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PlayStation 4 to use Gaikai for backwards compatibility

Sony's purchase of Gaikai bring PS3 games to PS4

Sony will be using game-streaming service Gaikai to bring PlayStation 3 titles to the next PlayStation home console, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. The service is expected to be announced with the new console at the PlayStation event on February 20.

Sony purchased Gaikai in July of 2012 for $380 million, with the game-streaming service previously aiming at allowing publishers to stream demo version of titles from their own websites. Just prior to Sony's acquisition of the company, GamesIndustry International reported that Sony and Gaikai were in talks to use the streaming service to bring PSOne and PlayStation 2 games to PlayStation 3. The new service mentioned by the Wall Street Journal could be an extension of those original plans.

Assuming it works and remain cost-effective for consumers, the reported service could be a strong differentiator for sony's next-generation console. Previously, backwards compatibility would require additional hardware or extension emulation software, both of which could prove costly.

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Latest comments (16)

Doug Paras8 years ago
Here is the 69.99 doller question, do you have to pay for games you already own?
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Richard Gardner Artist, Crytek8 years ago
I hope they follow through and allow PS4 demos, I personally would love a games store that allows you to be playing a demo within seconds. It could really encourage people to buy games, I also hope Sony work some of these PS1-3 games into a subscription. Sony has been blowing Microsoft out the water with Playstation Plus in terms of sheer value for money, it could be about to get a whole lot better. But also possibly more expensive.
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Adam Campbell Product Manager, Azoomee8 years ago
Predictable but assuming this is the case, hopefully the feature will tie into a passport system allowing you to insert existing PS3 discs and run the streamed version instantly.
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Show all comments (16)
Eergh. So in somewhere like Australia, this means no backwards compat for the PS4. Full stop. I'm on the best internet plan I can get, and still struggle to get a single, reliable HD youtube stream (at times). Maybe in 6-8 years when the NBN is everywhere.. (and the PS4 is obsolete :P).
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 8 years ago
I keep saying this, but I'll say it again. Instead of looking at services they know plenty of core users with solid internet access will buy into, Sony and Microsoft (and to a smaller extent, Nintendo) NEED to address the larger issue of how to get money from low to no-speed connection users who can't do anything with any new system that's so focused on NOT playing retail disc games without some sort of mandatory online connection or "cloud" elements that are useless to them.

All they're doing now is splitting the market up into haves and have-nots by not realizing that finding a solution for all is better than pretending some don't even exist...
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Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator 8 years ago
UK Broadband...*sigh*
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Assuming this is true, today I realised the true irony in this: this service, assuming it works properly would bring PS4 titles to PS3 hardware(!). Now that would be a much more interesting headline... (and PS4 to PSV users).
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Joe Schultz Director, ByDesign Games8 years ago
Oh great, another big organization offloading costs to their users and calling it a "feature"...

Want backward compatibility for games you already own? Then you pay for the internet service & bandwidth; so basically it is limited to only a few countries.

And pray that you get good latency; latency is so spotty around the world, am aghast Sony would even consider this.

This bullish*t will continue for as long as we consumers lay down for it.
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James Verity8 years ago
all this great streaming idea from a company that has their servers crash whenever a new AAA DLC pack or update comes out because they didn't expect every PlayStation owner to want the content at the same time...

I think the next gen is gonna have an even bumpier ride than the last...
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Bill Garrison Studying Student, DigiPen Institute of Technology8 years ago
Yes Joe because the $380 million Sony used to acquire Gaikai came out of our pockets?

Please dont treat backwards compatibility like its a civil rights issue. If you dont have the bandwidth for streaming games and you have a stack of ps3 blurays, the novel idea might be to plug in your ps3.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Bill Garrison on 20th February 2013 3:11pm

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Paulmichael Contreras Contributing Editor, PlayStation LifeStyle8 years ago
But I'm already paying for a decent Internet connection and bandwidth, so that isn't really an extra cost for me. I'll have to wait and see when it comes to latency, but I haven't experienced any major issues with Onlive so hopefully it'll be the same experience with Sony/Gaikai. If all of this helps to lower the price of the PS4 because it no longer has to contain backwards-compatible hardware, then I say bring it on.
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Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd8 years ago
I see noticeable latency with OnLive and Gaikai, despite a 12Mb/sec internet connection, so I'll be pretty angry if this is Sony's version of backwards compatibility, especially if they try to make me re-buy my disc based games.

As for the "Just plug in your PS3" argument, I don't know about you guys, but the space under my TV is finite. I already have a Wii U, PS3, Xbox 360, and cable box under there. Throwing in another (probably enormous) console is no small request, so if I can't continue to play my PS3 games lag free on my PS4, guess what I probably won't be buying anytime soon?
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Guys, the problem is if the PS4 doesn't also cover PS3 functionality ... its another case of PSP vs PSV. One of the biggest reasons the PSV has failed to date, is that Sony fans are more likely to buy a PSP - and there is no upgrade path. Its one or the other.

I'm still hopeful that the PS4 *will* play PS3 games.
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David Spender Lead Programmer 8 years ago
I've yet to see any streaming solution video or otherwise that matches the performance of an actual disc.

Netflix, Amazon, etc are all choppy blocky, badly encoded and look nothing like their 1080p BluRay counterparts on proper hardware. I expect PS3 streaming to be the same or worse.
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Christopher Bowen Editor in Chief, Gaming Bus8 years ago
This is cute, but Gaikai is a streaming service; it's not going to emulate PS3 capabilities with a Blu-Ray player, and every bit of hardware outside of the PS2 that I can think of that had backwards compatability eventually got rid of it as a cost-saving measure.

As asked before: will I be able to play my games that I already own?
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Doug Paras8 years ago
It should also be mentioned systems wear out eventually, should I have to buy a new system to play the PS2 and PS1 games I already owen?
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