Sony Buys Gaikai Cloud Gaming Service

Sony Buys Gaikai Cloud Gaming Service

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Sony takes its first step towards a cloud-shaped future.

Following speculation earlier this year that Sony was considering expanding its cloud-based gaming horizons, the company has now announced its acquisition of cloud gaming service Gaikai. Sony picked up the service and all of its accoutrements for the princely sum of $380 million, and will reportedly use them to launch a brand-new cloud gaming service of its very own.

Andrew House, group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE), sounds pretty pleased with the deal. "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 House.

House added, "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."

Grand as this sounds, Sony is yet to indicate exactly what it intends to do with all of this cloudy technology. Rumors are sure to abound, with many comments finding roots in the idea that cloud gaming will form an integral part of the hypothetical PlayStation 4. Much closer to solid ground are suggestions that Sony will use the cloud to stream PSOne and PlayStation 2 games to modern consoles (including the Vita), tablets, and televisions, effectively bringing backwards compatability to its new platforms.

With analysts having suggested that Gaikai would take in excess of $500 million when put up for sale, Sony could have stolen away with a decent deal here. If implemented correctly, a cloud gaming service that hooks up neatly across all of its hardware could be a serious asset for Sony's current- and next-gen portfolio. Is this where the next generation of gaming is heading, and should we expect to see similar moves from the other big hardware manufacturers in the future? Set phasers to speculate, Escapists; we're all ears.

Source: Eurogamer

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If they make it an optional thing (buy a hard copy or use cloud gaming) I think this will be a good thing. If they make it mandatory on the other hand, well, making you buy expensive hardware then make it useless with Cloud Gaming would be very silly.

An interesting and expected move from Sony frankly. Even though I'm not the biggest supporter of cloud-gaming it would be interesting if they would use this as a replacement for backwards compatibility, you know streaming ps1/ps2 games would be cool, or for instant demos with no download. But if they're gonna use it for new games it should be optional since a lot of people still prefer having physical media they risk alienating a huge part of their customer base if they make it obligatory.

Bring on the cloud gaming. Owning games is for suckers. Play it for 10-20 hours then trade it in for a net loss of 65% or more? Bleh.

I'd pay upwards of 30 bucks a month to play whatever I wanted. To not alienate an audience allow for a "checkout" mode that allows some one to have X number of games on the HD. Revoke the license to one, to checkout another. If you don't pay for the service, then you can no longer play the games. **

That would be an awesome mix of current PS Plus and cloud tech. Of course, if people want to buy the physical games, let them. But the option to cloud it up with checkout would be sexy.

**Checkout mode must allow for offline play. Please don't make shittastic DRM checks.

Watch Dogs comes closer to reality everyday.

Xersues:
**Checkout mode must allow for offline play. Please don't make shittastic DRM checks.

And there's the problem: it's not going to be what's best for you, it's going to be what makes them the most money.

My biggest issue with the cloud is that pesky bandwidth cap most people have to deal with, myself included. I stream all my movies and TV through Netflix, and play a lot of LoL and I've almost broken my bandwidth cap multiple times. If I had to stream my console games on top of that, I'd be screwed.

DVS BSTrD:
Watch Dogs comes closer to reality everyday.

Xersues:
**Checkout mode must allow for offline play. Please don't make shittastic DRM checks.

And there's the problem: it's not going to be what's best for you, it's going to be what makes them the most money.

True that, but right now PS Plus allows for free games that are installed to your harddrive (Which is finite in space), works in offline mode, and ceases to work once PS plus is inactive. I'm hoping they'll keep that same philosophy.

Captcha: hard cheese

Indeed it is. Smelly too.

As long as it is a "purchase" and not a "rental". And it had better be cheap as all hell. As in $1 for ps1 game, $2 for ps2.

Otherwise I'm bypassing yet another gaming gen. Meh I'll always have nethack, dwarf fortress and slightly more modern items on steam.

Would be awesome if Sony would include a stripped down version of the PS Store on their Bravia televisions.

Hook up a PS3 controller through bluetooth and streamplay PS1 and PS2 titles directly through your new Bravia set...

bluegate:
Would be awesome if Sony would include a stripped down version of the PS Store on their Bravia televisions.

Hook up a PS3 controller through bluetooth and streamplay PS1 and PS2 titles directly through your new Bravia set...

but where is the fun in taking all your money without gaming shoeboxes?
you really need that console to lease those great mediocre games comming in the future.

well maybe you can get a knockdown on the monthly price by watching those in game commercial breaks sony has patented:
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/18.376304-sony-patented-advertisement-during-gameplay

Xersues:
Bring on the cloud gaming. Owning games is for suckers. Play it for 10-20 hours then trade it in for a net loss of 65% or more? Bleh.

I'd pay upwards of 30 bucks a month to play whatever I wanted. To not alienate an audience allow for a "checkout" mode that allows some one to have X number of games on the HD. Revoke the license to one, to checkout another. If you don't pay for the service, then you can no longer play the games. **

That would be an awesome mix of current PS Plus and cloud tech. Of course, if people want to buy the physical games, let them. But the option to cloud it up with checkout would be sexy.

**Checkout mode must allow for offline play. Please don't make shittastic DRM checks.

Of course it's not going to work offline - it's CLOUD gaming. All of the code and data exists on a server somewhere in the cloud. Nothing is local to your machine. All you get is a streamed AV feed.

DiamanteGeeza:

Of course it's not going to work offline - it's CLOUD gaming. All of the code and data exists on a server somewhere in the cloud. Nothing is local to your machine. All you get is a streamed AV feed.

Sure, but don't think so small, Sony sells lots of hardware. TVs/Consoles, Portable gaming rigs, memory cards, and speakers to name a few. You can't stream things to the Vita and call yourself "portable". So while the cloud option is viable, it is just as viable for them to allow for a limited offline component, as they do now.

At best they'll use this to cover their bases and create a broader offering, something Sony has been known to do in order to distinguish itself.

So does this mean Gaikais deal with Samsung is pretty much sunk?

rhizhim:
but where is the fun in taking all your money without gaming shoeboxes?
you really need that console to lease those great mediocre games comming in the future.

well maybe you can get a knockdown on the monthly price by watching those in game commercial breaks sony has patented:
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/18.376304-sony-patented-advertisement-during-gameplay

Well yeah, the 'core' games would still be released on the consoles, but using Bravia televisions as a platform to release older games from previous generations and your everyday PSN content, they would have a huge market to sell their content to.

If they play their cards right with this streaming business, they could do some pretty awesome things.

Capcha: dream big
How appropriate.

Yeah, I think I am about ready to give up gaming. I am not at all interested in some scheme like OnLive has.

Let me lay it out for folks who don't know. Hopefully this information isn't out of date, it's been about a year since I looked into it.

- You "buy" game for full price ($60), it's only available it for 3 years
- You must maintain the monthly fee to have access to the games you rented for full price
- If you suspend your account (stop paying) fpr more than 12 months, they close your account taking all your "purchases" with it.

Who in their right mind would do that?

this won't end badly at all, no sir-y bob ......

just one more reason I'm glad to have left for PC land

Thanks Sony... Just another in a very long line of reasons to hate you.

Im not only to the point of completely boycotting Sony... Im contemplating replacing all my old Sony products such as Car stereos, Home stereo, etc that I built up over the years actually supporting these people.

Just another loathesome step from a company that has gotten to be rather loathesome in its own right. But on the bright side, if there is anyone who was going to buy a company that should not exist, Im glad it was with a company that already had done enough to earn hatred on its own merits.

Xersues:

DiamanteGeeza:

Of course it's not going to work offline - it's CLOUD gaming. All of the code and data exists on a server somewhere in the cloud. Nothing is local to your machine. All you get is a streamed AV feed.

Sure, but don't think so small, Sony sells lots of hardware. TVs/Consoles, Portable gaming rigs, memory cards, and speakers to name a few. You can't stream things to the Vita and call yourself "portable". So while the cloud option is viable, it is just as viable for them to allow for a limited offline component, as they do now.

At best they'll use this to cover their bases and create a broader offering, something Sony has been known to do in order to distinguish itself.

In the context of what this topic is about (Gaikai), it's not going to work offline.

Haha, if you want cloud gaming to fail, put it in the hands of companies that already like to shit on customers. Seems like a poor idea. There is honestly far to many infrastructure problems to deal with in regards to this subject as it stands, all irrational dislike aside.

viranimus:
Thanks Sony... Just another in a very long line of reasons to hate you.

Im not only to the point of completely boycotting Sony... Im contemplating replacing all my old Sony products such as Car stereos, Home stereo, etc that I built up over the years actually supporting these people.

Just another loathesome step from a company that has gotten to be rather loathesome in its own right. But on the bright side, if there is anyone who was going to buy a company that should not exist, Im glad it was with a company that already had done enough to earn hatred on its own merits.

Yeah, how dare they give you options? Especially ones that some people may actually prefer, even if those people - and this is the most galling thing of all - aren't you. Its utterly despicable, that they not run every little thing they do by you to make sure you approve of every business ecision they do. Thats just so insenstive.

viranimus:
Thanks Sony... Just another in a very long line of reasons to hate you.

Im not only to the point of completely boycotting Sony... Im contemplating replacing all my old Sony products such as Car stereos, Home stereo, etc that I built up over the years actually supporting these people.

Just another loathesome step from a company that has gotten to be rather loathesome in its own right. But on the bright side, if there is anyone who was going to buy a company that should not exist, Im glad it was with a company that already had done enough to earn hatred on its own merits.

How does this negatively affect you at all?

Crono1973:
Yeah, I think I am about ready to give up gaming. I am not at all interested in some scheme like OnLive has.

Let me lay it out for folks who don't know. Hopefully this information isn't out of date, it's been about a year since I looked into it.

- You "buy" game for full price ($60), it's only available it for 3 years
- You must maintain the monthly fee to have access to the games you rented for full price
- If you suspend your account (stop paying) fpr more than 12 months, they close your account taking all your "purchases" with it.

Who in their right mind would do that?

Actually you are a little out a date, and not quite right either. Onlive guarantees the game will playable until a certain date, if there still enough players playing that game, they will extend the availability of the game.(This has not happen as no game has reached the limit yet)

There is no monthly fee on games you bought full licenses on. So you can play them whenever you want as long as their still available.

Monthly fee only pertains to the playpass system. If you are paying the monthly fee you have access to ALL GAMES that are in the playpass library. Stopping the playpass will only take away games from the library unless you bought a full license on a game, you will still have access to that game.

Rental Passes are available for 3 and 5 days, these only let you play the game for 3 or 5 days.

30 minute pass lets you play the game free of charge for 30 minutes, as many times as you like, but you start over from the beginning each time.

Onlive is FREE to have an account, so even if you don't want to pay anything, there is always the 30 minute pass if your eager to try out a game before you buy it, even if it is on another system.

And now there are five:
OnLive
Microsoft Cloud
GameStop SpawnLabs
Sony Gaikai
Steam Cloud

Baldr:

Crono1973:
Yeah, I think I am about ready to give up gaming. I am not at all interested in some scheme like OnLive has.

Let me lay it out for folks who don't know. Hopefully this information isn't out of date, it's been about a year since I looked into it.

- You "buy" game for full price ($60), it's only available it for 3 years
- You must maintain the monthly fee to have access to the games you rented for full price
- If you suspend your account (stop paying) fpr more than 12 months, they close your account taking all your "purchases" with it.

Who in their right mind would do that?

Actually you are a little out a date, and not quite right either. Onlive guarantees the game will playable until a certain date, if there still enough players playing that game, they will extend the availability of the game.(This has not happen as no game has reached the limit yet)

There is no monthly fee on games you bought full licenses on. So you can play them whenever you want as long as their still available.

Monthly fee only pertains to the playpass system. If you are paying the monthly fee you have access to ALL GAMES that are in the playpass library. Stopping the playpass will only take away games from the library unless you bought a full license on a game, you will still have access to that game.

Rental Passes are available for 3 and 5 days, these only let you play the game for 3 or 5 days.

30 minute pass lets you play the game free of charge for 30 minutes, as many times as you like, but you start over from the beginning each time.

Onlive is FREE to have an account, so even if you don't want to pay anything, there is always the 30 minute pass if your eager to try out a game before you buy it, even if it is on another system.

I stand corrected, thanks for the update.

Clearing the Eye:
How does this negatively affect you at all?

Foolproof:

Yeah, how dare they...

...... Why do people not understand that their choices never are simply their own choices and that their choices effect everyone and every thing. Its cloud gaming... a technology that is not wanted or needed by consumers. Its another step in pushing digital distribution as a means to control their media beyond the levels of control they should have. So Sony buying a cloud service means they fully intend to not only use it but perpetuate it. Just because someone is gullible enough to like it or naive enough to be duped into thinking this is a good thing does not mean the damage done by one individual supporting a bad idea ends with them.

I mean last year when people were complaining about the potential of MW elite... the counterargument was the same.. If someone might like it, who does it hurt. Well.. Its hurt the entire industry and we see how now by Battlefield 3 premium service netting almost a million subscribers. Whats the next step? In 5 years will we see all major games have in game Real money transaction thanks to the fact people bought and accepted diablo 3?

TL;DR

Peoples decisions are never their own because the consequences of their decisions can potentially effect everyone.

EDIT: perhaps my response is biased, having just completed Deus Ex HR, but I am pretty sure I have made this argument before.

viranimus:
Its cloud gaming... a technology that is not wanted or needed by consumers.

Not wanted by you. Don't speak from bias and argue with generalizations--you won't get far.

You've failed to demonstrate why Sony purchasing this company warrants further "hate" from you. Not only do you know nothing at all of their plans for the technology and the business, you've no idea if they are even taking over the group or simply purchasing it for profit. Cloud gaming is here, and so is physical media. The two exist together at the moment and Sony is another cog in that machine.

A little less conjecture, bias and rage. A lot less sensationalism and propaganda.

Yes I am fully aware that cloud gaming is here, and thats the entire point of the hate. This technology should not exist, yet, The fact is that a major corporation with the financial clout to strong arm it into viability is going to take a technology that offers no true benefit to the customer over any other alternative.

The two (physical/digital) might exist at the same moment, but that does not mean co-exist. The only thing that is making them exist at the same time is the resistance to digital distribution to which there is no where near enough of. Sony did not purchase a cloud based service in order to hold it as a trophy company. They bought it because they wish to utilize it because they view it as another tool in the forcible push of digital distribution on the gaming populous in order to better control and maximize profit. So No I have no interest in supporting that goal because it negatively effects me by spitting on legal rights and working around the concept of ownership.

No, It does not matter if it is speculation Its not idle speculation, its speculation based on proven history. Ive already illustrated its not sensationalism because the precedents speak for themselves. Its pretty hard to be propaganda when I am basically the only one reminding people that their negative choices effect me and others like me negatively. When every time I bring up something that requires an inkling of vision the whole "slippery slope! Slippery Slope!" chant comes out to try to tell me I am overreacting. I would think they might be right had I not had such a long history of calling these things accurately.

If anything there needs to be a great deal more life experience and a whole lot less idealism that wants to think the best of a situation, when there is no justification for it. Not speaking in resistance to it simply because "Its already here" is defeatist.

If it's an extension of a service or option for gamers: Fine.
If it's a core/required component of Sony's next gen system (assuming they even bother), well, it just mean a little bit more of the gaming market is going to Eternal Rental Hell.

Though given the agendas of the publishers and Big Three, in 20 years, I suspect that the concept of letting the gamer enjoy a title without having some corporate service looking over their shoulder will appear delightfully quaint.

viranimus:
Yes I am fully aware that cloud gaming is here, and thats the entire point of the hate. This technology should not exist, yet, The fact is that a major corporation with the financial clout to strong arm it into viability is going to take a technology that offers no true benefit to the customer over any other alternative.

And by "the customer", you mean only "insane, deranged PC fanboys who obsessively upgrade their machines 9 times a week", because those are the only people on the planet who won't find the benefeit of a service to play games without having to buy a several hundred dollar console, or a several thousand dollar PC.

And your precedent is where, exactly? Where is this stripping of consumer rights thanks to Netflix basically phasing out the brick and mortar method of acquiring a movie?

Foolproof:
And by "the customer", you mean only "insane, deranged PC fanboys who obsessively upgrade their machines 9 times a week", because those are the only people on the planet who won't find the benefeit of a service to play games without having to buy a several hundred dollar console, or a several thousand dollar PC.

That is patently false. You can exist on a decent 400USD PC for 3-5 years without needing an upgrade. I am sorry that youve gotten that wrong of an idea, but it is wrong.

As for the precedent? It starts with the first online connected game and its been gradual increments ever since with notable ones such as Steams rise to prominence, DLC, PSPGO and many many many many other clear signs that the industry as a whole is determined to cram digital distribution down the publics throat come hell or high water, and its not even in question that they do this specifically out of greed.

I would like to see a fully specced console with cloud capabilities released alongside a cut-price cloud only box. That would be pretty awesome.

As a tool for use with demos, indie games that were never going to see a physical release anyway and games a customer has access to via Sony's premium PSN subscription I see no issue with Gaikai becoming a part of Sony. But if this is used for core game titles as a replacement of hard copies, I'm not buying the system and even without empirical data I think I can safely say there are people who'd agree with me. Having said that, there isn't even a slight chance that Sony is going all digital with the next console, no one is quite dumb enought to think the world has the internet infrastructure required to run such a system. I'll still keep an eye on this though, it'd be a shame if it gets out of hand.

 

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