Although the PlayStation 4‘s lack of backwards compatibility threatened to spill over into hysteria, Sony promised that Gaikai, a service recently acquired by the Japanese company, would allow gamers to enjoy PlayStation 3 titles via cloud streaming, and now, it has been revealed that the service will also be launched on the PS3 and PS Vita. Although the Vita had been looking like a bit of a dead horse – particularly given the popularity of mobile gaming via smartphones and tablets – its integration with the often record-breaking PS4 could bring a new lease of life to the handheld, and Gaikai support will certainly do its cause no harm.
In a statement released talking of worldwide PS4 sales, Sony confirmed that the Gaikai service would be a cross-platform affair. "Based on Gaikai Inc’s cloud-based technology, the [Gaikai] service will enable users to have access to a catalogue of critically acclaimed PS3 games on PlayStation 4 and PS3, followed by PlayStation Vita."
In a nutshell, it will probably become accessible to PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PS Vita users – in that order – and although the PS4 integration is the most notable due to its lack of backwards-compatibility, it would seem that Sony is pulling out all of the stops to appease gamers. Having comprehensively lost the last-gen console war to Microsoft and the Xbox 360, Sony has responded in a defiant manner, and having outsold its close rival in just about every market hitherto with the fourth-gen console, the Gaikai news is surely going to further boost the PlayStation brand’s credentials.
Gaikai, for the uninitiated, operates in much the same manner as OnLive, and provided your Internet connection is up to scratch, you can readily stream games right to your console from the cloud. The price model definitely works in the favor of the heavy gamer, too, with gamers able to stream any game they like for a subscription fee.
Beaming games from remote servers also saves space on the console for other content, and with Sony boasting such a huge inventory of titles from the past few years, one suspects the Gaikai service could prove hugely popular.
It will be hitting the U.S. market in 2014, while British PS4 owners will unfortunately not be seeing any kind of support until 2015.