Sony is investigating how to stream PlayStation games to PC, smartphones and tablets.
SCE Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida recently stated that he wants to see Sony streaming PlayStation games not only to the two PlayStation consoles, but to the PC, HDTVs, tablets and other devices. This comes from the same company that promised to provide PlayStation One games on Android-based "Certified PlayStation" phones, but only managed to cough up Crash Bandicoot here in the States.
Yoshida made his streaming revelation while speaking with Dengeki Online, stating that Sony is investigating how its library of PlayStation games can be expanded to both Sony and non-Sony devices without disrupting the core PlayStation console business. Form factors under consideration also include smartphones and Blu-ray players.
"We previously spoke about PlayStation going from hardware to something closer to a service, regardless of the device," he said. "Of course PlayStation will still be the center, but I think we would like to expand to different things."
PlayStation as a service does seem to be Sony's eventual goal. Last week, Yoshida confirmed that its newly-acquired Gaikai cloud platform will begin streaming PlayStation 3 games to the new console in North America next year. A limited selection of games will be available at launch, but Sony will continue to add titles throughout the year. These games will also be playable on the PlayStation Vita and the new Vita TV set-top box.
Last week Sony shocked Tokyo Game Show attendees with the reveal of its Vita TV device, a 4 inch long, 2 inch high "micro-console" that plugs directly into an HDTV. The device can play both PlayStation Vita (card slot) and PlayStation Portable (downloadable) games as well as stream music, movies and TV shows. The set-top box is currently only launching in Japan.
"Of course we are thinking of launching it in the US and Europe," said Sony Japan exec Masayasu Ito. "But when it comes to the timing, we'll have to watch the environment and identify what other services are available in the US and Europe and whether we'll have to add other services."
Unlike OnLive, Gaika doesn't offer a cloud-based subscription service, but instead provides the backbone for content makers to sell and stream their games over the cloud. And because Gaikai can be embedded in any site, customers aren't required to navigate an online portal or download software. Sony purchased Gaikai on July 2, 2012.