Game-streaming service Happy Cloud coming July 18

Happy Cloud, a game streaming service that downloads in the background as you play, is planned for launch July 18.

13

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.

Editor-In-Chief
Filed Under
From The Chatty
  • reply
    July 8, 2011 1:00 PM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Game-streaming service Happy Cloud coming July 18.

    Happy Cloud, a game streaming service that downloads in the background as you play, is planned for launch July 18.

    • reply
      July 8, 2011 1:06 PM

      When Steam first came out I remember them trumpeting this feature of the source engine. Don't think anything ever became of it though.

    • reply
      July 8, 2011 1:08 PM

      steam does that if you alt-tab and resume download

      • reply
        July 8, 2011 1:09 PM

        oh, this means the very game you're playing is streaming. i see now

      • reply
        July 8, 2011 1:17 PM

        I think they mean you can download the assets for Level 1 in generic game and then continue downloading everything else while you play.

        • Ebu legacy 10 years
          reply
          July 8, 2011 1:21 PM

          Hell, the Publisher and Developer logos take so bloody long to play through, they should have no problem buffering up the first level by the time I can actually start the game.

          • reply
            July 8, 2011 1:27 PM

            PUBLISHERS NAME presents a game developed by DEVELOPERS NAME using technology from ALL THESE COMPANIES named GAME TITLE. Only that took almost 2 minutes real time. And we couldn't skip them.

            • reply
              July 8, 2011 1:33 PM

              They just want to be sure you know who is responsible when the game turns out to be awful.

            • reply
              July 8, 2011 2:37 PM

              I'm okay with having to sit through it once, after that I want skips.

              • Ebu legacy 10 years
                reply
                July 8, 2011 4:04 PM

                I'm not okay with *having* to sit through it at all.

                If I hit escape even once, throw me to the fucking menu.

                • reply
                  July 8, 2011 9:08 PM

                  I'd prefer that as well, but the one time mando seems more like a "meet me in the middle" solution.

        • reply
          July 8, 2011 4:31 PM

          Steam was supposed to do this, but you had to build the game to support it and flag assets that are needed for the bare bones launch.

    • reply
      July 8, 2011 2:14 PM

      I remember this happening for me in HL opposing forces. I downloaded enough to get going then during my first play through, whenever I changes levels there was a looooooooong loading time as it downloaded the next level. Subsequent play-throughs were fine.

    • reply
      July 8, 2011 5:42 PM

      Doesn't Guild Wars do this?

      • reply
        July 8, 2011 7:47 PM

        Yes.

      • reply
        July 8, 2011 8:18 PM

        [deleted]

        • reply
          July 8, 2011 9:18 PM

          i think WoW has the base install down to just a few hundred megabytes now. you can start playing after just that. i remember it was playable almost right away when i installed it for some friends

          • reply
            July 8, 2011 9:28 PM

            [deleted]

            • reply
              July 9, 2011 12:50 AM

              In WoW its not like streaming though, more like large chunks hogging up your connection and making your ping rise above 100ms and giving you lots of latency :-(

    • reply
      July 8, 2011 7:05 PM

      If the service is simply "We will stream you the relevant files for the area of the game you are attempting to play while the game executes on your machine" then it won't scale. There is no guarantee that a game you would like to play is architected in such a way that it could be split up to take advantage of this service. Beyond the core executable/.dlls, most game assets are stored in large contiguous files to optimize file I/O. Splitting those up to allow for streaming would require close cooperation with individual developers to develop custom solutions on a per game basis. Then you have games/technologies like Rage and its megatextures, which at least according to public comments clock in at several GBs, that seem completely unfit for this service insofar as it hopes to be a mainstream solution.

Hello, Meet Lola