Earlier this year, OnLive made a splash at the Game Developers Conference, promising to let gamers play cutting-edge PC games like Crysis on any hardware with a decent Internet connection. The system would have the games running on high-end servers as users essentially streamed a video feed to their computers and sent their own command inputs back.
As much as OnLive could be a game-changing threat to some current players in the gaming industry, the service will have to face threats of its own. For instance, industry veteran David Perry today took the wraps off Gaikai, a browser-based application similarly capable of streaming a wide variety of processor-pushing games to users with underpowered hardware. The only stated requirements for Gaikai are a broadband Internet connection, a Web browser, and the latest Adobe Flash player.
Perry posted a video demo of Gaikai on his blog that shows him playing a variety of games in a browser, including Spore, Mario Kart 64, World of Warcraft, Eve Online, and Lego Star Wars. He even fires up Adobe Photoshop, saying companies like Adobe could use Gaikai to "zero out piracy" since it would just be streaming video of a program instead of sending code to the end user.
Gaikai is currently in need of testers in California for a closed beta test. To register for the program, sign up at the official Gaikai site.