The lights are on
At a roundtable interview at the Tokyo Game Show yesterday, Sony president of worldwide studios Shuhei Yoshida made an announcement that is likely to make PlayStation Plus members very happy. Starting sometime next year, the Gaikai streaming service will bring PlayStation 3 titles to PS4 owners.
According to IGN, the plan is make these titles available to play not only through the new home console, but the Vita and the Vita TV as well. Yoshida stated that a good selection will be available when the service comes online and that it will grow over time.
Our TakeThis is definitely exciting, but I have some questions that Sony will need to answer before I perfect my backflip. First, what are the bandwidth needs for Gaikai streaming at a fidelity that will match current PS3 performance? Also, what will the monetization model be?
Will players rent games, purchase them, or pay a monthly subscription to access the service. In his talk, Yoshida mentioned Netflix, would imply the latter. Will there be an intersection with PlayStation Plus Instant Collection and other digital titles that have been purchased?
The Gaikai streaming sounds like a fascinating solution to the backwards compatibility conundrum, but until I see it working in a home setting, I'm going to remain skeptical. I used OnLive briefly, and it's a service that is better on paper than in practice.
I want Gaikai to be the equivalent of Netflix, streaming games in HD with a nominal subscription fee giving me access to a vast library. I hope reality lives up to my expectation. I also hope ISPs around the country are ready for this.