Sony bought Gaikai for $380 million a couple of days ago and, as expected, the video game media and Twitter are buzzing about the PS4 or Playstation 4 capabilities. As a Playstation gamer, I like the announcement but not because of the unknown possibilities but that Sony is working on getting the edge over the Xbox360, WiiU and tablets.
Gaikai gives Sony an entry into cloud gaming, the next arena of video gaming according to many. Cloud gaming doesn’t mean that gamers are going to be forced to play outdoors. Are you kidding me? What it means is the elimination of physical media like discs that currently hold the game programs. The games will now be stored in the “clouds” or a remote servers that will do all the number and graphics crunching that current consoles do at home. This could mean that the PS4 could be a ultra-thin, ultra-light, high-tech cable box with controllers. Will it be ultra cheap? Are you kidding me?
My concern is not with the disappearance of physical media. I actually welcome it; less trash for the Earth. My concern is the adaptation and evolution of internet bandwidth technology. The cloud gaming concept is not new by the way. The company Onlive has been at it for a while without great success or traction in the gaming scene. The main problem is that existing bandwidth given to homes are too slow to carry all the dynamic graphics and information. Heck. Playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is already painful with latency issues. I can’t imagine cloud gaming with my bandwidth. Yes. I was one of the early adopters of Onlive. I had to abandon it because not even Onlive support can help me.
Of course, I assume that Gaikai will give me a better experience because Sony chose them, right? Nope. This is what I got when I tried playing one of their games on Facebook:
Unfortunately, this reaffirms my concerns. Of course, I’m merely speculating but how far am I from reality. I hope they prove me wrong with the Playstation 4. I also hope that the Gaikai acquisition is not just a way to eliminate a potential competitor in the cloud-gaming arena. Or is it?