Sony grabs cloud-gaming group Gaikai
New stream of PlayStation business?
Sony has acquired cloud-gaming company Gaikai for $380m (£240m) with a view to using the streaming service set to strengthen its online offering.
The deal sees Sony take control of Gaikai's tech and infrastructure, including all of the cloud-gaming firm's data centres.
Gaikai runs games on its servers, with picture and sound streamed to a gamer's TV or browser, and control signals sent in the opposite direction.
"By combining Gaikai's resources, including its technological strength and engineering talent, with SCE's extensive game platform knowledge and experience, SCE will provide users with unparalleled cloud entertainment experiences," Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Andrew House said.
Vita vests its head in the cloud
While Sony has not yet detailed how it plans to make use of Gaikai, speculation about a next-gen console launch is rife. We've already heard moles say Sony has shelved PS4 plans to drop optical media and source new title entirely by download, but depending on Gaikai's implementation, we may see some games playable without even a download.
It seems the future of gaming is soaring closer to the cloud. With rival service OnLive founded by the man behind Microsoft's WebTV Networks, perhaps its only a matter of time before Redmond gets in on the act with a purchase of its own. ®
Almost certain to be a this-gen feature, extending the life of the PS3, and offering a seamless transition to PS4, in that you would be able to play PS4 games on your PS3.
I'm guessing it will be integrated as part of the already fantastic value for money PlaystationPlus model. and I'm guessing it will also allow PC owners to play PS3 games, and PS3 owners to play PC games...
Clearly it won't replace disk-based gaming, but it will certainly complement it.
Who wants to be there is a couple of console feeling rather left out by all of this. The Blu-Ray revolution passed them by, and so is this. (not that they really have any excuse, as a PS3 is £150 these days, and they wasted more than that on online double-dip subscription charges and batteries for their controllers).
Call me an old stick in the mud....
..... but I quite like the idea of physical content and the ability to just pick something up and play it, without all this "cloud" malarkey.
I like to know I can play my purchase when I want, where I want and not be reliant upon an ISP for connectivity and the good grace of the software vendor to stay alive and keep themselves in business, so I can carry on playing.
Re: great buy
It does look impressive on a phone (well, the OnLive equivalent did when I tried it), the small screen hides the appalling compression artefacts, touch control is poor and disguises the latency problems and people still have lower expectations for a phone.
On a PC both OnLive and Gaikai were disappointing. Laggy, bad compression artefacts, low FPS on Gaikai, bad latency on both and low resolution.
Bandwidth is a bigger immediate problem. It sucked 5Mbit on my 10Mbit connection - thats 2Gb/hour. That triggered throttling on my Virgin cable, it would quickly hit the bandwidth cap on most UK accounts. That 5Mbit bought me just 720 line resolution and looked like shit. To properly support a HD TV 10Mbit+ and no cap is going to be needed. That's going to work well in a country that struggles to supply 5Mbit connections!
I agree, it's going to turn up on handheld devices first while they wait for the network to catch up with the scheme. Unlike you though, I've had OnLive on my phone for months and just don't bother to use it, it's failed to interest me at all. Firmly in the 'surprised it works at all usably' rather than impressed.