Looks like OnLive could have some competition in the form of Gaikai, another cloud-computing service that promises performance gaming without a console. Unlike OnLive, which uses a standalone box, Gaikai streams games directly into your browser; we've already seen it streaming WoW to Apple's iPad. Intel Capital has just invested an unspecified amount [pdf link] into Gaikai, which will use the company's hexacore servers and SSDs.
Another partnership, with Limelight Networks, will give Gaikai the flexible infrastructure it needs to funnel gaming through to end-users. The concept behind cloud-gaming is straightforward: rather than having a console or games PC which you have to upgrade or maintain, the games run on remote servers: the visuals are squirted over the internet to a low-powered viewer (either a standalone box in the case of OnLive, or a browser plug-in with Gaikai) while your control movements are sent back.
Gaikai has already inked a deal with Electronic Arts, which will see EA titles like The Sims, Mass Effect and Medal of Honor available via the service; in short, this isn't just like playing Farmville in your browser. Availability is currently via beta invitation only; you can sign up to be considered here.
[image via MacStories]
INTEL CAPITAL AND LIMELIGHT NETWORKS MAKE STRATEGIC INVESTMENTS INTO GAIKAI
Technology Innovators Join Forces to Bring Cloud Based Game Streaming to the Masses
LOS ANGELES, July 20th, 2010. Gaikai Inc., the innovative cloud- based game streaming service, today announced Intel Capital and Limelight Networks (NASDAQ: LLNW) as investors in the company.
“Intel’s mind-blowingly fast CPUs have had a profound effect on our business model, allowing us to stream more games simultaneously while offering users a premium experience. Having Intel Capital buy into our vision as much as we buy into their processors makes this a great deal for both companies,” said David Perry, CEO of Gaikai Inc.
“Partnering with Limelight to leverage their globally distributed, high- performance platform will help ensure that the fidelity of our cloud- based gaming service is as graphically rich and responsive as a traditional console experience,” said David Perry, CEO of Gaikai Inc.
“Innovations in both content delivery technologies and the supporting data center architectures are transforming the future of gaming by enabling the distribution of leading edge games on a wide variety of connected devices to internet users worldwide,” said Lisa Lambert, Vice-President, Intel Capital. “Gaikai’s innovative interactive content network positions the company as a leading provider in the emerging area of cloud-based gaming and we look forward to working with Gaikai to provide new data center capabilities to support their technologies.”
“We believe Gaikai is well-positioned to help innovative game publishers capitalize on recent advancements in cloud computing to drive more rapid game adoption across an expanding universe of game-capable devices. The hyper-connected gamer will now have even more opportunities to enjoy their favorite pastime. Limelight Networks is pleased to be serving as a key strategic enablement partner that is helping Gaikai build their business and capitalize on this substantial market opportunity,” said Jeff Lunsford, chairman and chief executive officer, Limelight Networks, Inc.
Gaikai will launch in the summer of 2010, with servers powered by Intel’s Six-Core processors and Intel Solid State Drives, running through the key nodes of the Limelight network.
This investment announcement follows the recent announcement of a partnership deal with Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) which will see a number of EA’s top franchises including The Sims, Mass Effect and Medal of Honor streamed over Gaikai.
Gaikai offers the ability to play any game instantly inside the web browser with just one click, no big game download, no game install and no patching. This frictionless server-based, cloud-gaming technology is designed to dramatically increase both reach, and audience participation, while bringing down acquisition costs dramatically. By playing games remotely from Gaikai servers around the world, players simply play wherever they are browsing, removing the need to pay for advertising clicks to move gamers around on the Internet. This freedom to play anywhere opens up exciting business models as you can play on any video game retailer site, any news site, publisher sites, or even inside Facebook.
About Gaikai Inc.
Gaikai Inc, the new cloud based streaming service for video games and applications headed by game industry veteran David Perry, is headquartered in Southern California and funded by Benchmark Capital, TriplePoint Capital, Rustic Canyon Partners and a fourth mystery investor. The underlying technology for Gaikai was created by co-founders Andrew Gault and Rui Pereira who met while working together in The Netherlands. For more information, please visit: http://www.gaikai.com Twitter: http://twitter.com/gaikai_inc
About Intel Capital
Intel Capital, Intel's global investment organization, makes equity investments in innovative technology start-ups and companies worldwide. Intel Capital invests in a broad range of companies offering hardware, software, and services targeting enterprise, home, mobility, health, consumer Internet, semiconductor manufacturing and cleantech. Since 1991, Intel Capital has invested more than US$9.5 billion in over 1,050 companies in 47 countries. In that timeframe, 175 portfolio companies have gone public on various exchanges around the world and 241 were acquired or participated in a merger. In 2009, Intel Capital invested US$327 million in 107 investments with approximately 50 percent of funds invested outside the United States and Canada. For more information on Intel Capital and its differentiated advantages, visit www.intelcapital.com.
About Limelight Networks, Inc.
Limelight Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: LLNW) provides on-demand software, platform, and infrastructure services that help global businesses reach and engage audiences online or on any mobile or connected device, enabling them to enhance their brand presence, build stronger customer relationships, optimize their advertising, and monetize their digital assets. For more information, please visit http://www.limelightnetworks.com or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/llnw.