Gaikai & the future of console gaming
- Posted February 24th, 2013 at 15:27 EDT by Timothy Weaver
- 12 Comments
As Sony mentioned at the PlayStation 4 event last Wednesday, console gaming is transitioning from singular usage to a multitude of usages. The first major change in consoles was online gameplay, but how did internet-based gaming start? Here's a snipit from an article by DigitalSpy:
"Many years before the behemoths of Nintendo and Sega ventured into online territory, an American entrepreneur named William von Meister unveiled pioneering modem transfer technology for the Atari 2600. Exhibited for the first time at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada in 1982, the CVC GameLine enabled users to download software via a telephone line. Resembling an oversized Atari cartridge, the device granted subscribers access to a fair selection of games from third-party developers, all of which could be played up to eight times or until the console was powered off. Those who signed up for the service received free games on their birthday, a subscription to a short-lived companion magazine and the chance to play competitively for prizes."
Online gaming took a major leap forward when the Sega Dreamcast became the first worldwide console to allow a 56 Kbps ethernet hookup for Phantasy Star Online and DLC for a multitude of games. As online gaming progressed, so did social integration and the desire to make communication much more unique and fun.
Following the Dreamcast, the Xbox and PlayStation 2 utilized online connectivity that paved way for the PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360. By this time, social applications (Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) and innovative gamer communication methods were the highlight of each console, but with the success of these functions, gamer's changed the industry to a more online-oriented state and paved way for the next generation of game consoles.
In 2012, Sony Computer Entertainment purchased the cloud gaming service Gaikai for $380 million which would eventually pave the way for a major feature for the PlayStation 4: the ability to play any remote-play supported PS4 games on the PlayStation Vita and older gen games on PlayStation certified mobile devices. This was a speculated feature for a while and was officially confirmed at the PlayStation Meeting last Wednesday. Sony stunned the world with the announcement of such a feature and is paving way for an even more interesting future that includes less physical consoles and more digital streaming.
Gaikai allows an internet-based device to stream full games while they are being downloaded. That's not the most interesting feature though. Gaikai also allows devices to handle more powerful games without having to worry about what it can and can't handle. Here's a great description of the major benefits of Gaikai from a Eurogamer article:
"Playback hardware: virtually any device with an h.264 decoder chip can run Gaikai, encompassing tablets, smartphones, and Smart TVs. Even current-gen consoles could run cloud games. We've seen World of Warcraft streaming on an Xbox 360 via Gaikai and it looked great.
No need for hardware upgrades: h.264 video compression is here to stay for many years to come, so you'll keep the same decoding devices and Sony will upgrade the Gaikai servers to accommodate the requirements of new games.
No more updates, no more patching: this will be music to the ears of PS3 owners in particular. Lengthy firmware upgrades, patches - all of this is a thing of the past.
Instant access: demos and games would not require lengthy downloads or installs."
In other words, your Vita can easily handle powerful games from the PS4 because Gaikai takes most ... (continued on next page)
- 4:01pm EST - February 24th, 2013
So basically, PS4 is the last console I will ever need to buy. Spiffy.
- 4:19pm EST - February 24th, 2013
OnLive at onlive.com =p Definitely looking forward to OnLives features on the PS4.
Gameoholic007 | Demented007
- 4:54pm EST - February 24th, 2013
I prefer physical media myself. Im not exactly crazy about needing internet just to play a damn video game. Not everyone has internet, and not everyone will in the future.
- 8:12pm EST - February 24th, 2013
Screw the cloud. The cloud is the industry's way of getting you to payfor things without owning anything. They can take away your rights as a consumer just the same as that rumor about not letting you play used games. You never get to posess what you paid, you see no physical return for the money you spend. The free games you get from PS plus are a perfect example of what the cloud is; you're paying to play games for what you think is free! Sure you get to play the game for potentially less than buying them, but at the end of the day "play" is all you did, and every little spec of digital accomplishment you achieved can be wiped away at the whim of some faceless hacker in China or by the death of the company that you poured so much cash into. It's a lease if anything, you pay to use it and they take it away from you when ever the contract is up or they feel like it.
They're already doing it with the PSN games by not even giving us BC with those titles, they don't carry over to anything and they're easier to lose than your physical media games. Once your PS3 dies, sure maybe you'll repair it or get another one to redownload and keep playing some of your games, but one day you wont be able to redownload Fat Princess or something and since it's not a PS4 compatible game their's no priority to maintain those games on a server that you can access 10 or 20 years from now. Sure there's a potential for losing even your physical media but at least if you lose it, it's your own fault and not because someone else chose to take it from you.
Keep physical media alive people, dont let them reduce the value of your hard earned money.
- 8:46pm EST - February 24th, 2013
Alpha2, wonderfully said I 100% agree
OsborneLV | Eric_Osborne
- 9:01pm EST - February 24th, 2013
It's a great concept until the server is down, gets hacked, or corrupted somehow. I enjoy a healthy mix of digital/physical content. I do lean more towards digital nowadays for ease of use. But to invest fully in cloud gaming is a mistake. I want a physical console with physical games and games downloaded to my harddrive. atleast in a sense I still own the games. cloud games are like netflix, you neither own them or can play them without a good connection - its not smart to invest so much into something so fragile. suffice to say I will pay for cloud gaming, I just dont rely on it as much as I do other sources.
- 1:05am EST - February 25th, 2013
@alpha2, how come people never seem to moan about buyin apps/games on there smartphones, ipads etc?? I've got an ipad with lots of great games I've paid for and I can still say I've got this game and that game as they are on MY iTunes account!
Ghost-Rhayne | Ghost-Rhayne
- 1:09am EST - February 25th, 2013
I'm 300% behind the cloud...but I would only use it to play PS 1, 2 and 3 games. I still want my physical media.
masta_js | masta_js
- 2:51am EST - February 25th, 2013
Before you guys talk about the requirements to have a internet connection, look at this info from Patcher first.
- 3:47am EST - February 25th, 2013
I understand where you are coming from but I think
your reaction is a bit leaning towards the extreme.
Yes, the PS network was hacked one time. Same as your computer, probably
without you even knowing you got a ton of tracker cookies on your pc weekly installed.
Put that aside. Sony isn't going to invest 380 million bucks into something expecting
you will get a laggy streaming game experience. I think before we take any viewpoints at all
about these new features we should wait until it has actually arrived into our homes.
And yes, if the things that you mention WILL happen, I'm right beside you on your view.
Simply said: change causes fear.
Me, you and alot of others like what we have already and will not want to lose that.
Let sony surprise us. If they succeed, we will probably be blown away by those new features.
They have been pioneering since psx and *I* enjoyed every step forward even more.
Physical media will not disappear yet for the coming 10 years or so, but since we are heading towards cloud gaming,
probably we'll be sitting one day behind our console, gaming on the cloud, enjoying it fully, without even realizing this is what we feared (losing our discs etc).
This Playstation is sony's last stand guys. Don't forget that, if this new ps fails, it is over with sony's console (they already wanted to scrap the ps4 alot of years before because of the financial struggles).
They will try to meet all wishlists on this one, as I would do, sort of "best of both worlds" I hope.
We just don't like change, until change has proven itself.
And then we'll be thanking them if it worked out great.
Although sony took hard blows,
they have never let me down before!
- 2:30pm EST - February 25th, 2013
@ michaelcorleone Because Ipad games and apps cost the price of a pack of cgewing gum most of the time. "apps" are disposible impulse buys. A $30-60 game is NOT. Itunes works because you can buy individual songs off an album for pennies rather than buying the whole thing, music has in effect lost value because you can not only hear it in perfect clarity on youtube for free these days, but also because even if you buy them you hardly feel the hit to your wallet. A 20 hour game you might want to pick up and play again in 10 years should not require a second purchase if it's not necessary.
@ chilltyperiod I'm not against change, I'm against arbitrary change just for the sake of doing it. I'll be downright amazed if gaikai can reduce latency when I can't even play Pixeljunk Shooter on my Vita via remoteplay, 3 feet from my PS3, without it being almost unplayable, it will be down right magic. Yeah if you can make something better I say go for it, but I also say you should really think about whether or not it really is "better" to lose the right of ownership. I'm not affraid of Sony getting hacked because I take my OWN precautions against that, and the games that I've downloaded I've done fully with the understanding that they're probably not going to be available to me in a few years, that 15 dollar game I bought? Poof, up in smoke one day and not by my own action, I realize that, but to actively invite that for the entire industry is something I will not stand by and watch happen if I can help it. Cloud saves and backup? Yeah it's a nice idea, too bad they hold that feature for ransom essentially behind a paywall. They could just as easily let you store all your saves for free on your own USB drive for back up if they stopped randomly locking saves so that they only way you CAN back them up is the almost useless restore feature or the cloud.
jamesobachand | snake2112
- 9:25pm EST - February 25th, 2013
I want to be able to Play my already purchased PS3 games on the PS4 even if I have to download them through the cloud. It would be a huge waste if I couldn't and if they are going to shorten the life of the PS4 compared to the PS3 then I want to hear the ability to stream my games from one system to the other directly.
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