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Does Sony’s Gaikai acquisition show the PS4 path?

Following on from KitGuru’s report on the advances being made by EA with its Origin platform for online game delivery, it looks as though the Steam-style-powered future is going to be attractive to all of the major players in the content arena. KitGuru holds its breath and dives into the cloudy ocean.

There are few reasons why a company as large and inventive as Sony would plonk 380 million dollars of the USA persuasion onto a table and ask for a deal. That kind of investment is enough to kick off your own space programme, let alone build up a gaming cloud. But that is exactly how much has been offered and, with the agreement of the law makers, it will be accepted and the deal concluded rather quickly.

Gaikai founder, David Perry, went to Methodist College in Belfast – a marching day stone’s throw from KitGuru’s own founder. He built his reputation and personal fortune by creating some of the most iconic gaming titles, including Earthworm Jim.

In 2008, he got together with Andrew Gault and Rui Pereira in California and formed Gaikai with the intention of leading the brave new world into gaming as a service. Being clever, the chaps formed the company in Holland before moving it to the sunshine of California. What made his solution different, was the idea that it could work across a variety of different hardware and did not require a complicated software installation to begin running. Clever stuff.

It launched on February 27th last year with titles like Mass Effect 2 and Spore.

At the start of 2012, the company succeeded in getting agreements with Youtube, UBIShop and EA for Origin – as well as becoming embedded inside Facebook. Nice.

The actual list of big-name-brand-partners that Sony has bought into, reads like this:-

  • Autodesk
  • Bestbuy
  • EA
  • GAME
  • Intel
  • LG
  • nVidia
  • Samsung
  • Ubisoft
  • Walmart
  • Warner Brothers
  • YouTube
David Perry is likely to have a mass effect too, on the future of gaming. Well done Sony. Also, one look at the GaiKai logo and you understand where Microsoft got its Windows 8 graphics inspiration from. Maybe.

KitGuru says: One of the biggest issues facing companies like Sony is ‘When we launch a new console, how can we include some backward compatibility so customers with a huge library of older games don’t feel as though we just stiffed them?’   Sony’s acquisition of Gaikai removes that challenge, so Sony choosing to go with AMD’s Fusion/APU technology wouldn’t affect the Playstation 4’s ability to run PS3 games. You know. If they decided to go that way. That is.

Comment below or in the KitGuru forums.

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