Sony brings backwards compatibility to PlayStation with Gaikai deal

First and third-party games to be streamed to hardware

Sony's rumoured cloud gaming deal with Gaikai is to allow current-generation hardware to play PlayStation 2 and PSone games via a streaming solution, GamesIndustry International understands.

According to sources, the service will offer first-party games and be open to third-party publishers to sell back catalogue to players. The partnership is likely to be announced at E3 next week as part of Sony's conference on Monday.

Gaikai already has an extensive portfolio of video game partners that have been on board with CEO David Perry's vision since the service first went live, including Electronic Arts, Ubisoft and Capcom, but all titles so far have been for the PC format.

The appetite for PlayStation 2 games has been proven with collected HD releases of titles including Silent Hill, God of War, Devil May Cry and Ico and Shadow of the Colossus.

The streaming games company has also signed up retailers like GAME and Best Buy, services such as YouTube, TV manufacturer LG and social network Facebook, and is expected to announce further partnerships next week.

It's not yet clear which Sony devices beyond the PlayStation 3 would get a Gaikai-supported game streaming service, but it could extend to Sony branded TVs and tablets.

A backwards compatibility offering at this stage in the PS3's lifecycle would also allow Sony to test streaming games before it goes fully next-gen with the release of the PlayStation 4.

Sony's history with backwards compatibility is patchy. The PlayStation 3 originally allowed gamers to play older PlayStation 2 and PSone games, but support for PS2 games was dropped as the PS3 went through a number of different iterations. PSone and PlayStation 2 games are currently available for download on the PlayStation Store.

Both Sony Computer Entertainment and Gaikai declined to comment when contacted.

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Latest comments (11)

Mike Kebby Marketing Manager, Green Man Gaming10 years ago
There are quite a few PS2 games available on PSN actually, they starting rolling this out here in the EU at the start of the year.
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Matt Martin Editor, GamesIndustry.biz10 years ago
yep, amended thanks.
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For the PS3, this makes sense. But if they try and use this tech as the mechanism to provide backwards compatibility of PS3 games for Orbis... I personally think that would be a disaster.

Anyway, interesting news.
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Show all comments (11)
Mike Kebby Marketing Manager, Green Man Gaming10 years ago
Welcome :)
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Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd10 years ago
I hope this isn't their solution for PSOne Classics on Vita, because if it is I'm gonna be pissed. I purchased a number of PSOne games that I'd like to continue to be able to play portably, without the awful lag that comes with streamed gaming.
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Scott Davis Games Analyst, Lift London, Microsoft10 years ago
I think they will have to consider streaming as an option to play PS3 games on the Orbis. Rumours speculate that the Orbis will ditch cell architecture which (I am no pro on this but...) I'm guessing means that PS3 games will be unplayable on the new Orbis with the new architecture.

I'm game for this if they can make it work...but regardless not everyone will be happy, as usual
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There better be some sort of digital wallet system to prevent mulitiple repurchasing of existing games
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John Bye Lead Designer, Freejam10 years ago
Given how many PS1 games are already available to buy on PSN for a few quid each, along with a selection of PS2 games, and all the HD re-releases we've seen recently of higher profile PS2 titles, not to mention the generally small size of the downloads required to run them, this seems a slightly odd way to use the tech.

Wonder if this is part of the revamped PS Plus that was rumoured earlier in the week? Free access to a wider selection of PS1 and (particularly) PS2 games via streaming might be a nice extra feature to add to all the trials, free games, discounts and stuff you get already.

As you suggest though, perhaps this is more about trialling the system to pave the way for games from all four PlayStations to be streamed to PS4 in future?
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Andrew Jakobs Lead Programmer 10 years ago
How is this backwardcompatibility if I can't put in my own PS2 games, so I still have to rebuy the games if I want to play them, if that's the case the screw them.

Also one weird thing is, other sites are claiming it's not a partnership but Sony it actually buying Gaikai..
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Matt Howes Community Coordinator, Jagex Games Studio10 years ago
^ Doh, mis-clicked. Anyhoo, as I was saying...


Phil Harrison, circa 2006:

"Backwards compatibility, as you know from PlayStation One and PlayStation 2, is a core value of what we believe we should offer. And access to the library of content people have created, bought for themselves, and accumulated over the years is necessary to create a format. PlayStation is a format meaning that it transcends many devices -- PSOne, PS2, and now PS3."

Then the PS3 launched in Europe without full hardware backwards compatibility. Then it was removed completely.

So... not exactly great when you look at this announcement in the above context.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 10 years ago
@All Which is why I keep all my old consoles in fine working order and way too many physical games. No thanks on this streaming "deal" for me, as I never see ALL the old games I want to play as digital content anyway, just "popular" titles that I'm not much interested in revisiting because I've played them to death already...
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