Physical media is at the sunset of its lifespan. Eventually, all games will be based online.
That was the view of industry veteran, and Gaikai founder, David Perry.
Perry was speaking at an opening keynote at the fourth annual Develop Conference in Brighton, UK. In an address entitled Embracing the Future, Perry told attendees that “it won’t be long before 100 per cent of games are all online.”
Perry’s keynote covered how media has evolved from disc drives to hard drives to, in the near future virtual media. His address covered how Facebook provides game content to the masses without needing physical data; “that was a major step forward,” he said.
However – just like in his recent interview with Develop – Perry spoke again of the friction involving the adoption of online games.
Download times, registration processes, installation procedures; according to Perry, these all prevent consumers from the biggest allure of videogames, which is the play experience itself.
Perry used World of Warcraft’s download, installation and registration process as an example of such friction. “I’m twenty clicks in and, finally, I see a play button,” he said.
Conversely, he said, the iPhone needs one tap to install, one tap to play. Perry pointed out that Apple has enjoyed over one billion downloads since the App Store launched.
Then moved the discussion to Gaikai; his vision for the future of games. As demonstrated in the recent video demo Perry released on his website, Gaikai is, essentially, frictionless. Users click on games and it rapidly streams to users’ PC, Mac or netbook.
Perry reiterated that bandwidth demands for Gaikai remain modest; users only need 1.2 MB to run the service.
The Shiny founder went on to reiterate his pledge to take a Gaikai server to every major city around the world. He stated that 67 per cent of the UK currently has enough broadband capacity to use Gaikai, with 60 per cent of North American homes able to use the service.