Cloud gaming services aren’t exactly new, but usually they’re ran by a company who offers games from a variety of publishers. Which is exactly why we’re surprised to learn that Square Enix has launched their own such service, dubbed Core Online, allowing you to play games right from your browser. What’s more, you can play them for free.
Currently, there are only two games available on the service: Mini Ninjas and Hitman: Blood Money. They’re planning on adding more titles in the future. I decided to give Hitman a shot, and I was given 10 minutes to play. I selected the mission I wanted to play, and hit F12 to enter fullscreen. At this point, it felt just like playing any other game on my PC.
Once the 10 minutes were up, I was given the chance to watch an ad to get more time. There were a variety of ads to choose from, and they were nice enough to tell me how long each one lasted, and how much gametime that earned me. To give you an idea, the shortest ad I could watch was 6 seconds long, and earned 5 minutes of gametime, and the longest was 1:17 long, which gave me 26 minutes of play. You don’t just have to watch a single ad, you can watch several in a row to earn up to an hour’s worth of playtime.
The other option was to pay $.49 to unlock each level. Obviously, being as cheap as I am, I just kept watching ads. If you were only getting 5-minute blocks, the interruptions were pretty annoying. However, if you just take a few minutes and save up an hour’s worth of play, this can be a nice way to experience a game that you’ve been wanting to try out, without paying anything. Sure, it’s only a $10, but when you’re broke, that goes a long way.