It’s hard some days to think about where games are going, but it’s harder to think how they will be delivered to you. The only option used to be going down to the local department store or specialty retailer to buy that game you wanted so much, oh my how things have changed.
We can buy games on our phones, our computers, our tablets, and even right through our consoles, try to imagine that concept 10 years ago, it’s hard to.
Digital has been the trend, it’s convenient to most, and some might even say they could never go back to physical media. Well by now most of you should know my stance on physical media and for those who don’t, I love it, but that’s beside the point.
While Digital may be convenient, it still needs to be managed. You want your pictures, movies, even your games everywhere you go, but you forgot to put them on your iPod and you forgot to put that funny picture on your jump drive, and god dammit you forgot to put that Zeppelin discography on your external HDD. Storage is storage, physical or digital; it still needs to be organized and managed, but guess what doesn’t? That’s right, the Cloud.
Gaikai is a premiere Cloud gaming and Cloud delivery service that has already taken age old conventions and thrown them out of a spaceship moving at light speed, impressive I know. Gaikai has found a way to reduce friction unlike any other means of gaming delivery; through your browser. You could have a junk rig, but say “hey I want to play Mass Effect 3” and just like that Gaikai will run it for you on the back end, giving you a taste of that game you wanted to try, minus the reality of not owning a powerhouse PC.
Gaikai is doing what other companies are not and that is not boring the consumer. How incredibly tedious is it to find out that a game you wanted to try has a demo out for it, but you have to wait an hour plus to download and install it. You play that demo for 10 minutes than delete it; correct me if my math is off, but you spent 6 times the amount of time downloading the demo than you actually played it for. That sucks, no matter how patient you say you are, if you knew of a faster alternative you would do it, we all would and that is what Gaikai is doing, not boring us. They are giving us that quick taste we want sans the wait times.
Where does Gaikai plan on going with this you ask? They have already partnered with Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Electronic Arts, and Ubisoft with 40 other publishers coming on board. The beauty of Gaikai is they are not a retailer; they are a magical form of advertising. They understand that games fuel platforms and they also know that publishers want consumers to have a better perception of their titles, something a magazine ad can’t deliver, but a demo sure can.
Few Gaikai stats:
- Cloud Gaming (demo stream) < 1 Minute
- Cloud Delivery ~ 5 Minutes
- Traditional Download ~ 40 Minutes or more depending on size and ISP
Gaikai’s CEO, David Perry, had an amazing announcement to make during the presentation, and that was that Gaikai was partnering with Samsung. Gaikai will be integrated into all of Samsung’s Smart TV moving forward and some pre-existing ones will be upgraded with Gaikai function. This marks the first time game demos will be able to be streamed from a television. Music and movies have had the royal treatment inside internet connected televisions, now it’s time for them to move over and make some room for Video games.
Gaikai is going to eliminate the hassle of physical and digital media and deliver gaming ubiquity. Perry used the term “Virtual Digital”, which was a very profound statement to me. We will be able to access our games and saves anywhere, pending we have a capable device handy. Speaking of capable devices he also talked about the WikiPad, an Android tablet designed for video games that will also have a special controller cradle for playing more advanced titles, more details will be released later on.
Gaikai is still under the radar for many people, I’ll admit I didn’t know much about the company going into E3 2012, but I feel that is about to change. I think this is something even a physical media loving jerk like myself could get behind, and that really says something. Perry said that everything with Samsung should be in full swing come E3 next year, so let’s keep our fingers crossed. So how do you feel about Cloud gaming? Is it something you could get excited for or maybe even enjoy? Hell, why not even try it out for yourself in our very on Gaikai page. Sound off in the comments section and let us know what you think.