Agawi cloud game streaming headed to Windows 8, focused on 'mid-core and hardcore' games

Cloud streaming provider Agawi (formerly "iSwifter") is making a second major push with its cloud-based game streaming service alongside Windows 8 this October. Beyond the social content it already brings to the iPad -- "more than 12,000" Facebook games -- Agawi's second run at streaming is more focused on what it calls "mid-core" and "hardcore" games. But what does that mean? Executive chairman Peter Relan says "mid-core" means "web-based MMOs with a PC download," versus PC downloads representing the "hardcore." The example video (below the break) shows Agawi working with a variety of games, though none of the titles in the video confirm potential content partners for the service (Relan teases a fourth quarter reveal of more news). And today, Agawi announced its collaboration with Microsoft Azure, resulting in cloud game streaming across the world of Windows 8 -- tablets, PCs, and even its phones.

"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 launch PR promises. Input methods for games vary dramatically by platform, and we've already seen what happens when you shove tablet-based touch controls onto a console/PC game (it ain't pretty). "That's a publisher decision," Relan says. "We support the idea of d-pads on the tablet itself. We support pure touch gesture on the tablet. We support point-and-click on the screen -- touch and tap. We support swipe for scrolling. We support a full controller, like an Xbox console controller," he adds.

And what of Windows Phone 8 devices? "The tech obviously works on Windows 8, so it works on Windows 8 phones," Relan says. "I think on Windows 8 phone, what is interesting and I'm very curious to see is the size of the real estate available. As you can see, phones, even with the rumored iPhone 5, everyone's heading towards a slightly larger screen, right? I would say that with the current screens that we're seeing on some of the largest phones, it is entirely possible. With smaller screens, the real estate is pretty challenging. The controls are usually problematic."Beyond that, however, is Agawi's reliance on x86 architecture to run its streaming client -- only the x86-based Surface tablet works with Agawi (as well as other x86-based Win 8 tablets) for now, and there aren't any announced WP8 devices with x86 architecture. That limitation might be allowable to the "hardcore" folks looking for a quick Diablo 3 session from the couch, but will it matter to their kids who just want to play some Farmville on Mommy's tablet? We'll find out later this year, as Agawi's Windows 8 streaming service launches with Microsoft's next big OS update this October.

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Agawi Joins Forces with Microsoft to Bring Windows Azure-Based Cloud Gaming to Windows 8

Agawi to stream Facebook social and mid-core games, web-based MMOs and PC core games to Windows 8 devices using Microsoft's Windows Azure cloud platform

Menlo Park, Calif.-September 10, 2012-Today Agawi, the cloud-based games streaming platform for "any game, anywhere, instantly," is announcing a collaboration with Microsoft that will enable a variety of games on Windows 8 devices, utilizing the Windows Azure platform for streaming from the cloud.

Agawi, formerly iSwifter, recently launched its version 2.0 to offer cloud streaming of all forms of games content-including social Facebook games as well as mid-core and hardcore titles-to all devices. 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, who are encouraged to contact the company at to be included in the developer partner program.

"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."

"We are delighted to work together with Microsoft to bring Agawi cloud-based game streaming to Windows 8 via the Windows Azure platform," said Peter Relan, Executive Chairman of Agawi.

Agawi will be demoing their cloud-based games streaming platform on Windows 8 devices at the Cloud Gaming USA event in San Francisco next week, September 11-12, where Agawi will also be delivering a keynote speech. Social game developers are encouraged visit the Windows Dev Center to learn more about Windows 8.

For more information on Agawi, visit:

About Agawi:

Agawi, formerly iSwifter, recently launched the 2.0 version of its cloud gaming platform and provides its partners with content streaming solutions for all devices, from mobile to PC to TV. Agawi stands for "any game, anywhere, instantly" as its mission to offer all types of games, from casual to hardcore, across all devices.

The cloud gaming platform works with leading game publishers, online retailers, OEMs and network operators to deliver quality gaming experiences anytime, anywhere. 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.

Based in Menlo Park, California, Agawi was founded by Silicon Valley veteran entrepreneurs and spun out of YouWeb Incubator in 2010.