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Gaikai 'Not Concerned' With Onlive's Cloud Gaming Patent

Gaikai 'Not Concerned' With Onlive's Cloud Gaming Patent

December 16, 2010 | By Kris Graft

December 16, 2010 | By Kris Graft
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More: Console/PC

David Perry, game industry veteran and CEO of cloud-based gaming company Gaikai, said he isn't worried about a new patent awarded to fellow streaming game firm OnLive.

"We share OnLive's vision that streamed gaming is a key element of the future of the video game industry," Perry told Venture Beat in a statement. "We do not expect the general concept of remote gaming to be patentable, as many of us played remote games in the '70s, '80s and '90s."

OnLive announced this week it was awarded a U.S. patent pertaining to cloud-based gaming, eight years after its original filing. Cloud-based PC gaming allows users with modest hardware configurations to play higher-end PC games, which are hosted on powerful remote servers that handle the brunt of the processing requirements.

The news of OnLive's patent led to speculation that the company could essentially own the concept of remote, "cloud-based" gaming, as companies develop new technologies to provide customers with a streaming Netflix for games.

Perry noted that the patent OnLive was awarded this week was focused on a set-top-box style of streaming game delivery, and would not overlap with Gaikai's business model.

Whereas OnLive offers a service based on a business model where gamers can shop for and play streaming games via a storefront, Gaikai's initial model will be advertising-focused -- web users will be able to click on an ad for a game, then theoretically be dropped right into gameplay without a download or installation.

"We are not concerned with making set-top boxes, which is the focus of OnLive’s patent, because from the beginning we decided to go frictionless and not require a specific hardware configuration," Perry said. OnLive also offers a MicroConsole that allows users to stream games to their TV sets.

"As a consequence, you are witnessing the evolution of two companies with notably different business models," said Perry, who also said Gaikai has filed its own cloud-related patents.

Browser-based gaming company Otoy echoed Perry's response to the patent, saying that server-side gaming has been around since "at least" the '90s, although an analyst with Enderle Group said it's inevitable that cloud gaming companies will have to sort out IP rights somewhere down the line.

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