The Gaikai "open beta" has quietly begun, with invitations being passed out to potential testers 10,000 at a time.
Ten days ago, Dave Perry said the Gaikai open beta could begin in ten days. Here we are, ten days later, and it turns out that the ball started rolling even sooner than he predicted. Perry said on his blog that Gaikai "silently sent out a blast of 1000 invites around the world" on Sunday and went that went smoothly, followed up with another 10,000. Gaikai now has people hitting 15 of its 24 data centers and so far, so good.
"No issues have been reported that we can't fix this month, and so we will continue to send out invite blasts in waves of 10,000 until all issues are fixed," Perry wrote.
Gamers are being introduced to Gaikai by way of Mass Effect 2, BioWare's highly-rated RPG-shooter. Perry said both BioWare and Electronic Arts have been "very supportive" and also claimed that "a surprising amount of people" are opting to buy the game straight out, without any promotional deals being offered. Linden Lab is also working on a special build of Second Life that can be streamed through Gaikai and Perry said at least 60 deals with publishers, retailers, media sites, electronics makers and telecom companies are in the works.
Gaikai is still taking signups and Perry said that even people who are currently beyond its range are helping out. "Everyone will be getting invited in batches and if you are too far from our servers, don't worry, you've actually helped as you've shown us where we need to install more data centers," he wrote. "We're effectively reverse-engineering the internet, letting the traffic show us where the best data center position would give access to the most people."