Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony are all working on next-gen gaming consoles, but it’s already inevitable that the next great gaming platform is the cloud. By the end of this year, a number of Android devices will be able to stream flagship console games and the experience will feel just like you are playing a game console hooked up to a TV.
You can experience cloud gaming on Android right now with an existing service called OnLive. I’ve been playing around with their Android client and it has potential, but the upcoming Gaikai (pronounced: guy-kai) service absolutely blows it out of the water. Gaikai is already available from PC browsers right now, and an Android client is coming in the next couple of months.
Gaikai offers a superior gaming experience thanks to their growing games library and NVIDIA’s GeForce Grid technology. I had the opportunity to test out Gaikai for Android on an ASUS Transformer Pad and I was amazed at how responsive it was. I played a couple levels of Bulletstorm using an Xbox controller, and it felt very much like a console game.
“It Only Does Everything”
We thought that Gaikai would be released to Google’s Play Store later this year, but plans might have changed after Sony acquired Gaikai for $380 million. We now believe that Sony will make Gaikai an exclusive service to their upcoming smartphones and tablets.
Sony is expected to announce the follow-up to their Tablet S later this month at IFA. The device is rumored to feature NVIDIA’s quad-core Tegra 3 processor and it will be lighter and thinner than the original. We already know that Gaikai runs great on Tegra 3 devices and Sony could easily add support for their Bluetooth DualShock 3 controller.
Several games that appeared on both the Xbox 360 and PS3 have already been ported to Gaikai. It should be fairly simple for Sony to hand pick their best sellers from the PlayStation 3 library and make them available on-demand through Gaikai. If this happens, then Sony would instantly offer one of the best Android tablets for gaming.
Expect more details to be revealed at the end of August.