Sony + Gaikai = ???

There have  been rumors circulating of Sony looking into purchasing a cloud gaming service. The two named in this purchase were Gaikai and OnLive. It looks like Sony wasn’t bluffing, and has agreed to purchase Gaikai for $380 million!

Sony commented on the news:

“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,” Andrew House, President and Group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, said in a statement.

“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.”

A variety of internet connected devices you say? Maybe the PS4? This would make sense, and go along with other previous rumors that the PS4(Codenamed Orbis) is going to use a technology that prevents used games from being played on the console. I would imagine a console that allowed no physical software, and used only downloads and streaming, would fall right in line with that rumor. However, internet only gaming comes at a cost: Not every gaming household has access to fast broadband internet, without bandwidth caps. If the PS4/Orbis were to require a constant internet connection, then Sony would be cutting off a large chunk of it’s target market.

However, there are pros for this sort of distribution model as well. Such as the lack of physical software cut’s down on printing, burning, and shipping costs which in turn should lower the price of the games. There’s also the reports that state the Used Game market is killing console gaming because gamers are waiting for others to trade in copies of new games to get them at a lower rate. To challenge this, new games would need to hit the digital shelves at a lower cost to entice players to purchase the game upfront, since gamers would no longer be able purchase cheaper secondhand games, and because we’d have no option to trade in old games to lower the cost of new ones.

It’ll be interesting to see how this all pans out. I personally love digital distribution (WHERE ARE YOU STEAM SUMMER SALE?!) but, I also can’t see publishers ditching the physical copies in the next gen. It just seems too soon. What’s your take? Let us know in the comments below!

is not a boss.

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