PS4 tipped to bring cloud gaming to mass market

News Jane McCallion Feb 22, 2013
game pad in the shape of a cloud
game pad in the shape of a cloud

Speakers at the Cloud Gaming Europe summit talked up industry benefits of Sony’s new PS4 console

The cloud gaming possibilities of Sony’s forthcoming PS4 console was one of the dominant discussion themes at the Cloud Gaming Europe summit in London this week.

The electronics giant, which revealed details of its next generation console on Wednesday, bought cloud gaming player Gaikai on 2 July 2012.

While full details of the console and its cloud gaming capabilities have not yet been revealed, Sony did state it will use the technology to let users stream PS4 games to its PS Vita hand-held device.

Nick Parker, CEO and founder of digital media consultancy Parker Consulting, told delegates he expects to see a raft of similar deals in the cloud gaming space over time.

And, while the industry is currently largely dominated by independent companies, “the big boys will come” he said.

“[Sony] have not bought Gaikai just because it sounds sexy and they like David Perry (Gaikai co-founder), they bought it because they thought ‘$380 million (£240 million) is peanuts compared to the cost we would be spending developing our own technologies’,” said Parker.

Parker said he expects PS4 challenger, the Xbox 720, to also feature some kind of cloud gaming element.

Keynote speaker Guillaume Rambourg, managing director of computer game sale and distribution service GOG.com was also enthusiastic about the possibilities for the industry, if Sony does include cloud gaming features in the PS4.

“Until the big announcement from Sony [on Wednesday], cloud gaming was mostly about getting PC gamers to try [it] via internet browsers or a thin client. It was not about getting console gamers to give cloud gaming a try,” which would bring it to the mass market, he said.