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Gaikai Could be “Coming soon to iOS Devices”

July 18, 2012 Written by Sebastian Moss

Sony’s recently acquired cloud gaming company Gaikai could be coming to iOS devices soon, if the company’s website is to be believed.

If you try to play Gaikai games with an iPad or iPhone, it’ll say “Gaikai is coming soon to iOS devices”, but the question is – has this plan changed since Sony bought them?

Why it could be coming to iOS:

Gaikai founded itself on principles of openness – hell, Gaikai is a Japanese word that loosely translates to “Open Ocean”. If Sony wants to be the Netflix of video games, they’ll need to get onto every single device possible just like Netflix. Making the service available on everything means that Gaikai, and therefore Sony, will be able to make money on every platform out there, including the hundreds of millions of iOS users as well as not leaving the market open to competitors. Crucially, Apple might also be unable to stop Gaikai coming to iOS devices – as they have with OnLive by refusing to publish their app – because, if Gaikai can run through the browser, Apple will have no control and won’t be able to take a 30% cut.

Sony’s Music Unlimited service is also cross-platform, showing that Sony isn’t fully averse to putting streaming apps on iOS.

Why it might not be coming to iOS:

At it’s heart, Sony is still a hardware company, and they’re still trying to give their devices a unique selling point and help justify their $1.5 billion purchase of Ericsson’s stake in their mobile business. Having the ability to stream PlayStation games is a compelling feature for any device and is sure to help its sales, meaning Sony can profit both off of hardware sales and ecosystem sales.

What is probably happening:

We asked Gaikai and were told that they “cannot provide any additional comments that are not found within the press release per Sony Computer Entertainment”. That could be simply the usual PR non-comment, but it’s also likely that Gaikai simply don’t know what their new masters have planned for them. Founder David Perry told Digital Spy at Develop:

Well, it depends how Sony decides to make use of the tech, but if nothing else, it just adds another cool capability for PlayStation gamers.

Again, it’s too early for us to even begin to speculate how Sony will use it, because we haven’t had that discussion, but there’s going to be probably 50 brainstorming meetings.

It’s a big company with a lot of departments and a lot of people are going to want to talk about this, because it’s an ecosystem that’s… the company just doesn’t do one thing, it’s got a lot of component pieces. Blu-ray players, TVs, mobile phones – I think cloud gaming can impact all of it.

It’s going to be in a lot of meetings and a lot of discussion over the next few months.

As we speak, there are likely furious debates going on at Sony HQ over whether they should push to become the next Nextflix, or simply expand their hardware offering.

What do you think Sony should do? Share your thoughts in the comments below.