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Gaikai's David Perry on solving latency issues with streaming games to your browser

James Egan

Gaikai is a company we've taken note of in the past few months, one that aims to eliminate hardware barriers to gaming -- including MMOs like World of Warcraft and EVE Online -- by streaming games to your browser via their "Streaming Worlds" technology. Despite what Gaikai has said and demonstrated thus far, their technology -- which essentially turns games into an interactive video stream -- has been met with skepticism. This is not surprising. How they'll handle latency issues has been debated at length in our own comments at Massively and pretty much everywhere else online that Gaikai is mentioned.

A recent interview with Gaikai's David Perry sheds a little more light on how they aim to deliver on smooth game performance. Perry spoke with Develop writer Rob Crossley and says, "No one has ever tried to solve the issue in the way we are."

He adds, "We're not trying to connect someone from England to California and try to maintain a good stream. What we're doing is putting a local server in every major city around the world. We're going to put servers in those cities based on demographics and demand. Moving ahead, we'll look for areas that might get latency problems and we'll put another server in there."

Perry contrasts Gaikai's system of hosting and streaming games as video with (Google-owned) YouTube's server infrastructure. He says, "The big difference between Gaikai and YouTube is that it's not in Google's interest to put a copy of that video in every major city, which is why we sometimes have to wait for the movie to buffer. But, imagine the possibilities if Google placed the data of its YouTube movies just twenty miles from your house; it would change everything."

Perry adds, "That's what Gaikai is; it's a completely different model of server infrastructure." He states that Gaikai will monitor a user's connection speed and based on that data, select the best server to stream games from. He says that Gaikai will launch with 12 servers, with more data centers to be set up each month moving forward.

There's plenty more in the interview about Gaikai's server technology and business model, with examples of how game companies and the gamers themselves can benefit from the service. Have a look at Develop's interview with David Perry for more info about Gaikai and what it may bring to the games industry.

[Via Negative Gamer]

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