I fell in love with the promise of cloud gaming early on in my life. I was 13 when I came across one of Gaikai’s web browser-based game demos for Crysis, and I played it over and over again while sitting in a public library. The delight I felt having that AAA video game available instantaneously, with no downloads, has stuck with me over the years.
You can see that influence today because we began building Rainway in 2017; the web played a central role in our development. Unlike in 2008, however, the environment of browsers has become much more standardized. External plugins and native extensions have long since deprecated, and we had to bring our technology to browsers when none of the standard APIs supported the use case. Many saw this as an intractable problem, but for us, it was Tuesday.
While we would eventually bring our technology to other platforms such as Android, iOS, Smart TVs, Xbox One, and even Tesla’s, it was our efforts in the browser that put us on Microsoft’s radar. You see, a Microsoft engineer used Rainway Gaming for a last-minute demo of Azure’s infrastructure in Africa. Our consumer product delivered 1080P @ 60 FPS gameplay to Chrome with no issues over the Azure backbone.
A few weeks later, Microsoft would begin facing its intractable problem: bringing Xbox Cloud Gaming to iOS. We’re no strangers to the strict restrictions put in place by Apple around game streaming on the App Store, but for Microsoft, this was a massive blow to the ability for their service to become the true “Netflix for Video Games.” That moniker isn’t just about the ability to stream games; instead, it is the ability for consumers to engage with and play traditional desktop and console games on any device they want.
With billions of potential customers being left unable to access their service, they looked to us for a solution. As such, we cut the proverbial Gordian knot with the Rainway SDK. Our solution not only brings Xbox Cloud Gaming to Safari on macOS, iPad OS, and iOS devices. It also brings it to modern web browsers on Windows, Chrome OS, and even Linux. No extensions, no plugins, and most importantly no downloads.
Our SDK handles all the complex cross-platform media presentation, input, and browser interoperability so that Microsoft’s engineers can focus on building a fantastic product user experience. In contrast, Rainway’s team of engineers handles the logistics of making sure streams are smooth, and as some have described making gameplay “indistinguishable from being native.”
I am incredibly proud of the Rainway team for the work they did alongside the talented people over at Microsoft to solve problems for our mutual passion for seeing games put into the hands of more users during a time when media, especially games, is so important.
Our mission to build true real-time, interactive video streaming with first-class support for browsers has influenced web standards and delighted users worldwide. It now has helped one of the world’s largest companies expand their total addressable market as they grow the Xbox brand.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Rainway SDK, you can reach out to us by clicking here.