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OnLive Versus Gaikai: Getting The Audience

As part of an extensive feature which examines the young cloud gaming landscape, Gamasutra examines Gaikai and OnLive's distinct approaches to the fascinating sector.
As part of an extensive feature which examines the cloud gaming landscape, Gamasutra examines Gaikai and OnLive's distinct approaches to the sector. OnLive CEO Steve Perlman told Gamasutra that he expects OnLive to be in 25 million televisions by the end of the year, and 50 million Blu-ray players, thanks to a partnership with electronics company Vizio. "You get to the point where our total addressable market... is going to be larger this time next year than any game console," he says. OnLive already has an "in" to TVs thanks to its relatively cheap MicroConsole, but streaming game tech built into living room electronics takes a more seamless approach to market penetration. "When you suddenly start seeing OnLive on every device in your home, and you have to do nothing to get access to all of your games, and they're available anywhere they are and all the hassles of gaming go away... at some point, people say, 'Why do I have all this different hassle?'" he said. Meanwhile, Gaikai CEO David Perry shrugs off the approach that OnLive is taking to get its service on many different devices. "The thing that they need is a chip in the device... to do their decoding," he said. "I will promise you this: you will see Gaikai on digital televisions in 2012," says Perry, "and it will not require any big [partnerships]. "I would expect it to be on lots of televisions. We're able to stream our [technology] into the TV without putting in any chip. That's a pretty big advantage, and there's been a lot of effort put into that... We can put the Gaikai app on the Vizio TV without modification of the Vizio TV." "As long as the device can accept a video stream, we can deliver to it," says Gaikai's chief strategy officer Nanea Reeves. "And since we don't require a custom chip, we're dealing with standard technologies here, and that's another big differentiator between us and other players out there. We've figured out how to make the devices think what they're seeing is standard. Where Netflix can be deployed, that's where we can be deployed, that's how you have to think about it." Beyond this difference, the full feature examines the two companies' differing business strategies and their approach toward erasing latency -- and more. It's live now on Gamasutra.

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