Monday, 23 January 2012

Full Game Streaming Coming to Gaikai Within Months

Gaikai's David Perry said that streaming of full games - not just demos - via the cloud gaming service is ready to go live within months.

The immediate priority is to put cloud gaming on Facebook as revealed last week, but following that, users will be able to play entire games across a network of sites that includes YouTube, Best Buy and games publishers such as Electronic Arts and Ubisoft.

"If you give me your game today I can put your game in front of more than 100 million people, easily. Quite honestly if we put you on the homepage of YouTube right now on it's own, you're already hitting that number," said Perry in an interview published today.

With the launch on the social network imminent, Perry added that full game streaming will go live in "about three months from when Facebook launches, about 90 days from that," adding "I'm not aware of any technical hurdles we have that would stop it."

The only real competitor with full game streaming is OnLive, which requires users to use either its MicroConsole, the clients for PC or Mac, or the recently released OnLive App for Android, but according to Perry that company also has an issue where it has to modify the code for many games it runs on the service - not a problem for Gaikai.

"There's a very big difference between the way we're doing it and the way OnLive is doing it. They have to modify the game, they have to get the source code to the game. Gaikai doesn't require modification of the game."

"To give you an example The Witcher II was given to us and them at the same time. We went live with Witcher II immediately and now four or five months later they still don't have that live, and that's because they have to touch the code. The whole structure of Gaikai is about not touching the code. When we show World of Warcraft it's the real thing, it's not like we had to go and tweak it to get it to work. That means that every game in history remains compatible with our solution."

With Gaikai up and running on such a huge global network, some in the games industry are pointing towards a possible acquisition of the company by one of the big format holders to incorporate cloud gaming into the next generation of home hardware. But Perry suggests that regardless of his own compay's future, all big businesses that have a reliance on triple-A product would be foolish to ignore the possibilities of cloud gaming.

"You do not want to be the console that can't do this. You do not want to be the retail website that doesn't have playable games on it. You don't want to be the gaming website that you can't buy a game from," he said.

"Console manufacturers have got to take it seriously because it's better for consumers. I would play a lot more games if I fired up my Xbox, clicked on a game and it started playing straight away. I don't want to take your console from your cold dead hands, that's not the case at all. You're going to continue to play the way you play, but just imagine that you could have an opinion on all games because you've been able to try all of them. Each evening, flick through four or five games that just came out."

The full interview with David Perry, where he also discusses reducing friction to players, the last generation of games consoles and optimising Gaikai for tablets, can be read here.


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