Cloud gaming service OnLive has boasted since its inception of its ability to act as a game trial service that can save game developers from having to develop their own separate demos. Today, OnLive announced that functionality will sit side by side next to game reviews, through a partnership with review site GameSpot (disclosure: GameSpot is a property of CNET parent company CBS).
The idea is to let game consumers quickly get hands-on time with a game they've read about. Because OnLive hosts the game code on its remote servers, there's no demo version to download. Instead, you click the link from the game review page, which launches the OnLive application. You will also need an OnLive account to play the demo.
OnLive trial links will only be available from GameSpot for the 100 or so PC games that OnLive offers for purchase. OnLive features games from major publishers like Ubisoft, Square Enix, and Warner Brothers Interactive, but it does not currently have partnerships with the larger game publishers like Electronic Arts, Activision Blizzard, or PC fan favorites Valve and Bethesda, which means the list of trial links from GameSpot reviews won't be exhaustive. Electronic Arts also has its own cloud gaming partnership with Onlive competitor Gaikai.
The OnLive-GameSpot partnership is live today, and you can try it from GameSpot reviews for THQ's Homefront and Red Faction: Armageddon, UbiSoft's Assasssin's Creed: Brotherhood, and other titles.