Gaikai not worried by OnLive patent

Insists remote gaming is not patentable.

Online game streaming service Gaikai has insisted that rival outfit OnLive's recent patent on cloud-based gaming does not threaten its existence.

CEO David Perry told VentureBeat, "We share OnLive's vision that streamed gaming is a key element of the future of the video game industry. We do not expect the general concept of remote gaming to be patentable, as many of us played remote games in the 70's, 80's and 90's.

"Neither Gaikai nor OnLive were the first to develop technology in this area," he insisted.

OnLive's patent, granted last week, covered "apparatus for video gaming includes a box having a slot with an interface that connects to a game card providing a platform to run a software videogame".

Perry went on to explain that Gaikai operates in a completely different way to its competitor. Whereas OnLive is selling a microconsole through which you can stream full games, Gaikai is focusing on embedding demos and trial versions of games in a website.

"With regard to OnLive's new patent, we are not concerned with making set-top boxes, which is the focus of OnLive's patent," he explained, "because from the beginning we decided to go frictionless and not require a specific hardware configuration.

"As a consequence, you are witnessing the evolution of two companies with notably different business models."

Another OnLive rival, Otoy, has also chimed in, echoing Perry's stance. CEO Jules Urbach told VentureBeat, "We respect the valid intellectual property rights of others but we'd be surprised to see a valid patent issue today that would preempt the entire field of server-side rendered gaming. This kind of technology has been around and well known since at least the '90s."

The OnLive microconsole has just gone on sale in the US, with a European launch planned next year.

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