Thursday, 24 January 2013

one2free and Ubitus Launched the Game Box 4G LTE Mobile Cloud Gaming Service in Hong Kong

one2free, Hong Kong’s leading mobile network operator with the first 4G mobile network there, has launched the Game Box cloud gaming service for its 4G LTE mobile network in Hong Kong. The service is powered by technology from Taipei, Taiwan based cloud gaming provider Ubitus. In particular users with the following Android 4G LTE devices on the one2free 4G LTE network and over Wi-Fi can currently enjoy the service: Samsung Galaxy S III LTE, Samsung Galaxy Note II LTE and Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 LTE. Users of these mobile devices need to download the Game Box App for Android from Google Play.

Game Box is a cloud-based mobile gaming service that brings console quality games to mobile devices in Hong Kong at a low fixed monthly fee. Delivered in high-definition and powered by the 4G LTE network of one2free, Game Box provides mobile gamers with flexible, on-the-go access to games in the cloud without the dependency on hardware such as CPUs and graphics cards required by home-based consoles.

one2free customers can enjoy free trial access to Game Box for up to 30 minutes per game. Monthly packages will be introduced in the coming weeks and will be priced at HK$38 for 300 game coins or HK$15 for 100 game coins, with the option to purchase top-up credits.

Through Game Box, Hong Kongers can now access a wide array of game titles on their mobile devices including favorites such as Resident Evil 5, Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition, Street Fighter X Tekken, Lost Planet 2, WRC 2: FIA World Rally Championship, WRC 3: FIA World Rally Championship, SBK Generations and Dark Void. These are games from publishers Capcom and Milestone. Over 20 titles are available at launch with a further 40 titles coming in February. This will be followed by monthly new releases and multi-player online games.

Since Game Box is geared towards mobiles, Ubitus has crafted some elaborate controls for the games being streamed from the cloud to gamers. Some clever touch controls are in use adapted for each game specifically, with some games even using the movement input and tilt of the mobiles. Some games work better with touch and some worse which isn't surprising as many of the games were designed with controllers and the classic keyboard and mouse control scheme in mind. The quality and latency of mobiles' touch controls is getting better and better, but the question remains if this will be enough for games that have complicated control schemes and were designed for physical controllers.

"As mobile bandwidth quality keeps improving, there are tremendous opportunities to satisfy consumers’ demand beyond existing TV/movie streaming services on mobile devices,” said Derek Chim, co-founder and EVP of Ubitus. “Ubitus is proud to support one2free in bringing the first commercial LTE cloud gaming service to the Hong Kong market, and we believe users will enjoy the excitement and convenience brought by Game Box to the customers."

“one2free delivers quality mobile entertainment through its investment in a fast 4G LTE network supported by the latest devices. On top of this, we continue to develop platforms that bring HD quality music and gaming to our customers”, says Joehan Martinus, one2free's director of Mass Marketing, “Now we can offer an exceptional experience in mobile gaming to Hong Kong with an accessible, console quality selection of games through Game Box on mobile devices for a fixed monthly fee”.

“Our platform offers a seamless low-latency gaming experience that, because of our superior 4G LTE network, will be difficult for others to match,” added Joehan.

The extensive hardware options were made possible by the recent upgrades one2free made to its 4G LTE network. These included doubling its 4G LTE cell sites for both 1800MHz and 2600MHz bands, as well as doubling its overall network capacity in high traffic areas and increasing population coverage to 95 percent. These updates, together with the progressive rollout of 4G coverage to most urban line MTR stations (and all remaining stations by January 2013), have helped ensure that one2free customers have the consistent network speeds and cloud storage access needed to make quality cloud gaming based mobile-gaming possible.

Ubitus already launched a mobile cloud gaming service with GameNow for Verizon Wireless 4G LTE Customers in the US. Ubitus, also provides cloud gaming services through South Korea's LG U+ with C-games and Japan's NTT DOCOMO with G CLOUD. They have also partnered with NVIDIA and will use the NVIDIA GRID cloud gaming platform.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Agawi Named its Cloud Gaming Platform CloudPlay and is Coming to Android Tablets

Agawi officially named its cloud gaming platform CloudPlay. Agawi's CloudPlay platform combines low latency interactive streaming technology with a true cloud architecture to provide a high-performance, scalable, and cost effective solution. They support a variety of partner business models including purchase, rental, subscription, freemium, and try-before-you-buy.

Agawi enables its business partners to deliver compelling games on virtually any device, including PCs, Macs, Smart TVs, iPads, Android devices, Windows 8 tablets and more. They work with leading game publishers, network operators, indie developers, online retailers and OEMs to deliver console-quality PC, MMO, social, mid-core, and casual games.

Agawi's solutions have already been massively deployed in both mobile and desktop scenarios. Today, four million users in over 150 countries are playing thousands of social, mid-core, and hard-core games from leading game publishers on their tablets, PCs, and soon TVs. Agawi makes their money through flexible profit-sharing programs.

A variety of service hosting options are available for Agawi's CloudPlay including options for prospective customers to deploy CloudPlay on their own infrastructure, sourcing from leading third-party cloud gaming service providers, or letting Agawi manage the service for them. CloudPlay's "next-generation" architecture eliminates the need for massive, up-front capital investments and can scale as their customers' cloud gaming business grows.

Subscription, rental, and purchase models are all possible with Agawi CloudPlay. Agawi's client technology is available for leading Smart TV platforms and all major tablets, and can even be customized for particular CPEs of telecom carriers.

For indie game developers that want to reach the large and rapidly growing tablet user community, CloudPlay enables PC and Web games on all major tablets without the need for porting. The tablet market is expected to exceed a hundred million users this year.

Millions of users are already enjoying streaming game play on iPads through the CloudPlay platform, and Agawi also supports iOS in general, as well as Windows 8 devices. Agawi's patented gesture control technology allows existing PC and Web games to be played on tablets without requiring extensive changes to the game code.

As reported by VentureBeat, the Agawi CloudPlay cloud gaming platform is also coming to Android tablets. It should be available by March of this year and will take the form of an app available on Google Play. Agawi stated that they expect to have tens of games available at launch on Android, and they will release more games every week after the initial launch.

“There is a huge library of premium games on the PC, but it is unfortunately locked out of the Android tablets,” said Rajat Gupta, co-founder of Agawi. “We think 2013 will be the year of the tablet.”

Agawi plans to offer a white-label business on Android, enabling developers to release their own Agawi CloudPlay powered apps on Google Play.

Agawi has already launched the GameZen cloud gaming app for Windows 8 around the time when the new tablet-centric MS OS launched. They have recently also partnered with NVIDIA and will use the NVIDIA GRID cloud gaming platform to stream the CloudPlay powered games from data centers to gamers.

OnLive has already released their app for Android in December of 2011, though as opposed to Agawi they also stream high-end PC games from the cloud to gamers. It will be interesting to see how Agawi's solution develops over time.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Cloud Gaming Provider G-cluster Partnered with Warner Bros. - LEGO Batman and LEGO Harry Potter Titles Available First

Cloud gaming provider G-cluster partnered with Warner Bros. and has initially launched four Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment premium games on its cloud gaming platform.

The four Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment games that have first launched to G-cluster's European operator customers are LEGO Batman: The Videogame, LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 and LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7. The games are initially available via IPTV, with versions for Windows PCs, Macs, tablets and smartphones to follow.

With these new additions, the G-cluster games catalog now totals more than 105 live titles and 200 licensed games from 30 game studios.

“Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment offers some of the most recognizable characters in today’s gaming culture. By adding titles, such as the LEGO games, G‐cluster is able to expand the desirability of the cloud gaming service for our operators and distributors in Europe, United States and Japan and help increase their revenues,” said Sevan Kessissian, Senior Vice President of content and strategy at G-cluster.

Founded in 2000, the Tokyo, Japan based G-cluster was the first cloud gaming platform to be operational on a large scale worldwide and is currently one of the largest cloud gaming platforms worldwide with more than eight million customers. They have already partnered with France-based games publisher Ubisoft and more recently with Disney. G-cluster is already well-established in France as they have launched cloud gaming services for customers of the French telecom carriers Orange and SFR. They've recently also partnered with NVIDIA and will use the NVIDIA GRID cloud gaming servers in their data centers.

In October of last year OnLive had to remove all Warner Bros. games from their marketplace and PlayPack becuase Warner requested it after OnLive had huge problems staying afloat. Looks like Warner Bros. hasn't given up on cloud gaming after they got burned with OnLive.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

The OnLive Cloud Gaming App Will Come Pre-Installed on LG G3 Smart TVs with Google TV in the US

After being integrated into the G2 series LG Smart TVs with Google TV in November, the OnLive cloud gaming service will come pre-installed in the new G3 series GA6400 and GA7900 LG Smart TV models with Google TV in the US, that are expected to start shipping in the first quarter of this year. The OnLive cloud gaming service was demonstrated on the upcoming LG G3 Smart TVs that are running Google’s latest Google TV 3.0 platform at CES 2013 last week.

OnLive combines the power of the Google TV platform with the speed of LG's L9 chipset with a dual core CPU and a new user-friendly interface, making console-quality games instantly playable as part of the TV experience—no discs, downloads or console required. The G3 series is LG's first TV to make OnLive cloud gaming an integral part of an out-of-the-box offering.

The LG G3 series Smart TV line consists of the GA6400 and GA7900 series of TVs. In detail, the GA6400 series will be available in 42-, 47-, 50-, 55- and 60-inch class screen sizes. The premium GA7900 series with the virtually frameless Cinema Screen design that has an undeniably sleek and modern finish will come in 47- and 55-inch class screen sizes.

Unique to OnLive, an LG Google TV owner can play with or against friends on PCs, Macs and Android tablets. Users can even start a game on one device and continue playing on any other OnLive compatible device, with full saved game data intact in the cloud, whenever and wherever they want. Gamers will need to purchase the Universal OnLive Wireless Controller if they want to game via OnLive on the new LG G3 series Smart TV line with the OnLive App accessible from the Premium Apps menu on their TVs.

The growing OnLive games catalog of over 300 titles includes games from more than 80 publishers, with everything from blockbuster new releases to classic franchises to family-friendly sports, racing and action-adventure games.

OnLive games can be demoed free and purchased or rented a la carte. Players can also subscribe to the OnLive PlayPack for unlimited play of more than 200 games, with more titles added monthly. OnLive also offers free access to unique social features such as game spectating in the OnLive Arena, recording ten-second Brag Clip videos of players’ best gaming moments, and sharing videos and achievements with friends on OnLive and Facebook.

“LG’s dual-core performance Google TVs, coupled with OnLive’s innovative games-on-demand service, makes access to the latest videogame entertainment quicker and easier than ever before,” said Georg Rasinski, Director of Home Entertainment Brand Management, LG Electronics USA. “By integrating cloud gaming into our powerful G3 series TVs, the entertainment possibilities for consumers are virtually limitless.”

“Our partnership with LG demonstrates the exciting future for cloud gaming as an integrated offering for connected TVs,” said Gary Lauder, the Chairman of OnLive. “OnLive’s proven gaming on-demand technology enables consumers to enjoy a vast catalog of console-quality games, with no additional hardware necessary beyond an OnLive controller and LG’s sophisticated and feature-rich Google TV.”

Google’s latest Google TV 3.0 platform and LG’s redesigned Magic Remote Qwerty work together to enhance the effectiveness of Voice Search and the PrimeTime quick guide. The updated Smart Home also adds to the user experience by offering convenient, streamlined access to VoD, YouTube and more apps. Discovering exciting new content from the rich pool of choices available on LG Google TV has never been easier.

LG Google TV aims to redefine the user experience. The platform offers the ease of use that recalls the simplicity of earlier television sets. The new Smart Home offers varied types of “cards” that act as folders for apps and other content. The new My Interest Card can even display useful information including real-time weather and customizable news.

The entire user interface can be navigated using the redesigned Magic Remote Qwerty, which combines a complete keyboard with the convenient benefits of the Magic Remote’s point-and-click control. The enhanced natural language recognition incorporated in the revamped remote is a perfect match with Google’s outstanding search functionality. The overall voice-based capabilities multiply the effectiveness of the PrimeTime quick guide to provide an unparalleled user experience and make browsing through the more than 100,000 available movies and TV episodes on LG Google TV a breeze.

LG Smart TV’s L9 chipset with a dual core CPU enables easy menu navigation, fast internet browsing and video streaming. The additional processor power allows the TruPicture XD Engine to process images quickly and precisely, resulting in richer colors, deeper contrast and greater overall picture clarity.

And LG has applied its advanced Cinema Screen design to the premium GA7900 model to offer a sleek, modern look. This design further minimizes width of the bezel, giving the TV a streamlined appearance while creating the impression of a borderless display. Along with the LG Google TV's unique stand design, it integrates perfectly with interior design of a living room.

Also offering Cinema 3D TV functionality, the LG Google TV employs FPR technology to give movie buffs and gamers a great 3D effect without the distracting flicker.

The LG Smart TV with Google TV offers superb connectivity options and can connect to a variety of devices wirelessly. With the latest YouTube app update for Android, smartphones and tablets can be automatically paired with Google TV over the same home network via Wi-Fi, making it easy to send videos from your device to your TV.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

NVIDIA GRID Gaming System Cloud Gaming Platform with Project SHIELD and Tegra 4 Introduced at CES 2013

Back in May of last year NVIDIA unveiled the GeForce GRID cloud gaming technology. Looks like they weren't content with it and worked on a more holistic approach to cloud gaming. NVIDIA has now presented the results of their labor at a CES 2013 press conference helmed by none other than CEO Jen-Hsun Huang. NVIDIA's cloud gaming platform is now simply called NVIDIA GRID and is intended as a gaming system that will be installed in large quantities into massive data centers run by cloud gaming providers and services. NVIDIA GRID is NVIDIA's first fully integrated product and system.

NVIDIA is demonstrating the NVIDIA GRID platform streaming games to an LG 55LA6900 Smart TV at 1080p resolution at the 2013 International CES event in Las Vegas. High-performance games that are being showcased include Battlefield 3, Medal of Honor: Warfighter and Need for Speed: Most Wanted - A Criterion Game from EA, Borderlands 2 from 2K Games, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Dishonored from Bethesda Softworks, Assassin's Creed III and Rayman Origins from Ubisoft, Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition from Capcom, and Trine 2 from Frozenbyte.

Looks like NVIDIA and LG are quite cozy together as the NVIDIA GRID cloud gaming platform was also showcased on an upcoming 4K LG Smart TV during NVIDIA's CES 2013 press conference. Both companies failed to announce any dates for NVIDIA GRID cloud gaming services coverage for LG Smart TVs at this time. LG is already employing cloud gaming for their TVs as they have partnered with OnLive to stream games from the cloud to LG Smart TVs with Google TV.

"LG is very impressed by the capabilities of NVIDIA's GRID Platform to deliver high-quality game streams directly to LG Smart TVs without a game console," said Bae-Geun Kang, vice president, head of Software Development Group, TV Research Lab, LG. "The NVIDIA GRID cloud gaming experience on an LG 55LA6900 Smart TV is beautiful to watch, easy to use and fun to play. It is just like Netflix for games."

In a move that surprised many people NVIDIA also unveiled and demonstrated Project SHIELD, a portable gaming console for open platforms. Part of the unveiling was a gorgeous looking interactive presentation of Project SHIELD rendered by the brand new Unreal Engine 4 (UE4). NVIDIA certainly knows how to wow the audience.

Since Project SHIELD is an open platform, gamers will of course be able to enjoy cloud gaming services like those powered by NVIDIA GRID and others like OnLive with NVIDIA's Project SHIELD.

As a pure Android device, NVIDIA's Project SHIELD gives access to any game and app on Google Play which of course includes games from NVIDIA's curated TegraZone game store. And as a wireless receiver and controller, it can stream games from a PC powered by NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 GPUs or higher, accessing titles from gamers' Steam game library from anywhere in the home and later on the go. Of course gamers can use the TV friendly Steam Big Picture mode with Project SHIELD able to stream video to the TV via HDMI and later wirelessly.

At the core of Project SHIELD is what NVIDIA calls the world's fastest mobile processor, the new NVIDIA Tegra 4 which was also just unveiled at NVIDIA's CES 2013 press conference, and which delivers enormous power from its custom 72-core GeForce GPU and the first quad-core application of ARM's most advanced CPU core, the Cortex-A15. These, combined with its battery-saver core and energy-saving PRISM 2 technology, deliver hours of gameplay on a single charge.

Project SHIELD combines the advanced processing power of NVIDIA Tegra 4, breakthrough game-speed Wi-Fi technology and stunning HD video and audio built into a console-grade controller. As mentioned, it can be used to play on its own integrated and foldable 5-inch 1280x720 HD screen or on a big TV screen, and on the couch or on the go. Project SHIELD is also capable of outputting 4K resolutions over HDMI to upcoming 4K TVs. Project SHIELD provides audio fidelity and dynamic range never before available on a portable device, through its custom, bass reflex, tuned port audio system -- with twice the low-frequency output of high-end laptops.

"Project SHIELD was created by NVIDIA engineers who love to game and imagined a new way to play," said Jen-Hsun Huang, co-founder and chief executive officer at NVIDIA. "We were inspired by a vision that the rise of mobile and cloud technologies will free us from our boxes, letting us game anywhere, on any screen. We imagined a device that would do for games what the iPod and Kindle have done for music and books, letting us play in a cool new way. We hope other gamers love SHIELD as much as we do."

NVIDIA stated that they will try to release the Project SHIELD portable gaming console in Q2 2013.

For many years, NVIDIA has worked with leading supercomputer centers to build the fastest computers in the world, including the world record-holding Titan supercomputer. NVIDIA GRID leverages some of this same technology to render and stream games from the cloud, with thousands of NVIDIA engineers dedicated to creating the ultimate system for cloud gaming service operators. You can think of it as a gaming supercomputer in the cloud, built by NVIDIA.

The NVIDIA GRID cloud gaming platform enables the smooth, seamless interactive experience of a high-performance gaming PC anywhere, on any screen -- including PCs, Macs, Smart TVs, tablets and smartphones.

NVIDIA GRID software and drivers enable interactive streaming of the widest range of games -- from casual games using low-graphics capabilities with a high density of streams, to high-performance titles requiring high-graphics capabilities.

NVIDIA claims that NVIDIA GRID delivers streamed content for seamless interaction without noticeable lag or latency. The NVIDIA GRID technology should reduce game server latency by up to 30 milliseconds compared to prior solutions, which effectively hides the network delivery time. They also claim that gameplay from an NVIDIA GRID server feels like that from a console next to a TV.

NVIDIA GRID provides a high number of concurrent, interactive data streams by using multi-GPU servers and sophisticated NVIDIA VGX technology that includes the NVIDIA VGX Hypervisor, which allows multiple users to share a GPU. Each server can deliver up to 36 game streams, bringing a dramatic reduction in the cost and amount of power consumed per game stream for cloud gaming operators.

Going into detail the NVIDIA GRID server architecture consists of server racks that are able to accommodate up to 20 GRID servers bringing the total count of NVIDIA Kepler GPUs up to 240. NVIDIA says this is equivalent to 200 TFLOPS of computing power, roughly equivalent to the computing power of 720 Xbox 360 consoles, and should be enough to serve up to 720 concurrent gamers per rack and have up to 7,200 subscribers per rack.

Based on the pictures provided by NVIDIA and the total of 200 TFLOPS of computing power for the server racks, it looks as though NVIDIA is using low end entry-level Kepler GPUs on the graphics cards that make up a GRID server. NVIDIA is calling said graphics cards GRID K1 boards and one GRID server consists of 4 GRID K1 boards with each GRID K1 board containing 4 entry-level Kepler GPUs and 16 GB of DDR3 graphics memory, allowing it to support up to 100 users on a single board. Each GRID K1 board has a total of 768 NVIDIA CUDA cores, a TDP of 130 W and a passive cooling solution compatible with server installations in data centers.

When one takes into account that one GRID K1 board contains 4 Kepler GPUs, one GRID server 4 GRID K1 boards and one NVIDIA GRID server rack up to 20 GRID servers, this should add up to 320 Kepler GPUs in one NVIDIA GRID server rack. But the information provided by NVIDIA states that up to 240 Kepler GPUs can be included in one NVIDIA GRID server rack. So where are the remaining 80 Kepler GPUs? It could well be that NVIDIA wasn't able to accommodate them because of power and/or cooling constraints. I do wonder how they configure the racks then? They could leave 5 GRID server slots empty which would be a waste, the option where they wouldn't use one Kepler GPU on the GRID K1 boards either by not including it or disabling it is also highly unlikely, more likely is that they simply only install 3 GRID K1 boards in each GRID server. Other combinations of Kepler GPUs, GRID K1 boards and GRID servers would be possible, but highly unlikely. Perhaps NVIDIA will shine more light on this situation and if these numbers are really correct fix this problem.

When NVIDIA unveiled the GeForce GRID cloud gaming technology in May of last year they presented it with the high-end GRID K2 board that features 2 high-end Kepler architecture-based GPUs, each with its own video encoder, and has 3,072 CUDA technology cores and around 4 TFLOPS of computing power. This makes the GRID K2 board similar to the flagship NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 dual-GPU graphics card for gaming. But unlike the GeForce GTX 690, it features 8 GB of GDDR5 graphics memory and 320 GB/sec memory through output. The GRID K2 board is rated at a 225 W TDP and has a passive cooling solution compatible with server installations in data centers.

If NVIDIA is really having problems accommodating all the entry-level Kepler GPUs into GRID server racks because of power and/or cooling constraints, then it's no wonder why they haven't released GRID with the GRID K2 boards which require nearly twice the power of the entry-level GRID K1 boards. Also the fact that a GRID K2 board is very similar to the flagship NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 dual-GPU graphics card that is priced at $1000, surely isn't a seller for prospective price conscious cloud gaming customers. Looks like cloud gamers will have to make do with entry-level graphics for some time as cloud gaming startups can't afford the high prices of high-end NVIDIA GPU hardware, like many PC gamers can't. Many have scoffed at OnLive's graphics and proclaimed that NVIDIA GRID powered cloud gaming services will roll over OnLive, it looks like fairies alone can't buy high-end graphics as OnLive has learned the hard way, and even NVIDIA chose to demo GRID at their CES 2013 press conference with Trine 2, a game with fairly modest hardware requirements, instead of the soon to be released high-end PC hardware melting Crysis 3.

If NVIDIA GRID really comes equipped with the entry-level GRID K1 boards, then it looks like cloud gaming service providers and services that want to stream games with maxed out graphics powered by NVIDIA's GeForce GRID cloud gaming technology will have to purchase the expensive high-end GRID K2 boards and install them into custom made servers and racks by other manufacturers for the time being. I wonder what company is brave and/or crazy enough to do this, and even more importantly has the money and the balls to spend it? I wouldn't count on cash-strapped Sony with their Gaikai acquisition for their upcoming PS Cloud, maybe Microsoft for the Xbox cloud, though Apple has the money they lack the balls to spend it and rather hoard it, and you can never know with Google.

The NVIDIA GRID SDK is available now and features GRID game servers, the SDK for GRID client software, cloud games, and one year of technical support. NVIDIA claims that their dedicated developer team has worked side by side for over a decade with hundreds of developers to ensure that the best game titles are ready for NVIDIA GRID, and by lending engineering and hardware support to game developers, NVIDIA assures that games perform great on NVIDIA hardware.

NVIDIA's initial partners for GRID are cloud gaming providers Playcast that is based in Israel, Japan based G-cluster, Taiwan based Ubitus, US based Agawi, Cloud Union and Cyber Cloud both from China. These partners will use NVIDIA GRID for the many cloud gaming services that they operate around the globe.

"By using the NVIDIA GRID platform, our partners will allow gamers to play anywhere, anytime, without being tethered to a box," said Phil Eisler, general manager of cloud gaming at NVIDIA. "The world's most exciting games can now be played as easily as you can stream a movie, right onto your TV or mobile device. No more discs to shuffle or files to download and install. Just click and play."

"Cloud gaming is taking off. NVIDIA GRID technology, Smart Connected TVs and Playcast Media will serve as cloud gaming's catalyst, fueling its explosive growth in 2013," said Guy De Beer, chief executive of Playcast Media, which provides cloud gaming services to more than 1.2 million subscribers through France's Bouygues Telecom, South Korea's CJ HelloVision and Portugal Telecom's MEO Jogos.

"As the pioneer in cloud gaming, G-cluster is always looking for ways to increase the performance of our service. G-cluster is working with NVIDIA to reduce the costs for our IPTV operators and improve the experience for our subscribers around the world," said Erik Piehl, president of G-cluster, which provides white-label cloud-based gaming services through France's telecom carriers Orange and SFR.

"Ubitus is pleased to partner with NVIDIA to bring the world's most scalable cloud gaming systems to market. Ubitus is the leader in providing cloud gaming over fixed and wireless 4G networks, empowering telecom/cable service providers, hardware OEMs and game developers to benefit from cloud gaming opportunities in a truly sustainable manner," said Wesley Kuo, CEO of Ubitus, which provides cloud gaming services through Japan's NTT DOCOMO with G CLOUD, South Korea's LG U+ with C-games and USA's Verizon with GameNow.

"Consumers love the convenience of any game anywhere instantly, and therefore cloud gaming is the natural evolution of the gaming experience. NVIDIA GRID is a fantastic tool that gives cloud service providers the improved density to make true-GPU clouds a reality and allows our operator, publisher and developer partners to reimagine the gaming experience using the Agawi CloudPlay platform," said Rajat Gupta, co-founder of Agawi, which provides B-B cloud-gaming solutions for PCs, Macs, Smart TVs, tablets and smartphones.

"In China we don't have game consoles. And therefore we see a large opportunity for cloud gaming in China. The NVIDIA GRID technology is the best that we have seen for delivering high densities of HD-quality game streams to subscribers," said Danny Deng, chief executive of Cloud Union, which provides cloud-gaming through China's Telecom/Unicom IPTV networks.

"At Cyber Cloud, we focus on delivering cloud gaming services through existing set-top boxes using video-on-demand channels. With NVIDIA's GRID platform we can deliver large numbers of games-on-demand channels to China's digital TV subscribers," said Jian Han, general manager of Cyber Cloud, a subsidiary of Beijing Novel-Supertv Digital TV Technology, which provides cloud gaming through digital cable TV and IPTV networks.

Curiously Gaikai isn't mentioned among NVIDIA's partners, though the two were quite cozy together in May of last year when NVIDIA unveiled the GeForce GRID cloud gaming technology with Gaikai CEO David Perry joining NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang on stage and pledging support for NVIDIA and their technology. It may be that Gaikai will use the high-end GRID K2 boards in their cloud gaming data centers, but this doesn't explain the lack of mention by NVIDIA. More likely is that this may have something to do with the fact that Gaikai was acquired by Sony and Sony is rumored to be using AMD hardware in their upcoming PS4 console. It might very well be that Sony also wants to use AMD hardware for their upcoming Gaikai powered PlayStation cloud gaming service that will accompany the PS4 and that way making the game development for both upcoming Sony platforms easier, hence Gaikai being in bed with NVIDIA's enemy. AMD invested into cloud gaming technology provider CiiNOW and their hardware is powering CiiNOW's Cumulus cloud gaming platform. We should get a sneak peak at the as of yet unannounced cloud gaming GPU from AMD that is powering CiiNOW's Cumulus cloud gaming platform at CES 2013 and maybe AMD will reveal more info about their cloud gaming plans.

It looks like NVIDIA is also out of the loop with OnLive, as OnLive is still using their proprietary hardware to stream games from the cloud. Since this proprietary hardware from OnLive enables some key attributes of the OnLive cloud gaming service like the Arena live massive spectating and Brag Clips, and OnLive's platform is very mature with many options like global voice chat, gamer profiles, friending and achievements, it isn't that easy for OnLive to just throw out years of development for another solution like NVIDIA GRID that may or may not be better.