Limited cloud gaming trials ready in time for San Francisco show

GDC11: Gaikai goes live

US-cloud based gaming service Gaikai has gone live with a number of EA-published titles available for online play in time for GDC 2011.

Announced by company CEO and co-founder David Perry on his blog, open cloud trial versions of Mass Effect 2, Dead Space 2, The Sims 3 and Second Life can now be played through various urls while the service is shown off at meetings in San Francisco.

“At the Game Developers Conference in our meetings we will show some really high-end, high-performance games running at 60hz with no work needing to be done by the publishers / developers,” Perry states.

“We have it live and working in 12 countries across 24 data centers. Our main focus however is our Advertising strategy, where we can put any game anywhere on the web. Our objective has been to empower publishers and retailers to give gamers what they keep asking for.

“So our thinking is somewhat like YouTube, as instead of just building a portal to go and watch videos, they decided to focus on putting videos everywhere on the web. We are doing the same with games, so when you read a review on a game, you can try playing it right there on the same page as the review.”

Perry then describes several months of work with EA, going back into 2010, to prepare the games trails for a GDC release. He also outlines the future plans for Gaikai service testing.

“We’ve been working away with them as we discover how to reduce the friction when playing products,” he writes.

“We’ve been keeping quiet, but we’ve secretly been up and running for months, quietly, testing, collecting analytics, improving things.

“Our next phase is to start embedding Gaikai into gaming websites, so visitors can try the latest games. We already have run millions of connection tests, but the more the better.”

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