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Sony Computer Entertainment buys Gaikai

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Sony Computer Entertainment announced today that it has acquired the prominent interactive cloud-based gaming company, Gaikai, for approximately $380 million.

Through the acquisition, Sony Computer Entertainment will establish a new cloud service using Gaikai's technology, which allows for high-quality, fast interactive cloud-streaming of games onto a variety devices via an internet connection. Sony Computer Entertainment's President and Group CEO, Andrew House, said in a statement: "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.

http://www.theverge....for-380-million

So, Microsoft to snap up OnLive?

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The future is lag!

The trouble now is that Sony may offer this to their customers, with a cheap outlay to play laggy streaming games - but struggle to explain to them why they should pay £200 for a better experience, when people bitch about Final Fantasy Tactics being "expensive" on the iPhone when it's a fiver. <_<

I can see why they've done it - it'll be for instant-on demos of games. I just worry though that it's a sub-optimal experience that will catch on.

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I don't think this is going to be just for demos to be honest. Considering how PlayStation Plus is now basically giving you a free game each month and saves everything to the cloud, this can extend that line of service and negate the need for a PS4 altogether.

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In related news, Gaikai was ported to Google Chrome's Native Client (NaCl) as well.

Gaikai, the streaming game service, can let you play games in a browser window. That's impressive, but it's nothing new. Gaikai's service typically uses Java, which means you'll have to install Java, update it, and possibly even grant it permissions before you play a demo of a game. Each one of those clicks and every second you wait is another opportunity for you to decide you'd rather not play anything.

But at Google I/O 2012 this week, Gaikai demonstrated a version of the service that doesn't require any download or installation at all. It uses Google's Native Client (NaCL), which sandboxes traditional code to be delivered in Chrome OS or the Chrome desktop browser, but actually run directly on the underlying hardware. While most Native Client games require a download, though — From Dust requires up to 1GB — Gaikai has a unique advantage in that its games can begin streaming almost immediately.

http://www.theverge.com/2012/6/30/3127602/gaikai-google-nacl-native-client

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Correct me if I'm wrong but this tech will never work for multiplayer games, right?

It already works for multiplayer games.

this can extend that line of service and negate the need for a PS4 altogether.

Yeah, with our broadband coverage and download caps, I can see this working well for Sony.

:rolleyes:

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when people bitch about Final Fantasy Tactics being "expensive" on the iPhone when it's a fiver. <_<

Tactics for iPhone is about £12.

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If Sony seriously get behind this, then Sony could conceivably do a Wii - release a PS4 that's only a minor upgrade of PS3, and rely on streaming to get the latest in graphics etc

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Buying out the competition. Well, some of it.

Maybe Sony have realised that you can have different internal divisions competing with each other. Instead of being mortally afraid of them cannibalising each other. There's some proper business term for it I think. But I'll be darned if I can remember it.

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Correct me if I'm wrong but this tech will never work for multiplayer games, right?

It'd work better for (online) multiplayer games, because it should eliminate host advantage.

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If Sony seriously get behind this, then Sony could conceivably do a Wii - release a PS4 that's only a minor upgrade of PS3, and rely on streaming to get the latest in graphics etc

If they're smart they can go further than that and put out a firmware update which gives PS3 and Vita the ability to stream PS4 games, which would give Sony a massive head start in addressable market for PS4 content.

If the end goal is to give all Sony branded hardware access to Music Unlimited, Movies Unlimited and now Playstation Unlimited, they will have a very compelling offering, but that all depends if they view themselves as being primarily in the hardware or services industry. With Playstation Mobile they have shown a willingness to extend their services to other hardware manufacturers, so instead of using their Unlimited services to make their own hardware more appealing, they could double down on securing subscribers for them by making them available on as many devices as possible. I suppose they could have their cake and eat it by advertising an optimised experience for Sony's own hardware, but then that may scupper their broader appeal.

This is a big move though. A partnership announcement would have indicated that they wanted to have a place at the table, buying them outright demonstrates that they are placing a lot of faith in cloud based services going forward. In all honesty, it's nice to see them leading the charge for a change, as they've been on a reactionary footing for a long time now, and it was becoming increasingly tiresome to see them playing catch up with their competitors. I think this is a good sign that Kaz Hirai has a firm hold on the reins.

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If Sony seriously get behind this, then Sony could conceivably do a Wii - release a PS4 that's only a minor upgrade of PS3, and rely on streaming to get the latest in graphics etc

I reckon this is utterly inevitable.

The 360 and PS3 tried to follow the same blueprint as the PS2, without fully appreciating that it doesn't scale. The obvious thing to do now is to follow the blueprint set by the Wii and later iOS devices. Which isn't to say a 'PS4' wouldn't be a substantial step up from PS3 (the amount/speed of RAM and GPU power available for the same price has increased a lot since 2005/6), but it wouldn't cost $800+ to build. Especially if they drop the optical disk drive and other bulky components.

Streaming would be an option along with playing things locally, depending on the user's preference.

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They won't be dropping an optical disk drive. Streaming isn't up to it yet, for probably a majority of Sony's customers.

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With Playstation Mobile they have shown a willingness to extend their services to other hardware manufacturers, so instead of using their Unlimited services to make their own hardware more appealing, they could double down on securing subscribers for them by making them available on as many devices as possible. I suppose they could have their cake and eat it by advertising an optimised experience for Sony's own hardware, but then that may scupper their broader appeal.

Well, they've shown a willingness to talk about it. Has/is anything actually happening with it though? I can't say I'm sweltering under stacks of Playstation Mobile games.

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After reading Gaikai's site material & looking at some demo from Google's recent I/O conference (fullscreen 60fps in "native client", bypassing JAVA)

...wow, just wow :blink:

they bought themselves a platform to support their own & other companies' ecosystems.

This is a great move by Sony...

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Well, they've shown a willingness to talk about it. Has/is anything actually happening with it though? I can't say I'm sweltering under stacks of Playstation Mobile games.

At E3 they announced that HTC would be the first non-Sony phones which would support Playstation Mobile. It will be interesting to see if and by how much it spreads from that. I'd be keen to know if Playstation Mobile actually has a launch date yet.

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Unexpected, especially after the Samsung deal they did which everybody assumed was going to be a PlayStation deal. We'll have to see what plans they have for the tech, some sort of Google Android/Microsoft Skype-thing or taking it inhouse only.

I wonder how much Dave Perry is worth now :D

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Is this a reaction to Microsoft's strategy document which was leaked a couple of weeks back?

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So, Microsoft to snap up OnLive?

I suspect Microsoft are creating a similar service in-house. Which leaves a lack of obvious suitors for OnLive. Facebook perhaps? Valve maybe?

Also, $380m seems like a completely absurd purchase price to me. Gaikai is a glorified tech demo with some potential at this point.

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Well, they've shown a willingness to talk about it. Has/is anything actually happening with it though? I can't say I'm sweltering under stacks of Playstation Mobile games.

Having played around with a Sony Tablet P, I found playing PS1 games with touchscreen controls a pretty hateful experience (the hardware itself wasn't much better). They might make a go of it if manufacturers release phones with decent controls. But my gut feeling is that Playstation Mobile will be about as successful as all of Sony's previous ventures in this area,

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Weren't Digital Foundry speculating that this would just be used to provide a back catalogue of back-compatible titles without the headache of emulation (and using the lower resolutions of PS1/2 games to work around the limitations of streaming)? If they had some sort of disk-in-drive authentication it could even replace actual back compatibility on the PS3 (and presumably PS4).

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But how would you justify the P&L on that? bandwidth and server maintenance doesn't grow on trees, get everybody who wants BC to fork out for PS++ I suppose.

They are better off treating it like DADC or Skype, a seperate company which is platform agnostic, more potential for actually being profitable.

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I can see a three tier pricing structure for PS1, PS2 and PS3 rentals/purchases with new releases not being available at all for a period. They're not going to be able to get customers to part with £50 per game I wouldn't have thought.

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If they're smart they can go further than that and put out a firmware update which gives PS3 and Vita the ability to stream PS4 games, which would give Sony a massive head start in addressable market for PS4 content.

This sounds like a terrible idea, it'd make people far less likely to actually buy a PS4, for one.

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If Sony seriously get behind this, then Sony could conceivably do a Wii - release a PS4 that's only a minor upgrade of PS3, and rely on streaming to get the latest in graphics etc

And than an hour later, the throttling kicks in on your broadband package, and the graphics really do a Wii.

A good point; Sony just enabled PC games on PS3.

Imagine day-1 Half Life 3 through PS3.

Imagine it looking ten million times clearer on PC - and with no lag.

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Why did I already believe this had happened? I've been telling people for the past few months that Sony have bought a streaming game company. Have I unknowingly predicted the future or was there something in the news a few months back that already stated this?

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It was heavily talked about by the games media, with the assumption the deal was long done for either online or Gaikai- people expected an E3 announcement.

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