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Dave Perry Shows Off Cloud Gaming Service "Gaikai" 79

jasoncart writes "Veteran gaming man Dave Perry has shown off his OnLive-rivalling, cloud gaming service called Gaikai in a new video that is drawing a lot of attention. As you can see from the video, Perry plays World of Warcraft, EVE Online, Mario Kart 64, Spore and more — all running on a bog-standard computer through the Gaikai website, itself running in a normal version of Firefox." More details about the service are available at Perry's website. He spoke about Gaikai in an interview a few months ago, and he seems confident that this will work better than OnLive (which we've discussed in the past).
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Dave Perry Shows Off Cloud Gaming Service "Gaikai"

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  • by sopssa ( 1498795 ) <sopssa@email.com> on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @11:32AM (#28542981) Journal

    I must agree it looked to work somewhat nicely, but people are taking this cloud computing thing way too far. I want to run the stuff on my own box and not somewhere else. Aside privacy conserns, it doesn't make that much sense to run games via internet line. Theres lag issues, bandwidth issues, connectivity issues and latency issues. Sometimes the old model works better than the new 'cool' model.

  • by should_be_linear ( 779431 ) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @11:43AM (#28543183)
    1) You can play latest games on your 4 years old computer or even cheapo Linux ARM netbook.
    2) Privacy concerns in games is dubious argument.
    3) Avid gamers save $$$ on lower power consumption.
  • by NightWhistler ( 542034 ) <alex@[ ]htwhistler.net ['nig' in gap]> on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @11:44AM (#28543201) Homepage

    One thing I can think of is completely cross-platform gaming...

  • Re:No plugins?! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Inspirius ( 1589201 ) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @11:47AM (#28543255)
    No, he also mentions that Flash is installed.
  • by gnarlyhotep ( 872433 ) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @11:53AM (#28543397)
    I'm certainly not signing up for anything that absolutely requires an active high bandwidth connection to play single player offline games until companies like Comcast have been brought to heel.

    They're already complaining about those pesky high-bandwidth users, they aren't upgrading their infrastructure, and they're charging fees for just about anything they can think of. Now wait until their metered plan really takes off, and tell me about gaming in the cloud. Any savings from hardware cost with this setup will be eaten by increasing ISP charges.

    Besides, really, aren't we reaching the point where mandatory PC upgrades for games are much farther apart, really mitigating that factor?
  • by _bug_ ( 112702 ) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @11:54AM (#28543413) Journal

    The point is that you don't have to spend lots of money on expensive hardware, a simple web browser with internet connectivity (over a fat pipe!) is all it takes. This saves you large amounts of cash.

    It also opens up the possibility of allowing your games and applications to stay with you wherever you go. You could bring up a GaiKai iPhone app and play WoW during lunch or on the train or wherever. Once you get home you can fire it up on your big screen TV via the media center's web browser.

    For the software companies this gives them a great opportunity to make even more money by moving to a subscription service. No longer do you pay once for Photoshop, now you pay maybe $5 or $10 a month to use it. To you it seems cheaper, to Adobe they see an unending stream of money that doesn't stop a month after release of a new product.

    For the advertisers they have a new stream to inject themselves into. That's not any ordinary version of Photoshop, it's one that's been sponsored by Brand X and will have Brand X logos and styling and maybe even Brand X brushes and filters. Think of all the new possibilities to get eye time!

    Bandwidth concerns? Bah. Worst-case you bulk up the hardware on the server and do some realtime encoding to H.264. The video quality might not be great, but you can still use all your apps regardless of available resources.

    Privacy is, of course, the big concern. No longer do I worry about my login and password being hijacked between my machine and Blizzard, I now have to worry about the connection between my computer and "the cloud" as well as whatever hijinx there may be going in "the cloud".

    And where, exactly, are these images I create in Photoshop being stored? Locally on my computer? That means "the cloud" and read/write to my computer. Do you really want that? But wait, "the cloud" has its own storage space and for a few extra dollars a month you can store all your goods there. Now you don't have to carry a flash drive around with you all the time. You just travel to your destination, connect to "the cloud", and there are your files! Of course "the cloud" company will need some sort of executive license agreement with provisions for responsibility and liability if data is lost or stolen. For that "the cloud" company can charge lots more dollars and stick the VPs on their own "executive cloud".

    For the REALLY wealthy there will be a "personal cloud" in the form of a single server that is entirely at your disposal. With routine backups and lots of A/V and firewalls to keep you protected.

    But for the elite wealthy, that 1% of 1%, there will be the home cloud. A machine that will sit on your desktop and do all of this without ever going out over the internet!

    The future is amazin.

  • Re:bog-standard.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by megamerican ( 1073936 ) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @11:55AM (#28543451)

    Who needs standards to bog down people's gaming experience when we already have Windows Vista?

  • by abigor ( 540274 ) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @12:01PM (#28543559)

    No one says you can't still run things locally if you want to. Why do people see something that isn't a good fit for them, and immediately think it's an either/or thing? This whole system is for people who want to play on the go, who don't like to install stuff, who like the convenience, or who are new to a game and want to try it out. It is an expansion to the modern gaming experience, not a replacement, and it's a very positive thing.

  • by PieSquared ( 867490 ) <isosceles2006@gma i l .com> on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @12:16PM (#28543873)
    During the video he says he's using less then 1 Mb/s connection speed, though he doesn't say how much he actually has available. On the FAQ page he says the server is 800 miles away, but that he has a 21 ms ping.

    It does also seem to me that fullscreen means more bandwidth. All that's going his way is the video, but streaming full-screen video is obviously more bandwidth intensive then streaming a lower resolution.

    He crashes into the wall because he's stopped playing, as far as I can tell. I suspect he's using a gamepad or something, because playing mario cart with a mouse just isn't feasible. I assume he set the gamepad down, and then a second or so later we see the mouse going to the "close" button. And I believe that it's only downloading ROM's that's illegal. The emulator itself and using your own ROMs should both be fair use.

    Honestly, I like the idea of remote-running programs - I'd assumed that's the way things would end up going as soon as I heard people actually buying netbooks. I think it's something I'll use extensively eventually. Of course, I completely reject the idea of letting someone else host them for me - I suspect eventually people will have home servers plus netbooks or something like that. So I won't be using *this* service, but I don't doubt that I'll eventually be running something like it. Also I'm certain I won't be running photoshop inside flash inside firefox. If this sort of thing gets popular there will be a custom application for it.
  • No one says you can't still run things locally if you want to. Why do people see something that isn't a good fit for them, and immediately think it's an either/or thing?

    Because the publisher of a specific game might choose to make it an either/or thing by releasing it exclusively on one of these services.

    This whole system is for people who want to play on the go

    On the go? In that case, let me know when EVDO or HSPA bandwidth can keep up with this service, both per second and per month.

    or who are new to a game and want to try it out.

    I imagine that playing a twitch game in such a laggy environment as a "rental" will leave the player with a poor impression of its control feel.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @01:26PM (#28545335)


    Its the gateway to DRM and consumers having less power over the items the buy.

    That is in no way a positive thing, unless you're a gamemaker.

    The day I am unable to buy a box and own a local copy of the game software is the day I stop gaming, period.

    The greed of these people knows no bounds. I'm sure book publishers would love to stop second-hand sales with some bullshit cloud-computing solution too (a solution, mind you, to a problem that doesn't exist).

    Wake up. Any monkey can install and run a PC game, let alone a console game. There is no 'convenience' here other than the convenience of these developers charging even more and delivering even less.

    Fucking morons.

  • by levicivita ( 1487751 ) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @01:26PM (#28545349)
    I don't think lag is the problem per-se. You're already exposed to it when playing games in multiplayer and it is not the end of the world.

    Just think of the required bandwidth though. I play my games in 1900x1200, so using 30fps and 3 bytes per pixel (granted an arbitrary assumption) comes out to 205,200,000 bytes/second. I don't know about you guys, but that is slightly faster than my current internet connection. You could use video compression, but the requirements for that both for the cloud and for your local computer will crush the benefits.
  • If they release it exclusively, then choose another game that plays locally.

    Do you have some tips on how I can convince a family member who has specified a specific title on a wish list to want a different game instead? If one really wants to play Halo 3, for instance, Metroid Prime 3 isn't a close enough substitute.

    ultimately it boils down to "640k should be enough for anybody" - stuff will only get faster

    Not necessarily. If I'm in Chicago, and their servers are in Virginia and California, the speed of light establishes a lower bound on the latency between a keypress and its reflection on the client.

    pipes bigger, etc. These are early days.

    The reality of the non-market for Internet access in the United States is that "early days" will last significantly longer than if there were a market.

"In matrimony, to hesitate is sometimes to be saved." -- Butler