Making sense of the rumours that were swirling around E3 time, Sony Computer Entertainment has announced the $380 million purchase of Gaikai, the cloud-streamed games service.
Through the acquisition, SCE will establish a new cloud service, ensuring that it continues to provide users with truly innovative and immersive interactive entertainment experiences.
“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,” said Andrew House, President and Group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. “SCE will deliver a world-class cloud-streaming service that allows users to instantly enjoy a broad array of content ranging from immersive core games with rich graphics to casual content anytime, anywhere on a variety of internet-connected devices.”
“SCE has built an incredible brand with PlayStation and has earned the respect of countless millions of gamers worldwide,” said David Perry, CEO of Gaikai Inc., “We’re honored to be able to help SCE rapidly harness the power of the interactive cloud and to continue to grow their ecosystem, to empower developers with new capabilities, to dramatically improve the reach of exciting content and to bring breathtaking new experiences to users worldwide.”
The announcement doesn't disclose any of Sony's specific plans for the service, only that they intend to "establish a cloud service and expand its network business by taking full advantage of Gaikai's revolutionary technology and infrastructure", but the deal certainly opens many possibilities for Sony going forward, on not only their game-console platforms, but also their other consumer electronics devices such as televisions and home theater equipment.
As rumoured last month, it also presents new possibilities for backwards compatibility with the extensive PlayStation back-catalogue on both the PlayStation 3 and Vita, and obviously their expected next-generation home console.
Sony could also use the technology to offer timed-demos of full PlayStation games, as an alternative to the traditional demo download method.
The announcement also gives no clues as to what may happen to Gaikai's existing partnerships. Their online service currently offers players access to a wide range of modern PC games, with titles from the likes of EA, Ubisoft and Capcom. Might we be able to play these same PC games streamed onto a PlayStation console some day soon?
Gaikai's services have been available across North America and Europe for many months now, but the need for low-latency, high-bandwith connections and the lack of local servers has meant that Australian and New Zealand gamers are yet to get a taste. So let's hope that above all else, this acquisition hastens an Australian deployment.