VentureBeat recently broke the story of a new partnership between WalMart and Gaikai, a company that is presenting a fresh way to use the idea of cloud gaming and if Gaikai handles their company well, sites like Steam may have some real competition.
Gaikai’s new cloud model is so innovative because it utilizes streaming in order to deliver games, in a customer’s browser. All a person needs is a connection to the internet and a flash player like Adobe. The ability to play games is not limited to a PC however, as the service will run on any internet-ready device including smartphones and tablets.
WalMart’s partnership with Gaikai will allow curious shoppers to demo available games through WalMart’s Gamecenter then, when the demo has expired, customers can choose to buy the game outright or continue playing with a pay-as-you go plan. What makes this new cloud service so appealing, however, is that games are available to customers wherever they are, and require nothing more than a web browser and flash, two things most internet users already have.
I have already tested the service with Plants vs Zombies, while downloading a game on Steam and another game on my PlayStation 3. Although the wait for the game to start up was a bit long, once I started playing it was seamless and uninterrupted. I enjoyed it so much, in fact, that only my strong desire to tell others about Gaikai could pull me away from killing zombies to finish this report.