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Sony grabs cloud-gaming group Gaikai

New stream of PlayStation business?

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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.

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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. ®

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