Sunday, 3 June 2012

Gaikai Added Free Cloud Gaming Demo of Alan Wake

Cloud gaming demo service Gaikai has added a free demo of Alan Wake to its cloud gaming demo network. Alan Wake is a third-person shooter psychological thriller action game published and developed by Remedy Entertainment, the studio behind the critically acclaimed Max Payne and its sequel Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne. The game had quite an interesting development history. Remedy started the development of the game as a multi-platform title with the PC as lead platform. But later Microsoft bought the exclusivity of the game for the Xbox 360. Not long ago Remedy finally managed to bring the game to the PC and now also to the gaming cloud.

When the wife of the best-selling writer Alan Wake disappears on their vacation, his search turns up pages from a thriller he doesn’t even remember writing. A Dark Presence stalks the small town of Bright Falls, pushing Wake to the brink of sanity in his fight to unravel the mystery and save his love.

Presented in the style of a TV series, Alan Wake features the trademark Remedy storytelling and pulse-pounding action sequences. As players dive deeper and deeper into the mystery, they’ll face overwhelming odds, plot twists, and cliffhangers. It’s only by mastering the Fight With Light combat mechanic that they can stay one step ahead of the darkness that spreads across Bright Falls.

With the body of an action game and the mind of a psychological thriller, Alan Wake’s intense atmosphere, deep and multilayered story, and exceptionally tense combat sequences provide players with an entertaining and original gaming experience.

The game includes the Alan Wake Special Episodes The Signal and The Writer.

You can play the free demo of Alan Wake powered by Gaikai.

You can try the demos of other games in Gaikai's catalog at Gaikai's games page.


  1. The problem with Gaikai is that it is an unelegant, clunky, untested solution that has gotten a lot of hype because it has not delivered anything that is concrete. (Has anybody played a full game from them? Ever?)

    OnLive requires edition of the code not to make a game work on their platform, but so the integration into their game environment is seemless (for instance, the switch from keyboard, to mouse, to controller is instantaneous and requires not setting change or restart, etc.). Gaikai's experience is much more intrusive, and much less smooth.

    It seems likely Gaikai might win in the end because technological elegance and quality is rarely a winning argument. David Perry is a hack.

    1. When OnLive launched they didn't think that they would have serious competition on a technical level for years. So they went with the closed off console business model. That model could make them the Apple of the gaming world in a few years.

      But unfortunately for OnLive, Gaikai launched soon after with a beta. Though Gaikai doesn't feature a full gaming platform, they provide the tech for others to build one. And with the recent partnership with NVIDIA and use of Geforce GRID, they have already been testing NVIDIA cloud gaming tech for some time, they now also look strong on the tech side.

      Gaikai's business model is poison for OnLive, as games publishers don't want another Apple App Store monopolist that could dictate the market and the prices. This was very evident when OnLive launched at E3 2010 two years ago and EA suddenly removed their games from the OnLive launch game lineup and at the same time went with Gaikai, who back then wasn't ready for business. Though EA is partnered with OnLive, they still haven't brought any games to OnLive.

      With Gaikai other companies that use their service have to pay for the servers. But, if they wish, Gaikai can do everything else like facilitate money transactions, negotiate rights to particular games, integrate them into the service, build the UI, and put the physical server racks together. So other companies only have to pay Gaikai and reap all the rewards. They get a cut of the purchase price of games, just like a brick and mortar retailer would. In the case of EA that sells their own games on Origin, they would keep all the money from game purchases for themselves and still be able to sell the same cloud games on other cloud gaming services powered by Gaikai, and get a cut of the purchase price. This is a huge market for games publishers and the cost is minimal as they don't have to modify the game to run on other systems.

      Gaikai says, that each new partner pays for their own set of dedicated servers in Gaikai's cloud, such that every time there's a new company, the whole network expands that much more and thus lowers the latency to end users. Each partner that isn't using their full capacity at a given moment leaves that much additional bandwidth for others to stream their games, and as a result, Gaikai claims its service is now live in 88 countries. Such a business model is pure genius as Gaikai doesn't have to look for investors or pay themselves to grow, but their customers pay for their growth. And because Gaikai's customers keep the control over their cloud gaming service powered by Gaikai, they are happy too. This business model has the potential to grow Gaikai very fast and balloon them to the size of YouTube, but for games.

      David Perry himself said, "We're incredibly jealous that movies and music are everywhere, on every device, and we would really like everywhere you see a Netflix icon, for there to be the best games available as well." The difference is that Gaikai isn't trying to build a paywall for protected content: the company wants its games to be as ubiquitous as YouTube. Today, if you go to Best Buy or Walmart in your web browser and check out a supported game, you can play a timed demo right there embedded in your browser window, even blow it up to full screen, without ever leaving the store's page. In the near future, though, Gaikai plans to make that YouTube analogy complete. It's planning to offer full embed codes so you can put a Gaikai window in any old blog or website, and shortlinks that you can tweet. With embedded buttons and scannable QR codes, Perry suggests, every single marketing material for a game (whether poster or email blast) could direct you to an instantly playable game demo.