Cloud gaming service Gaikai has announced that it has launched a beta version of its app through Facebook, promising console-quality gaming through the social network.

Gaikai is currently going head to head with OnLive – with both services offering up an alternative to console and PC gaming. Using the cloud, you pay a subscription fee and they pipe content through your computer of set-top.

Gaikai has pipped OnLive to the post when it comes to Facebook, though – with its creator David Perry noting how important the social network now is to the gaming world.

Don't leave

"People don't want to leave Facebook to play games – Zynga's phenomenal success is proof of that," explained Perry.

"Cloud Gaming means that the game doesn't need to be downloaded and run on your computer, it literally means the game runs out on the internet, in the cloud, with the experience being streamed to the players.

"Most video game publishers are now seeking to grow their digital customer base and unlike movie and music services like Netflix and Spotify, Gaikai gives the game publishers relationships with the customers."

Perry: "Gaikai gives the game publishers relationships with the customers."

For the app to work, Gaikai notes that you need Java installed and a broadband connection - once you have this then you will be able to start streaming demos straight away. You will need to sign up for the full games.

"The Facebook social graph fuels our mantra 'Try it for free', 'Share it if you like it', 'Buy it if you love it'," explained Perry.

Games available through Facebook

Saints Row - The Third (USA)
Dead Rising 2 - Off the Record (USA)
Magicka (USA & Europe)
Sniper - Ghost Warrior (USA & Europe)
The Witcher 2 - Assassins of Kings (USA & Europe)
Orcs Must Die! (USA & Europe)
Farming Simulator 2011 (USA & Europe)