Is the time finally right for platform-agnostic cloud gaming?


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We’ve heard all of it earlier than. Gaming within the cloud, the flexibility to play essentially the most demanding titles, whatever the limitations of our personal . That was the dream of OnLive, method again in 2010. It was a dream that didn’t finish significantly properly for the corporate, which unceremoniously dissolved in 2015 and finally had its belongings snapped up by Sony.

It’s simple to Monday-morning-quarterback the top of an organization. Possibly it wasn’t totally shaped, or possibly it was forward of its time. Regardless of the case, quite a lot of new startups imagine they’ll succeed the place predecessors failed. Parsec co-founder and CEO Benjy Boxer, for one, believes the service’s final failure was a matter of unhealthy timing.

“OnLive was forward of its time,” he mentioned in a dialog with TechCrunch. “AWS didn’t exist. They needed to construct their very own servers. That they had to make use of an previous codex for encoding video. And everybody has extra bandwidth as we speak. All of these issues add up. And we’ve got patent-pending expertise that makes our software program actually low latency. That’s what we deal with.”

At its coronary heart, the service fills the identical void as OnLive and newer companies like LiquidSky, which began making the rounds earlier this yr. The dream is the flexibility to make gameplay platform- and location-agnostic. Meaning taking part in on set-top containers, gaming with pals who don’t personal their very own devoted rigs and even, doubtlessly, gaming on cellular. (Although even with the heavy lifting occurring on the backend, smartphones simply aren’t constructed to deal with actually expansive PC gaming titles.)


Parsec’s acknowledged purpose is making these types of titles as accessible as extra ubiquitous streaming companies like Spotify or Netflix, or no matter, and the corporate has acquired a $2.25 million seed spherical  from the likes of Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Nextview Ventures and Notation Capital. The service has been accessible in beta since late final yr, and launched variations of its software program for Home windows, Mac, Android, Linux and Raspberry Pi late final week.

The latter will finally show an attention-grabbing take a look at for its potential to run on low-end — with the precise software program and an excellent connection, you’ll be able to accomplish loads with lower than optimum specs. Although, not like different streaming companies of its ilk, Parsec’s purpose isn’t the elimination of gaming PCs solely.

“We imagine that eliminating consoles and gaming PCs is actually good for some informal avid gamers, who play for lower than 10 hours per week,” says Boxer. However for individuals who play extra and personal a gaming PC already, Parsec is efficacious to them, too, as a result of they’ll use it totally free and stream from their PC or invite pals to play with them.”

It’s an enormous ask, getting individuals again on board with an idea that’s tried and didn’t launch again and again, and one unhealthy expertise may very well be sufficient to bitter customers. But when Parsec is to be believed, it’s an concept whose time has lastly come.

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