Cloud gaming service Gaikai goes live

Cloud-based gaming service Gaikai has entered public beta, offering streaming demos of games including the PC edition of Dead Space 2.


Cloud-based gaming service Gaikai has finally entered public beta testing, CEO David Perry has revealed on his blog. Five games can now be played direct from your browser, including the previously un-demoed PC edition of Dead Space 2.

Requiring no plugins beyond Flash and Java, Gaikai renders games remotely on distributed servers then streams the game back to your computer as streaming video. While input is somewhat lagged and visual quality is understandably lower than it'd be on a top-notch PC--look right for snaps from my own experiences--games are quite playable and will run on relatively low-spec hardware.

Unlike similar service OnLive, which is a full-fledged digital distributor, Gaikai is focused on offering demos to help advertise games, and doesn't actually sell any itself. As well as developers and publishers, the company's looking to connect with retailers and gaming sites.

A demo for Mass Effect 2 can be found on the main Gaikai site, appearing through a pop-up if your connection is up to scratch. The Dead Space 2 demo is accessed through a survey. A 60-minute trial of The Sims 3 is here. Spore can be played here. Second Life is this-a-way.

Gaikai's network is currently live in 12 countries across 24 data centers. Perry notes that "Our goal is to end up with data centers in every major city in the world peered directly to the key internet service providers in that area."

Although Gaikai might not help with one important function demos serve for PC gamers--testing a game's performance on their system--being able to easily play a game's demo in its website will surely prove attractive to many players, no matter what platform they'll ultimately buy it for.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    February 28, 2011 7:00 AM

    Comment on Cloud gaming service Gaikai goes live, by Alice O'Connor.

    • reply
      February 28, 2011 7:08 AM

      Summary: Play demos for Dead Space 2, Mass Effect 2 and more from within your browser, with no fancy plugins other than Flash and Java.

      It looks and runs better than you might imagine.

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        February 28, 2011 7:12 AM

        How does it compare to Onlive in terms of performance?

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          February 28, 2011 7:24 AM

          Lower res / sluggish compared to Onlive.

          • reply
            February 28, 2011 7:27 AM

            Which was already low res and sluggish.

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              February 28, 2011 8:05 AM

              It'd probably be great for stuff like Civ or turn-based strategy games.

          • reply
            February 28, 2011 7:51 AM

            I agree. OnLive is better.

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            February 28, 2011 8:59 AM

            I disagree, was in the closed beta for both of these and they each have good days and bad days. Gaikai is easily as good as online when everything is flowing smoothly, I think once they get more data centers around, it will be nearly identical.

            I had three different games running on it in 3 diff windows yesterday and it was still butter.

      • reply
        February 28, 2011 8:34 AM

        Thanks, Alice. Most Shack articles seem like rehash of press release. We rarely see the opinion or even the human behind it.

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      February 28, 2011 7:10 AM

      Oh cool, if this really is a free service for PC demos, I'm all for it.

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      February 28, 2011 7:13 AM

      So, this is yet another cloud based gaming network? (Next to OnLive) This might get interesting when put on Ipads and other mobile devices but as far as on my PC? I'll let my GFX card do the work... Most of this cloud stuff should be saved for when Fiber Optics become standard throughout....

    • reply
      February 28, 2011 7:15 AM

      how do you pronouce this?

      • reply
        February 28, 2011 7:18 AM

        Its like Bliss, but with a TH

      • reply
        February 28, 2011 7:19 AM

        gay, k

      • reply
        February 28, 2011 7:23 AM

        First sign of failure: no one can figure out how to say your company's name just by looking at it.

        Just ask Cuil.

      • reply
        February 28, 2011 7:26 AM

        Looks to me like GE-KE

        • reply
          February 28, 2011 3:44 PM

          GE-KI* Anyone familiar to Bleach should know how to pronounce this.

      • reply
        February 28, 2011 7:41 AM

        It's "guy-cuy".

        • reply
          February 28, 2011 8:52 AM

          guy cooey?

        • reply
          February 28, 2011 9:39 AM

          Well I was think guy-ki (as in kite)

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            February 28, 2011 9:52 AM

            I'm not sure how to spell that properly, but yeah, like the 'ki" in "kite".

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        February 28, 2011 7:53 AM

        Raymond Luxury Yacht.

        • reply
          February 28, 2011 9:05 AM

          Throatwobbler Mangrove?

          • reply
            February 28, 2011 9:22 AM

            you rang?

          • reply
            February 28, 2011 9:56 AM

            no no its pronounced Throatwobbler Mangrove, but spelled Raymond Luxury Yacht!

            "He asked me, he asked me!"

            btt: yet another tool for lordkat to bust >_>

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      February 28, 2011 7:21 AM

      That is incredibly cool.

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      February 28, 2011 7:30 AM

      Can't sign up for Beta here :(

      Too far away from the servers or something. Shame.

    • reply
      February 28, 2011 8:22 AM

      Pretty cool, I hear about a new game on Shack News, click on the link and I'm playing the demo!

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        February 28, 2011 8:40 AM

        That's the business model they are shooting for, Instant Demo.

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          February 28, 2011 3:53 PM

          Yeah, I think it could really take off. I'm never going to pay for an inferior experience (OnLive) but publishers are going to pay Gaikai if they can get people to buy their games after a demo.

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      March 1, 2011 10:37 AM

      I tried the dead space 2 demo. I got sound but my browser just showed a full loading bar. No other windows open. Maybe it doesn't like dual monitor.

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      March 1, 2011 4:55 PM

      Do we know which countries it's in? I'm in Hong Kong, and if it's in 12 countries, then there's a good chance it's here.

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      March 5, 2011 10:03 PM

      I sort of wish it didn't require Java, given all the security implications that has, but neat stuff.

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