OnLive is getting some direct competition later this year when Gaikai launches. Gaikai is a cloud-based gaming service that lets you play console quality games from within a web browser on any website. Gaikai describes itself as the next generation of game advertising. Gaikai is set up to provide monetary incentive to web site owners, online retailers and videogame publishers and developers. A bit confused? We understand, but you can try the service for yourself in December.
Speaking to VG247 at GDC Online, renowned videogame developer and consultant David Perry said Gaikai is content complete and is a couple months out from being released to the public.
…”At some point in December – probably mid-December – we will be live. There will be no ‘you’re in a beta.’ It’ll just be ‘go ahead and play,” said Perry.
Gaikai will begin to send out invites to interested gamers in about 60 days. Perry said they’ve had videogame publishers try Gaikai, but they need more real gamers to experience the service.
What separates Gaikai from OnLive is its business model. OnLive runs from a standalone application that resides on your computer. Its main focus is allowing gamers to purchase and play full titles instantly. OnLive provides unique features such as watching other people play games live and the ability to record and share brag clips. Overall OnLive completely focused on the gamer.
Gaikai uses games as a form of adverting. Take retail for example. Gaikai imagines there’s a customer on a website debating whether or not to purchase a game. They think they want it, but are still on the fence because they’ve never played it. If Gaikai were embedded on that website, the customer could play a demo of the game instantly. That may be all they need to go through with the purchase. That same philosophy helps videogame developers and publishers make money, and creates another form of revenue for websites.
Some individuals, such as the CEO of InstantAction doesn’t think Gaikai can live up to its promises of perfect streaming. InstantAction works well enough, but it needs more fast-paced games to really be tested.