The way you play your PlayStation 3 could be about to change in a pretty big way…if you live in the right country. According to Tom’s Guide, a pre-E3 document sent to the website teased a “partnership deal between PlayStation and a leading cloud gaming service”. There’s the first piece of the puzzle. The second? French website Gameblog stating that Gaikai, a cloud gaming provider, has sent the website an invitation stating intentions to reveal a ‘major announcement, that has the potential to “change the future of video game, the game consoles and the way in which we play”.
It’s not hard to piece this one together. Looks like cloud gaming from Gaikai is coming to the PlayStation 3.
For those not in the know, cloud gaming is a fairly recent addition to the way games are distributed to consumers and play. The long and short of how it works is that cloud gaming works similar to video streaming. The game is rendered and run on a server somewhere far away, and content is streamed to the player based on their actions. You play the game from your system, but you’re really playing the game elsewhere, simply seeing the footage of you playing on your screen. Though you may not own a physical copy of the game, services like these allow you to play games your hardware may not be able to run, or in the case of the PlayStation 3, games that might not be normally available on the hardware at all. Additionally, these services may run under a subscription fee, allowing you ‘access’ to games over a set period of time without having to buy them outright. Great for those who find themselves finishing games, only to find them sitting gathering dust on shelves immediately after.
Gaikai, much like OnLive, is one of the leader providers in cloud based gaming. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Sony growing a relationship between a provider so well established, and such a service may be a boon for some PlayStation 3 owners.
There’s a catch though. Cloud based gaming has a tendency to chew up bandwidth quickly, eating away at those monthly caps like no tomorrow. Though this might be a problem for many Australians, this assumes such a service would be available here anyway. As it stands, Gaikai is only available in North America and Europe, and even then is limited in service and performance to specific areas. Gaikai does plan to expand coverage to Asia though, which would hopefully lead to us. Similarly, OnLive too has no servers based in Australia.
Pre-E3 is always a time for leaks and rumours. And for some Sony fans, this could be a big one. Let us know what you think the comments.