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GDC 2011: Gaikai's Cloud Gaming Now Live With Four EA Demos
GDC 2011: Gaikai's Cloud Gaming Now Live With Four EA Demos
February 28, 2011 | By Eric Caoili

February 28, 2011 | By Eric Caoili
More: Social/Online, GDC

Gaikai announced that its cloud-based games streaming service is now live with a public beta, and has made demos for four popular Electronic Arts-published titles available for users to start playing in their browsers.

The EA demos, which are hosted remotely on Gaikai's servers but can be played on most web browsers with the latest versions of Flash and Java installed, include the PC editions of Dead Space 2, Mass Effect 2, Spore, and The Sims 3. The company also has a demo available for Linden Labs' virtual world Second Life.

Gaikai's service is modeled after YouTube, enabling users with broadband connections to stream and play modern games without needing to download large files, install the title, or download/install patches. The firm says it's so far managed to get 30 to 40 titles across a variety of genres running on its service.

CEO David Perry said Gaikai is featuring EA games because of their popularity: "We've been working away with them as we discover how to reduce the friction when playing products. We've been keeping quiet, but we've secretly been up and running for months, quietly, testing, collecting analytics, improving things, etc."

Gaikai claims that its network has "the fastest interactive proximity network in the world", and its service is now live and working in 12 countries across 24 data centers. The company says its primary focus now is its advertising strategy, and its next phase is embedding Gaikai into gaming websites.

At the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this week, Gaikai will demonstrate "high-end, high-performance games running at 60hz with no work needing to be done by the publishers / developers", as well as Mass Effext 2 running inside Facebook.

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Steven An
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Wow - even more impressive than OnLive. Still a little laggy with the mouse controls, but surprisingly playable...

Steven An
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This is a glimpse of computing in the future. I wouldn't be surprised if companies like Adobe and Autodesk started putting their products exclusively on the cloud in the next 5-10 years.

Alan Rimkeit
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What would happen to people/companies who needed to use the Adobe or Autodesk product(3DS Max, Photoshop, ect.) should the internet go down? It does happen after all.

The same goes for cloud gaming. It is a problem where I can't really see any realistic solution for. No internet equals no games. Period. O.o

With a console or PC I can game without internet at all for the most part. What do services like OnLive and Gaikai suggest for this conundrum?

Prash Nelson-Smythe
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On the other hand, Alan, what if internet connectivity became as reliable as electricity and running water, which we already rely upon? I think it's likely that this eventually come to pass for the average home user, but the question is when.

Many companies are already completely reliant on internet access for everyday processes. Especially tech companies and those that run web services.

Ray Johannessen
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Wild! I could definitely see this type of technology being huge in the upcoming years. I can't imagine some of the code that went into the back-end of something like this...

Juan Mendosa
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OnLive will bankrupt in 1 year, this service too, I don't see games thriving on cloud any time soon