Why Sony chose Gaikai over OnLive
Talking in an exclusive interview with games™ Gaikai’s David Perry has explained what he believes are some of the technical and business differences between Gaikai and OnLive that prompted Sony to choose Gaikai as a partner. “There are a lot of differences,” Perry says. “The first is that we’re web capable, we were the first to be able to stream games into a web page.” According to Perry OnLive said it could stream games into web pages but never showed them running games in every day applications like Facebook. “They would use the web page to launch their own applications, which are two totally different things.” Perry claims. “Just recently Goggle IO showed Gaikai running in the Chrome browser and without even Flash or Java, it just ran natively. So that, the power of the web is Gaikai’s number one benefit.”
Perry believes data centre distribution was also key, and OnLive, he says, only launched with three data centres, in contrast to Gaikai’s twenty four. “We just got the Guinness World record award for the most widespread cloud gaming network,” he explains, “so we ended up with eighty eight countries with our structure of data centres and I think we’ll continue to add more and more.” According to Perry Gaikai also built the fastest network, has the highest quality servers, the highest quality compression, and can deliver higher quality images and sound fidelity than the competition, making it the best Cloud gaming prospect on a technical level.
In addition to that, Perry claims, Gaikai has built up an attractive set of partnerships with over forty publishers including EA, and the likes of Wal-Mart, Best buy, Youtube and Samsung – all of which have faith in the ability of Gaikai to deliver. “ So if you looked at all that from Sony’s point of view, you go ah ha!” says Perry who claims that wasn’t the only reason Sony choose to partner with Gaikai. The difference maker in his mind was how Gaikai approached the whole Cloud gaming concept. “Our strategy was a business strategy, and theirs [OnLive’s] strategy was to build a cloud version of Steam” he says, ”and that meant you were a retailer and you were competing against Wal-Mart and Best buy and EA and everybody else.” That ‘Cloud retailer’ stand from OnLive, Perry claims, was markedly different from how Gaikai was perceived. “Everybody looked to Gaikai as a company looking to help. That was honestly what we were, simply a company trying to help”, says Perry. “We said, you keep all your money, all we want to do is be the network.” It was an approach more like the open cloud services side of some one like Amazon, Perry suggest, rather than another competitive retail model, which opened up more doors, including Sony’s. “It was very disarming and spreading like wildfire, so we were signing deals left, right and centre.”
For more on the Sony/Gaikai deal and how Cloud gaming could define the PS4 and next generation of consoles pick up games™ Issue 125 , on sale 02/08/2012.