Introducing Gaikai

Here at TheSixthAxis we occasionally like to take off our PlayStation goggles and take a look at the gaming market as a whole, after all what happens in the rest of the industry will effect the Playstation sooner or later. We’ve previously heard about OnLive before, and as it’s too hot for a history lesson, if you’re not sure what I’m on about, I’m afraid you’ll have to to click though and have a read yourself.

OnLive however,  isn’t the only ‘remote gaming’ experience under development, as shortly after it was announced Acclaim’s David Perry announced he had been working on side project called Gaikai, it was later shown privately to some publishers at E3 and now he’s ready to show us all.

Before you rush off to watch the vid here are a few facts about his set-up;

+ No installing anything. (running regular Windows Vista, with the latest Firefox and Flash is installed.)
+This is a low-spec server, it’s a very custom configuration, fully virtualized. Why? To keep the costs to an absolute minimum. We had 7 Call of Duty games running on our E3 demo server recently.
+ Data travel distance is around 800 miles (round trip) on this demo as that’s where the server is. I get a 21 millisecond ping on that route.
+ This server is not hosted by a Tier 1 provider, just a regular Data Centre in Freemont California. Also, I’m not cheating and using fibre connections for our demos. This is a home cable connection in a home.
+ We don’t claim to have 5,000 pages of patents, we didn’t take 7 years, and we do not claim to have invented 1 millisecond encryption and custom chips. As you can see, we don’t need them, and so our costs will be much less.
+ We designed this for the real internet. The codecs change based on the need of the application, and based on the hardware you have. (Like Photoshop must be pixel perfect.)
+ Our bandwidth is mostly sub 1 megabit across all games. (Works with Wifi, works on netbooks with no 3D card etc.)

Basically this will work on practically any PC and looks like it will be OK, even if your Internet connection isn’t up to much. The main difference between Gaikai and OnLive is that this is pitched firmly at ISPs on a wholesale basis, who will then presumably sell a subscription based service to end users, whereas OnLive seem to be interested in selling their service direct to end users. From what is known about both products Gaikai appears to require far lower specs with less barriers to entry. Have a look at the vid and see for yourself.