Posts Tagged ‘InBrowser’
OnLive launched in the summer of 2010 streaming games to PCs or Macs, and now two years later it has returned to E3 feeling pretty good about the state of cloud gaming and its place in it. Among a series of announcements going out are news that it will be demonstrating gaming on smart TVs for the first time on LG’s G2 Google TVs with support for up to four universal OnLive controllers at once. The Google TV viewer app has been out, although OnLive gaming has been closely tied to Vizio’s upcoming Google TV models in the past while LG showed off Gaikai access at CES. It’s not available on retail units yet, but is expected to be added in a software update, with an eye towards adding support for Cinema 3D gaming later on. At the same time it’s rolling out an update to its in-browser gaming clients that lets publishers and retailers launch players into games without creating a login.
Finally, we’ve got the new OnLive MultiView feature that lets players see the video stream of another player without exiting their own session. As suggested in the press release (all are included after the break), it can let you check in on a friend’s game as it happens, or even see from a teammate’s perspective during a co-op match. That feature is currently in closed beta and is set to launch later this year, read on for all the details about what OnLive is up to and a list of games coming soon that includes Darksiders II, Civilization V: Gods and Kings and more.
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Intrigued by OnLive, but don’t really want to invest in a glorified set-top box and weirdo controller? You’re in luck. GaiKai, a firm specializing in video game advertising, has launched a streaming game service that lets you play new games right in your browser. Nothing to download, even. Like literally, click here, wait for the popup (takes about 10 seconds if you have the bandwidth) and you’re playing Mass Effect 2.
I played through the intro and it worked like a charm with only a few stutters and artifacts, pulling about 5-6Mb/s of data on average for a 720p stream, but on a second go (to get a better screenshot, which I failed to do), it froze up and gave me a “recalibrating” error:
Not that this is necessarily GaiKai’s fault, but I would be mad if I’d paid for this. As it is, I can’t really get worked up about an ad not functioning correctly.
The strategy is basically a form of mega-advertising. Instead of putting a banner on a website that says “Hey come download the demo,” you literally embed the entire demo, and all the user has to do is click on it. Or, say, fill out a short survey, as this blog post by GaiKai CEO Dave Perry points out, and which you’ll have to do if you want to play Dead Space 2. After all, that bandwidth ain’t free. But it’s getting close.
It makes lots of sense, of course, though OnLive did a lot of work in proving they can scale it. Why shouldn’t you go to a website and have the demo “play”? For full games, I’d say a local install is still very worthwhile, but for demos, which take up a ton of space, take forever to download, and you only play for a half an hour or so? Bring on the streaming.