Will Sony owned cloud streaming game service Gaikai bring PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 1 games to the next-generation PlayStation 4?
Backward compatibility is always an issue with game consoles. While trying to incorporate backward compatibility, the console build cost starts shooting upwards as the same box has to house two gaming consoles. And if they take the other route, of trying to implement software simulation, the software development team ends up spending massive amounts of resources to emulate the older console’s architecture of the current console, never with groundbreaking results. Thankfully, there’s another way out of all this. Tapping into cloud technology can allow people to play a game running on any hardware in their own system, all that’s required is a low latency high-speed internet connection.
Ever since Sony acquired Gaikai, we have been waiting for Sony to make an announcement related to implementing the newly acquired technology on some product of theirs. So could the PlayStation 4 be the ideal contender? Based on the x86 architecture, software emulation of Power PC cores to allow the PS4 to run PS3 games is a no-go. Also, Sony hasn’t included the PS3 core hardware in the new PS4 console, so that leaks the doors wide open for Gaikai. With Gaikai, Sony might (not) surprise us all by introducing streaming of PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 1 games to the PlayStation 4. Additionally, the PlayStation 3 might get this feature too, allowing owners with the requisite internet connection to play PS2 and PS1 games on their 2006 console.
Of course, the number of games would be severely limited. Not every game from the entire PS3, PS2 and PS1 library will be made available, but even if the most popular ones make it, it will be an amazing feat. For those considering buying a PS3 now as the console has matured and has a ton of titles, they can shell out a little bit more and get the next-generation console while enjoying the best of that the older generation hardware has to offer.
Let’s see where Sony takes Gaikai, and how well they implement it. If they do, they will have won a major round v/s the “Cloud Power” harping Microsoft Xbox One.