An interesting report published by the Wall Street Journal suggests that Sony’s all but announced upcoming next-generation console, the PlayStation 4, will be able to stream games.
According to its own sources, “Sony Corp. is planning to offer technology to stream games to its next video game console. “The new technology, to be unveiled Wednesday along with the new console, will allow users to play games delivered over the Internet, these people said. The streaming service,’ they added, ‘is designed to use current PlayStation 3 titles on the new console; the new device is also expected to play new games stored on optical discs.”
If this is indeed true, then perhaps we could finally see just what Sony are doing with Gaikai, the game streaming service that was bought by SCEA last year for $380 million. When Sony bought Gaikai, they were still in great financial trouble and a sum of almost $400 million for a company we have little from since then wouldn’t make a lot of sense unless Sony was planning to use them in a particular way that has a lot of potential.
Of course, there isn’t yet a lot of evidence to back up these claims but the pieces certainly fit. In the past year, Sony have had an increasing focus on tying their products together using ideas such as crossbuy and PlayStation Mobile which also features crossbuy with the PlayStation Vita. Sony has already made a huge and warmly received impact with its PlayStation Plus subscription service. PS Plus is a service that no other company does so it was unknown ground for Sony so having found their feet there, they could easily implement what knowledge they have learnt into working out a new subscription service for streaming. Streaming itself takes little processing power out of a system so functionality between the PS4 and the PS Vita could be a possibility.
Last week, a Japanese newspaper reported that Sony would be using Gaikai for the PS4. If you visit Gaikai’s website, namely the “About” section, the cloud gaming service says that they’re currently working with Sony and that they’re waiting to show the world just what they’re working on. With the PlayStation Meeting a mere four days away, seeing the PS4 with cloud gaming is an increasing possibility. Gaikai teased images of current PlayStation titles such as Metal Gear and Killzone on its website last year which are now gone. Whatever they’re working on, its irrefutable that it’s PlayStation related.
Of course, Sony will have to be smart if they choose to use Gaikai. Last year, Onlive, a fellow cloud streaming service for games went through some serious trouble that saw they dismissal of every single staff member and a complete rethink on their business model. Onlive was eventually bought for an incredibly low price of under $5 million. Of course, Onlive went under because of its rockbottom prices but there are still lessons to be learnt from their mistakes as right now, Sony cannot afford to make any more.
The PlayStation Meeting is on Wednesday the 20th of February in New York at 6pm EST. You’ll find Analog Addiction covering the event, so if you miss it, you’ll still be up to date.
Source: Wall Street Journal.
George Sinclair is an editor for Analog Addiction, the home of the latest news, reviews and previews. You can follow George on Twitter and his blog on IGN. Be sure to follow the official Analog Addiction Twitter.