Gaikai chief Dave Perry says he's not worried about the patent recently granted to competing service OnLive because the technologies at work are very different and "we do not expect the general concept of remote gaming to be patentable."
OnLive announced earlier this week that it had been granted a "fundamental patent" on cloud gaming technology, which naturally led to questions about Gaikai, the other big cloud gaming service that's currently in beta testing. OnLive boss Steve Perlman hinted that he'd be willing to do a deal with Gaikai, pointing out that "he has a history of trying to work out agreements" in matters such as this, but at this point Perry doesn't seem to think it'll be necessary.
"We share OnLive's vision that streamed gaming is a key element of the future of the videogame industry," the Gaikai boss told VentureBeat. "We do not expect the general concept of remote gaming to be patentable, as many of us played remote games in the 70's, 80's and 90's. Neither Gaikai nor OnLive were the first to develop technology in this area."
He noted that Gaikai has also filed cloud gaming-related patents and has taken care to stay away from technology that other companies may have valid patent claims on. "With regard to OnLive's new patent, we are not concerned with making set-top boxes, which is the focus of OnLive's patent, because from the beginning we decided to go frictionless and not require a specific hardware configuration," he said. "As a consequence, you are witnessing the evolution of two companies with notably different business models."
"Nearly everything is different in the ways that we approach the consumer marketplace," he added.
Analyst Rob Enderle said Perry has a point that server-based gaming easily predates both Gaikai and OnLive and that the two services are doing things differently for now, but believes that at some point in the future there's going to be a clash. "This does represent the future of gaming and, I expect, before we get there, a lot of attorneys will be vastly wealthier as ownership rights get worked out," he said.