With the PlayStation 4 out in the public ether and breaking records, gamers across the country are already anticipating what the future holds for Sony’s new console. And perhaps one of the most anticipated features of the next-gen system is the Gaikai-powered streaming service, which is currently on track to launch in North America within Q3 of 2014, according to sources.
Speaking with Eurogamer, president of SCE Andrew House outlined the mantra behind the digital service:
“We’re on track to have a commercial service up and running in the US first within 2014. We think there’s a great opportunity to broaden the market, because you essentially remove the need to make the console purchase in order to have access to that experience.
“It may sound counter-intuitive, because, aren’t you replacing a business that is your bread and butter? But part of being an innovative company is being a pioneer in new forms of distribution of content, and we would like to be there first and take a leadership role.”
In truth, Gaikai has been a nebulous concept ever since Sony officially revealed the partnership back in February. That said, this news offers the first inkling of a concrete release window, with House confirming that a beta test for the technology will go live in the early stages of 2014. Once it is launched fully, the feature will appear on the PlayStation 4 first and foremost, before expanding onto the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita at a later date.
Crucially, Gaikai will allow users to access title from pervious console generations, thereby circumventing the issue of backward compatibility. In particular, Sony’s Shuhei Yoshida announced at TGS that a catalogue of “critically-acclaimed” PlayStation 3 games will be available from the get-go, with the company planning to add more software to the digital library as the service evolves. It’s worth noting, however, that the feature won’t be up and running in Europe until 2015.
In the meantime, tell us, do you think Gaikai will solve the issue of backwards compatibility on PlayStation 4? Or do you think the platform will be plagued with server issues? Let us know what you think in the comments below.