In a recent interview, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe’s CEO Jim Ryan discusses the company’s release plans for Gaikai; Sony’s premium cloud-based service that will play a pivotal role not only for the PS4 but the Vita and PS3 as well.
According to Ryan, Sony plans to roll out Gaikai first on the PlayStation 4 in “early-ish 2014” in North America, with eventual plans to include Europe and other platforms.
Any mention of Gaikai was noticeably absent during Sony’s Gamescom presentation–and that was by design. When asked about this in the interview, Ryan touched upon Europe’s less-than-stellar broadband internet as well as the fact that the cloud-based service is coming to North America first, whereas plans for Europe are still “on the roadmap”.
Due to Gamescom being composed of a mostly European audience, Sony opted out of discussing Gaikai during the show:
“…So the plan is to begin with North America next year and the plan is to provide a streaming service that will allow for PS3 content initially to be streamed to firstly PS4 then PS Vita and then PS3.
“And so that will happen in 2014 in North America initially.
“Now, and I touched upon these issues of broadband in Europe during the presentation – Europe is of course on the roadmap for that service to be deployed at some point in the future, but for reasons outside of our control we don’t yet have a timeline for it.
“So at a show which is now pretty global in its reach but primarily aimed at a European audience, we didn’t really want to start talking about the virtues of this great cloud-based service without knowing exactly when it’ll come to Europe.
“We’ve got a roadmap, there’s just a few bumps along the road that need to be ironed out.”
In terms of a scheduled launch window for Gaikai support in Europe, Ryan had “nothing more to say”, but affirms that Sony is dedicated to bringing their cloud-based service to the European market.
Be sure to check out Edge Online‘s full interview with SCEE CEO Jim Ryan for more info on Gaikai as well as why Sony’s Gamescom presentation was so heavily focused on indie games.
Gaikai is set to provide a variety of interesting features to Sony’s console lineup including Remote Play between the PS4 and handheld Vita along with the possibility of an extensive digital library offering of classic PlayStation titles from legacy consoles. While Gaikai is still being refined, it will be interesting to see the full capabilities of the online service when it releases early next year.
Additionally it will further be interesting to see how Gaikai adds to the entertainment experiences for both the PlayStation 3 and handheld PS Vita–and what kinds of additional features will be available along with the already impressive Remote Play functionality. Sony assuredly has something good cooking up, and we’ll likely hear more about their plans as launch day nears.
Sony’s next-gen PlayStation 4 is slated to release on Nov. 15, 2013 for a price point of $399. For more information be sure to check out our recent PS4 coverage.