Agawi, formerly known as iSwifter, said on Tuesday that it has partnered with Microsoft to bring Windows Azure-based cloud gaming to Windows 8. Popular AAA games will be made available in the coming months for instant play on Windows 8 devices with no additional work required by developers, the company said.
According to Agawi, the service will stream Facebook and mid-core games, web-based MMOs and PC core games to Windows 8-based devices using Microsoft's Windows Azure cloud platform. Agawi said it will be demoing the streaming platform on Windows 8 devices at the Cloud Gaming USA event in San Francisco, September 11-12.
“Game developers want to focus on building great games, not worrying about back-end issues like scalability and platform management. With Windows Azure, Agawi 2.0 enables developers to make high-performance games easily accessible across devices with the high-quality graphics and virtually instant game downloads,” said Walid Abu-Hadba, Vice-President at Microsoft. “For gamers, Windows 8 delivers a fast, fluid and no-compromise experience that opens the door to exciting new form factors."
According to the company profile, the streaming platform is capable of supporting Apple's iPad, Android and Windows 8 tablets, Smart TVs, PCs, Macs and more. It already supports 3 million users in over 150 countries that are playing thousands of social, mid-core, and hard-core games from leading publishers on their iPads and PCs, the company said.
The Agawi service originally hit the iPad scene as the iSwifter Games Browser, allowing iPad owners to play Flash-based titles like War Commander, Edgeworld, Dark Orbit, Avenger's Alliance, Empires & Allies, DoubleDown Casino and more. It was free to use for the first 7 days, and then required $2.99 for additional use. The app quickly became popular, causing iSwifter to anticipate more than $10 million in revenue for 2011.
Then one year later, the company released v2.0 of its cloud gaming platform and renamed itself as Agawi. As previously reported, this new version will build upon the iSwifter Game Browser by offering mid-core and hardcore gaming titles, competing with the likes of OnLive, Gaikai and CiiNOW. Whether or not Microsoft has made an investment in the Agawi platform is unknown at this point, but its possible given AMD's involvement with the CiiNOW platform.
"The cloud gaming platform works with leading game publishers, online retailers, OEMs and network operators to deliver quality gaming experiences anytime, anywhere," Agawi said on Tuesday. "It is committed to providing high-performance, scalable and cost-effective solutions to a variety of business models through its state-of-the-art streaming technology."
Agawi 2.0 is slated to go live alongside Windows 8 in late October.