If you haven’t been keeping up with news of the gaming world, you may not know why gamers and reporters all over the world are dropping everything and gluing themselves to their screens for more. What’s going on? Well, Sony’s just announced that it’s managed to successfully court Gaikai, shelling out about $ 380 million to seal the deal.
What’s Gaikai? It’s a company dedicated to services such as gaming on demand, game streaming and most importantly, cloud gaming, all of which are Java-based. It was founded back in 2008 by David Perry of Earthworm Jim fame, Andrew Gault and Rui Pereira primarily as a streaming service. It then moved to offering its cloud gaming service in February of 2011, which lets games be streamed to a computer via a server and allow for playing without needing a compatible console like the PS3 or Xbox 360. Gaikai doesn’t allow access to full games, but instead allows free access to demos of PC games. Since that service is free, the company earns from advertisements and profits from its partners and investors.
With these points in mind, you’re probably wondering just what Sony is thinking when it bought Gaikai, as the cloud service could eliminate the need for the PlayStation gaming brand, one product line which Sony heavily relies on for profit. However, it seems like the company has a very good reason for acquiring Perry’s group. According to Andrew House, president of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., SCE plans on providing gamers with cloud services through any device, whether it’s mobile or just on a desktop.
This doesn’t say much about what both companies are planning with their newfound partnership, but it’s most likely going to revolutionize the PlayStation brand rather than hinder it, probably starting with the PlayStation 4, the PS3′s long-rumored successor. Gaikai could bring the PS consoles instant access to its game catalogue without needing to install or download, saving up on time and space in hard drives. It could also allow for streaming to compatible devices, much like the demo of World of Warcraft from the PC to an Xbox 360. The PS4 was also rumored to have completely new hardware which could make playing older games a problem but with a cloud service, emulation could be done to run such titles.
There’s a huge list of possible changes to come for the company thanks to this announcement. These changes may not happen immediately, but simply getting ahold of Gaikai will definitely give the company an edge when it comes to the gaming industry. Now, the question is what its competitors will do to make sure they can stand up to Sony’s new plans, whatever they may be.