When you're as big as Sony
, even acquisitions that cost around $380 million can sometimes get swept under the rug. But if you had any fears that Sony's purchase of Gaikai
wouldn't yield near-instant results, think again. With the PlayStation 4 likely to be unveiled by Sony next week, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that a major part of the PS4's functionality will deal with the underlying technology that Gaikai built. In specific terms, the PlayStation 4 will offer backwards compatibility with PlayStation 3 software. But not only in disc support -- it'll be able to stream games in, much like Wii U users
can do when playing classic Nintendo titles.
Beyond streaming PS3 titles, the PS4
may also support streaming of new, PlayStation 4 titles. Unlike the PSPgo, which eschewed physical media altogether in favor of digital downloads, the PS4 will likely have its hand in both the physical realm and the cloud realm. It's probably a wise move for Sony, as to not entirely alienate a world that's shifting away from physical media, but is far from ready to give it up entirely.
Of course, cloud gaming and even game streaming is hardly a novel idea. The $99 OUYA KickStarter console will rely solely on cloud games, for example. But with Sony's technology purchase, it's clear that a huge deal of focus will be placed on this, and it's likely that Sony's next-gen game streaming will trump anything else on the market. Guess we'll find out for sure next week, huh?