Remember back in December of 2011? Back when we didn’t need to worry about a massive power outage that could wipe out electricity across the East Coast in a manner of hours (wink, wink)? Well then, as you may recall a few weeks before Christmas, a video game streaming company called OnLive announced a new app that would supposedly change the face of mobile gaming. The app would connect to the OnLive servers and send video of the running game to the device, and the device would send user input (button presses) to the server and adjust the video accordingly. This way, you had no need to download the actual game, as all of the work was being done on the server. It was a solid idea to be sure, and one that attracted many people to the relatively unknown service. I was one of said people.
I went on the OnLive website, watched the commercial for the app, and got even more excited, as it seemed to be doing exactly what it said it would. Clips of Batman: Arkham City being played on an iPad, and LEGO Batman being played on an iPhone were revolutionary, to say the least. Tonight (December 7th) being the supposed release date, I immediately signed up for an OnLive account, closed my laptop, and hopped on to Twitter on my iPod. The mentions of “OnLive” were tremendous, and it was clear that the hype was building rapidly. At around 11PM on December 7th, I started refreshing the App Store. “Do you mean ‘live’?” No, App Store, I don’t. I continued jumping between Twitter and the App Store for the next two hours.
1AM, December 8th, showed on my clock (I’m dedicated that way). Several people have tweeted that the App is really out, but continual refreshing of the App Store came up empty. I checked OnLive’s twitter feed for any announcements, but the feed remained unchanged. When I woke up later that morning, and checked again, my efforts were similarly rewarded with nothing. Hmmm.
I checked again for the next few days before finally giving up. The lack of feedback from OnLive was quite infuriating, and word was that the app release for the Android had gone off without a hitch. OnLive still had the iPad in the commercial, and the line “more devices coming soon” remained on the website, but no iOS client app showed up.
It was odd to be sure, and once every week for the next couple weeks, I would check the App Store and the OnLive website. Some forum browsing revealed that other people had the same questions I had. One man had even bought the OnLive Bluetooth controller for his iPad, but the lack of actual app had left it to disuse. All word from OnLive had followed the same pattern. “Still waiting for approval from Apple”. (Pocketgamer)
As we approach August, 2012, the app will soon be 7 months late, and the rare word from OnLive hasn’t changed. “Still with Apple”. It’s strange, to say the least, and flat-out rude to say the most. My hastily acquired OnLive account remains unused, and I’ve long since stopped checking for the App. Heck, the delay has been so long that OnLive has since had time to release a desktop emulating app on the Store. I remain dissatisfied as the app remains nonexistent. Some people say that because OnLive would be using in-app purchases, there could be royalty conflicts with Apple. If that is the problem, does the fault lie with Apple? Or with OnLive? And why has OnLive been so silent on the issue? Will the iOS app ever see the light of day? Oh, well. We still have our consoles, right? Our consoles that look increasingly less portable.