Game talkGaikai Video Demo

 Posted by (Visited 7791 times)  Game talk
Jul 012009

Dave Perry has a pretty compelling video demo of Gaikai, his new venture, on his blog. Like OnLive, this is also a “play a game remotely, stream a video and send controller data back over the wire” system, apparently just using Flash as the delivery mechanism.

(1) No installing anything. (I’m running regular Windows Vista, with the latest Firefox and Flash is installed.)

(2) This is a low-spec server, it’s a very custom configuration, fully virtualized. Why? To keep the costs to an absolute minimum. We had 7 Call of Duty games running on our E3 demo server recently.

(3) Data travel distance is around 800 miles (round trip) on this demo as that’s where the server is. I get a 21 millisecond ping on that route. My final delay will be 10 milliseconds as I just added a server in Irvine California yesterday, but it’s not added to our grid yet. (So this demo is twice the delay I personally would get, the good news is I don’t notice it anyway.)

(4) This server is not hosted by a Tier 1 provider, just a regular Data Center in Freemont California. Also, I’m not cheating and using fiber connections for our demos. This is a home cable connection in a home.

(5) We don’t claim to have 5,000 pages of patents, we didn’t take 7 years, and we do not claim to have invented 1 millisecond encryption and custom chips. As you can see, we don’t need them, and so our costs will be much less. 😉

(6) We designed this for the real internet. The codecs change based on the need of the application, and based on the hardware you have. (Like Photoshop must be pixel perfect.)

(7) Our bandwidth is mostly sub 1 megabit across all games. (Works with Wifi, works on netbooks with no 3D card etc.)

— Gaikai – Video Demo.

Vid after the break:

Gaikai Technology Demo (JULY 1, 2009) from David Perry on Vimeo.

  12 Responses to “Gaikai Video Demo”

  1. certainly looks interesting, and the implications for a free-to-play (or free-to-try) games is staggering… but will it work?

    1. is the bandwidth really there yet? if players can notice the lag, at all, you’re dead
    2. what kind of machine do you need on the other end? can’t afford to buy a PC to process every concurrent player’s game experience rendered at 30+ fps. the current MMO model works because you can squeeze hundreds/thousands of players onto the same server. if we have to pay for the client machines, too, isn’t that going to be prohibitively expensive?
    3. how much outgoing bandwidth are you going to need, as a game service provider? yeah, we eat the cost for patching right now — but this trades out a patching cost for 1mb per concurrent player. that seems like a lot.

  2. Looks interesting but I can’t help but be skeptical. Is the bandwidth really there? Is the quality and response time good enough?

    I saw a similar thing about WoW on the iPhone and it looked impressive… but almost unbelievable 🙂

  3. I can’t even get the video of his demo up that quickly…(heck, Metaplace takes a bit of time to load up sometimes at a distance of less than 800 miles 😉 ). If the server is virtualized, then it is running a relatively low-spec graphics driver (at least what I’ve seen for VMware and Xen).

    Also, how will the application work with “right clicks”? Flash owns the right clicks.

  4. […] System Requirements: None I found this video demonstration on Raph Koster’s site here. […]

  5. Well, my reaction is that a 10ms ping time is a fantasy in my life. Ping times to game servers run more like 70ms, and that’s on a good day. It’s like they’ve never heard of control loop latency. (And how bad it is). Color me highly skeptical. There is probably a class of games, mostly turn-based, for which this will work well.

  6. A contestant of onlive ?

  7. Skepticism is probably warranted. But I hope it succeeds brilliantly. For one thing, it would mean that we could embed ANY participating virtual world in a web page.

  8. “no plugin, no install” Well, you need flash.

    The ‘right clicks’ seem like a bit issue indeed.

  9. Flash penetration is so high at this point… not an issue.

    Right clicks are indeed a factor. There is no 100% cross-browser way to handle right-clicks with Flash.

  10. Well, OnLive must be a little pissed right now.

    Re: Latency — I can only speak for England, but most of the South can easily reach London in 5-6MS. Modern DSL networks are pretty snappy (can’t speak for cable, I imagine it might be a little more convoluted).

    I did a lot of work with screencapping and then encoding for broadcast (which is basically what this is), and 1mbps is certainly enough for console-level resolution — and anyway, bandwidth on that scale isn’t a problem — this one always comes down to the hardware/upload bandwidth outlay for the service provider.

  11. Seems ok, but two things I can do at home that he didn’t address:

    1> turn all the details up
    2> play at 2560×1600

    Looks like he’s playing most of these on, what, a 1600×1200 desktop, in a window that looks to be about 800×600. That’s not how I want to play my games (except maybe tetris).

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.