Sony grabs a piece of the cloud, hints next PlayStation

Your next video gaming system may not need optical discs, ditching the plastic DVD and Blu-ray media and instead relying on direct gaming from the cloud. Don’t believe us? It’s true, and Sony has just taken its first step towards making it happen.

The company has just spent almost 400 million dollars purchasing a company called Gaikai, a group that provides a service for cloud-based interactive gaming.

Gaikai’s current platform works with TVs and Facebook, and while it currently doesn’t exist in Australia, is designed to stream high-quality games already on consoles over the Internet, making it possible to play whenever you want to without having to insert a disc again.

On current gaming platforms like the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, you can already purchase and download gaming titles straight to your console, but there’s always a download time that you have to factor in, with larger titles taking several hours to appear on your console.

With Sony’s purchase of Gaikai’s cloud gaming service, we could see PlayStation titles rolled out in real-time to consoles, literally destroying the concept of a wait time while simultaneously storing all save games on the Internet in Sony’s online storage system.

“By combining Gaikai’s resources including its technological strength and engineering talent with Sony Computer Entertainment’s extensive game platform knowledge and experience, SCE will provide users with unparalleled cloud entertainment experiences,” said Sony’s Andrew House, President and Group CEO of the group responsible for PlayStation, Sony Computer Entertainment.

“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.”

The acquisition of this cloud-gaming service comes at a time when consoles are expected to be updated, with Microsoft’s next Xbox being hinted at a 2013 release, and the Sony PlayStation 4 suggested for just before that.

With this service in Sony’s staple, we could see direct downloads with live gaming on offer in the new console, and optical discs ditched in favour of this service.