Gaikai is limited to game demos -- at least for now -- and is pitching itself as a game advertising company to attract developers. In a nutshell, the idea is to reduce the friction that stops players from making impulse purchases on the web, allowing them to actually try games for free at the point-of-sale and then pay for a full download of the game, order a physical copy, or simply share the game demo on social networks so others can try it.
At launch, demo versions of EA titles Mass Effect 2, Spore, The Sims 3 and Dead Space 2 will be available -- the latter of which requires you to fill out this survey first. After a short test determines if your connection is suitably fast for streaming, each demo will launch in a Java window with limited options to edit the game settings. I fired up Dead Space 2 for a quick 10-minute run and was gladly surprised to see that the game ran at decent (not great) frame rates, with graphics comparable to that of a modern game console, and that the demo wasn't region-locked to the U.S.
It remains to be seen if more publishers decide to join the platform and if full-scale games ever make the lineup. For now, Gaikai CEO Dave Perry says its company will demo stereoscopic 3D streaming on Battlefield Bad Company 2 and other titles running within Facebook this week at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.