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Gaikai is Now Cloud-Streaming MMORPGs

By - Source: Gaikai | B 17 comments
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Gaikai is currently streaming two MMORPGs, but it's not what you may think.

Gaikai CEO David Perry said on Thursday that Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons & Dragons Online have become the first MMORPGs to be streamed by Gaikai to a web browser near you. Available to adventurers in North America, the streaming version of LOTRO is reportedly up and running (although there's no sign of it as of this writing), with DDO to follow soon.

"Gaikai's game streaming service will make it easier than ever for new players to start their epic adventures in our immersive online worlds," said Craig Alexander, Vice President of Product Development, Turbine. "Anyone wishing to try these popular MMOs can now instantly launch the games inside their web browser completely eliminating any download wait times."

Both MMORPGs are wholly owned by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group and developed by Turbine. For those who want a little Hobbit action, LOTRO offers three ways to play: free, premium and VIP. All three accounts have a level cap of 75, but free players are limited to one character per sever unless they shell out real world cash for additional slots. Other freebie limitations include a 2 GP cap, standard login, limited chat abilities and more.

Now here's the catch to Gaikai's seemingly cool offering: it's not a permanent feature. The use of the word "try" in Gaikai's announcement means gamers can test the MMORPGs before actually downloading and installing the game to the hard drive. This Gaikai FAQ hosted on the LOTRO site confirms this, stating that Middle-earth fans are allowed to play up to one full hour in the browser before being kicked off and forced to download the installer. That said, Gaikai is serving up streaming demos as usual.

"For most players, this [hour] will allow you to create your character and complete the starting area for your race," reads the FAQ. "At the end of the trial, you will be logged out from the game and your character and progress will be stored on our servers. You will then be provided with links to download the game client to continue your adventure."

Back in January, Gaikai announced that it signed up with LG to deliver cloud gaming to LG Cinema 3D TVs starting with the 2012 lineup. However currently the company has only provided streaming demos which can be found on various places on the Internet as well as Gaikai's own online showcase. Gamers can test-drive Crysis 2, Assassins Creed Brotherhood, Battlefield Bad Company 2 and others within a web browser without having to worry about hardware restrictions.

Is streaming demos, to some degree, false advertisement? PC gamers who aren't fully aware of their hardware capabilities may try these streaming demos, thinking their components can handle the pressure. But once they've purchased and installed the software, only to discover it performs like a man running through quicksand, the funds can't be refunded and they're stuck with unusable software. PC gamers are better off downloading and installing an actual demo to see how it performs locally unless the full-blown version has a streaming version available (like with OnLive).

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  • -2 Hide
    shardey , March 9, 2012 5:43 AM
    Great idea, now bring it to the tablets!
  • 0 Hide
    yumri , March 9, 2012 5:45 AM
    never heard of them before now so has anyone heard of Gaikai before seeing this article on toms hardware?
  • -2 Hide
    beetlejuicegr , March 9, 2012 7:19 AM
    ye i heard gaikai and i think it was here in tomshardware.
    in the future , cloud gaming will enter our gaming lives for good, possibly wiping or minimizing software piracy . The (other) good thing will be us to be able to play our games from all hd devices hehe, from the beach, while shopping with wife :p  etc P
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , March 9, 2012 7:23 AM
    @yumri
    Yes.
  • -2 Hide
    memadmax , March 9, 2012 7:23 AM
    "Mashes button for flash heal"

    Ten seconds later...

    Tank dies, group wipes....

    Flash heal completed....
  • -3 Hide
    memadmax , March 9, 2012 7:30 AM
    This whole cloud tagphrase bs needs to stop....

    I mean, really, any online game is basically a "cloud" in the first place...

    The toons, and their related equipment etc are stored on servers over the internet.... the same as a "cloud".....

    ffs...
  • 0 Hide
    arlandi , March 9, 2012 8:21 AM
    great, now if only you can play it from the rest of the world....
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , March 9, 2012 11:07 AM
    I've actually been involved with Gaikai and can only say that you should give it a shot. I was pleasantly surprised when I was able to use it. True, it is dependant on your internet service which adds a different level of restrictions, however it also opens up a lot of new things as well. It 'could' also work as a piracy deterent, since many pirates claim to only dl the game to 'try it out' then buy it if it's good enough. Well, try it on Gaikai then buy it. Sometimes the release demo just isn't detailed enough or not even the finished product. Gaikai has a lot of potential.
  • 1 Hide
    alidan , March 9, 2012 11:11 AM
    memadmaxThis whole cloud tagphrase bs needs to stop....I mean, really, any online game is basically a "cloud" in the first place...The toons, and their related equipment etc are stored on servers over the internet.... the same as a "cloud".....ffs...


    yes, because we have 2 potentialy laggy bottle necks, we should accept a 2 more potentialy laggy bottleneck.

    every play on the high end of any mmo? i have, at least group wise, its even worse in raids, where you have less than half a second to press a button or the group dies, you fail to press that button fast enough or lag even slightly, you all die. now, we have an mmo, which can be laggy on the server side, or on the client side, 2 fail points, but useing this servive, you have from you to them, than from them to server, and people will hammer their servers harder than an mmo server, so expect to not be able to play at the high end of any game because of it.
  • 0 Hide
    zak_mckraken , March 9, 2012 12:36 PM
    I don't care about those games, but the idea of streaming as a demo and then buying and installing the whole game is interesting.
  • 2 Hide
    bokuden , March 9, 2012 1:05 PM
    Quote:
    Is streaming demos, to some degree, false advertisement? PC gamers who aren't fully aware of their hardware capabilities may try these streaming demos, thinking their components can handle the pressure. But once they've purchased and installed the software, only to discover it performs like a man running through quicksand, the funds can't be refunded and they're stuck with unusable software.


    Minimum and recommended specification requirements are on games for a reason. Think of a streamed demo as an interactive commercial.
  • 1 Hide
    jaber2 , March 9, 2012 1:33 PM
    I would go for full streaming mmo, but can't imagine running a 10 man raid with friends, this is a great idea for farmvile or mmo games that don't include killing mobs, maybe sims.
  • 2 Hide
    Tab54o , March 9, 2012 3:37 PM
    You people seem to be missing the point. You only get to play the browser version for ONE HOUR then you are forced to DL the game. You wont be raiding anything in an hour in browser mode. Its just a simple way to try it out with zero commitment.
  • -1 Hide
    theconsolegamer , March 10, 2012 3:29 AM
    Fuck Cloud gaming! They'll restrict the games you buy if you dumbasses let them get away with this shit
  • 0 Hide
    maxwebb , March 13, 2012 9:19 PM
    memadmaxThis whole cloud tagphrase bs needs to stop....I mean, really, any online game is basically a "cloud" in the first place...The toons, and their related equipment etc are stored on servers over the internet.... the same as a "cloud".....ffs...


    i couldn't agree with you more. i am so sick of the 'cloud' buzzword i'm ready to puke.

    here, use our 'cloud' browser-based rdp software... what 'cloud' has anything to do with the browser, the rdp connection, or the game itself is apparently way beyond me.

    next thing you know its gonna be: try our new cloud adwords, new salve for cloud hemorrhoids, send your kid to the new cloud college, use our new camera to capture clouds to your cloud, cloud clouds clouding cloud clouded cloud, cloud. cloud. cloud. cloud.
  • 0 Hide
    maxwebb , March 13, 2012 9:26 PM
    next thing you know, someone's gonna get the great idea to setup a multi-user rdp session so that everyone can watch the serving computer screen watch a movie. ... movie x: tune in at xx:xx, movie y: tune in at yy:yy, etc.

    what? we're gonna somehow get that 'cloud' buzzword in there so it'll be okay.
  • 0 Hide
    gbroad84 , January 28, 2013 9:49 AM
    What you guys are missing is that the "cloud" is a fundamentally different delivery system to normal servers. We are talking about massive scale systems far more powerful than what is economically viable by any individual business. Do some research on it. It's interesting stuff. The most important facet of it is that your system hardware becomes irrelevant. If your PC is powerful enough to run a web browser, its powerful enough to play the most intensive games. Why? Because the server is taking the processing load of the game off your pc and handling it on the server ("cloud") end.