Alison Beasley sends word that GaiKai, the cloud gaming service being developed by games industry vet Dave Perry, is about to begin beta testing in Europe. (Sign-up page.) GaiKai is a competitor to OnLive, which started beta tests of its own recently. IGN got a chance to try out GaiKai for themselves, and they've posted a video showing how it performed. From Perry's announcement: "Our closed beta has two goals. #1 is to bring our servers to their knees so we can choose the final configuration before we start ordering large quantities of them. (We think we have it worked out, but you can be certain our staff will be swapping cards and testing different processors as each day goes by.) Goal #2 is to test older computers. We've had lots of emails from people describing their computers and 99% of them have ample performance. Remember you don't even need a 3D card to see a 3D game run on our service. I know this is strangely counter to what people expect, but we actually want to get plenty of basic office-grade XP machines testing so we can make sure we can reach the widest audience possible. ... 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. During that process, [we] will be identifying the other data centers we need to include to blanket the USA in a low latency array. Phase 2 of that is Europe, in exactly the same test."