Perry: TV manufacturers "are all hungry for games"

Gaikai has streamed World of Warcraft across Xbox 360, iPad, Facebook to demonstrate ubiquity of screens

TV manufacturers are desperate to serve customers gaming channels with high-end videogames, as they look to take advantage of a market where customers expect all screens to offer identical content.

That's according to Gaikai CEO David Perry, who revealed last night that behind closed doors the streaming games service has been running demonstrations of World of Warcraft across multiple connected devices including home consoles and mobile, highlighting the cross-platform advantages of the technology.

"Where you put you screens in the most important thing. Every single television manufacturer is putting in an Ethernet socket on their TV. Make no mistake, they are all hungry for games... to put out a digital channel of high-quality games," said Perry, speaking at the London Games Conference last night.

"They're not prepared to put CDs in boxes, they are not prepared to put six core Intel CPUs with Nvidia 3D cards in every television. Which means the only possible way of doing this is to create the content elsewhere unless they want to advertise Peggle on their TV, which none of them want to do. They want to show Call of Duty, they want to show World of Warcraft. The fact is this isn't very far away, this is actually possible today.

"We've shown live demonstrations of World of Warcraft being played across Xbox 360, Facebook, iPad, notebooks, all playing together against each other streamed from servers."

Perry argued that customers expect their entertainment on demand and in any location, and with streaming technology developers can make one version of a game and take advantage of the reach to multiple hardware.

"This ubiquity is something that's very compatible with game developers - you make your game once and it is where ever you go. It would be great like Netflix, you pause your movie, go upstairs and continue elsewhere," he offered. "That's actually technically possible now."

"Put the consumer first, that's actually compatible with their lifestyle today. If we're going to try and sell them boxes they have to install on different devices and keep everything up to date, it's not putting them first."

He added that publishers using delivery services such Steam are giving their customers away to another company, a mistake in a market that offers multiple choice for consumers.

"There's some pretty scary conversations I've been having with publishers, they'll say to me 'we'll give all our customers to Steam because they make it easy for us'. Your digital future - you've giving it to Steam because that's easy for you to do? It is shocking.

"If it's a digital future you better own your digital customers and be really, really good at taking care of them because it's awfully easy for them to move elsewhere. As they went from MySpace, when they move, they move together, it's a network effect."

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Latest comments (16)

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 10 years ago
Much as I respect Perry and love the Gakai tech, not ALL consumers want ALL their games delivered digitally. Still, I can see that format being huge if it's affordable and doesn't require a ridiculous set of restrictions that place it beyond the more stubborn of us non-digital die-hards out there.
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Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game10 years ago
The problem I see is that in some cases you have your portable device in an area with no or restricted wifi, if the whole market went this way, you can't play a one player game if you can't stream it. It is the same problem as Ubisofts always connected DRM on a laptop. You have problems when you switch ISPs, and they mess up the transition, leaving you without Internet for 2 or 3 months.
Sometimes your connection keeps dropping out, knocking you off online games, I don't want to be knocked off single player needlessly
I'm not saying it's a bad thing, but I don't want the whole industry to move this way, unless you buy a normal digital copy and get automatic cloud version rights, in a njust not dissimilar to blurays giving you access to a digital download copy as a bonus.
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Antony Johnston Writer & Narrative Designer 10 years ago
Yeah, this tech impressive and desirable as it might be simply can't become ubiquitous until network connections, prices and caps get sorted out. There's still a huge proportion of the audience on slow, heavily capped connections. And let's not even think about the conniptions the mobile carriers must be having at the thought of so much data flying around on their networks.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Antony Johnston on 5th November 2010 9:33am

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Show all comments (16)
Sergio Santos Freelance 3D Artist 10 years ago
I think it would be a smart move for Gaikai and OnLive to partner with TV manufacturers, so they include this gaming systems in their TVs
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Sandy Lobban Founder, Noise Me Up10 years ago
Im my own personal opinion,

In general I like the idea, and spotify is a great example and interface for music that is used in this way. Im not sure how much you play a game in one location and then switch to another location however, apart from being in your own home and on a mobile device when out and about. Its a hugely more engaging experience than music, taking up all of your sensory attention. Therefore games tend to be for when you have a bit of down time in life. Not something you need or use in a range of situations. Bandwidth aside, cloud music works because music is a more passive medium and can be applied to all different lifestyle and social situations. Just my own view. :)
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 10 years ago
The problems with any tech delivery system will indeed be cost versus as many users with the ability to get the most out of them as possible. Also, when music or smaller-format games get thrown into the mix with much larger console or PC games as "desirable" there's going to be a little issue with storage.

How much storage space does the most powerful portable device have today and how much will future ones have? I'd guess that no phone or iOS device could store a beefy RPG and multiple saves even if it ran smoothly in some form or another.

Add movies, photos and other stuff and unless someone starts making game-only devices (which seem like a step backwards until you realize that not only would the price point be pretty low, you could have multiple manufacturers for the device with game publishers acting as content providers, not hardware pushers), we're back to the "console wars" crap that's a lost cause by this point.

I'd love to see a set top box where you pay for games you need streamed and saved on a drive with the option to have a specially encoded physical disc (that can only be used on that system and a few tandem units in the same household should the need arise. This would get more money spent on making games and supporting devs rather that be wasted on marketing campaigns and stupid midnight launches among other things...

But I'm just throwing ideas up in the air and seeing where they land after too many hours awake, so don't take me too seriously...
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Jma Programmer, Crytek10 years ago
I might have not understood what you meant. But, if games, movies and music are going to be streamed there is no need to store anything, the game and saves would be stored online.
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Kevin Mcsherry studio manager, FreeStyleGames10 years ago
Surely the point here is that "every tv manufacturer is putting an ethernet connection on their tv", creating a new platform for gaming with a very wide market reach. It certainly won't replace existing platforms overnight, instead it's place is alongside multiple other devices which can easily and conveniently connect consumers to their favourite gaming experiences. Game companies which can recognise these new platform opportunities and create new ips with full consideration for multiple platforms (and of course their limitations) will command an even greater share of our world's expanding gaming market.
And one of the biggest benefits of cloud gaming is that we move away from consumers having to constantly spend money on upgrading hardware - lowering one of the biggest barriers to entry for younger gamers.
Looking good for the long term......
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Soeren Lund Producer, Io Interactive10 years ago
If the built-in browsers on TVs are to play the streaming game content they would need a controller input and parser unit as well. I certainly won't be playing games with the remote :-)
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Andrew Vine Studying Visual Communication Design, Ohio State University10 years ago
More heavy bandwidth sucking devices.
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Eliot Lloyd Studying Computer Games Design and Production, Northumbria University10 years ago
If they were serious about trying to make TV's a console-free gaming platform, they'd be putting wireless receivers rather than ethernet cables surely? I'm sure a good proportion of gamers don't want even more wires going into the back of their TV or trailing along the floor.
I mean, I could be wrong of course. Just seems that the ethernet sockets are more of an afterthought.
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Andrew Wilson 3D Artist 10 years ago
I'm now living in New Zealand, was laggy enough playing Halo connected to the UK - I can't see these services investing in servers for countries like NZ and streaming from far afield would plain not work. I can see the next big console under my TV in a few years, maybe without the discs...
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 10 years ago
I might have not understood what you meant. But, if games, movies and music are going to be streamed there is no need to store anything, the game and saves would be stored online.</em>

Oh, I know that Gabe... but what does one do should something happen to their online content and any sort of backups? If you rely solely on a cloud for holding your stuff, what happens when there's a big storm? As long as there's some sort of backup plan (literally and figuratively) that's 100% foolproof/hackproof/user-friendly/affordable for all, then it's a good, nor a GRAT idea.

If this is yet another product that shuts out budget-minded consumers who can't afford and entry-level set top box, it's going to bee seen as needless to some who are happy and already paying too much for some current cable or others entertainment services.

I'd say the box should be cheap - let consumers pay for the content they want when they want it and not get trapped into contracts, stupid stuff they don't need seen as "mandatory" by service providers, or other nonsense. Hell, make the box so easy to set up, the folks who still can't set a DVD (or VCR) clock can get out of the box, plug in and get their game/movie/TV on within ten minutes or so.

THAT would be a good start.
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Andrew Morriss Animator, Team 1710 years ago
I'm so looking forward to playing WoW against some guy on his iPad, while I leap around him like a ninja on my keyboard and mouse. As much as its going to be impressive seeing CoD: Black Ops on an iPhone, I wouldn't expect to be able to play it through a touch interface. I suspect we're going to see a rise in beautiful graphic adventure style games for the mobile platforms, that showcase the rendering advantages of streaming, yet don't require a complex and precise interface. I'm pretty sure that most TV owners aren't very interested in WoW or CoD anyway. Isn't the casual market much bigger?
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One thing for sure - we're gonna find out!
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One thing for sure - we're gonna find out!
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