The announcement everyone was waiting for at Sony’s E3 2012 press conference has just been made. Sony owns Gaikai, the cloud-based gaming company that allows people to stream games through their computers, TVs and tablets. It cost Sony $380 million to acquire Gaikai, which it will now use to make its own cloud-based gaming service.
In case this is all new to you, here’s how cloud-based gaming works. You buy a game through the service, and then you can stream the game over the internet to have it play directly on your desktop, laptop, tablet or HDTV. You don’t need to worry about system requirements, as all of that is handled on the company’s end. You just essentually need a monitor and a means to control the game. In return, you either pay a subscription or outright buy the game in order to play it.
Since Sony’s bought up Gaikai with the idea of developing its own service, odds are we’ll see cloud-based gaming on both the PS3 and PS Vita. Those are Sony’s two current systems. Nothing has been confirmed yet, but I’m thinking this could be Sony’s new way of getting people immediate access to PlayStation, PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 games, even if their system doesn’t have the emulation technology available to run it.
Now, I’d like to make a prediction. I have a feeling Sony’s going to tie its cloud-based gaming business into its PlayStation Plus service. Maybe a PlayStation Plus membership will now give users access to the full library of PS1-PS3 games that will be available through Gaikai.
Sony and Gaikai haven’t announced how this will effect people who currently use Gaikai. Hopefully, everything that’s going on now and the games currently available won’t change, and this acquisition just means new opportunities for game distribution. One thing’s for sure, this means we’ll probably never see Gaikai on an Xbox 360 or Wii U!