Gaikai won't just be used for Sony's games machines - Andrew House

YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING!

It was Sony Computer Entertainment specifically that announced the deal to acquire Gaikai. It wasn't Sony Corporation as a whole.

The inference was that Gaikai would be used for PlayStation purposes.

But, slap my face and call me Susie, that doesn't appear to be the end of Sony's ambitions.

Sony Computer Entertainment boss Andrew House said expanding the Gaikai technology to other products beyond Sony's game machines is "absolutely within the frame".

"It's recognition on Sony's part that the cloud and cloud streaming technologies are going to have profound and possibly a very positive impact on not only our game business, but also in the way our consumers interact with and obtain content in general," House told the Wall Street Journal.

walkman

Every machine can benefit!

But the plan is to start an online video game streaming service, House said, although he didn't say when.

The obvious application for Gaikai beyond PlayStation is in Sony's Bravia television line. And Gaikai has proven how this will work with an existing TV deal with Samsung. What will happen to that deal now Sony is in charge remains to be seen - House wouldn't comment specifically on it.

"It's recognition on Sony's part that the cloud and cloud streaming technologies are going to have profound and possibly a very positive impact on not only our game business, but also in the way our consumers interact with and obtain content in general."

Andrew House, group CEO, Sony Computer Entertainment

Beyond Bravia, Sony could use Gaikai to stream PS2 and PS3 games to Sony tablets, PlayStation Vita and to Sony phones. Digital Foundry explored the various technical possibilities of the Sony-Gaikai deal for Eurogamer just the other day.

The big question the Sony-Gaikai deal now poses is, what will Microsoft do? The likelihood that Ballmer's bunch will splash out on OnLive - the other major video game streaming company - diminishes by the day. The general opinion is becoming one of Microsoft doing something in-house.

Comments made recently by Phil Spencer, Microsoft Studios bigwig, seem to back this up.

"To be honest," Spencer told GamesIndustry International, "it is at an incubation period. Gaikai is doing great work and I'm not downplaying what they've done, but it is not yet at global scale where you can promise someone that when they buy this TV and plug it into their own internet connection that they are going to get a reliable service that a normal, non-technical person would accept for playing all types of games.

"We're a scale company, we want to make a promise that we can actually reach everybody. Anybody can buy a Kinect, plug it in, and it will work. Cloud is in the future, there is no doubt about that. And as a company, Microsoft has Azure; we have data centers, Office 365, Hotmail. There is no question about big data, large scale services that Microsoft has invested in.

"On our side, future of entertainment is the cloud. You see that with music and movies, and games will be that way as well. We are a ways away from everybody being able to play all the games that we are showing off on the floor of E3 via the cloud reliably. We're involved in the investigations and the experiments, but I don't think it's at scale yet.

"It will be, but it is not an 'if,' it's a 'when.'

A recent Digital Foundry comparison video between Bulletstorm running on Xbox 360 and Bulletstorm running on Gaikai.

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