Formerly known as “iSwifter”, Agawi has made a deal with Microsoft to push out their cloud-based game streaming service along with Windows 8 this October.
Already very popular on the iPad, where it offers “more than 12,000” Facebook games, Agawi is focused more toward what the company calls “mid-core” and “hardcore” gamers than casual gamers. By their Chairman’s definitions, a “mid-core” gamer is one who primarily plays “web-based MMOs with a PC download,” such as Shaiya or Runes of Magic, and “hardcore” gamers are those who primarily play fully downloaded and installed games such as World of Warcraft or Elder Scrolls: Skyrim. While I personally fluxuate between the two states (yes, I play WoW, but I’m also a fan of Facebook games and have been known to play a few web-based MMOs in my day), I can’t help but find the service they’re offering to be interesting. It helps that I’m also a big fan and advocate for cloud-based systems — even if it does mean that should you lose internet connection for whatever reason, you can’t get your game fix.
The video above shows the kind of variety Agawi expects to have from within it’s collaboration with Microsoft Azure, creating a cloud game streaming mega-cloud across all Windows 8 devices – from PCs, to tablets, even Windows Phone! We don’t know if the titles shown in the video predict content partners for Agawi (an upcoming fourth quarter reveal will hopefully give us more information on that), but it’s already quite exciting. With the dramatic difference in input between platforms in games, Windows 8’s intuitive touchscreen ready interface can only hope that it’s adaptable enough to avoid the issues that have been seen in the past when going from a concole/PC game to a touchscreen interface. (Hint: it’s usually a bit of a train wreck resulting in many Game Overs and controls that do not want to do what you want them to do until you feel like throwing your phone out the- ahem. Let’s just say it’s not pretty.)
All things considered, though, Agawi is a new service and a new direction for gaming that I’m very excited to see. Let’s just hope it pans out.