With the E3 video game conference hot underway in Los Angeles, all the industry’s big players are out and launching their latest innovations. Korean electronics giant Samsung announced today that it would be offering its users television-based cloud gaming service.
Vice president of Samsung Electronics' Visual Display Business, Kyung-shik Lee, spoke about the new venture, saying, “Samsung is excited to deliver this revolutionary gaming experience that takes advantage of all the benefits of cloud-computing, all on the central screen of the home."
The new service stands to be quite unique in that it will afford owners of Samsung’s Smart TVs the chance to play video games without actually needing consoles to operate the games. Samsung is partnering up with California-based company Gaikai to use its streaming technology to enable Smart TV owners to play PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 titles without possessing the consoles themselves with the service being launched in the US via the Smart Hub that accompanies Samsung’s Smart TVs.
Gaikai chief executive David Perry also commented on the partnership, saying, "Together, we will turn Samsung Smart TVs into a console-like experience capable of delivering the best-selling video games and other content instantly to consumers - no downloads, no extra hardware, no trips to the store."
While it will partner with Gaikai for its streaming services, Samsung will be tying up deals independently with game developers.
In reaction to the announcement, industry analysts were piqued by the move and showed concerns as to the quality of the streamed games. OnLive, another firm that offers similar streaming services through its Microconsole device, has not been received well in the past, with critics not favoring the watered down quality of the games with poorer resolutions and game play. But a new technology released by Nvidia, the VGX, offers to correct these issues.
Commenting upon the potential for cloud gaming, Giancarlo Varanini, senior editor at video game site Gamespot, said, “Streaming technology is very attractive in theory to publishers as it's a piracy buster. It makes it so much more difficult to copy titles when the files are located on a remote server. But broadband penetration isn't where it needs to be and the service isn't up to snuff for games which require a huge amount of precision. Gamers need quick reflex responses to compete with other players especially in multiplayer environments."
Prior to Samsung’s announcement, rumors had it that Gaikai was being bought out by Sony, but a spokesperson for the former neither confirmed nor denied the rumors, simply stating, "We don't comment on rumours."