World of Warcraft shown streaming on iPad

Developer Dave Perry shows wildly popular MMORPG running on Apple's popular new portable via Gaikai; non-Flash version reportedly had to be built from scratch.

Since being introduced on April 3, Apple's iPad has already sold 1 million units, with the new 3G version reportedly selling out within hours of launching last Friday. Game companies have been quick to jump on the touch-screen tablet's bandwagon, with publishers like Electronic Arts releasing iPad-optimized versions of iPod titles, such as Need for Speed: Shift.

Also on board is Gaikai, the browser-based game-streaming service cofounded by veteran developer Dave Perry. This morning on his personal Web site, Perry showed off how his server-based computing service could use Apple's tablet to stream World of Warcraft, the planet's most popular subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game. Specifically, the game displayed was the second WOW expansion, Wrath of the Lich King.

Perry joked, "Soon I'll be able to play WOW with my Cornflakes!"

Much like OnLive, which launches next month, Gaikai is taking the cloud computing model and applying it to gaming. The company will host various games on its servers and then let subscribers stream them onto their PCs or various other devices, such as the iPad. Graphics processing is handled by Gaikai's servers, meaning high-resolution games can be played on devices with significantly lower-grade technology.

If Gaikai is approved for use with the iPad, WOW junkies will have another way to get their fix on the road.

Perry's promotion of WOW on the iPad does raise some interesting questions, though. Gakai's Web site touts its Streaming Worlds technology as being near-universal thanks to the fact it is based on Adobe's Flash player. The iPad conspicuously does not support Flash, with Apple CEO Steve Jobs vehemently criticizing the application in an open letter last Thursday.

Requests for clarification on how Gaikai is running on the iPad had not been answered as of press time. However, Perry told UK site Digital Foundry that a special version of Gaikai had to be made from scratch to work with the iPad. He said the game was running at a "very crisp" 1024x768 resolution.

"All iPad inputs are streamed through a translation system to the server, so we can remap anything to anything in real time," Perry told Digital Foundry. "We hide a virtual keyboard off to the side, so you can type as well (like to login). It's just a teaser as the iPad just arrived. Once they are done with the video optimization, we will show it off."

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46 comments
racer79
racer79

it looks pants...the only reson ud buy a ipad is if your a fan of apple and want to browse the internet and check your email when you out and about, any modern phone will do this and be less bulky and less lightly to get spotted and stolen, and apart from the ipad bein mouse and keyboard-less (unless on the half of the screen) the main prob I see with wow is that to get anywhere its not just 'pick up and play', be halfway through a raid and get people loggin off because their train has reached their station, you need to know you have a few hours set aside to get anything from the game, and if you know that you might as well be infront of a decent computer or lappy......which im sure will handle the game much better. Im a huge fan of wow, more so in the past few years than now, I do think it should die a quick and painless death, like a loyal dog that was fun in years gone past but now is bold and wets itself, but is anything man enough to take the title? nothin comes close. do happen to agree with the previous comment, and any hardware that opens gaming up to the masses has to be a good thing for everyone, but will diehard gamers use such a device? time will tell, I also do think with games such as wow need reliable people playin, as it effects everyones experiance, nothing worse than people just logging out halfway through , the ipad will either make it or break it.

kmconstable
kmconstable

To clarify my previous comments I am not excited about the concept personally. I much prefer to build my own systems so they can play whatever I want to play. I like to own my hardware and games. Still many are very comfortable renting a cable box from their local cable provider to watch TV. That is what I meant. It would be cheaper for us as consumer's from the hardware end of things, but we would pay more for playing as really good games would come at a premium price. If anyone thinks the big companies that are behind gaming don't want complete control over their product and how it plays you are fooling yourselves. Just like the music and movie industry the gaming industry wants to make the most money they can and they want to control how you access it. And cloud gaming is about access. It opens up the hardcore or medium core gaming markets for many many more people. The key will be if it really works, but if it does and it is easy to use many many people will use it. And the best part for the industry is that they will keep control for themselves and cut out hackers and other DRM issues that no one really likes anyway. Let me put it another way? If someone handed you a computer system that had 3 x gtx 480s in it and all the parts that would make it work properly and said it is yours for free all you have to do for the next two years is pay 20 bucks a month and then rent games for as long as you want for 10 bucks a month and at the end of that time we will give you another computer with the best hardware available at the time then what would you do? Assume the gaming experience is just as good as that PC. The math is simple: 24 x 30 = 720. 3 x GTX 480's are 500 x 3 = 1500.00. In fact you could keep the same setup for 4 years with the cloud service and not pay as much as just 3 x GTX 480's. And that is not even factoring in the big computer box, the energy it costs to run the cards and the really fast processor and ram you need to play games. Most people will choose the cheaper one and the fact that it may play on your iPad or netbook is a huge bonus.

Dezuria
Dezuria

luucifer78b, you don't play WoW ON the iPad, you stream the image of it being played on a remote PC, and your input on the iPad is streamed to your PC to control it. Think of it this way, You leave your PC on with WoW running, and then take a bus ride and play the game remotely using the iPad as your interface and (lagged) video. In other words, a generally useless novelty.

Darmage
Darmage

happily being WoW free for at least 16 months now, i can honestly say that no person in England will want to be seen playing WoW outside. if they did they would be pelted with eggs by the local chavs. Though i hate it, its a brilliantly made game made by the brilliant Blizzard, sadly most people arent so open minded.

metlcub
metlcub

there have been only 2 expansion. WOW 9original game) Burning crusaid (Expansion 1) Wrath of the litch king (expansion 2)

videogamesjunki
videogamesjunki

kbrocks " Specifically, the game displayed was the second WOW expansion, Wrath of the Lich King. " Wasn't that the third expansion? it is sad that i know this. Rest easy kbrocks, your wrong... it is the second WoW expansion.

luucifer78b
luucifer78b

I'm not sure i want to play wow or any game on this thing you probably have to turn the graphics way down to get 1/2 decent frames

jmartinez1983
jmartinez1983

Had this come out 2 years ago I would have been all over an iPad and WoW. Seriously, it would have ruined my life, tho I guess I could have played WoW comfortably in the park so as to get some sunshine.

StSk8ter29
StSk8ter29

I like how even once passionate WoW players are saying it's time for WoW to die.

Twitchy_Man
Twitchy_Man

Stream what ever you like to the iPad its still going to feel like playing a game on a piece of wet ham...

UrinalGoonie
UrinalGoonie

go to youtube and watch someone playing wow on the IPAD it makes you wanna break something it lags like you bought a 1990 comp to run it on.

UrinalGoonie
UrinalGoonie

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Evilnator
Evilnator

WoW? The iPad just got even less attractive...

nevryn
nevryn

@Dezuria Well, let's see... so they can walk and play, drive and play, and play in class/work easier. Heck now adays, they'll be texting, listening to their ipod, doing a raid in WoW, and driving at the same time. In other words, all sorts of chaos. and you thought talking on the phone and driving was bad. Plus, I doubt many would actually buy it just for WoW (though I could be wrong). They'd buy it for other reasons... then just never use it for anything but WoW. Right? Sure... that's it...

Dezuria
Dezuria

You could play WoW on a $250 netbook, and that would still be a much better experience than streaming it onto an iPad. Not sure why people would buy an iPad for something like this.

mindstorm
mindstorm

Oh my... I must restrain myself from investigating this further because it may very well cause me to buy an iPad. Is it bad that the only thing that has intrigued me about the iPad is the possibility of playing WoW on it? I shall save you the trouble of answering me and answer myself with a resounding yes.

Seljek
Seljek

@kmconstable Indeed, I haven't thought of it that way. But I would still rather build my own PC that renders everything in the same room and is free to use past the cost of electricity rather than pay somebody else to basically rent their PC to render what I am playing.

kmconstable
kmconstable

Most comments here seem to neglect the innovation of the concept. Imagine not needing to have the best computing device in the world to play more serious games than simple games that ran on old hardware 10 years ago. If they get this right consoles and PCs and other such things will be more like a service like cable, etc. The golden age of the PC is slowly coming to an end. If a subscription service works for gaming on lesser hardware then companies make far more than if I just buy the game at the store.

Seljek
Seljek

I can see this service as being extremely expensive to run effectively and I doubt they can actually turn a profit from this for more than 3 months.

kbrocks
kbrocks

" Specifically, the game displayed was the second WOW expansion, Wrath of the Lich King. " Wasn't that the third expansion? :( it is sad that i know this.

thrasher510
thrasher510

@ deathstream my point is they can bring any game that i love but i still want buy an ipad

theone332
theone332

lol this all can be avoided with a simple invention called a laptop

TheGravy02
TheGravy02

yay less people to compete. theres no way a person on a touch screen can be half as effective as a person on a keyboard

Scootman78
Scootman78

Okay, so Warcraft has the iPad, but within Warcraft, you can't actually have a pad. No housing still after all these years. They're not looking to improve the game, just to have it play on a glorified kiosk like the iPAD.

LoserMike
LoserMike

Only problem with cloud computing is that 3G speeds wouldn't allow it.

lock445
lock445

An MMO? On a touch-screen device? That wouldn't work... And anyways, it's not like the iPad has better graphic capabilities than the iPhone... Everybody just has to realize that until a next-gen, powerful mobile device with qwerty and a powerful graphics chip is released, portable gaming must stick to casual games.

Quietpower09
Quietpower09

Oh goody, a portable MMORPG. So instead of slouching on a chair playing WoW on your desktop or laptop, you can simply walk around carrying an iPad and play WoW from there. :P

deathstream
deathstream

@thrasher510 But they aren't experimenting with WoW on the iPhone. And I THINK that WoW might have been the point of the article.

JDWolfie
JDWolfie

Or you can just get a laptop?

DamnedApples
DamnedApples

*Perry joked, "Soon I'll be able to play WOW with my Cornflakes!"* No! No Cornflakes for you!

thrasher510
thrasher510

i played with an ipad at best buy and i personally think its a waste of money, it defeats the purpose of portability compared to the iphone, but the iphone has more features.

jorge69696
jorge69696

"very crisp" 1024 x 768 resolution NO THANKS

deathstream
deathstream

@Ringx55 If the server-based tech (same as On Live) works, then lag wouldn't be an issue. The audio on an iPad is great with decent earbuds/headphones, not so much with the bottom speaker. I do agree that the controls would have to be done just right. The action bars would be perfect for iPad use, maybe better than PC. But movement concerns me. iPad games haven't mastered movement yet. I can't see PvP working, but it would be a great way to grind, craft, chat with guildies, etc... on the go.

deathstream
deathstream

@atopp399 The point of this article is not netbook vs iPad. The two things are remarkably different and the comparison is not valid as they are not meant to do the same things. Being able to play WoW on either would be great for those still playing WoW.

Ringx55
Ringx55

I can only imagine how bad the lag, controls and audio will be.

atopp399
atopp399

The same service on a $250 netbook would be so much better for WoW since you could use an actual keyboard to type...

Olsenz
Olsenz

huh, interesting....but how can you play with keyboard/mouse? Is it possible?

FenrirXero
FenrirXero

Why play it on your iPad when you can just play it on your actual laptop/computer? Unless you really want to play WoW when you're out on the road or something than I guess I can understand, but even then they make those card things that allow you to get internet through your cell phone provider right? I mean, correct me if I'm wrong but this seems sort of like a waste of time and resources.

Gatchaman23
Gatchaman23

The game video/audio is streamed to your browser, so your system doesn't need to be a high powered machine.

wildnine00
wildnine00

@ CANOFOWNAGE "Graphics processing is handled by Gaikai's servers, meaning high-resolution games can be played on devices with significantly lower-grade technology." Gotta read the whole article man.

CANOFOWNAGE
CANOFOWNAGE

The ipad isn't even remotely powerful enough to run wow

theinvento
theinvento

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

petercaviar01
petercaviar01

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]