While everyone took notice when OnLive announced it’s plans at the Game Developer Conference 2009, many people have not heard of Gaikai, which will directly challenge OnLive with a cloud gaming service of it’s own. (“Cloud” is based on the term “cloud computing” which is where the power of many PC’s combine and are offered through the Internet to other users).
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Headed up by industry veteran Dave Perry (create or Earthworm Jim, MDK, Wild 9 and the Matrix games, as well director on the free MMORPG 2Moons among other projects), the Gaikai “Streaming Worlds” service will also allow people to stream high-end games to their PCs without owning physical copies of the games and with zero lag and absolutely zero downloads or installs.
Perry claims that their service is better than OnLive and that OnLive’s browser plug-in requirement will be their downfall.
“Our solution is arguably better than anything OnLive has – they’re never going to be able to beat us on this. They have to download one megabyte and install it on your computer. What does that mean? It means that everyone in schools, or any kind of uptight or professional business location is not going to be able to download some random game via the internet and install it. And they’ll have to go through patches and updates and everything else. Ours has no download. That’s the difference. It seems trivial, only one megabyte download, but it’s not, it’s the act of having to download it,” Perry claims. He also says that 60% of users are lost when they are forced to update.
Perry also says that OnLive has set the bar so high for themselves that the actual service may not live up to all their promises.
Perry is working on the service with free-to-play company Acclaim and plans to fully unveil it at E3 this year. He also says that major partners and publishers have already signed on, including the military and scientists who are eager to support his technology.
Gaikai is based in Amsterdam, and has been founded along with entrepreneur Rui Pereira and former TMNS consultant Andrew Gault. Gaikai’s Streaming Worlds service is in early private beta.
For more information on Gaikai you can read Dave Perry’s full Gaikai interview.