A much-loved feature that was taken away from the PlayStation 3 could be making a comeback, but not through emulation. There’s a rumor among rumor-having places that Sony will be partnering with cloud gaming service Gaikai to stream PS One and PlayStation 2 games to “PlayStation hardware.” Uhm… Yay?
In case you’re not familiar with Gaikai, it’s a cloud gaming service much like OnLive, but unlike OnLive its concentrated on partnering with publishers and distributors rather than directly with customers. Gaikai’s software allows users to stream games instead of downloading them.
Streaming a game means you’ll be able to play Crysis 300 on a calculator as long as your Internet connection is up to the task. Okay I admit that was a bit hyperbolic. Your Internet connection is clearly not up to the task. Seriously though Gaikai says a connection of at least 5mbps is good enough to use their service.
If this rumor is true, instead of downloading PS One or PS 2 games from the PSN store, gamers will simply have to log in to Gaikai’s network and play Battle Arena Toshinden the way we log on YouTube to watch videos. Here’s Gaikai at it’s best: instant play of Hawken, a game that hasn’t even been released yet.
Online streaming does have a lot of advantages, but I think it’s also way ahead of its time for its own good and can only be enjoyed by a select few. Aside from the obvious always online shackle, I’m also wondering how users will be able to access PS One and PS 2 games. Will they be for sale? Will they be for rent? Will they be available via a catch-all monthly subscription? Is the PSP included in the umbrella term “PlayStation hardware?” No? Why not? Please? I guess E3 is the perfect time to announce a service like this, so hopefully we’ll have answers soon.