David Perry, whom some might remember from his work on games like Earthworm Jim and MDK has released a new video showcasing Gaikai, a new technology that lets you stream games in a web-browser, with a remote server doing all the heavy lifting.
Not to be confused with On-Live, which uses it's own client hardware device, all Gaikai needs is a web browser and the latest version of Adobe Flash.
Gaikai is a revolutionary new technology that lets you play any game online in your browser. In the age of the cloud, when all your documents, email, photos and videos are instantly reachable online, it seems archaic that you still need to install gigabytes of game files on an expensive PC with an even more expensive video card. And even then you can only play from that specific computer!
Gaikai takes a radical new approach – we host the games, we run them, we worry about hardware and software updates, and we stream them to you. Full resolution, full speed, stereo sound, low lag, no compromise. The only thing you need is a browser and an internet connection.
The video demo showcases a surprisingly smooth experience and is purportedly running on a client with a 21ms ping to the server (similar to the latency most here would experience to local gaming servers in Australia). David demos a variety of recent games including Spore and Need for Speed Pro Street, World of Warcraft, Eve Online and even a Nintendo 64 emulator running Mariokart.
If it's as good as it looks, this may well be the perfect way to play a lot of modern games without having to upgrade, but we're going to stay skeptical at this point because there's no way to judge what kind of input latency we're seeing there.
Most gamers can probably recall playing a first person shooter or other fast-paced game on a laggy plasma or early LCD monitors and how bad that lag feels, so 20 or 30 more ms from an Internet connection could only be worse right?
Nevertheless, it's still very cool tech and would be extremely handy for say, trying a game before you buy. Purchasing a 20 minute trial of a full game with no need for lengthy installs or hefty system requirements would be way better than any demo, input lag or no - even from a Mac or Linux machine.