Sony Acquires Cloud Gaming Company Gaikai For $380 Million
July 3, 2012

Sony Acquires Cloud Gaming Company Gaikai For $380 Million

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online

Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) announced on Monday that it has acquired cloud-based video gaming company Gaikai for $380 million.

The deal officially closed on June 30, although rumors of the acquisition had been swirling for weeks.

“By combining Gaikai´s resources including its technological strength and engineering talent with Sony´s extensive game platform knowledge and experience, Sony will provide users with unparalleled cloud entertainment experiences,” said Andrew House, President and Group CEO of SCE, in a statement on Monday.

The deal gives Sony streaming cloud services to provide consumers with new, interactive entertainment products — something that could help it better compete with rivals such as Microsoft and Nintendo.

“Sony will deliver a world-class cloud-streaming service that allows users to instantly enjoy a broad array of content ranging from immersive core games with rich graphics to casual content anytime, anywhere on a variety of internet-connected devices,” House said.

Sony´s move to the PlayStation Mobile, a gaming suite that runs on smartphones and game consoles, will also gain from streaming functions.

"SCE has built an incredible brand with PlayStation and has earned the respect of countless millions of gamers worldwide," said David Perry, CEO of Gaikai.

"We're honored 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."

Paul Hsiao and Greg Papadopoulous of the Venture Capital firm NEA likened the deal to Apple´s launch of iTunes.

“The strategic significance of this transaction within the gaming and interactive entertainment sector is akin to Apple´s launch of iTunes years ago in the music space–it will no doubt provide new opportunities and shift the dynamics in an ecosystem that includes game platforms, publishers, developers, TV manufacturers, cable and broadband operators, mobile devices, graphics chip companies, and content distribution networks,” they wrote on Monday.

“One can imagine playing all the great titles anywhere from any device connected to the Internet — similar to the way we consume music and movies today.  In addition to the pure super-low latency streaming capabilities.”

Microsoft released a statement Monday evening following news of Sony´s acquisition, emphasizing the priority the software giant places on cloud services.

“The cloud has been a key component of our strategy and a big area of investment with Xbox for many years. Through Xbox LIVE we´re serving up gaming and entertainment in the cloud to more than 40 million people. We´re committed to delivering extraordinary entertainment experiences across devices in a uniquely connected way through Xbox, Windows Phone, Windows 8 and other popular devices, and we´re looking forward to continuing to innovate in this space in the future.”

Sony said its acquisition of Gaikai is still subject to certain regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.