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GigaBoots avatar 11:21 AM on 07.02.2012  (server time)
Sony bought Gaikai, what now? Sideways Compatibility!

Sony bought Gaikai. If you watched Episode 11 of The Rant is Go! you saw that com­ing and now feel like some under­ground inter­net badass. With that out of the way, what do we talk about that I haven’t already said? Well, I think I’ll take this oppor­tu­nity to pro­vide a bit of back­ground and elab­o­rate on the how’s and why’s of the stuff I said in that episode!!

I made that video after wait­ing a week for peo­ple to say what I thought was obvi­ous. This turned out to be a mis­take because no arti­cle that I read (and I read a lot of arti­cles on the mat­ter) stated what I thought was appar­ent about this Sony/Gaikai/OnLive sit­u­a­tion. It was mostly a mis­take for 2 rea­sons. The wait was excru­ci­at­ing. I was drown­ing in Mega May-related work at the time and just wanted some­body out there get it. The sec­ond rea­son was that by the time peo­ple got to see my video they had heard so many opin­ions that they didn’t know what to think about it any­more. Peo­ple said Gaikai was a no go because of the Sam­sung and LG deals. OnLive was a clear can­di­date in most people’s minds and even those who real­ized that it was Gaikai (from know­ing any­thing about the two com­pa­nies and their founders) didn’t bring up the pos­si­bil­i­ties I did in TR!G.

I sug­gest that any­one who hasn’t seen that to go watch it. Now then, this rather unortho­dox post is to elab­o­rate on some of the things I said in there. There’s no real money in hard­ware for con­sole manufacturer’s (not even Nin­tendo any­more it seems.) They sell you the hard­ware so they can then sell you games and ser­vices. Sony is prob­a­bly inter­ested in bypass­ing the cost of another hard­ware generation’s devel­op­ment (engi­neer­ing) and con­sumers are always shy to plop down hun­dreds on a new con­sole. Because of this, Sony is remark­ably likely to enable for­wards com­pat­i­bil­ity via Gaikai. Play­ing PS4 games on a PS3/Vita. This is the true killer app. The PS3 is pow­er­ful enough to use Gaikai’s stream­ing soft­ware and it’s already out. They need to cre­ate a new mar­ket­ing cam­paign, get the PlaySta­tion Cer­ti­fied phones on board, get the Vita to play PS3/PS2/PS1 games and sell all of this through PS Stores avail­able on all of these devices. This is a type of cross-compatibility that the “Never Stop Play­ing” cam­paign pushed so hard (with­out have any­thing to back it up) so it’s clear that Sony is interested.

The PlaySta­tion Brand could become com­pletely for­ward and back­ward com­pat­i­ble (Side­ways Com­pat­i­ble?) enabling a larger audi­ence than ever to enjoy their con­tent every­where. It’s a very excit­ing time for PS and next year’s E3 (or news in gen­eral) will no doubt dwarf this year’s. Also, the Vita might appeal a bit more to peo­ple now. Thanks for read­ing this odd post. Go check out Episode 11 of The Rant is Go! and if you still want to learn more after that then check out Episode 3.


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