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Sony looks set to release its latest PlayStation console, the PS4, with the ability to play games streamed from the cloud.
The PS4 is expected to be launched today at a Sony PlayStation event held in New York. It is believed it will integrate technology it acquired when it bought cloud gaming service Gaikai for $380 million in July2012.
Gaikai was set up in 2008 and developed technology to stream console-quality games to various devices such as tablets, smartphones and internet-connected televisions.
Sources familiar with Sony’s plans told the Wall Street Journal that the company has been investing heavily in Gaikai’s technology to enhance the new PlayStation games console. It looks likely that the technology will allow the console to stream PS3 games from the cloud rather than allow direct backwards compatibility with PS3 game discs. New PS4 games look set to be available on Blu-Ray discs.
The technology could also be used to connect Sony’s handheld console, the PlayStation Vita, to the PS4. It could also feature on Sony’s Bravia TVs and its Xperia smartphone range.
Andrew House, head of Sony's videogame unit, said that the acquisition of Gaikai was a “recognition on Sony's part that the cloud and cloud-streaming technologies are going to have a profound and possibly a very positive impact."
Other evidence pointing towards cloud becoming an integral part of the new PlayStation was spotted when three domains were registered by Gaikai. The three domains, PlayStation-Cloud.com, PlayStation-Cloud.org and PS-Cloud.net, were registered last Friday.
Should the PlayStation be launched today, it is expected to go on sale sometime in the run up to Christmas.