Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) has today announced that it is acquiring one of the world's leading cloud-based gaming providers, Gaikai Inc., in a deal reported to be worth in the region of £240 million.
The move enables SCE to add a new interactive cloud service capability to its existing gaming experience based on Gaikai's technology, which delivers fast, high-quality game streams to a variety of devices via the Internet.
The beauty of cloud-based gaming is that it doesn't require massively powerful hardware at the client end, with all the hardcore processing being done by a server in the cloud. Of course, what it does require is a fast Internet connection, to ensure that the video stream can be delivered with minimal lag.
The purchase will also enable access to Sony's gaming catalogue outside of in-house devices like the PS3, so gamers on PCs and other devices will now be able to access titles once only available to console owners.
David Perry, CEO of Gaikai, ventured that he was excited about the prospect of working with the PlayStation brand and utilising the cloud to reach a wider audience.
"We're honoured to be able to help SCE rapidly harness the power of the interactive cloud and to continue to grow their ecosystem, to empower developers with new capabilities, to dramatically improve the reach of exciting content and to bring breathtaking new experiences to users worldwide," he said.
Only limited details of the deal have been revealed so far via an official press release, with Sony yet to clarify how it intends to use to utilise the technology, infrastructure, and network of data centres it has acquired, though speculation will inevitably point towards deployment on next generation consoles like the PlayStation 4.
It also remains to be seen how the acquisition will affect Samsung's ambitions – the Korean tech giant announced a deal with Gaikai related to its smart TV range in June at the E3 conference.
To learn more about Gaikai and cloud gaming, read out Gaming in the Cloud feature.