Cloud-based gaming network Gaikai will be entering a closed beta test in Europe this month, and the developers have released videos of the service in progress.
Over 30,000 people have signed up for the beta already, said Gaikai founder Dave Perry via GI.biz, going on to discuss the objectives for the test - to stress test the servers and bring them to their proverbial knees, and to test how it functions on older machines as well as newer rigs.
Alongside the beta announcement comes a video from IGN, showing Keza MacDonald playing both World of Warcraft and Mario Kart via the service. Though MacDonald is located in Germany and the servers in Amsterdam (that's Holland for all of our geographically-challenged readers) the lag during WoW is "barely noticeable," and servers will rarely be so far away, says the Gaikai rep. On the other hand, "barely noticeable" still implies that it is noticeable, which means that games like Team Fortress 2 or any competitive fighting game or RTS that require split-second input might still be difficult to play.
While this isn't the first time we've seen footage of Gaikai - Perry posted some on his blog last month - it's a first real look at how the service works as played by a third party in real-time. To be frank, it actually looks fairly promising, though I don't know how much I like the idea of playing WoW in a teeny little window like that.
The announcement comes one week after competitor OnLive announced it had entered the beta phase in the States, so it's hard not to see a connection there. Still, no reason why these two "theoretically revolutionary" (good phrase, Nex) services can't coexist, right?
Alas, since there was a video relevant to this post, it meant that we were unable to use the best picture of Dave "The Sexy Beast" Perry that we have on record as mandated by The Escapist guidelines. It almost feels like writing a story about Hideo Kojima without using the picture of him on the duck.