OnLive has added a pile of new social-focused features to its cloud gaming service, including a friend finder, automatically-recorded "Brag Clips," upgraded stats tracking and even achievements.
Online gaming services are about more than just games. They're about showing the rest of the world how awesome you are at what you do. Gamerscore, cheevos, screenshots, forums, chat and more are a big part of what makes services like Steam, Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network so popular and successful. It's a lesson that apparently hasn't been lost on OnLive, which recently gave some much-needed focus to its own social features.
First up is the "OnLive Friend Finder" which will use Gmail to connect members and send referral links to contacts who aren't part of the service. Other email services will be added in the future but in the meantime, users can manually enter email addresses of contacts into the system in order to fire out friend requests. Numerous new email notifications have also been added, alerting members to incoming chat requests, video sharing and more.
Stats tracking has been dramatically improved and can now be shared with other OnLive members, as can new "Brag Clip" videos that are automatically recorded when "critical Achievements" are completed. And yes, some games now feature Achievements.
Joe Bentley, OnLive's vice president of engineering, suggested on the OnLive blog that this is just the beginning. "'Social gaming' has always been inherent to OnLive," he wrote. "But when you look at the potential, you'll see we've only just scratched the surface of what it can - and will - soon become." More information about the new OnLive update, including screenshots showing the various new features in action, can be found at the OnLiveFans forum.