Gaikai launches closed beta in Europe

Cloud gaming service founder Dave Perry invites testers to "bring servers to their knees"

The closed beta test for cloud gaming service Gaikai will launch across Europe later this month, founder Dave Perry has confirmed.

Widely expected to first begin trials in the US, Perry revealed the decision to launch in Europe was undertaken "as all three founders are European".

The announcement comes just one week after rival game streaming service, OnLive, also confirmed it will begin its beta test stage across the US.

"Our closed beta has two goals," said Perry, "number one is to bring our servers to their knees so we can choose the final configuration before we start ordering large quantities of them. (We think we have it worked out, but you can be certain our staff will be swapping cards and testing different processors as each day goes by.)

"Goal number two is to test older computers. We've had lots of emails from people describing their computers and 99% of them have ample performance. Remember you don't even need a 3D card to see a 3D game run on our service. I know this is strangely counter to what people expect, but we actually want to get plenty of basic office-grade XP machines testing so we can make sure we can reach the widest audience possible."

Over 30,000 people have already signed up to the closed beta and will be contacted one at a time based on locations and hardware specs, said Perry. "At certain times of the day we will be inviting people in streams (every few seconds) to challenge the servers."

Once a hardware configuration in Europe has been chosen, the next phase will be the USA Nationwide Network Test using eight Tier-1 data centres, he continued. Phase two of that will take place in Europe, in the same test.

First revealed at this year's E3, Gaikai's streaming games-on-demand aims to make videogames accessible to the sorts of audiences that visit easy-to-use Flash sites.

"The professional games industry has never had access to those countless millions of clicks, but now they do," Perry has previously said of his new service.

"If the iPhone App store has taught us anything, when you make it easy to check things out, you get a billion downloads,"

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