Rumors have been swirling for a while now that Sony was prepared to purchase one of the streaming game services such as OnLive or Gaikai that use the mystical cloud to bring modern video games to a variety of devices that would otherwise be ill-equipped to play them, but despite nods that we would hear something at E3, no news was forthcoming. Maybe it took a little longer for the ink to dry on the deal than we'd assumed, because it's been announced that Sony has indeed bought Gaikai for $380 million. Joystiq has the story.
It's unclear whether the streaming tech is intended for Sony's PlayStation 3 or for future consoles unknown (or both). It's also unclear if Gaikai CEO David Perry will remain with his company in any capacity, or if he'll move to Sony, or if he's out altogether. And how does this affect Gaikai's existing partnerships with various television manufacturers (especially considering Sony's also in the television market)? We're not sure just yet.
There's already much speculation on how Sony will tie Gaikai's tech into its existing products. We could see streaming games folded into the PlayStation Plus service as another perk, as an add-on service for the PlayStation 3 and/or PlayStation Vita, as core next generation PlayStation technology, as a built-in function in Sony televisions, or so much more. The possibilities go on and on. Depending on how Sony uses the new service and how well it catches on with the market, we could see quite the shift in fortunes ahead (and Microsoft scrambling to acquire or create a competing service of its own). Keep an eye on this one. It's going to get very interesting.