Sony embraces cloud gaming with Gaikai buyout

Sony embraces cloud gaming with Gaikai buyout
PlayStation's future looking cloudy

Sony has announced that it is digging deep into its pockets and buying up all the shares of cloud-gaming service Gaikai.

Gaikai is a US based gaming firm and one which has been going head to head with OnLive in a bid to bring cloud gaming into the mainstream.

The idea of Gaikai is that you can play full-blown PC titles over a device without having to worry if your device is powerful enough.

This is because everything is played essentially by remote control – sapping up the power of Gaikai's servers and streamed straight to your connected TV, tablet, PC and now presumably the PS3.

Pretty fly for a Gaikai

Sony is looking to purchase all of Gaikai's shares for a reported $380 million (£240 million) but it has not revealed as of yet what it is going to do with the service.

"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 about the buyout.

"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."

Interestingly, purchasing Gaikai may well mean that Sony will enter other devices by stealth.

Back in early June it was announced that Samsung has entered a partnership with Gaikai to port the service on to its smart TV platform. It also penned a deal with LG back in January at CES 2012.

"Samsung will become a first party and we will power their game network," explained Gaikai Chief Executive David Perry at the time. "They will be the fourth major company. They are going after gaming."

With the buyout of Gaikai, Sony will no doubt be looking to bring the service to its PS3, but it will be the PS4 where Gaikai may come into its own.

Will this mean that Sony will do away with physical copies altogether and go full stream ahead with its next-gen console?

It's doubtful but it will certainly give its users the option to, something that will no doubt give games retailers a few sleepless nights.

Via Reuters

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.