Sony to acquire cloud gaming service Gaikai for $380M

Publisher announces it has entered into a "definitive agreement" to acquire Gaikai for approximately $380 million.

Sony Computer Entertainment announced today it is in the final stages of acquiring cloud gaming network Gaikai for approximately $380 million.

Gaikai specializes in delivering PC games to a variety of connected devices.

According to a statement released by Sony today, the publisher intends to use the acquisition to establish a new cloud service combining Gaikai's resources with its own.

"By combining Gaikai's technological strength and engineering talent with SCE's extensive game platform knowledge and experience, SCE will provide users with unparalleled cloud entertainment experiences," president and group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Andrew House said in the 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."

Established in 2008 in Aliso Viejo, California, by David Perry, Gaikai enables game streaming to a variety of devices via the Internet. The platform allows players to demo and purchase games such as Call of Duty or Mass Effect 3 through a browser-based interface built on common technologies like Java and Flash.

"We're honored to be able to help SCE rapidly harness the power of the interactive cloud and to continue to grow their ecosystem, to empower developers with new capabilities, to dramatically improve the reach of exciting content and to bring breathtaking new experiences to users worldwide," Perry said in the statement released today.

According to Sony, the acquisition is still "subject to certain regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions."

Last year, Gaikai appointed Sony veteran Phil Harrison and ex-Activision executive Robin Kaminsky to its advisory board.

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blackace
blackace

I'm not into cloud gaming at this point. Maybe after Verizons FIOS makes it into my area I'll take another look. I think David Perry made out on this deal more then Sony. If Sony thinks they are going to be able to rent games at $40+ a game through this service, they are crazy. The problem with cloud gaming is you don't actually own any of the games even though you pay full price for them. It's similar to Sony's PS+ service where you can keep playing the games as long as the service exists or is actually up and running. If GAIKAI service crashes, what are you left with?

Justforvisit
Justforvisit

Hmmm well, as long as it stays optional and they don't get the idea of forcing down cloud gaming to anyone in next gen it's fine with me

theKSMM
theKSMM

I think this is a great move to complement traditional local gaming mechanisms. As a heavy user of OnLive, I can say without reservation that the technology is ready for prime time.  And if Sony can apply it to console gaming, so much the better.

 

Imagine being able to demo the first level of a game with no download time.  Imagine that you can "rent" a game for a week or so, enough time for many gamers to complete a game--rather than try to trade your new $60 game for $30 of store credit. Imagine a PlayStation Plus membership that includes unlimited access to a huge back catalog of PS and PS2 games.  The possibilities are mind-blowing.

 

Of course, this all assumes that Sony does anything respectable and doesn't charge and arm and a leg for it...so I guess there's still plenty of time for them to mess it all up. :-/

soulless4now
soulless4now

Not a bad move, but at least cloud gaming isn't the norm just yet. 

Shame-usBlackley
Shame-usBlackley

A trend is forming:

Sony buys, invents, and invests in things related to gaming.

Microsoft buys, invents and invests in things not related to gaming. 

I don't see how there could be any more stark a choice when deciding whose next generation console to buy. 

Granpire
Granpire

This can only mean good things for Sony:

 

One one hand, they have a massive streaming platform to put to good use, streaming PS2 or PS1 games, and probably PS3 demos, as they've expressed. On the other hand, they've eliminated a major competitor, so even if this fails, it's still probably money saved.

 

I'm interested to see where this goes, especially what it means for the Vita. It could turn Sony's portable into the best mobile cloud gaming device.

 

Still, I'm not looking forward to the all-cloud gaming future. As long as conventional gaming is here to stay, I won't mind it. Much.

valium88
valium88

This might actually strenghten the rumored blocking of used games on the next-gen Playstation imo.

Apastron
Apastron

Are we actually supposed to get excited about new ways that console developers think of to make money?

 

Show me games!

GeneralTrouble
GeneralTrouble

I think Sony are just getting all their ducks in a row. We all know that the future is digital downloads over discs, streaming services and cloud storage. It's both cost effective and more easily managed. Broadband is only going to improve with time making most current connection problems obsolete. I think Msoft and Sony will be watching Onlive very carefully to see how they play out. Should they be successful you'd expect one or the other to buy it out and integrate it into their future systems.  

Valen_Ca
Valen_Ca

So does this mean that I won't need to buy a PS4 and can just keep using my PS3 until it dies?

NARUtotheFISH
NARUtotheFISH

And I thought Microsoft had integrity in their products. Sony might just win. But let's wait till the PS4 and new xbox. 

rarson
rarson

Good news for Gakai, bad news for Sony, because I doubt they're going to be able to leverage the service effectively. The big problem with streaming services, aside from the fact that a lot of people still don't have the bandwidth to use them, is the fact that ISPs aren't going to allow their users to quintuple their bandwidth usage without charging a premium for it.

GalvatronType_R
GalvatronType_R

Where did Sony get the cash for this?  Sony is deep in the red and doesn't have the reserve cash war chest that MS and Nintendo have.

 

This couldn't have been a stock and debt deal, no M&A is done without cash exchanging hands.

UnwantedSpam
UnwantedSpam

And if Sony gets hacked again? No more cloud games!

Arsyad00
Arsyad00

AWESOME!! i can play my PS3 at my backyard

hadlee73
hadlee73

I just had to put my bandwidth limit on suicide watch.

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

Now is the time to keep cloud-gaming in check. As long as it's in check, Sony will tread carefully when it comes to using this technology. Making more content available to PS users will be a boon to PS owners like myself. If it becomes prevalent, this will without a question become the next generation of DRM, which will actually be a misnomer since no consumer will actually own any game (game license technically) at all. You will just buy, actually I think the more likely possibility is rent or subscribe, to the rights to play games off company-held master servers. $60 per playthrough? $15 per month of access? Trade in your access rights for a % of the game you have not accessed as credits for other games? So many possibilities.

 

Not only that, all these business will tie their fate with yours. "You better make sure we never go belly-up no matter how greedy or incompetent we become. Once we go bankrupt, all your purchases go with us." It's amazing how the gaming market is simultaneously offering more choices than ever and increasingly making consumers into a slave or host (as in host to parasites) race.

Lotus-Edge
Lotus-Edge

A nice buy. Perhaps a bit dear though....

anotherone10
anotherone10

This is a game changer for the console environment I think.

charliewong420
charliewong420

I have been playing onlive for along time now. I have also been checking out all the new demos that gaikai puts up on there site. Needless to say I have a 15Mb download, and a 2Mb upload and they both work pretty damn good. I have played and played games on onlive, without any major problems. I love how people change there minds once a bigger company buys a cloud gaming service. before most would just say it flat out doesn't work, or that it will lag to much.

leeko_link
leeko_link

So does this mean I would be able to play God of War, Battlefield, and LittleBigPlanet games on my laptop and tablets soon? If that's the case then why need a PS4 or a Vita?

kkushalbeatzz
kkushalbeatzz

Since this is now owned by Sony, I think I'll download it.

darksiED70
darksiED70

If this will allow me to play my ps3 or 4 games on my playststion certified sony tablet s then this is good news. Come on sony, if you want my money, just make ps2 games be playable on YOUR f****n tab. Why are you always half hearted with your endeavors? how can games even better than old ps2 games be downloadable for FREE on google play? Like I said I will pay for the games, just make the playstation certified brand RELEVANT.

killlo
killlo

I think using cloud gaming is great for testing out demos because come on who wants to wait to download  a 800mb to 2g demo just to play it one time the faster I can tell if the game sucks the better for gamers

System4Ever
System4Ever

I know they just bought out an entire company, but am i the only one that thinks that is still a f**k load of money?

KC_Hokie
KC_Hokie

wow another horrible move by Sony. Cloud gaming outright blows at the moment.

bumptastic0530
bumptastic0530

Well this sounds cool! I'm an 360 guy myself, but streaming games is a neat concept. Will I ever actually use it? Unless I'm forced to, no, because I'd rather have the physical product (call me old fashioned I guess) but I can see how it would be a benefit. Wouldn't surprise me to hear of MS doing something along these lines down the road. Is it enough to break me from my Xbox though? Nah. Its all about the controller, and the PS/PS2/PS3 controller has never felt right to me. I do feel that this is a big push for Sony to help revive themselves as a company, adding value to their most profitable product right now is good. Glad to see some healthy competition in the gaming industry!  

digi-demon
digi-demon

Where did all the cash come from?

Have people started buying Sony TV's again or what?

Gamer_4_Fun
Gamer_4_Fun

oh yea... This is Epic news. A Huge win for Sony to acquire the definitive streaming game service. With almost unlimited processing power at your finger tips, it opens up to so much potential.

 

I expect some sort of implementation will come to the PS3 to test the uncharted waters, then the service will likely be fully integrated to PS4.

Tsuchikage
Tsuchikage

I wonder what this could potentially mean for the PS4.  Will we be able to play PS4 games on tablets and laptops using cloud streaming technology?

Sohereiam
Sohereiam

Cloud gaming is a disgrace for any gamer, to me this is just another form of Game with DRM.

digitaltiger
digitaltiger

I think having a choice between physical media and streaming is the best way to go. If Sony was to just go with streaming and then they got hacked again it would be very bad for everyone. Not putting all your eggs in one basket is always the best way to do things, it makes recovering from a problem much easier.

bassman1986
bassman1986

Oh, man! This is the best investment that Sony has made since 2000! This may be the first time that traditional console maker completely takes part in the revolution from the era of Internet. Good job, Sony!  

blackace
blackace

 @Shame-usBlackley 

The difference is Sony is losing $1+ billion a year and Microsoft isn't. Also, Microsoft does invest into gaming, they just don't do it enough. I still can't figure out why they don't own SEGA right now. They should have bought them when they were making all those exclusives for the original XBox. That was a no brainer right there.

theKSMM
theKSMM

 @rarson I think my bandwidth caps are under threat from all the games and demos that I download. A full PS3 game can be seven to fifteen GB easily.  I might actually come out ahead if I could stream those games.  And my guess is that a heavy streaming video user (e.g. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Plus, etc) wouldn't use much less hour-per-hour than a streaming gamer.

 

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

 @anotherone10 It'll be sure as hell interesting to see where the next generation goes now.  Make or break.

SirNormanislost
SirNormanislost

 @KC_Hokie

 "at the moment" problem is bandwidth which gets faster all the time i wouldnt call it a horrible move since its furture proofing them somewhat

 

bumptastic0530
bumptastic0530

 @Gamer_4_Fun

 I'm not sure I would call it a "huge win for Sony." Ask anyone who doesn't use the PS3 for their primary console if they will switch because of this and I'm sure the answer will be no. Is it cool for PS3 owners? Sure! Is it a game changer? Absolutley not.

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

 @Sohereiam Slow down there before you try to disgrace people's choices.

 

Paying $50-60 full retail price for a game that's streamed is something that I would discourage. However, paying a monthly subscription fee for unlimited play or paying rental fees per game could be reasonable.

 

I could see myself using a variety of purchasing options in the future. For demos and rentals I might choose streaming. There's no downloading and no going to a store. Just start and go.

 

The physical media would be my first option when buying a game with digital download being my secondary option. 

leeko_link
leeko_link

 @charliewong420 He/she is kinda right though, to be able to play cloud gaming you still had to download an app to use it. The cloud gaming service app would either be downloaded from either PS Store or as an update (that is unless if the PS4 would come with service already on it).

KC_Hokie
KC_Hokie

 @SirNormanislost Sony is a broke company that just paid $380 million for a technology that might be viable on a considerable scale in a decade or so.  Call me crazy but I consider that a horrible move.

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

 @bumptastic0530 It'll be a game changer for the next gen, I can pretty much state my opinion as fact on that one.  It's all just got a little bit serious!

NARUtotheFISH
NARUtotheFISH

 @Hvac0120 yeah and how much will the fee cost, remember Sony is a broke company and just payed $380 million.

kkushalbeatzz
kkushalbeatzz

@leeko_link @charliewong420 Yes! Thank you! That's exactly what I meant. I didn't want to waste my time on a company about to go down under. But OnLive is still good.

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

 @KC_Hokie Sony backed Blu-ray and look how that took off?  If anything i'd say they've just nailed down their safety for the foreseeable future.  People may not like it, but cloud based services is where the industry is heading.