Gartner: Gaikai buyout won't spell the end of Blu-ray for PlayStation

Gartner: Gaikai buyout won't spell the end of Blu-ray for PlayStation
Sony and Gaikai: stream team

Sony showed the world it was backing cloud gaming this week with news it was to acquire Gaikai for $380 million.

While many think that this could mean that the PS4 is to go disc-less, leading analyst firm Gartner isn't convinced this will be the case.

Speaking exclusively to TechRadar, Paul O' Donovan, Principal Research Analyst at Gartner, said about the Gaikai buyout: "Clearly this is a good move for Sony, to be able to offer another way for consumers to access a wide range of games from multiple platforms other then the PS3.

"It does not mean the end of the Blu-ray disc capability of the next generation of PlayStations, however, because the next generation of 4K2K displays will certainly be distributed by Blu-ray initially."

O'Donovan also pointed out that buying up Gaikai was all part of Sony creating its own eco-system for the myriad devices it has in its range.

"This doesn't mean the end of the PS3 as a games console because it is already much more than just a console. But it does mean for Sony that as they develop multiple connected platforms such as the PS3, tablets and smart TVs, its building an ecosystem that offers more than just video or music.

"How Sony executes on this acquisition and persuade consumers to buy into its hardware and software is going to be the test for the company."


"How Sony executes on this acquisition is going to be the test for the company."

Backwards compatibility

When it comes to Sony customers 'buying' into cloud gaming, Andy Robinson, editor of CVG, reckons we won't see the fruit of the buyout until the PS4 hits shelves.

"With PS4 seemingly looming in 2013, I don't think we'll see anything of this deal on current hardware," Robinson told TechRadar.

"The biggest implications for PlayStation gaming could be backwards compatibility, which was very costly to implement in PS3 and later removed entirely from later versions of the console.

"PS4 could stream PS3 or even PS2 and PSOne games via Gaikai, eliminating the need for weeks or months of development work to acclimatise older titles to current-gen hardware."

Leon Hurley of Official PlayStation is of the same opinion, believing that we won't be seeing the technology seep into Sony products for a while but he does note: "Clearly cloud and online services are the future for everyone, and this is a step in that direction."

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.