Samsung Smart TV Cloud Gaming Powered by Gaikai and Nvidia [Video]
Hidden away in the middle of the concourse walkway between South and West halls of the Los Angeles Convection center sits this little corner display booth. Most people pass it by not knowing how big it might be to the future of gaming but as soon as I see who is there I have to stop and ask questions.
Gaikai is a service that started just two years ago -- at first thought of as nothing more than phantom console level vapor it is one of the two companies to announce "Cloud Gaming"; PC gaming via virtualization. Its first demo shows off high-end games from producers / developers EA and Red Project for titles like Mass Effect 3 or The Witcher 2. Using a web page Java applet client it runs on any Windows, Mac, or even Linux machine.
But now Gaikai is taking the fight to the TV. Partnering up with Samsung and LG, Gaikai, with the help of video card power house Nvidia, will be powering cloud gaming stores for Samsung and LG Smart TVs.
The services need a broadband connection and provide 720p game video for 5Mbps connection and 1080p with connection of 10Mbps; Ping times are under 100ms but sweet spot is 60ms and below. It even supports stereoscopic 3D titles if the game and television support 3D. This would need a connection of about 15Mbps to 20Mbps.
It's up to the partner what to do for controllers but the software supports all native USB controllers, even the Xbox one, and you are good to go. The client for the desktop runs in a Java applet.
Game stores are handled by the provider who lease the Gaikai service so for purchasing games you purchase them through the Samsung SmartTV or LG Smart TV app stores. No information is available as of yet if you can take them to other devices or even run them on your desktop.
Unlike other well-known cloud gaming service Onlive, the Network Multiplayer doesn't have to be in a walled garden, you could in theory play against other Windows, Macintosh, or Linux PC gamers who are on desktop machines. But that is up to the software developer and service provider and agreements to what they do.