Cloud gaming has seemingly never really caught on – it seems to have an extremely high potential in what it can offer, but it feels like very few people are actually making use of the services out there.
However the two biggest names in cloud gaming, OnLive and Gaikai, claim to be engaging with millions of gamers. Gaikai’s business-to-business approach has been adopted by most big games publishers, Youtube, Facebook and even retailers such as Walmart. OnLive has always been more consumer-oriented, and despite not releasing actual numbers, the service makes claims of millions of customers in its press statements.
Interpret decided to investigate, surveying digital gamers in ten Western countries such as the United States, UK, France, Australia and Germany. They report an extremely low familiarity with cloud gaming in the surveyed groups, ranging between 3 and 5 percent.
However, after these gamers were told about the possibilities cloud gaming offered – the ability to play high-end games on low-end PCs, without requiring big downloads, the interest in the service rose substantially.
In fact, 52 percent of US gamers said they were very or somewhat interested, followed closely by 49 percent of Australians and 46 percent of gamers in the UK. French and German players were noticeably less interested, at 36 and 29 percent respectively.
While there may be a lack of interest or familiarity amongst consumers, the industry certainly recognizes the potential. Sony has just acquired Gaikai for $380 million, which Interpret VP Michael Cai says is “a strategic move that provides a path for the gradual migration of gaming to the cloud.”
He goes on, “This acquisition is well aligned with Sony’s transition from a hardware-centric to network-centric company.
“Furthermore, Sony stands to capitalise on its established relationship with young male gamers – in Western countries, males 13-34 comprise one third to one half of those very interested in trying a cloud gaming service.”
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