Dave Perry‘s Gaikai could be very big. It’s one of the few companies that are looking to bring gaming to the cloud. Why pay for an expensive console, a suped up computer or even why pass for expensive spinny discs when you could use a mundane machine to tap into Gaikai’s fat servers and play the latest games for a flat rate.
Sure, yeah, okay; you need fat broadband but an increasing number of us have that.
Mass Effect 2 probably doesn’t count as the latest game either but it’s certainly a big title. Gaikai’s gone into live beta with the first 1,000 lucky users getting to play Mass Effect 2 via their PCs and Gaikai. The next wave of invites wil bring in 10,000 more.
Interestingly, Perry notes that both BioWare and Electronic Arts have been “very” supportive. Clearly EA can’t afford to annoy either Microsoft or PlayStation but they can certainly hope for a bold new market. If Gaikai’s only has half a successful as Perry hopes then then BioWare and EA will likely be very happy.
The other thing to note is that Gaikai’s website uses the word “free” a lot. Demos will be free. The title tag of the site describes Gaikai as a video game advertising network. It may well be the case that many of these games are ad supported. Let’s see, a cloud based solution, a gamer/social network and ad funded. Who wants to bet against Google growing interested if Gaikai begins to become successful. Or they could just be throwing the phrase “advertising network” in there to pulse their multiples up in advance of a buyout. Either way; good tactics.