After all the rumors, Sony Computer Entertainment has officially announced it will acquire cloud-based gaming service Gaikai for approximately $380 million. This will allow the platform holder to stream an array of content, including high-end games, to a range of Internet enabled devices.
Talk of Sony taking over a cloud-based service has been in the air since before E3, with both OnLive and Gaikai included in the rumors. Then whispers started regarding a takeover of Gaikai that would see Sony use the service to stream PSOne and PlayStation 2 games to the PlayStation 3, however both companies refused to comment on the speculation.
The $380 million deal is lower than the $500 million that Gaikai was rumored to be seeking last month. Sony Computer Entertainment president, Andrew House said of the deal:
“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.”
“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 CEO David Perry added:
“SCE has built an incredible brand with PlayStation and has earned the respect of countless millions of gamers worldwide.”
“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.”
“We expect this will be incredible news for all our partners as we will be able to unlock AAA console gaming from the cloud, with the full support of Sony.”
This sounds like a great deal for PlayStation 3 owners and should help Sony push through to a digital only distribution model more quickly. One big barrier to entry for digital purchases is the waiting time to download and install, even for fast connections, Gaikai’s streaming service would eliminate that time completely.
Not only does this benefit the PlayStation 3, but it also allows Sony to access a whole range of devices that it didn’t have a firm foothold in before, including the massive tablet market. Sony games could be shared with a whole new market without the need for a PS3, thanks to this deal.
Will you use a cloud-based video game service on PS3?