Having acquired the cloud-based streaming service Gaikai for $380 million back in 2012, Sony intends to launch the service on North American PlayStation 4’s sometime next year, according to the company’s worldwide studios president, Shuhei Yoshida. Speaking during the Tokyo Game Show, Yoshida confirmed that the cloud service will allow users to access the PS3’s catalogue of games on PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and the newly-announced microconsole, the PS Vita TV.
Much like Nintendo’s approach to the Wii and Wii U’s Virtual Console, Sony plans to initially launch a modest selection of PS3 titles through the Gaikai service before adding more to the online library through time. At this time, Yoshida only made mention of a North American release – which has been tentatively pegged for 2014. Given that the company has delayed the European release due to poor broadband, it may be some time yet before the streaming service becomes ubiquitous for PlayStation 4’s across all territories.
What’s interesting, though, is that the library of PS3 games will be available across three different platforms – specifically the PS4, PS Vita and PS Vita TV. Mind you, it’s unclear whether all PS3 titles will be available on Sony’s handheld; after all, it’s been confirmed that some PS Vita games won’t be compatible with the PS Vita TV due to interface restrictions. Unfortunately, it seems that we’ll have to wait patiently until closer to the nebulous release date of Gaikai in North America to find out more.
Either way, this news will delight many fans who enjoy experiencing a trip of nostalgia with older games. In truth, since their inception earlier this year, the concept of backwards compatibility has been an underlying caveat in each of the next-gen systems; with the advanced architecture ruling out the possibility of playing PS3 and Xbox 360 discs on each respective console successor. Nevertheless, with Sony using Gaikai as an online platform and Microsoft exploring backwards compatibility with the cloud, it seems that games from previous generations will, in due time, be readily available through these online services.
What do you make of Sony’s plans regarding the Gaikai launch? Are you disappointed that it isn’t sooner? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.