Here’s a surprising move, Sony has just announced a finalized agreement to acquire cloud gaming service Gaikai for a whopping $380Million USD.
With this acquisition, SCE will establish a cloud service and expand its network business by taking full advantage of Gaikai’s revolutionary technology and infrastructure including data centers servicing dozens of countries and key partners around the world.
Personally I still prefer the service of OnLive, but this is a huge step toward acknowledging the power of Cloud Gaming services. I can’t help but expect an upcoming revision of Sony televisions and BluRay players with Gaikai support integrated.
via Sony Acquires Cloud Gaming Company Gaikai – Expreview.com.
This isn’t really a surprise if you saw the recent GDC keynote, but now Samsung and Gaikai have officially announced a partnership to bring Gaikai’s impressive internet streaming games to Samsung Televisions as a new “Samsung Cloud Gaming” service, without the need for special hardware.
Samsung will utilize Gaikai’s open cloud platform to launch game titles directly from the Samsung Smart Hub environment featured in high-end 2012 Smart TVs, beginning with the Samsung 7000 series and up 2012 LED Smart TVs. A diverse selection of AAA content appealing to both families and gamers alike will be available to instantly play using game controllers in combination with the Samsung Smart TV.
I haven’t tried Gaikai, but I do love the OnLive service. If Gaikai is the same, this is a huge addition for casual gamers that don’t need fast twitch response.
Full release after the break.
Haven’t heard much from Gaikai lately, but one of their head honcho’s (David Perry) posted a picture on his blog showing Blizzard’s “World of Warcraft” running on his new iPad via Gaikai. Some doubters question its authenticity:
While the screenshot is amazing, there are doubts to its credibility since iPad’s browser doesn’t support Flash. Unfortunately no video of the game in action was provided. However, the concept surrounding Gaikai, and the implications for browser-based games that are graphically intensive like World of Warcraft are fascinating.
The obvious answer is that it’s not in the browser, but Gaikai has developed an iPad App for just this use. If so, it really could make the iPad a popular tool for gaming (if they can overcome the typical requirements of external keyboards, mice, and controllers).
via WoW on iPad via streaming.
First OnLive, and now Gaikai have entered limited betas. While OnLive is targeting the US first, Gaikai is heading for Europe.
“Gaikai is all about reaching a massive audience, so we are embracing Europe right away.”
Europe first, America next.
“After we choose the hardware configuration in Europe, our next phase will be our USA Nationwide Network Test, that will be using 8 Tier-1 Data Centers, getting hammered by Closed Beta testers,” Perry added.
The signup form is already online, but already 30,000 people have signed up.
via VG247 » Blog Archive » Gaikai closed beta to launch in Europe “later this month”.
Previously mentioned Gaikai has just released a video demonstration showing how it works, and how well. The blog post accompanying the video has some interesting details:
(1) No installing anything. (I’m running regular Windows Vista, with the latest Firefox and Flash is installed.)
(2) This is a low-spec server, it’s a very custom configuration, fully virtualized. Why? To keep the costs to an absolute minimum. We had 7 Call of Duty games running on our E3 demo server recently.
(3) Data travel distance is around 800 miles (round trip) on this demo as that’s where the server is. I get a 21 millisecond ping on that route. My final delay will be 10 milliseconds as I just added a server in Irvine California yesterday, but it’s not added to our grid yet. (So this demo is twice the delay I personally would get, the good news is I don’t notice it anyway.)
(4) This server is not hosted by a Tier 1 provider, just a regular Data Center in Freemont California. Also, I’m not cheating and using fiber connections for our demos. This is a home cable connection in a home.
(7) Our bandwidth is mostly sub 1 megabit across all games. (Works with Wifi, works on netbooks with no 3D card etc.)
Check out the video after the break. It looks like they might really have something here. The demo shows Spore (PC version), Mario Kart 64 (in an Emulator), and several others all running within FireFox.
Similar to recently announced OnLive, Gaikai does something very similar by streaming MMO’s played on high-end server-side computers to a low-end client. But, unlike OnLive, does it with a simple Flash-widget in a webbrowser.
Gaikai is a revolutionary new technology that lets you play any game online in your browser. In the age of the cloud, when all your documents, email, photos and videos are instantly reachable online, it seems archaic that you still need to install gigabytes of game files on an expensive PC with an even more expensive video card. And even then you can only play from that specific computer!
Gaikai takes a radical new approach – we host the games, we run them, we worry about hardware and software updates, and we stream them to you. Full resolution, full speed, stereo sound, low lag, no compromise. The only thing you need is a browser and an internet connection.
It looks like the age of the Thin Client may be upon us.