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Reader Comments (15)

Posted: Mar 14th 2012 12:11PM Callagan said

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Wow... this is... uh... well, I hope the price was good?

Also, streaming services don't work for me. Too much delay, and I'd rather just use my bandwidth and download the game.

Posted: Mar 14th 2012 12:11PM SnarlingWolf said

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I do think streaming gaming is the future, it is just a matter of the technology getting good enough to give crisp beautiful graphics over the net. It is also a factor of getting to a cost that companies can all afford to do it.

I won't say this guy is much of a predictor though. I think everyone has known for a decade that a lot of a titles success is determined by how quickly and easily people can get in and how much they like the trial phase.

Although this company seems to be the only one doing MMOs right now, there are a few different cloud/streaming gaming services trying to take off. It is just so early in the times that most of the early ones will fail but within 5-10 years the technology of not downloading/installing a game will be the norm.

Be ready for all the doomsayers (mostly people who pirate games) who say how much they fear a company controlling their access to a title they bought though. Fortunately that's always been the case for MMOs so it is an easier sell to that crowd.

Posted: Mar 14th 2012 1:39PM Sinnix said

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@SnarlingWolf I'm with you, I get the impression that the cloud and streaming technologies are going to be a big part of our future. But, and I'm being honest here, it's a little scary.
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Posted: Mar 14th 2012 12:54PM Gaugamela said

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So they're like Onlive?

Posted: Mar 14th 2012 4:09PM Neiloch said

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@Gaugamela but not nearly as successful.
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Posted: Mar 14th 2012 1:28PM Space Cobra said

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That's just "crazy talk", Justin, next you are gonna say the Ipad 3 is coming out sometime this year!


But onto the topic-at-hand: I heard of Gaikai very early, before most cloud services. There's always been some hint of MMOs being hosted via the service, but I am not sure all companies will do that. There is truth in what he says and an allure of instantly trying out a game without all the form-filling and download hassles, but I can't see a game company, particularly a big one, giving up on their "control" of how the game is released.

While the "old style" (or current style) will still be there, Gaikai (and other cloud services) are basically asking to be the "gate keeper" of such content, or more precisely, "delivery option". This is like the old GEnie/CompuServe/AOL thingie that had you sign onto their service and if you wanted to go onto the "internet proper", you had to go through them. (Some of us later found local Net providers later on either through businesses or Colleges, but that's another story.)

It's an allure to some companies, but I can't see others giving up control or, they may try to set up their own cloud service, which really would just fragment things. It depends how each company views "the cloud" and outsourcing to another company. Some may not mind it, others may want more control and others may only put only certain products on it.

Funny how this goes in waves; I know I am still somewhat "gated" with my ISP in some things, but this just harkens back to specific gating of content over a "free internet" (which isn't the same internet it was years ago admittedly).

Posted: Mar 14th 2012 2:00PM Valentina said

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I've been saying for years this will be the future of gaming, including MMO's. It's gonna bring many graphic intensive games to people who don't have/can't afford monster machines. It's scarey, because it's going to effect the market in regards to hardware we're so used to upgrading all the time. I'm really curious to see how it effects this market and in what ways.

Posted: Mar 14th 2012 2:34PM (Unverified) said

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I am not a fan of the cloud. Personally, I think it's more of a wall cloud with a tornado inside.

For one thing, graphics streaming over the internet limit things. Ever use LogMeIn or GoToMyPC? They have options to limit graphics to make things faster, so I am not seeing streaming an MMO with any smoothness unless graphics are cranked way down.

There is also the matter of why do companies want all of our data "in the cloud"? For one thing, it takes away our ability to access what we want, when we want and how we want. First, you have to have an internet connection which means you count on your ISP being up, not just your own computer. You also have to count on the fact that the network you're logging into will be up AND be secure. Anyone remember the PSN hack a few months back? Sure seems a lot forgot it.

And the more we place our data on the cloud, the greater the risk we have of having information hacked. We already have lost so much of our personal privacy and identity theft has exploded. I just don't see these services being secure enough, if they ever can be.

And let's not forget the most important thing about the cloud. It requires bandwidth. Playing an MMO on your computer now doesn't take a lot of bandwidth or data usage. Your computer handles the graphics and sends a few bytes of information to the server to tell it and others what you are doing. If you have to download graphics, it goes from a few bytes to several megabytes which will add up fast. In this day and age of data caps and expensive overage charges, you would think people would be moving away from cloud based solutions to local solutions.

You play a few days of an MMO as well as use an online backup service once or twice a month, I could see someone hitting even a 250GB cap which is one of the higher caps out there.

Posted: Mar 14th 2012 4:47PM pixledriven said

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All you guys saying that streaming games doesn't work... Try out EQII's streaming client. I've yet to have a problem.

Posted: Mar 14th 2012 5:06PM SnarlingWolf said

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@pixledriven

Since I doubt I will ever try that, are you saying they have a cloud version that stores no information on your desktop?

Or are you saying they have a client that only installs basic information and then as you log in it streams the rest of the files and data to your machine in the background like almost every major MMO out there currently does and is not what this service is providing at all?
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Posted: Mar 14th 2012 6:43PM Germaximus said

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I've been gaming on OnLive for over a year now and its been amazing.

Cloud gaming rocks. Until Gaikai offers more than demos tho it doesnt impress me when i have OnLive to play full games on.

Posted: Mar 14th 2012 8:47PM Sorithal said

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Definitely sounds interesting.

And that would be really really really cool if they could eliminate worry of hardware specs and such. Will be neat to see where they end up getting with this thing.

Though I really don't agree with the idea that "F2P is the way of the future". But that's not really the topic of this article, so... not diving into that further.

Posted: Mar 15th 2012 10:37AM ntellect said

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@Sorithal
I dunno... I started with P2P MMOs assuming they were 'better' quality, but now completely addicted to Eden Eternal I have to say there is some love for F2P. For the first thing its great to play a new game completely free. For someone like me, I can tell if I want to play a game long term in the first 30 or so minutes. I dislike? Delete and no loss to me. Also the model of just paying for what I want vs paying a constant sub. One of the issues I have is sometimes I may stop playing a game or dont play it often for a particular month, yet still have to pay the fee. Yes, I can unsub then re-sub but why go through that administrative overhead. Just seems easier to charge people for what they want to do.

That said, getting the cash shop balance down is definitely an art that has to be done delicately. Cash Shops should never offer anything that gives buyers and advantage over non-buyers. Cash shops should never close off the game to non-buyers (i.e. - you cannot realistically advance without buying x item). Im looking at you CoH (forcing me to purchase a 5 dollar item so the 'next' icon would let me start the game - bad form!)

Looking at some of the recent F2P such as RaiderZ, Lime Odyssey and even Guild Wars 2 (though techncially B2P), its no longer the case that P2P have the better quality. F2P is catching up.

I would stay with a F2P game longer even if all end content is exhausted than a P2P simply for the fact I wont feel like Im wasting a sub.
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Posted: Mar 15th 2012 10:31AM ntellect said

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Doesnt Blizzard do this already? When I downloaded WoW (Jan 2012) it downloaded a "base client" I assume, which allowed me to play but also continued to download the rest in the background. I like this model the best because it gets me into the game quicker.

Definitely agree with the article, the major pain is seeing something you want to play knowing you have to wait 1-2+ hours to download the client to see it. Related, why are the download speeds so slow for clients? I typically only get roughly 500KB speed, when my line can support 2.3MB. Is it there bandwidth? If they opened that up I could at least download a full 6GB client in less than 1 hour which would be ideal.

Back to GaiKai - ability to play or test a game Im interested in instantly is a plus as long as the experience was quality. Wouldnt want to see that fuzzy artifacting that goes with compressed video.

Posted: Mar 15th 2012 1:25PM Sorithal said

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Well. My problem with F2P over P2P is that developers typically -need- to depend on a cash shop in F2P. That means that a portion of development time will be spent on adding in new items, skills, or whatever else to that cash shop. And in most games there's usually no way to get that stuff in-game to where you -have- to buy it if you want to get it. I'm a collector so I personally get agitated at stuff like that. Especially because you end up spending more than $15 per month typically. That and a tactic I've seen several F2Ps do is they make things very inconvenient for you unless you pay money to change that. And that usually costs at least 10-20 bucks.

That's why I personally enjoy P2P more - because you don't have to worry about paying sudden bursts of cash to get a new shiny mount, or having to pay money to unlock a new class/character slot, or even having to pay money to unlock a zone's quests. You basically have unlimited access to the everything the game has to offer as long as you pay ~5-15 bucks a month (depending on the game/subscription plan).

'course that doesn't mean I'm entirely against F2Ps, and I know there are many out there that don't try to shove their cash shops down your throat. Looking forward to GW2 for example, but I'm not really wanting to touch games like LotRO or CoX anymore.
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