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Is Gaikai going to change the way we experience games?

By on July 6, 2009

Another month and another download service for games emerges. But Dave Perry’s Gaikai makes very different claims from those made by OnLive at E3. Gaikai really could have major implications for how we play, pay for and distribute games.

Gaikai screenshot

Gaikai is the new competitor to OnLive, promising games on a low-end netbook streamed over the Internet.

I covered OnLive when it was announced at E3, arguing that securing the must-have content to persuade consumers to switch from a proprietary console to a proprietary subscription service would be hard and incredibly expensive. Eurogamer went further, in an article entitled Why OnLive Can’t Possibly Work.

So when Dave Perry released a video showing Gaikai working, I expected the same reaction. But Eurogamer has instead called it “cloud computing that works?” albeit with a question mark.

There are a number of interesting points in the EuroGamer article, notably that the size of the window in which the game plays will shrink as the game gets more complicated. Oh, and it all runs in Flash. But I’m not going to précis the argument here: go read it if you’re interested.

Later this week, I will post on the two biggest implications that I see from Gaikai. Care to guess what they will be? Put your suggestions in the comments.

(Oh, and they’re already written, so if you come up with better ones than I’ve thought of, I’ll write them up too.)

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: thecurveonline.com