm on board. PS, This is coming from someone sitting in front of a rig using 2 570GTXs in SLi running 3 monitors in surround gaming at reses of 5760x1080, 12gigs of ram, i7 950 CPU. So I'm not really a stranger to higher end PC settings. Basically for me, it won't make me buy any games on the service but I'm really impressed with the technology that goes into making this possible.

Jamemba
Jamemba

Sweet! Too bad my internet sucks. :(

lobotomies4free
lobotomies4free

so you're just adding links for us to download the client? Or did I miss something?

Thorpe89
Thorpe89

I'm from the UK and was just playing the Just Cause 2 demo. Use us.gamespot.com if it doesn't show. I usually switch to this because reviews don't show up right away on the UK site.

godofwar1229
godofwar1229

@jporter313 thanx for tellin me u don't have to pay to play the demos eventhough i have a PS3 if i get the urge i might use it to play something i can't get on playstation3

Zathic
Zathic

I can't even get the launcher to work ah well

BRiDeath
BRiDeath

I'm getting OnLive if it leads to quality PC gaming without the need of a 400 dollar graphics card.

DamageIncM
DamageIncM

Seems like a really handy service. However, game-developers should just release more Demos anyway, cause I don't have a problem with downloading and installing any. The problem is more often that there just ISN'T a Demo. Hopefully this service will make developers release Demos more often though. And as it's also faster and more instantaneous, it's handier for the consumer of course. Just hope it's usable for people who don't have really fast internet. So, I guess online gaming is going to have a new meaning in the future huh? :P Cause if I see this, I see computers and consoles of the future without any games installed on them, but ran from a server and the consumer only having to buy a license to play it, kind of like buying a download, without the downloading-part. Only then you won't be able to get any game-data, as it's ran on a server, so piracy won't be an option anymore either. Unless they're going to try and hack the servers...

GamerLegend10
GamerLegend10

i will give this a try sometime, but i believe my internet is way too slow for it to work :(

Skargamer
Skargamer

The buttons aren't even there now. Why? :?

kytomasi
kytomasi

seems they look it offline already lol. i cant find the button on any of the demos

AmphibiousChimp
AmphibiousChimp

I have a crappy computer and no money for a tv + game console setup, so OnLive works great for me. The only issue I have with it right now is that their selection of games is not very large at this point (but I'm sure as their popularity grows, more games will become available). Also, although it isn't much of a problem for me, some people probably don't have access to a decent Internet connection, which would degrade the quality of gaming with the service. Overall, OnLive is a pretty awesome idea, definitely the future of gaming.

the05birdman
the05birdman

I just discovered this the other day and was very happy about it. I used OnLive to play the demo of Borderlands and Metro 2033 just to see if I would like playing them on my computer. Quality wasn't the best and it was a little laggy but it did what I wanted. I ended up picking up both games on Steam shortly after! :)

AngelCage-2
AngelCage-2

Eh, OnLive demo???? Let's put this thing on test!!!!!! I remember they said that you only needed broadband and a crappy PC and onlive should work like a charm... So it should work on my Latitude notebook isn't? Let's see if that's true. 1 minute later (during onlive client installation): "We're sorry, but this application requires Direct3D HARDWARE accelerarion and your system does not appear to support it.." So, I STILL need Graphics card (and possibly lots of memory) to use onlive... Then i don't see the purpose of the service.

riley3664
riley3664

I don't know about you guys but this is awesome. it ran perfectly on my computer with no lag

Carlos161
Carlos161

It's a good idea but I still download the demos. My Internet is too slow

be_skeptical
be_skeptical

This is really ironic considering Gamespot's coverage of Gamestop's removal of On-Live coupons from the recently released Deus Ex. I think it's a great idea for demos, but I just can't bring myself to download games from anyone, even Steam. I need the physical copy if I paid for it.

arkadiyk
arkadiyk

wow that guy has like a 5 % hit ratio lol

Barighm
Barighm

Interesting, but I like to give new tech 5 years to iron out all the bugs before I judge it, and 10 for polish, plus I suspect MS will steal the idea and do something a whole lot better by then. And this is to say nothing of internet download limits. I already broke my limit once just by watching a few hours of YouTube videos. Playing hours of video games would blow it away!

johnnybowman
johnnybowman

I am not going to lie. At first I did not care much for Onlive but now I think This is pretty awesome.

crazymario1
crazymario1

I've tried Onlive before, but my internet connection simply isn't fast enough. I WAS able to make the Onlive Viewer on the iPad to work, though, if I turn off everything else in my home that is using the internet. When it works, I have to admit it's pretty incredible!

jporter313
jporter313

@Frame_Dragger: As far as there already being demos and such, this was my thinking too before I tried it. but the cool thing about it is the instant gratification, no install, no download, want to try it? You're playing in 30 seconds. As far as bandwidth goes, on a personal level I haven't run into that problem, on a macro level I definitely see what you're saying. I played it here at work where we have some sort of insanely fast connection. Will have to try it at home this weekend. Sorry to sound like such a shameless promoter for all this stuff, I was just really impressed by this yesterday.

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

@Frame_Dragger You have to download and install a demo for Xbox360, PS3 or PC. Then when you're done, you've basically got crapware on your computer unless you make the purchase (it's a cleaner uninstall on Xbox360 and PS3). When you use OnLive you only need the client, which is a one-time install and is a quick install (slow in the video for some reason, though?). For a quick, limited 30-minute demo of a good chunk of quality games, OnLive is a good choice. I run Comcast cable at an average of 16Mbps and my experience with OnLive has been positive. Very little lag. There's plenty of room to grow and improve, but it's a good start.

nate1222
nate1222

I recently got an Onlive account, but have yet to use it. The problem is: you gotta be connected to the internet just to play what you've purchased. It's worse than Steam's DRM in that regard. And the selection isn't very good right now. I think I'll be using GOG for a good stretch: no DRM, LOW hardware requirements, great selection, dirt cheap, lotsa hard to find klassix...

MadGamer132
MadGamer132

i had a onlive account but a need a "stronger" pc, i think.

da_nibbler
da_nibbler

is this not available in the UK or am I blind???

HolyCrusaderX
HolyCrusaderX

Well, I not from the US or EU so I can't use it :/

Enexs
Enexs

I played metro 2033 and free trial and it worked great XD liked the idea to have 30 minutes demo of the games

stziggy
stziggy

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

jporter313
jporter313

@godofwar1229: Nope, not to try the game demos, only if you want that unlimited package thing they have, or to actually buy games from them.

godofwar1229
godofwar1229

good idea but i'm guessin you still have to pay for onlive?

jporter313
jporter313

Just tried this yesterday when I heard about it. It takes a few minutes to install the onlive client and set up the account the first time, but from that point on, you click on any "play now" button on the site, and you're playing within 30 seconds. It's pretty amazing.

diggyman
diggyman

LAG is of GREAT concern to me. I know he says he doesn't notice any, but that may be cause millions of people aren't on it all at once yet. It's bad enough that the home-console lag we have now is acceptable. I really hope next gen consoles try harder to fix that. I guess that was the genius of the less sophisticated systems of yester-year. push a button, and the game responds INSTANTLY, not .0736 seconds later. Your games would feel sooooo much better to you.

The-Rekve
The-Rekve

So, I just gave this thing a second shot since it wouldn't let me try it out a year ago (live in the EU), and I must say that I am more than impressed with what I've seen. I just played half an hour of AC:B on my laptop over a wifi-connection, and while it wasn't up there in terms of graphics and made slight misshaps, it was a blessing of dimensions not having to deal with the immense (over)heat my HP laptop usually generates. On top of that, it's perfect for trying new games, and the arena function is amazing, though I'm not sure how useful it really is. It will never replace my PS3 though.

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

OnLive is interesting. They've got some decent deals and the demos are cool and you can be a spectator of any other OnLive gaming session so you can check out how a game actually plays before you buy it. That's cool. What I don't like about OnLive is that you don't have an option to download and install. Which means you pay the same price, but you don't even get a digital copy that will stick around as long as your system can support it. Let's say a licensing deal goes awry and OnLive is forced to remove a game from it's service. What happens to all the customers who paid full-price for this game? Oops; sorry; the game is no longer available. One way OnLive is trying to combat that is with the $9.99 unlimited play deal. But not all of the games are available on this and I'm sure they would have to raise the price in order for the service to add more titles. OnLive is doing a great job with getting this type of service off the ground. Especially in an economy where broadband access capable of supporting the service is limited mostly to major cities. With some broadband expansion and better ways of handling the purchasing of games OnLive could become a major player in the games industry. This "partnership" with GameSpot seems like a shallow promotional thing... it is what it is...

wwlettsome
wwlettsome

Interesting, have to give this a try later.

JoSilver
JoSilver

Why in the world does the onlive app Require a graphics card with at least pixel shader 2? I know it's really my bazllion year old computers fault but if the whole point of it is that it's suppose to be free of system requirements shouldn't there be a software fallback?

sacatash
sacatash

Tried it playing DarkSiders demo using WiFi and its pretty decent. However, my computer is a gaming rig so I have to test it out on a laptop if it is what they claimed it to be. This is an excellent idea if they offer a DECENT 1 month rental fee but I will not purchase a game because if the ONLIVE goes 'belly up' your purchases goes 'kapoot' along with hard-earned dollars!

jcopp72
jcopp72

I only knew about this a few days ago, its even in my blog. Why does GS take so long to tell us this?

SilentKing16
SilentKing16

I have to say it works quite well. Just make sure you're connected to the internet via a cable. I tried it at school via WiFi, it worked, but quite laggy. Next time, I'm bringing a cable to school:). Great service, and thanks Gamespot, for reminding me it existed:)