Print 8 comment(s) - last by augiem.. on Jul 3 at 2:54 PM

The acquisition cost was $380 million

Sony Computer Entertainment has purchased cloud gaming company Gaikai for about $380 million.

The latest acquisition is meant to build on Sony's gaming platforms, but it is currently unclear how the company will use Gaikai's technology. Some potential applications, however, could be bringing older PlayStation titles to the PlayStation 3 and Vita via the cloud.

Gaikai is also capable of delivering cloud-based gaming services to PCs, smartphones, tablets and digital TVs.

"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, Sony Computer Entertainment's President and Group CEO. "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."

Gaikai, which was founded in 2008, was reportedly looking for a buyer last month to spend around $500 million.

"SCE has built an incredible brand with PlayStation and has earned the respect of countless millions of gamers worldwide," said David Perry, Gaikai CEO. "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."

Back in May, Sony announced that it wouldn't go with a digital download-only model for its next generation PlayStation console. The company said it would stick with the optical drive instead of going with a download-only setup, showing that it will stay dedicated to physical games from video stores. However, this new step into cloud gaming shows that Sony is willing to move its gaming into the digital space too (aside from downloads from its PlayStation Store).

Source: The Verge

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Mobile gaming
By augiem on 7/2/2012 1:38:25 PM , Rating: 2
This has a ton of potential for mobile platforms allowing them to play cutting-edge games without massive hardware. It could also be used to sell a more simple dumb terminal type of device or TV that could just simply be able to play any game in their library without the need for hardware upgrades, etc.

Bandwidth and internet connectivity is the limiting factor for now, but this is most likely the first step toward the long term future. Cloud gaming has the potential to eliminate the need for new console platforms entirely turning the Playstation brand into more of a subscription based gaming service rather than a piece of hardware you buy every 6-7 years. From a profit standpoint, they would no longer have to spend the billions in R&D and production of hardware which is then sold for near cost just to fuel sales of software.

RE: Mobile gaming
By StevoLincolnite on 7/2/2012 2:16:06 PM , Rating: 5
I don't look forward to cloud gaming if Diablo 3 is anything to go by, pings spikes of 1300, rubber banding effects, service down times every tuesday, patches that break the game... All stop you from playing what 'could' have been an enjoyable single player experience.

Pings might be less of an issue for some, but when a company charges you 50% more for a game then forces you to use servers on the otherside of the planet... It's frustrating.

RE: Mobile gaming
By ksherman on 7/2/2012 2:40:34 PM , Rating: 2
While I can't comment on ping rates, I don't think that is the issue on Gaikai's platform. The entire game is rendered on their servers, therefore the ping between D3's servers and where the game is actually running should be near zero. Then, the game's screen is being streamed over the internet to where ever you're playing it. Could there be lag? Maybe, but I think it'll be like streaming any other video online, you'll get a lower quality image.

I think it's pretty cool, I tried on of their games (From Dust) and it worked very well. My biggest complaint is that the site didn't say anywhere that the games were essentially demos and had a time limit. Now, I knew that going into the site, but I could see where users could be very confused (UX people!).

RE: Mobile gaming
By tamalero on 7/2/2012 3:49:09 PM , Rating: 3
any online game is still rendered in your computer right now.
still doesnt reduce the ping or rubberbanding problems.

the issue is, when the server is away and/or saturated.
when everything (hit detection, char movements, item generation.etc..) is done in the server.. this becomes an issue.

now take into consideration the rise of tiered and limited internet...

RE: Mobile gaming
By someguy123 on 7/2/2012 6:43:35 PM , Rating: 2
What are you talking about? Obviously cloud services render the game to be streamed as video. How do you think this video makes it to the user?

With any cloud service you are effectively increasing the ping to a certain threshold (additional delay of input, relay and video compression) no matter what your ping is to the server. With on-live it seems to be around 150ms~ additional delay in the absolute best circumstances, like living right next to their servers. Driving and FPS games make the delay incredibly obvious.

RE: Mobile gaming
By augiem on 7/3/2012 2:50:10 PM , Rating: 2
I don't look forward to it either. I think the bandwidth/connectivity issues will be worked out over the next 10 years for the most part, but the one issue I cannot accept is the level of control they will (and do) have over your game. StarCraft 2 isn't cloud-based, but it does require a server connection to BattleNet even if you're playing with a friend in the next room. Server outages are one thing, but the worst part in my mind is they have the right to cut off your account at any time for any number of reasons. Now I don't cheat or anything, but the idea that I pay them $60 to buy a game and then am at their mercy to decide that I can or can't play that game anymore is outrageous. Yes, they can cut you off from even playing a 1-player game. The other inevitable circumstance is when they decide to stop hosting StarCraft 2 servers entirely. Forget about a nostalgic game with your friends 15 years from now. And it's all done in the name of stopping piracy. I dread the coming cloud.

RE: Mobile gaming
By augiem on 7/3/2012 2:54:49 PM , Rating: 2
I forgot to mention forced updates... GRRR... Can't tell you how frustrating it is to have every unit in the game constantly castrated because some whiner thinks its too powerful. I loved C&C3's ability to choose to play a game with any of the patch versions you had installed. And on the older C&C I liked to play with the original unpatched version because Nod had those awesome cheap $250 turrets hehe!

RE: Mobile gaming
By 2bdetermine on 7/2/2012 2:46:30 PM , Rating: 2
Solar flare, natural disaster, hackers, viruses, disgruntled employee, big brother is watching you etc. Game Over!

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