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Gaikai Drawing Interest With Low-Key Demo, Believable Claims

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the cloud-gaming-with-a-silver-lining dept.

Networking 121

Earlier this week, we discussed news that games industry veteran Dave Perry had posted a demo of his upcoming cloud gaming service Gaikai. Now that people have had time to speak with Perry and evaluate the demo, reaction has been surprisingly positive. Quoting Eurogamer: "What struck me about the presentation was that there was absolutely nothing unbelievable in it whatsoever. There were no claims of streaming 720p gameplay at 60 frames per second — games were running in differently sized windows according to how difficult they were to compress, and video itself runs at the internet standard 30FPS. There was no talk of world-beating compression systems that annihilate the work of the best minds in video encoding today, the demo was using the exact same h264 codec that we use ... And finally, there was nothing here to suggest that we were looking at a technological breakthrough that would make our PS3s and Xbox 360s obsolete... just that this was a brand new way to play games in an ultra-accessible manner." By contrast, OnLive was received with much more criticism, in part due to their dramatic promises. While playing online games with Gaikai will naturally add some amount of latency, the article points out that single-player games need not lag more than you'd expect from a console controller. Meanwhile, unlike OnLive, Gaikai is not trying to compete directly with the major console manufacturers, instead trying to work with them in order to deliver their first-party games to new audiences.

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Next step (4, Interesting)

itomato (91092) | more than 5 years ago | (#28588957)

Sell out?

Who'd buy these guys, a gaming company or a streaming media company?

Re:Next step (1)

Delwin (599872) | more than 5 years ago | (#28588971)

A content company who wants to set up a competitor to Steam - or maybe Steam to prevent such.

Re:Next step (4, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28589033)

How about a company trying to do all this. The answer is MS, a company with a wad of cash and markets for this (Halo on a Zune?).

Re:Next step (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 5 years ago | (#28590409)

Microsoft will buy them.

this is DRM (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28588961)

Stop giving it press.

Gaming is already ultra-accessible, this is the solution to a problem that, for consumers, doesn't exist. The only people this will benefit is the game companies.

I will not rent my game software.

Re:this is DRM (3, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28589045)

It depends though. For some things, yes, there is no point in me playing my 360 games on my laptop rather than on my console if I'm just in a different room. However, if I can use a netbook (rather than a $2000 15 pound gaming notebook) paired with in-flight wi-fi and play my 360 games on the airplane, it might be worth it.

Re:this is DRM (4, Interesting)

WillyWanker (1502057) | more than 5 years ago | (#28589107)

Exactly. A service like this opens up gaming to a whole class of players who were currently cut off by the insane cost of "gaming" hardware.

As long as the service doesn't expand into the realm of hi-def gameplay (which is unlikely considering the horrible state of our Internet bandwidth) you'll minimize the exposure of Nvidia, ATI, and console manufacturers.

This service won't supplant buying high end consoles or PC hardware -- this will still be necessary if you want the best gaming experience. But it will allow those who cannot afford to upgrade their hardware to play the games they currently can't. It's a win-win for everyone.

Re:this is DRM (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28589255)

No its not a win-win for everyone you fucking idiot. It is DRM, and it takes power away from the consumer by turning him into a renter instead of an owner. Get that through your thick head.

If the best you can come up with for this is that it lowers to the barrier to gaming, who cares? Why should people that can't afford to play games be able to play games? Let them improve their earning power and then maybe they could afford the 500 bucks every three years that it takes to have a gaming computer. If not, they've got the fucking Wii, and if they can't afford that, that's simply too bad.

Taking away the rights of the consumer to broaden the market to people who live in fucking trailer parks or pumped out more kids than they can afford is bullshit, pure and simple.

Re:this is DRM (-1, Flamebait)

WillyWanker (1502057) | more than 5 years ago | (#28589295)

Did you even READ how this service will work asswipe? Each publisher will control how they allow access to playing the game online. This is NOT Gamefly you douchesac.

And I guess you don't play many games, especially MMOs. Cause the majority you never own. They are "licensed" to you, which is a fancy way of saying "rent", dickwad.

And your concern for the underprivileged is noted, jackass. But I'm thinking game developers would rather consumers not spend $500 on hardware, but rather 8-10 more games.

Wake up shitforbrains. This is the future.

Re:this is DRM (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28589657)

Yeah you penis pulling half-dick! Pull your shit out of your dick and wank the article. What's wrong with you?

I can't be here all day wanking my shit, punching my keyboard at you! You douchebag! I'm due back at Gamefaqs in five minutes to tell some shit smelling asswipe why Pokemon Sapphire is better than Pokemon Pearl edition!

Re:this is DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28590879)

Hint to get modded up: make your point without insulting, even when insulted. Dickwad.

Re:this is DRM (2, Funny)

WillyWanker (1502057) | more than 5 years ago | (#28590899)

Whatever you say. Asscrack.

Re:this is DRM (1)

Delwin (599872) | more than 5 years ago | (#28589525)

It's a win for everyone: larger market = more sales (or rentals in this case) = more money for developers = more developers and more games = win for consumers. Tell me now who loses and why?

Re:this is DRM (1)

WillyWanker (1502057) | more than 5 years ago | (#28589593)

Why do you assume this service is rentals? There is absolutely nothing that indicates this is how it will work.

Re:this is DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28589629)

You fail to accept the possibility that the current paradigm of software consumption is never going to change. For one, business are concerned with one thing, the health of the company, which is supported primarily by profits. Currently the Nintendo Wii is easily competing with heavy weight Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. By lowering the entry point to the gaming culture a greater audience will appear. It turns out that audience is pretty damn big considering how well the Wii is competing with the PS3 and 360. It would be naive to think that with a change to a, as you put it, "renters" method of distribution one would continue paying the forty to sixty dollars on each individual game while retaining no rights to the media, or insurance if the system fails. However, consider the possibility of subscribing to the service for a flat rate per month. This would allow you to play a significantly increased number of games, open the possibility of steam-like or live-like community features, all while preventing piracy without having to spend money on draconian protection schemes like SecurROM and SafeDisk. In the end the media will be more profitable and subsequently cost less to the end consumer. And yes, this is DRM. It's DRM in it's finest form. It reduces the paradigm to the client not being the executing machine. It's a solution that breaks apart from the cat-and-mouse chase of trying to prevent an "unauthorized" copy of software from being executed. It also solves many of the issues related to hacking and cheating. I really don't see why you think DRM is a bad thing, it's simply a system of trying to prevent piracy, which has failed time and time again. If you found a magical answer to all your woes wouldn't you jump on it like a very seductive pile of manure?

As I see it, for people outside the niche market for gaming enthusiasts this is a publishers wet dream.
Also, using vulgar language doesn't really assist you in making your point.

Re:this is DRM (3, Insightful)

Carbon016 (1129067) | more than 5 years ago | (#28591177)

This service will likely cost more for a few months of subscription fees than a midrange video card does, and a netbook to play one of these streamed video games on costs about the same as a budget/midrange gaming PC. PC "gaming hardware" is hardly "insanely" expensive and for PC games this isn't terribly useful unless you have a portable machine and a quick internet connection, things that often don't go together.

Re:this is DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28591363)

Who says it's going to be subscription based?

One of the gaming sites just did a roundup of "budget" gaming cards. The low end? $250. Budget my ass.

And where do you buy a PC for $350 that can adequately play current titles at 30 FPS? A halfway decent "gaming" rig will set you back at least $500, and that's with serious limitations. I dunno about you, but spending $500 in order to play games is insanely expensive to me. We don't all live in Mommy's basement. Some of us actually pay rent, have to buy food, support a family, and <gasp> don't spend every waking hour in front of a monitor.

We're not talking about buying new hardware to use Gaikai. We're talking about NOT buying new hardware; being able to use your old PC or laptop to play games you wouldn't otherwise be able to.

In a perfect world we'd all have I7 Extreme octos with quad 290s. But some of us either can't afford it or would rather spend their money enjoying the real world instead of holing up in a sub-bedroom.

If you're a hardcore gamer who doesn't flinch at spending $500 on a console or new video card every 12 months then this service is NOT for you.

Re:this is DRM (1)

Kashgarinn (1036758) | more than 5 years ago | (#28592497)

Don't count on it being any cheaper really..

You can't ignore how much rendering a game costs in hardware, it's why some people are willing to dish out 2000 USD for an enjoyable game experience.

What this is doing is shifting the cost to a server and letting people connect to it, so you get even more problems, lag issues, connectivity bottlenecks, fps bottlenecks and so on.

I'm also guessing that it will still cost a bucketload to run and maintain, and the initial cost will be huge, and people will either pay for it or not.

- I can see the benefit of this though to the consumer, and the downsides as it could mean the end of owning a game/software and solely going to a rental model.

Re:this is DRM (4, Interesting)

0123456 (636235) | more than 5 years ago | (#28589127)

However, if I can use a netbook (rather than a $2000 15 pound gaming notebook) paired with in-flight wi-fi and play my 360 games on the airplane, it might be worth it.

For the cost of playing a 360 game streamed over satellite wi-fi, you could buy the best laptop on the planet.

And that's assuming that several people playing games on the same aircraft could even get enough bandwidth in the first place. Isn't the total bandwidth to one aircraft around 512kps?

Re:this is DRM (4, Informative)

Briareos (21163) | more than 5 years ago | (#28589193)

And that's assuming that several people playing games on the same aircraft could even get enough bandwidth in the first place. Isn't the total bandwidth to one aircraft around 512kps?

Nevermind that - if you're going to use this on an airplane the lag (aka latency) is absolutely going to KILL you unless you're playing some turn-based game, and even there input lag will probably make you want to stop playing it.

np: Sweet Billy Pilgrim - Joy Maker Machinery (Twice Born Men)

Re:this is DRM (1)

c0p0n (770852) | more than 5 years ago | (#28592405)

paired with in-flight wi-fi and play my 360 games on the airplane, it might be worth it.

I wouldn't hold my breath on this, in-plane internet services measure latency in moons.

Re:this is DRM (1)

aerton (748473) | more than 5 years ago | (#28592515)

How long will a battery last when you continuously stream a lot of data over wifi?

Will the text be still readable on lower resolution? Perhaps, not so essential for a FPS, but would kill an RPG.

Re:this is DRM (1, Insightful)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#28589691)

It doesn't even benefit game companies because it basically hands all the control over to the console manufacturer that can pull your game at any moment forbidding your consumers from being able to play it.

Re:this is DRM (2, Insightful)

chill (34294) | more than 5 years ago | (#28589713)

The millions playing World of Warcrack beg to differ. The software is useless without the monthly access fee.

Having read TFA... (2, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28588979)

Having read the first 2 pages of TFA, I still don't see how fast of a connection you need for these to become playable. I mean, where I live, the best connection you can get is a ~1 Megabit DSL connection.

Um... yes? "How many Nintendo games are going to appear on OnLive? The answer is none," Perry adds. "And some of the best games in the world are from Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft... I'm already talking to Nintendo. I'm talking to all the major publishers.

So in the end this service is going to end up as nothing more than PC games? Its not a good sign when a company who makes most of the classic games that people remember rejects your ideas, and I'm not sure Sony or MS wants to jump on the bandwagon (though it wouldn't surprise me if MS bought the company if they managed to turn out a decent product).

Re:Having read TFA... (3, Informative)

Delwin (599872) | more than 5 years ago | (#28588995)

This isn't OnLive - that's the vaporware competitor to this. He's stated that Nintendo has already turned down OnLive but is talking to him about possibly bringing it's games to Gaikai.

Re:Having read TFA... (3, Insightful)

blitzkrieg3 (995849) | more than 5 years ago | (#28589049)

Its not a good sign when a company who makes most of the classic games that people remember rejects your ideas, and I'm not sure Sony or MS wants to jump on the bandwagon (though it wouldn't surprise me if MS bought the company if they managed to turn out a decent product).

The console manufacturers have everything to lose and nothing to gain by helping out. If this service succedes no one will be buying specalized gaming systems anymore and this company will be buying comodity hardware to run these games. At best they could each have their own roku type box that connects to the service. Even with the pc games eventually this company will end up wanting volume licensing and start taking a cut of the sale.

This is like going to EMI and asking to license their entire catalog for a new mp3 downloading website. Eventually Apple and Amazon got them to do it, but this is like asking them in 2001.

Re:Having read TFA... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#28589137)

On the other hand, with the exception of Nintendo, losing money on specialized console hardware is essentially traditional in the industry. Having to produce specialized gaming systems is the burden you bear in order to get your cut on games, Xbox live subscriptions, and licenced peripherals.

Re:Having read TFA... (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 5 years ago | (#28589155)

Why would game developers develop games for Nintendo if there was no Nintendo hardware? No-one is going to develop a 'Nintendo game' if it's running on an x86 server and displayed over the Internet.

Re:Having read TFA... (1)

WillyWanker (1502057) | more than 5 years ago | (#28589177)

A service like this will not replace consoles, at least not anytime within the next 10 years or so. To suggest such a thing is ridiculous. It's merely providing another avenue of access.

Re:Having read TFA... (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 5 years ago | (#28589205)

"...losing money on specialized hardware "

Consoles startup costs are offset by the fact that most of them end up being profitable later in its lifecycle as parts get cheaper to make through sheer volume and die shrinks. The original Xbox is a notable exception, but that is excused by its 'enter the market at all costs' mantra. It seems to have paid off in the long run.

Re:Having read TFA... (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 5 years ago | (#28589235)

There is something else to add, Nintendo got away with a cheaper to make console because all they did was basically beef up the Gamecube design. Im not saying its a bad thing, in fact Im 90% positive PS4/XBOX 720 will be the same architectures but with MOREâ.

Re:Having read TFA... (3, Insightful)

WillyWanker (1502057) | more than 5 years ago | (#28589161)

Hardly. Console manufacturers don't make money on the hardware, they make money on the software. Those that want the best experience (hi-def, surround sound, etc.) will still buy the hardware. Those that don't or can't afford to now don't have to. But they still need to buy the games. Cha-ching! You've now sold a game to someone who didn't have a console. How exactly is this going to hurt them?

And EMI's stupidity in not embracing 21st century technology shouldn't be held up as a banner example. I'd like to think gaming companies are a tad bit smarter than the recording industry.

Re:Having read TFA... (3, Interesting)

Sparton (1358159) | more than 5 years ago | (#28590131)

Console manufacturers don't make money on the hardware, they make money on the software.

Except of course Nintendo, who is a significant contender. Also, if previous console generations are of any indicator, the current-gen consoles for Microsoft and Sony will eventually turn a profit near the end of their life cycle.

But they still need to buy the games. Cha-ching! You've now sold a game to someone who didn't have a console. How exactly is this going to hurt them?

Both Microsoft and Sony have a problem with it, because it means that some consumers may not buy/rent/whatever the software from them (so they can get their cut in the game sales) and may instead by from the other current-gen offering.

And that's why, in a nut shell, why all three major console players wouldn't see much to gain with more to lose by going along with Gaikai.

Re:Having read TFA... (1)

WillyWanker (1502057) | more than 5 years ago | (#28590235)

As I said before, a service like this won't stop people from buying consoles. Eurogamer even mentions this. Yes there will always be a few % points lost for those that could have or would have bought the console but ultimately didn't, but these losses would ultimately be made up in game revenue.

Even if you consider end-of-life profits on the consoles they make many magnitudes more money on the games.

I wouldn't be surprised if the consoles balk at the idea at first, simply because it's completely new territory.

I dunno, maybe I'm just on the other side of the fence. I don't own a single next-gen console, mainly because I can't justify the cost of the console on top of the games. So I simply stick to PC games.

There are a few console games I would love to play, but not enough to warrant the cost of all three consoles. So they aren't getting a dime out of me no matter what.

Now if I could buy those games and *not* have to buy the consoles to play them... SOLD!

So again I ask, how is this a loss?

Re:Having read TFA... (1)

Sparton (1358159) | more than 5 years ago | (#28590265)

Well, I guess your argument is pretty solid. It can be hard to argue how you would do nothing gain when you're getting a larger audience...

But the we have to remember that some people really like control, and don't like relinquishing it. A point I didn't make in my previous post that I should have is that each of the big three console guys have some sort of service that is part of their system. Even in the case of Nintendo, where... well, they don't have much that many people would care about, but Nintendo cares! Things like your Mii's (used in some games), WiiWare channels, and other gimmicks are things that Nintendo wants to leverage on their own. Other consoles have their own things too.

Furthermore, we then have to worry about QA issues that would arise from playing a current-gen console through a PC. Things like some of the above services being tied into the game could introduce wierd bugs or crashes (such as the Mii's in Mario Kart). And non-Microsoft games will be hard to play without the proper controllers.

Really, you can look up any robust arguement as to why people want to have/will never get a unified console, and they apply pretty well to this situation as well. There are plenty of reasons why it hasn't happened already, irrespective as to whether you, I, or anyone else in the general public agrees to the logic.

Re:Having read TFA... (1)

WillyWanker (1502057) | more than 5 years ago | (#28590545)

I see and fully understand your points, but it's not as if Gaikai intends to dethrone consoles or make them obsolete. Sure there will be many features not available to people if you don't buy the console, which of course is the #1 reason why the service will never replace them.

I actually think this is a good thing for Gaikai, and probably is what's going to work in its favor. It's not something that will appeal to hardcore gamers (perhaps only as a remote solution). But it can open up a completely viable revenue stream for casual gamers that perhaps want to only buy a few titles here and there without the major hardware expense.

But you're right in that that console makers will have to see it this way and decide to make the leap. We'll see if that happens.

Chicken and Egg (1)

hofmny (1517499) | more than 5 years ago | (#28589265)

I hear what you are saying, but there is a chicken and egg problem here. All of these games run on emulators of last gen systems. I could see how a service *like* this could kill consoles, but not *this* service. The way this service works, there needs to be games and a system for which the games came out on. What do you want the developers to program their games for if this kills the consoles and no new consoles come out? PC (will we come full circle)? The console makers have to make the consoles, in which the developers then create games based around (using the hardware and software dev kits from Sony, MS, and Nintendo). That defines how the games will come out.

These guys are one step down the food chain and simply take the games that already came out for the consoles, and put them online. I don't see how anyone would object to this. It's very easy for Nintendo, or Sony. to only release certain titles on this network as to not interfere with their profit model.

Re:Having read TFA... (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 5 years ago | (#28589373)

I disagree. It doesn't make much sense for MS to release Halo 4 or Sony to release Little Big Planet 2 right away, but what about their backed catalog? It wouldn't hurt Nintendo (or anyone else) to release older games (everything from old arcacde through the last generation) on this kind of a service. It's just one more way to take people's money.

Heck. Maybe after playing Zelda or Halo 1 or something, I'd go out and buy the new version of the console, thus increasing revnue.

Makes sense to me, as long as you keep this away from new games.

Re:Having read TFA... (1)

Sporkinum (655143) | more than 5 years ago | (#28589169)

Likewise.. 1 meg DSL is all we have here. The other negative, from a gamer perspective, is that this does away with resale of old software.. The used game market. I also took away from this, is that it is scaled down and in a window based on your bandwidth. Something like my connection would get 640x480 or something like that.

Re:Having read TFA... (1)

WillyWanker (1502057) | more than 5 years ago | (#28589231)

Not necessarily. It depends upon how it's implemented, which from what I gather would be vendor specific. Some might require you first buy the game and then register to play it online. Others might do use a Steam-like approach.

Worst case, it would have no more impact on used games than Steam does.

And the bandwidth and resolution issue further underscore how this service won't be a replacement for traditional gaming.

Re:Having read TFA... (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 5 years ago | (#28590037)

Having read the first 2 pages of TFA, I still don't see how fast of a connection you need for these to become playable. I mean, where I live, the best connection you can get is a ~1 Megabit DSL connection.

Really? Here in Portugal the *minimum* you can get is 3Mbps at about 20, and we have expensive ISPs compared to most other countries in Europe. And a new ISP is saying they'll offer symmetrical 50Mbps for 15 without any subscription to keep you locked.

Re:Having read TFA... (1)

WillyWanker (1502057) | more than 5 years ago | (#28590159)

The USA has abysmal broadband service. Europe and Asia beat us hands down.

Re:Having read TFA... (1)

Bored Grammar Nazi (1482359) | more than 5 years ago | (#28590163)

Having read the first 2 pages of TFA, I still don't see how fast of a connection you need for these to become playable. I mean, where I live, the best connection you can get is a ~1 Megabit DSL connection.

Not everybody lives where you live. Here in Japan the standard is now fiber optics at 100Mbps. I could see it working.

Re:Having read TFA... (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 5 years ago | (#28591935)

Having read the first 2 pages of TFA, I still don't see how fast of a connection you need for these to become playable. I mean, where I live, the best connection you can get is a ~1 Megabit DSL connection

The company's site states that it will work with a 512kbit connection, but that for best quality you should have 2Mbit.

Cloud Gaming?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28589031)

I mean, huh? So what's next, cloud fucking?

Re:Cloud Gaming?! (4, Funny)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#28589183)

Cloud huffing. Although you'll want to be sure of what's in the cloud before you huff it. A tubgirl when you expect it the less can knock you out.

Did I miss the ping time revolution? (2, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28589055)

How exactly are they reducing the latency from the controller to the cloud? Let alone the roundtrip latency of the video/sound.

Anything more than 100ms ping time is gunna kill this thing.

Re:Did I miss the ping time revolution? (1)

blitzkrieg3 (995849) | more than 5 years ago | (#28589119)

How exactly are they reducing the latency from the controller to the cloud? Let alone the roundtrip latency of the video/sound.

The thing that people are missing is that the application is actually now much closer to the Internet with a service like this. Take World of Warcraft for example, if you party with someone and you're both using this service, there is basically no lag between you and him. No more players jumping around on screen showing or actions executed out of order. And which message do you think has more overhead, "move player1 to position 35272,123, cast heal on player2", or "move mouse to position 1323,42, click". In the case of macros all you need to send is a simple key press.

Anything more than 100ms ping time is gunna kill this thing.

Slashdot's ping time is ~35 ms, so it is doable.

Re:Did I miss the ping time revolution? (5, Informative)

Bangz (1294126) | more than 5 years ago | (#28589301)

In the video he talks about having a sub 20ms ping. I think the idea is that they would setup lots of smaller servers spread out geographically to reduce the amount of lag as much as possible. What people perhaps overlook is that games naturally have quite a large lag already, once you've pressed a button it takes up to 1 frame for that change to be registered, another frame to update the physics / animation etc, and finally a frame to render based on the previously calculated physics information. In a 30FPS game that's between 66-100ms, and that's assuming a really damn good engine which is responsive, which a lot of game engines aren't. There was an article on Gamasutra on this very topic [gamasutra.com] about a year ago, if you want to read more. If the check out the third page [gamasutra.com] of that article you'll see the response times for some popular games, and you might be suprised!

Re:Did I miss the ping time revolution? (3, Insightful)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 5 years ago | (#28589393)

Moderately interesting article, though it would be more interesting IMHO to see something similar done for PC games and user interface more generically.

What I don't understand about your post though...

On my cable modem connection right now, my ping to a dns server generally are between 20-30ms. Let's say pressing a key and transmitting it to "the cloud" takes 25ms on average. Now it's input to the game, the game's 66ms processing time takes place, and the result is streamed back to me...30ms+

We're now at a minimum of over 110ms latency assuming everything runs full speed and we don't get any "buffering" etc...

Now if ping times are closer to 40-50ms ... I would expect that would be fairly unplayable...

Am I wrong?

Re:Did I miss the ping time revolution? (1)

Bangz (1294126) | more than 5 years ago | (#28589477)

Your correct. Lag is bad, adding more lag is going to make the experience a little more frustrating and potentially unplayable. What I was trying to say was that games already have lag, although that doesn't excuse adding more lag, but it does show that if the lag were reduced enough if could be negligible in comparison. Now perhaps, on this platform, hypothetically speaking, lag could be reduced in the game so that the physical update and rendering did not take a standard 16ms/33ms (60fps/30fps) amount of time, but instead took a much shorter amount of time, because in hypothetical land they have big servers with vast processing power. You could at least reduce the lag a little between providing the input and producing the associated rendered frame. Although it's getting a little late to engage my logical brain, but maybe this is possible using some clever time slicing. I would say that a game would be to be specifically coded to support such a feature, although I don't think it would be too much hassle (thinking along the lines of an update then render, rather than running both in parallel but rendering last frames information, which is currently the norm).

Re:Did I miss the ping time revolution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28589649)

I play TF2 a lot and I can get ~30ms ping times to my favorite servers in New York and Chicago. In fact I consider most games playable if they have less than 100ms ping (servers on the west coast). Basically what I'm saying is that games can be designed (and have been for years) to take into account lag. In fact they've been dealing with multiple values of lag, something many times more complicated, with online fps games for years (unreal, quake, half life ect...).

The performance hit for sending all the extra streaming data back is the real killer here, and we'll have to see how fast they can compress that data stream and ship it back to us. If you figure that a 100ms trip there and a 66ms stay at the server before a 100ms trip back is playable, then if they can drop the ping to their servers down to the 20ms range (as stated in the article), they'll have about 160ms to render and compress the scene back to the user.

I have no idea if that's really feasible or not, but it doesn't seem to far out of the realm of reason.

Re:Did I miss the ping time revolution? (3, Insightful)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 5 years ago | (#28589693)

I don't disagree that games CAN be made playable...but afaik, with the games you list--unreal, quake, etc--they have at various times implemented client side prediction and other methods to minimize the effect of lag. I remember in the days of quake1 when anyone with a sub-100 ping was a lpb :p I don't know how many games will ever be designed to work specifically with this kind of 3rd-party hosting.

Long story short, I don't ever see this technology in the near future working for that huge group of games that falls into the genre of "twitch" gaming.

Re:Did I miss the ping time revolution? (1)

totally bogus dude (1040246) | more than 5 years ago | (#28591893)

The twitch gamers are likely to be in the "hardcore" gaming market which this service wouldn't try to touch. They won't be interested in a service like this anyway, and the games that appeal to them won't appear on it.

It probably ties in nicely with the ever-expanding "casual" games market. One problem casual games face is that they need to support lowest-common-denominator hardware (and software). Many are written in Flash, and virtually none require a half-decent 3D accelerator. This limits what can be done by the developer, because you have to write it to run on non-gaming PCs.

If you can stream the video from a powerful cluster then you can do much more fancy things without pushing the system requirements way beyond what a casual gamer will actually have. You could do a fancy 3D environment with realistic physics on every object, on a bog-standard desktop PC.

Something like The Sims would be fine on it, and those games have massive audiences -- despite their pretty steep system requirements for smooth gameplay. Offloading the heavy lifting to a centralised cluster could be a huge success. The main issue would be the cost of putting sufficient processing power at the network edge to handle peak demand. The network has a lot of edges.

Re:Did I miss the ping time revolution? (1)

Stray7Xi (698337) | more than 5 years ago | (#28589979)

On my cable modem connection right now, my ping to a dns server generally are between 20-30ms. Let's say pressing a key and transmitting it to "the cloud" takes 25ms on average. Now it's input to the game, the game's 66ms processing time takes place, and the result is streamed back to me...30ms+

Ping is roundtrip time. So it only takes 10-15ms to reach server, and only 10-15ms to return. For a total of approximately 1 frame delay. The real issues isn't latency, it's packet loss and bandwidth.

Depends on the game (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 5 years ago | (#28591611)

While that would rule out FPS, fighting, platformers and so on, strategy, puzzle and the like should work fine. This certianly doesn't look to be a be-all, end-all solution, but it could have applications. You'd get a slightly laggy feel from the UI but that isn't a show stopper.

Re:Did I miss the ping time revolution? (1)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 5 years ago | (#28591031)

I'm still not sure this is going to work.

For one thing, even though popular games already have lag of 66-100ms, that lag is consistent - it takes pretty much the same number of frames to see the results of your click. So you adjust to this. But if we are adding network lag of a supposedly smaller amount - say 50ms (I don't see how it will be 20ms like he says) - we also need to take into account lag variability (this is like the joke with the statistician drowning in a pool with an average depth of 1 inch). If the network lag jumps around 25-75ms, then players will not be able to expect exactly when their click will result in a shot fired, which I suspect will be annoying.

Second, network lag isn't like 'engine lag' (for lack of a better name). With engine lag, when I click, yeah it might take 3 frames to see the result, but my click is already in the pipeline. With network lag it only gets into the pipeline when it reaches the server, at which point it mixes with other stuff going on there. In other words, just like in multiplayer FPSes where you can have the rare event of a 'lag bug', like when two people pick up the same item at once (that's what they do on their clients), but the server only lets one of them have it (whichever request for the item reaches it first), with Gaikai we will have lag bugs even in singleplayer games. That is, you might click to do an amazing headshot, but due to network lag the enemy might already move out of the way.

Still, this is interesting technology, and even if FPSes have problems running on it, it might be great for other types of games.

Re:Did I miss the ping time revolution? (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#28589787)

What you say is nonsense because you still have to network between players. What do you think this is, one humongous server where 1000s of players connect to and all the games are run off it? No. It will be servers located all over the US which have to network between each other. Also you're forgetting the fact that something like a WoW game would be running separate from the rendering servers.

The input would also cause more latency then updating player positions because a player position update happens once every X ms however if I continuously keep rapid fire pressing buttons it's going to generate far more packets of data. Even xbox controllers have mods which make controller presses extremely fast without user intervention.

Re:Did I miss the ping time revolution? (1)

FourthAge (1377519) | more than 5 years ago | (#28589403)

Exactly. And there is video compression and decompression delay. And, on top of that, current low-latency applications don't send much data. Do you still get low latency if you're receiving at 1MBit/s or higher? In both directions? Reliably? There can be no client-side prediction to smooth out lag: your connection must be perfect all of the time.

I don't believe in this idea at all. I don't think they've done the math correctly. I'm sure it works wonderfully on their LAN, but over the Internet..?

Re:Did I miss the ping time revolution? (2, Interesting)

WillyWanker (1502057) | more than 5 years ago | (#28589581)

He wasn't using a LAN in the video. He was using an ordinary Internet connection. He explains this in his blog.

Latency only really becomes an issue with FPS games. Even if FPSs don't turn out to work very well this still leaves a massive amount of content that isn't so latency-dependent.

There are quite a few free-to-play MMOs that currently work like this, e.g. FusionFall. They play just fine.

Re:Did I miss the ping time revolution? (2, Insightful)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 5 years ago | (#28589799)

Most gamers don't play 'FPS' games.

wow (0, Flamebait)

WillyWanker (1502057) | more than 5 years ago | (#28589059)

Wow, I guess I'm the only one excited by this technology. I really don't see any downsides. I think you guys are just being whiners, as seems to be the usual around here.

Re:wow (5, Funny)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#28589299)

Indeed. Actually I would have loved if Slashdot had been there since prehistory.

The hot air balloon is invented : "Oh noes now the evil government will use that to spy on its citizens from above!"

The telephone is invented : "Oh great, one more way for the government to effortlessly eavesdrop on our conversations!"

The television is invented : "Pfft, as if newspapers and the radio weren't enough means of government propaganda!"

Internet multiplayer games are invented : "Waaah waaah 500 ms latencies over my 33.6 modem"

Mankind is invented : "Oh great, so now I can meet people who'll try to rob me, kill me, defraud me or have offsprings with me!"

Romantic and sexual relationships with members of the opposite sex are invented : "If I wanted to coexist with living creatures who'd suck me and give me orgasms I'd get some leeches and stick porn on their backs"

Basements are invented : "HOLY FUCK SHIT YEAH!!"

Re:wow (1, Informative)

Zebedeu (739988) | more than 5 years ago | (#28593057)

The iPod is invented: "No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame."

No hacking (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28589073)

I'd see the biggest benefit of something like this is NO CHEATING, which is the bane of most PC games, FPS types especially. It's pretty hard to be running a wall hack on your client if you only get sent an already rendered image from a central server!

Re:No hacking (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28589303)

Alternatively, now there's only one server (farm) you need to own.

Re:No hacking (1)

phantomcircuit (938963) | more than 5 years ago | (#28589337)

Well it certainly would be more difficult, but you could maintain a collection of the maps in different games then construct overlays based on inputs.

Re:No hacking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28589339)

A client side application that does image interpretation could enable cheating...

Re:No hacking (4, Informative)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | more than 5 years ago | (#28589429)

There have been framebuffer capture based aim bots in the past already.

Re:No hacking (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#28592185)

The point of proper cheat codes is, to make it fun again! This means that if you are stuck, and the game stops being fun, you can shortly use a cheat code and be done with it.

Cheating in multiplayer games is just a result of bad balancing. You actually have more fun when you lose half the time, than when you win all the time. If you you lose more than halt the time, something with the balancing (which includes the [automated] right choice of other players!!!) is wrong.

As a game designer, there is just no excuse for cheating players. It is your fault. Period.

Pickup, Play, and Resume on Multiple Devices (2, Interesting)

hofmny (1517499) | more than 5 years ago | (#28589227)

Think of this...
You're at home, you log onto Gaikai, and see a PS2 RPG you always wanted to play. Awesome! So you start playing it on the PC. The next day, you have to fly out somewhere (business trip, home for the holidays), and while you're at the airport, you use your iPhone and continue playing your game. No need to copy your emulator files over, deal with incompatibilities, buggy software (there isn't even a ps2 emu for iPhone and I doubt its powerful enough). While on your trip, you decide to retire for the night. You bring up your laptop, and can once again resume your PS2 RPG.

I think this will open a whole new market for gaming to people who either never own consoles or people that do own consoles, and want to play last generation titles that they missed out on and no longer own the older system or don't; have it hooked up anymore (especially now that Sony took out PS2 backwards compatibility)

Re:Pickup, Play, and Resume on Multiple Devices (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 5 years ago | (#28589353)

I think this will open a whole new market for gaming to people who either never own consoles or people that do own consoles, and want to play last generation titles that they missed out on and no longer own the older system or don't; have it hooked up anymore (especially now that Sony took out PS2 backwards compatibility)

You really think so? Beyond really hardcore gamers, I don't think many people go back to play old games beyond certain classics... Most games just REALLY don't pass the test of time that well.

I mean as an example, I have a hard time going back to play Morrowind after Oblivion...and Morrowind is a game that STILL has a very active community. Likewise, Baldur's gate 1 after playing Baldur's gate 2 (or BG2 now at all), etc--they just don't satisfy the same way they used to. Graphics, interface, the whole package. I never had a PS1 but I bought FFVII for ps2--never could get into it. Obviously different genres are affected differently, but I don't really see this opening up obsolete console games to people who didn't care to have consoles in the first place.

Re:Pickup, Play, and Resume on Multiple Devices (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 5 years ago | (#28591877)

there isn't even a ps2 emu for iPhone and I doubt its powerful enough

I think we can assume you're correct. The fastest iPhone has a 600 MHz ARM Cortex processor with 2 execution units, whose base instruction set is 32-bit, but which supports 128-bit SIMD. The PS2 has a ~400MHz 64-bit MIPS-compatible processor with 2 execution units, also implementing 128-bit SIMD. Therefore, while the iPhone with a best-theoretically-possible emulator might manage to match or even beat the SIMD performace of the PS2, ordinary 64 bit instructions would necessarily be a little slower (taking 2 x 32-bit instructions to implement them), resulting in only a maximum of 600 being retired each microsecond, rather than 800 as the PS2 is (at least theoretically) capable of. This is ignoring emulation overheads, of course. And the question of emulation of the PS2's vector units, which would have to be mapped to the iPhone's GPU somehow.

Re:Pickup, Play, and Resume on Multiple Devices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28592499)

How are you going to map the controls? I just don't see how can you replace the gamepad (more than dozen keys + 2 sticks) with iphone input method. Even mouse + keyboard would be a poor substitute

How are you going to copy the saved game?

How fast will you kill the battery receiving video stream over the internet?

One place it could be useful (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28589323)

I've gone back to student life, and have a Core2Duo laptop with Integrated Intel graphics, and an internet connection that speed tests to 86,468kbps @ 0ms ping. I'd be happy to pay a small sum for this.

Re:One place it could be useful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28591789)

I can understand having a laptop as a student, but why do you ONLY have a laptop? (geek cred -1)

Personal Implementation (3, Interesting)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 5 years ago | (#28589665)

I'd love to have this available for personal implementation. Granted - I'm thinking of very niche use. But I've attempted similar things with VNC and WoW in the past - with painful results. I'm not expecting to take my remote display in to a raid or battleground. But it'd be nice to be able to do auction house tasks, crafting, mailbox, banks, etc. wherever I happen to be at the time; reasonably quick tasks where a little latency isn't an issue.

Of course - it looks like their intent goes well beyond this.

Re:Personal Implementation (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 5 years ago | (#28591813)

I'd love to have this available for personal implementation.

I think you'd be surprised by how much an implementation of this would cost to set up. The only way, AFAICS, that they can be encoding the video output of the games to h.264 fast enough is a dedicated hardware encoder, which is probably about $2-300 worth of kit. Sure, you can do live h.264 encoding with a PC, but the latency is typically in the order of 10-15 frames or so, which would be unacceptable for this application.

I want to run my own server (1)

Sark666 (756464) | more than 5 years ago | (#28590177)

Imagine being at a friend's and being able to stream your own games in this method. That would be the best of both worlds, you have the killer rig at home for the latest and greatest, and you can stream your games while on the go.

This may be the future (2, Insightful)

ShooterNeo (555040) | more than 5 years ago | (#28590201)

This may be the future of gaming, eventually supplanting console and PC gaming.

Reasons :
    1. This is a DRM system that would be nearly impossible to beat. As long as the game code is only given to these hosts, it would be vastly more difficult to pirate games. Not impossible - workers at the hosting company could leak the game to the internet, but it would be much more difficult.

    Strong DRM means the publishers would get paid for every game they sell, yet they could easily offer fully functional 'demos' of the game, or sell time for a game. It might be easier for a lesser known publisher to sell 10 hours of a game for $10 than the entire game for $50.

    2. It removes the need for the users to buy expensive hardware, whether that be a console or a high end gaming PC. You instead just lease time on the big iron. More advanced games with more advanced graphics would become available much sooner, since publishers wouldn't have to wait for the next generation of console to become common with consumers, or for PC owners to finally get upgrade their graphics cards. A publisher could offer games with state of the art, photo realistic graphics much sooner : it would just cost more per hour to play a game like that.

      3. It solves the nightmare of hardware incompatibility and hardware failures. Since your netbook/living room console/old PC would merely be decoding video, there would be far fewer ways things could go wrong.

Problems : using flash is not a long term solution, flash has many problems : later generations of this service will need their own, optimized decoder code. ISPs will have to work with the companies offering hosted games, and configure their networks to deliver the ultra low latency, guaranteed bandwidth needed for a gaming session to actually work.

I think this idea is going to take off. It'll be a few years before ISPs really get their act together to support this kind of service, but it will gradually happen, and I think it will completely supplant the game console.

Re:This may be the future (2, Interesting)

chonglibloodsport (1270740) | more than 5 years ago | (#28590349)

Yes, but the publishers would be made extinct, replaced by these types of services.

Why deal with a company specializing in putting boxes on store shelves when this is your new business model?

Re:This may be the future (1)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 5 years ago | (#28590475)

Am not going to start the familiar rant that DRM is evil.
The fact is that a stronger DRM will enable stronger restrictions on usage while freeing PC's from the debilitating effects of DRM and Virus [theregister.co.uk]
This does not necessarily translate to better games or even more demos.
On the contrary, it will lead to more profit taking and more of the same crap games.
For instance, Company of Heroes was ground-breaking when it came out. I upgraded my PC to play it. The subsequent Opposing Fronts was even more ground breaking.
BUT, the law of average returns states that companies should screw up: Tales of Valor.
BioShock was ground breaking. Subsequent sequels were not.
Age of Empires was ground breaking. Subsequent sequels were not.
A company innovates only once. Then the MBA's take over and consider it a cash cow and all that crap.
This rule is applicable not only for Games, but also to movies, songs, books, etc.: Tremors, Star Wars, Star Trek, FRIENDS, Joey, etc.
DRM only seeks to reinforce what the company does without providing an incentive for it to improve.
Leasing the Big Iron is time sharing: this is not a new concept. I don't need a high-end PC is false: I need a high speed processor and RAM to make sure i can continue to stream AND send back responses to the Big Iron. Dumb Terminals they can't be.
Not even an S/390 box can accommodate the entire population of war craft or Spore.
Thirdly, AMD, ATI, nVidia would actively sabotage these efforts by suing/buying out/bankrupting this company to protect their investments,
In short, the idea is worthwhile IF Jesus were ruling the world: Unfortunately he is not, so live with it. Like a zillion ideas before, this too shall bite the dust, quietly.

Re:This may be the future (1)

WillyWanker (1502057) | more than 5 years ago | (#28590571)

I'm betting you're a "glass half empty" sorta guy...

Re:This may be the future (1)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 5 years ago | (#28591061)

Am a realist.
Tell me what i have told are not facts.
Am not an optimist, otherwise i would be driving an atomic car and flying to work a.k.a Jetsons.

Re:This may be the future (1)

WillyWanker (1502057) | more than 5 years ago | (#28591241)

You somehow equate DRM with making bad sequels. I don't see how the two are related.

I don't believe the point of this service is DRM, but agree it's a strong side effect *only* if you don't already have a copy of the game locally. As each publisher is free to decide how one gains access to their Gaikai games who's to say they won't require you to buy the game from a local retailer first? While some might opt for a Gaikai-only option I don't think this will be the norm for current games, only older titles. Hell, some publishers may refuse to host current games altogether, choosing only to offer their back catalog, either on a game-by-game basis or a subscription model. Gaikai just serves up the games, it doesn't control access to them.

And while "dumb terminals" is an oversimplification, in reality you only need a machine that can decode flash with reasonable efficiency. I have a 1.8GHz single core Sempron server that can do that.

I can see how hardware manufacturer's might squint a bit at Gaikai and perhaps perceive it as threatening, but once they understand the target demo and what ultimately can and can't be done I think it'll become a non-issue. Gaikai is not going to put Nvidia, ATI, Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo out of business. It *will*, however, add a source of revenue previously lost to them -- that of the casual gamer who is unwilling or unable to buy the required hardware to play them the conventional way.

Your entire post screams "paranoia".

Re:This may be the future (1)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 5 years ago | (#28591323)

Again i repeat, its not paranoia.
What you are saying is ideal in an ideal world: Gaikai's product will be seen as long-term benefits for nVidia and ATI.
But the corporates that make graphics cards and CPUs are... well corporates. Their overwhelming desire is to fulfil next quarter expectations.
Long term plan is great: But it was NOT Moore's law which forced Intel to make faster chips. It was AMD. Without a competitor, we would still be using Intel Pentium chips running at 800Mhz and playing Doom on 640x480 VGA monitor.
What am saying is that law of jungle forces companies to innovate and think long term. Otherwise they would think only short term.
Gaikai enables them to think only short term since its DRM prevents anyone from cracking a game.
With no heat in form of lost sales which force the company to make better products, it would be making crappy products.
After all it was NOT the oil crisis that forced Chrysler, GM and Ford into making fuel-efficient cars: it was the Japanese who were very lucky at that time.
DRM is a way to prevent me from forcing a company to innovate by providing it a steady stream of money in current products.
Tell me, if you were a CEO who was enjoying a constant steady stream of revenue from 100% non-pirated products, would you throw away money on Research to innovate and make a better product, when there's no apparent demand for the same?

Re:This may be the future (1)

WillyWanker (1502057) | more than 5 years ago | (#28591421)

I seriously can't argue with this level of batshittery. You win!

Re:This may be the future (1)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 5 years ago | (#28591735)

Next year, let's see where nVidia is and where this fancy company of yours is.
My bet would be on nVidia and Intel and AMD.

Re:This may be the future (1)

totally bogus dude (1040246) | more than 5 years ago | (#28592009)

The provider of the service (Gaiku) and the people making the games aren't necessarily the same people. There's also no reason why Gaiku would be the only provider of a service like this.

This provides two levels of competition: game developers and streaming game service providers. At some point, these services would reach saturation, i.e. everyone who would want to play games on the service will be playing games on it. If you, as a game developer, want to profit from it, you'll have to provide a better game than your competitors. Or at least better marketing.

Also, you assume that sequels do in fact decline in quality. While I tend to agree, you must always keep in mind the possibility that the majority of people do like the crappy sequels, which is why Westwood continues to make vast fortunes from selling crappy spinoffs to the Command and Conquer franchise. Popular culture may be awful, but it's unlikely to be popular just because everyone except me is a sheep with bad taste.

Re:This may be the future (1)

aerton (748473) | more than 5 years ago | (#28592549)

1. Less piracy, but you simply can not sell that to whole regions that do not have fast enough internet.

2. So, instead of needing high-end console or computer you'll need the fastest, expensive internet connection. You may have a lot of bandwidth now, but that would require a lot of bandwidth coupled with low-latency. If you don't notice if youtube playback or start of download is delayed by a second, you will with a game.

3. True for PC, but consoles do not suffer from hardware compatibility already. If you are trying to imply a cross-platform play, then I will say that mouse, keyboard or iphone touch screen are not adequate replacements for dualshock or wiimote.

So it may work as an addition from the traditional gaming, but as a replacement? Not in foreseable years.

Scalability? (1)

trawg (308495) | more than 5 years ago | (#28590587)

A big part of my job for the last ten years has been running game servers for PC-based video games (Counter-Strike, Battlefield, etc - your standard dedicated-server based games, mostly FPS).

Over the years as games have become more complicated, the trend has been for these games to consume more and more CPU. They support more players, they're doing complicated collision detection and physics and tracking stats and doing all sorts of other things. CPU usage and memory usage just goes up and up and up.

Say we can fit several hundred people (depending on the game type) on one, physical game server, spread out over several software servers running on it (usually just Windows applications). This isn't a huge amount - we have a /lot/ of physical servers, hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of gear. We're just one of many game providers in Australia (population roughly 20 million). It is a massive investment to provide this many game servers.

Now, think about this from the perspective of doing all that crunching for the client side. We're not doing ANY of the rendering, or client side physics, or handling of input. When I start thinking about how to support that many game clients - the whole end-to-end experience - on normal hardware, I just can't figure out how many servers we'd need. We buy high-density blade servers - just asked our Ops guys, and apparently they do have expansion slots in which you could put a video card, but they're small slots so you couldn't put in, for example, a quad-SLI thing to try and crunch lots of video at once, or something.

So yeh, I'm super-curious to know how they plan to scale this sort of technology. I am interested in it from the perspective of reducing the impact of cheating in online games, but it also just sounds cool. I played with the OnLive stuff at GDC really briefly this year and it looked sort of cool, but I had the same questions (...which noone on the floor could, or would, answer).

Re:Scalability? (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 5 years ago | (#28591923)

I imagine they'll be using a 1-server-per-client model, at least with most games. Subscriptions will be expensive, at a guess, with the price worked out on the assumption that you'll be tying up a high-end gaming machine about 10-15% of the time. $120 or $180 per year sounds like a likely base price for the subscription, plus a small additional fee for game rental which will depend on what you're playing.

Re:Scalability? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28592025)

So you're saying that over a few years, it'll actually work out more expensive than buying a brand new console and renting physical game media?

Not exactly the story they've been telling. If that's the price, then they'd better concentrate a lot harder on the mobile market, because nobody with a brain is going to want this for home use.

No Thanks. I'll play my own games on my hardware (1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28590623)

I hate these silly game streaming ideas. Its too limiting. I would rather own my games and play them on my own hardware.

Its just a form of DRM. I would rather own POWERFUL computer hardware and the software I run on it.

Perfect for demoing (1)

ratboot (721595) | more than 5 years ago | (#28590767)

Reading the comments already posted, I understand that some persons think that the service will be used to play games in whole (i.e. replace completly your PC or your console)... But if they'd RTFA, these persons would understand that Gaikai is mainly intented to demo games before getting them (now IMHO, that's a promising idea).

Next: timesharing! (3, Informative)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 5 years ago | (#28590951)

The next step in the evolution of gaming sofwtware is to host it on a large server -- what can we call it? Hmm, it's kind of centralized or main center of application execution; and they all execute in the same framework -- maybe Mainframework, or Mainframe for short? Once we do that, we can allocate slices of time to each game that's running -- at computer speeds, there would never be a noticeable delay to the user! We'll even have the screen rendering done on this "mainframe", and just push the screen to the end user.

When are people going to start realizing that the "cloud" is an old idea with new hardware, and that reinventing a concept by putting it on the 'new' cloud platform isn't a business model that stands on its own?

Re:Next: timesharing! (1)

WillyWanker (1502057) | more than 5 years ago | (#28591041)

Cause everything old comes back into vogue at one point or another. As long as they don't try coding the games in COBOL or FORTRAN I'm good.

The mainframe/terminal relationship served us well for almost 40 years. I mean really, isn't the entire web nothing more than a fancy mainframe/terminal operation?

When I was a kid I used to play tic tac toe on a Hazeltine mainframe from the terminal in our house with an acoustic coupler. The mainframe did all the thinking and the dumb terminal recorded my input and spit out what the mainframe sent. I don't see how this is essentially any different.

We talk of "cloud computing" like its something brand new, but you're right, it ain't.

Waste of Bandwidth and Ressources (1)

pwilli (1102893) | more than 5 years ago | (#28591179)

Software developers have optimized their multiplayer games to only transfer the necessary information, and leaving the less important stuff to the rest of the clients. Thats why up to 5 people can play FPS online games at the same time without problems at my house (only 700KBit up/2.5MBit down DSL). With this technology that would be reduced 1 or at most 2 (estimate based on my experience with streaming movies). Who will pay the server that creates content in high quality based on complex calculations and on information of other clients AND compresses it good enough to go through my pipe without losing to much quality, in real time?

This whole system imho sounds like the regularly repeated idea, that a huge solar collector plattform placed in the dessert of North Africa could produce enough electricity for the whole world. Of course, it can. But no one lives in the dessert to use that power and transporting the power to where its needed is hard or impossible.

Nothing unbelievable? (1)

Bazzargh (39195) | more than 5 years ago | (#28592029)

They claim: We are not using any out-of-the-box virtualization, it's all custom built by our team for this purpose., or and similarly that its their own custom operating system (specifically so that the photoshop demo is a single window)

The company was formed in November 2008.

So, seriously: nothing unbelievable about that? I'd be wondering whose software they are really using there, because the development timescale doesn't add up. If they'd said nothing or said it was off-the-shelf tech that would be a bit more likely.

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