When Sony bought cloud gaming company Gaikai in 2012 there was much speculation as to what they would do with the technology – would they make it a PlayStation only service? The PS4 announcement gave some indication that PS3 games would be streamed to the PS4 using it but Sony have now announced an opening up of the technology.
In essence cloud gaming allows the game to run on Sony’s servers with the video streamed from them and your control movements streamed back to them. This means the device you play on can be very low powered or of an older generation. Sony’s new service is to be called Sony Now and will allow gaming on Smart TVs, tablets, the PS4 and PS3 and smartphones. Crucially it will also be available to other manufacturers with Samsung already signed up as a launch partner and with a good selection of games including The Last of Us, Beyond: Two Souls and God of War: Ascension.
The service is to launch as a geographically restricted test in the US this month and to roll out to the rest of the US later this summer. There is no news of a UK launch but as the crucial factor in cloud gaming is usually latency, necessitating geographically nearby servers we would not expect a fast roll out. If Sony can get this right this has the potential to be a great service. They have a great back catalogue of games, decent technology from Gaikai and if they are willing to go cross platform a good chance to capture the market.