Cloud-based gaming service enters testing phase

Gaikai beta launches in Europe

The cloud-based Gaikai service, which lets players enjoy traditional disk-based PC games through a browser without the need to install any files or own the physical media, is entering closed beta in Europe later this month.

In an open letter sent via email, Gaikai founder David Perry has detailed the motivations and hopes for the beta, which will give European users a first chance to see if the reality of Gaikai can live up to the expectations. In essence the technology works by hosting games on Gaikai’s servers, which are then streamed to players across the world.

"Our closed beta has two goals," said Perry, who founded Shiny Entertainment. "Number one is to bring our servers to their knees so we can choose the final configuration before we start ordering large quantities of them. We think we have it worked out, but you can be certain our staff will be swapping cards and testing different processors as each day goes by.

"Goal number two is to test older computers. We’ve had lots of emails from people describing their computers and 99 per cent of them have ample performance. Remember you don’t even need a 3D card to see a 3D game run on our service. I know this is strangely counter to what people expect, but we actually want to get plenty of basic office-grade XP machines testing so we can make sure we can reach the widest audience possible."

After the European hardware configuration is complete, Gaikai will be beta tested in the US. Those interested in becoming a beta tester can still do so by registering interest at the official Gaikai site.

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