Cloud gaming is all about remote hardware. You play games online using your tablet, smartphone, PC or whatever, and the game runs remotely on high-end hardware. It means you don’t need the latest console, you don’t need a high spec PC or laptop, and you don’t need to download constant updates. You can use your existing Android smartphone or tablet and enjoy the latest releases.
Now, cloud gaming has been touted as the next big thing for a while now, but it’s yet to really take off. The two big players in this space were OnLive and Gaikai, but now a third company has entered the fray – CiiNow intends to bring the latest PC and console games to your tablet or smartphone and the platform will run on Android.
We reported on the trouble at OnLive, and then there was Sony’s acquisition of Gaikai which could bring the latest PS3 games to Android devices. CiiNow is taking a different approach. The company is offering a white label service which allows partners to rebrand it, and crucially it won’t face the same monthly costs that OnLive struggled with, because its platform can be installed on existing hardware in its partners' data centers. Games will be streamed at 720p HD quality and the service requires a 6-megabit per second connection.
Interestingly, CiiNow is partly funded by AMD Ventures and the platform is built around AMD's Radeon technology. The cross platform service will work with any existing gamepad you have for your PC or your Android tablet. As long as your device has Android 2.3 Gingerbread or above, then it’s game on.
It’s nice to see that cloud gaming is still on the horizon because it could bring some great games to Android. There’s no word on release dates or pricing just yet, but we’ll keep you posted.