back to article Sony grabs cloud-gaming group Gaikai

Sony has acquired cloud-gaming company Gaikai for $380m (£240m) with a view to using the streaming service set to strengthen its online offering. The deal sees Sony take control of Gaikai's tech and infrastructure, including all of the cloud-gaming firm's data centres. Gaikai runs games on its servers, with picture and sound …

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Call me an old stick in the mud....

..... but I quite like the idea of physical content and the ability to just pick something up and play it, without all this "cloud" malarkey.

I like to know I can play my purchase when I want, where I want and not be reliant upon an ISP for connectivity and the good grace of the software vendor to stay alive and keep themselves in business, so I can carry on playing.

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Re: Call me an old stick in the mud....

And Sony making available an optional streaming service prevents you doing that how exactly?

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MJI
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Hmmm

Personally I don't like the idea of streaming games, but then I don't like the idea of buying MP3 music.

This could be a momey pit or a huge success - which one - time will tell.

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great buy

Ive used Onlive on my phone, and was amazed to see high end PC graphics running on my hunble android. Streaming games is the future, and this purchase puts sony in a great position. £250m is a steal, when you consider the cost of setting this busness up.

CAnt wait to see what sony can offer. My Vita trembles with anticipation!

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Re: great buy

It does look impressive on a phone (well, the OnLive equivalent did when I tried it), the small screen hides the appalling compression artefacts, touch control is poor and disguises the latency problems and people still have lower expectations for a phone.

On a PC both OnLive and Gaikai were disappointing. Laggy, bad compression artefacts, low FPS on Gaikai, bad latency on both and low resolution.

Bandwidth is a bigger immediate problem. It sucked 5Mbit on my 10Mbit connection - thats 2Gb/hour. That triggered throttling on my Virgin cable, it would quickly hit the bandwidth cap on most UK accounts. That 5Mbit bought me just 720 line resolution and looked like shit. To properly support a HD TV 10Mbit+ and no cap is going to be needed. That's going to work well in a country that struggles to supply 5Mbit connections!

I agree, it's going to turn up on handheld devices first while they wait for the network to catch up with the scheme. Unlike you though, I've had OnLive on my phone for months and just don't bother to use it, it's failed to interest me at all. Firmly in the 'surprised it works at all usably' rather than impressed.

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money maker/saver

They'll still release a new dedicated games console. The disconnected market is still too profitable to miss.

But I'm sure this will save them a ton on components for backwards compatibility of PS3 and PS2 games.

By streaming theses games to other devices as well you can rent your old games to new 'gamers' (everybody with a bravia or other Sony device capable of playing it) while still making it interesting for people to buy new hardware.

And they might even use it (for the not so privacy conscious people) to stream other apps like a decent web-browser.

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Online gaming

Many gamers with consoles and disc-based games only play online games... when Xbox Live hiccups there is a great wailing and a gnashing of teeth.

Is anyone here knowledgeable enough to comment if a streaming multiplayer game would aid or prevent 'lag cheaters'- people gaining an advantage by spoofing the (now usually) peer-to-peer system?

(My gut feeling is that sending gigabytes of video data over the web is a bit of waste of bandwidth just to save on some local hardware.... but it is only a feeling and may well be based on my FUD)

Now, streaming productivity appiications (pay per use, no work lost if local computer gets hit by a meteorite etc, huge computing power available for big but infrequent jobs etc) definitely does have a role.

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Anonymous Coward

just a thought, but this could be used to allow PS3 owners to try the PS4 games before they decide to make a purchase! Heck, it can be used to allow PC/Xbox360/tablet/WiiU owners to try the PS4 before the console hit the shelves.

P.S. I remember reading some new rumors that the next Xbox and the PS4 will be supporting BD drives and both companies will still be supporting retailers. Both companies have seen how much they need the retailers after what happened to the PSPGo. The PSPGo might have been an expensive experiment, but it have showed console makers that we are not ready for an all digital service when it come to home devices.

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Anonymous Coward

Can't wait...

Almost certain to be a this-gen feature, extending the life of the PS3, and offering a seamless transition to PS4, in that you would be able to play PS4 games on your PS3.

I'm guessing it will be integrated as part of the already fantastic value for money PlaystationPlus model. and I'm guessing it will also allow PC owners to play PS3 games, and PS3 owners to play PC games...

Clearly it won't replace disk-based gaming, but it will certainly complement it.

Who wants to be there is a couple of console feeling rather left out by all of this. The Blu-Ray revolution passed them by, and so is this. (not that they really have any excuse, as a PS3 is £150 these days, and they wasted more than that on online double-dip subscription charges and batteries for their controllers).

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Re: Can't wait...

why on earth would they allow you to play ps4 games from a ps3? surely that will lose them money and stop people buying the ps4. especially since it will not be able to recreate the graphics or latency so it will appear to look much worse and play worse, most likely turning people away.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Can't wait...

You do know what this is about right?

The console is just a dub framebuffer, all the rendering is done at the remote end. So when Sony update their end with PS4 renderers, your PS3 will be able to show PS4 games, and PC games and whatever makes commercial sense.

game streaming is not for everyone, not just the lack of network infrastructure, for other reasons too, and this will bolster PS4 adoption, not compete with it.. I'm not suggesting they will be giving PS3 owners the ability fo play PS4 games for free. It will be part of PS+ or something, which over the years will net Sony more money than actually making and selling hardware anyway.

What do you think the profit margin on consoles is in the early years? Isn't it better to not sell as many, if you can still evolve the PS4 platform via this?

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A general reply to "streaming games"-deniers

I used to think the same thing, ie streaming games was a bad idea and the implementation would be horribly laggy.

I was convinced of this right up until a friend of mine called my attention to Quake Live.

The experience put my arguments to rest.

That said, I do believe that the Id crew has always been at the forefront of game networking - they were there first with Doom after all, and there is no guarantee that other companies, even (I wanted to type _especially_) Sony will be able to reproduce such a flawless level of gameplay.

But somebody did it, so it can be done.

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