OnLive gains mobile phone compatibility

Anticipated online game-streaming service to work on platforms such as Apple's iPhone; portable launch to follow desktop, TV versions.

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OnLive has a number of attractive features going for it. Perhaps the most intriguing, though, is the online game-streaming service's promise to effectively eliminate the hardware barrier for playing high-performance games. Because OnLive hosts games on its own high-end servers, users will only have to download a small application to allow playable games to be streamed to virtually any desktop, laptop, or TV.

The latest visual representation of how OnLive works.
The latest visual representation of how OnLive works.

Over the weekend, OnLive CEO Steve Perlman added yet one more platform to that mix, saying on the company's blog that gamers will also be able to use the service with mobile smart phones. The mobile service will also let gamers watch others' gameplay, as well as engage in a number of other community-oriented features.

Perlman noted that the game-playing component of the mobile version of OnLive will not launch alongside the full service this winter. The executive also said that the mobile edition of OnLive can only be considered a tech demo. The company has no estimated time of arrival for when the full functionality will be available on smart phones, with barriers ranging from further development time to approval from certain cell-phone service providers.

"It's important to understand that a cell phone is a very different beast than TV, PC or Mac," Perlman wrote. "And while we're thrilled about eventually bringing many new games to cell phone platforms, currently, games on OnLive are tuned for TVs and computers. So initially, it's the community and social elements of OnLive that we're most excited about on mobile devices."

The PC, Mac, and TV editions of OnLive entered a closed beta-testing phase in early September. OnLive has yet to nail down an exact release date for when the service will be available or how much it will cost.

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