Games Industry International reports on a rumor circulating the interwebs about Sony making a deal with Gaikai, David Perry’s own version of OnLive, to deliver streaming video game content to Sony consoles. While both companies declined to comment on the matter, the ramifications of the deal could very well lead to bringing PlayStation legacy titles back to the console on a larger scale.
Unless you happen to own a functioning 60GB PlaySation 3 (mine recently gave up the ghost), many of the launch (and current) consoles did not offer owners a chance to pull from their PlayStation 1 and 2 catalogs. This ultimately led to the HD Collection craze with Sony taking top shelf titles, applying an HD filter and re-selling them for $40. Not too long ago, Sony started selling PlayStation 1 and 2 games on the PlayStation Store, but there are some notable absences (where is Dark Cloud 2?!). This new deal between Sony and Gaikai would allow for access to Sony’s back catalog of titles via the Cloud. That said, I wonder how it is all going to work. Will the games be limited to SCEA games? Or will Sony have to work out the details with Ubisoft, Electronic Arts, Konami, etc, etc? What sort of pricing structure will be put in place? Will users have to pay for each game or can they get the entire catalog for a monthly subscription a la Netflix? What about those who already bought certain titles from the PSN Store?
This deal also raises a few eyebrows as to what Sony has planned for the PlayStation 4. Within the last few years, we’ve seen digital distribution as the wave of the future because users don’t have to step into brick and mortar stores to buy games. The Cloud is being utilized for more than just sharing photos, music and documents as OnLive proved that the idea of streaming video games online isn’t just functional, it is viable. Gaikai already has a decent collection of PC games available for the service, with recent hits like Mass Effect 3 and The Witcher 2. Adding PlayStation legacy titles will most likely draw some additional attention.
Game Industry’s article doesn’t explicitly say whether or not this feature will be available on the PlayStation 3, but with Sony’s E3 press conference on Monday chances are it could end up being a surprise reveal.