Game-streaming service Happy Cloud coming July 18

Another challenger is getting ready to enter the game streaming arena. Happy Cloud is set to launch on July 18, reports Joystiq. It follows a familiar blueprint set by services like OnLive and Gaikai, with a new wrinkle to set itself apart.

While other cloud services stick to streaming, Happy Cloud creates a hybrid of streaming and actual game downloads. You get the files needed to start a game, then download the rest in the background as you play. This lets you play offline as well as online, and potentially without the lag found in services that stick to streaming only.

The downside? Happy Cloud is also a very tiny cloud for the time being, with only nine titles available in its beta phase. More games are planned for the service, but its competition is already lapping it several times over. OnLive alone boasts over 100 games, so Happy Cloud will have to snatch up as many as it can to even begin to compete with the selection.