How Gaikai and PlayStation Home Will Change Gaming Forever

How Gaikai and PlayStation Home Will Change Gaming Forever


The current PlayStation Home is brilliant; one click on that little Home icon from your PS3's XMB, and after a bit of loading, you're transported to a colorful little world with thousands of other people walking around in all sorts of costumes from their favorite games and going on about their businesses.  There are virtual malls and movie theaters where you can actually go and watch a movie with many other users similar to how you would do in real life. Tons of free games to play with others, your own apartment (you can upgrade to a mansion if money is not an issue for you), go to the beach or nightclubs, visit aquariums, and all of this is done with some pretty decent graphics if I may add.  The amount of things you can do in Home is quite amazing and it's a unique experience on consoles.

PlayStation Home 3

playstation_home_lbp

But for all the good things that Home brings to the table it does have its flaws.  Let's start with a pretty obvious one: the loading times to go from a section of Home onto the next.  It can take upwards of a full minute to get from the main plaza to getting inside the mall.  As you approach the entrance, you are prompted to download the new area, and a minute or so later you get to your destination.  The same thing happens when you visit a movie theater; you find yourself waiting there for a decent amount of time before the movie loads up on screen.  Now don't get me wrong, Home is unique in its offerings  and 20 million plus users are a testament to that fact, but you can't help but feel that the current overall experience is not as streamlined and seamless as you'd hope it to be.  I'm sure part of the reason for feeling this way is because I don't regularly use Home, although I've met some really cool people in there and I find it to be a refreshing new take on the whole social aspect of gaming.

So with the recent news of the Gaikai acquisition by Sony, I begin to wonder what the implementations could mean for Home and its users and how that will impact the PlayStation brand as a whole.  Although I have a profound love for cool new gadgets and an undying curiosity for all things technology and science related, I'm by no means a very savvy tech head, meaning that some of the following hypothesis may not even be feasible using Gaikai Solely. So go ahead and hang on to your  grains of salt and get ready to dive into a speculative world with me for a second or two.

Gaikai

Streamlined Experience

Imagine if you had a virtual space where you could display all of your trophies and the gameplay videos of how you earned them.  Well such a place was sort of promised to PS3 owners when Home first launched. Home was supposed to bring such a world to us, a virtual world where you could invite friends over to your virtual apartment where your trophies would be on display for them to see, and you'd have the ability to stream a movie from your library and watch it together, etc.  Although, currently in Home, you can actually go to a movie theater and catch a show on Crackle with friends.   But imagine if Sony uses Gaikai to take it a step further than just watching movies; what if you could actually fire up the Home app and catch a live stream of a Call of Duty competition with friends, with the ability to switch to different feeds and catch different parts of the game session as it unfolds, and better yet, the ability to seamlessly join in on the action.  All over the net there exists websites where people actually get to stream their games live so that other users can watch. What if that was done directly from Home?

The PlayStation Vita Equation

Playstation home vitaThough all the things mentioned above would certainly be cool, the prospect of being able to do all of it from the PS Vita would take it beyond ridiculous.  The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Sony and Gaikai is the awesome potential that comes into play with regards to the PlayStation Vita, and I'm not alone in this.  Sony has been touting cross-play and remote play between the PS3 and the PS Vita quite aggressively as of late, and I think that is because they've factored the Gaikai equation into their plans as well.  But here's where I think that Home-Twitter-Facebook-1Sony could really differentiate itself from what everyone else is doing, including Nintendo and the Wii U.  What if Sony uses Gaikai to bring not just PS1, PS2, and PS3 games over to the Vita, but PlayStation Home as well?  Sure we already have NEAR, Skype, and Cross Chat on the PS Vita, but just think of the implications that PlayStation Home could have on the Vita and it's social appeal as a whole.  PlayStation Home would bring a totally new dimension to the PS Vita, putting it far ahead of anything that's currently available on the market from a social standpoint.

Microsoft is banking on Xbox Live and Kinect as their game changer; Nintendo is counting on the Wii U GamePad and Nintendo TVii's social aspect as their 1-2 punch.  But it seems as though Sony already has all the pieces of the puzzle and now it’s just a matter of putting them together..  Now keep in mind that some of the stuff mentioned above may well not be possible with just Gaikai alone, but nonetheless, I think that both Gaikai and PlayStation Home will really be the game changer for Sony and the PlayStation Brand as they already have the games front covered.  If the cards are played right, Home can play a more central role in the PlayStation Universe, where each of Sony first party developers and the PlayStation Store can be fully represented in a virtual world and interact with their fans in a way that is unprecedented in gaming, and subsequently changing the landscape forever.

What are your thoughts on the potentials of Gaikai and PlayStation Home? And how do you think it positions Sony against its competitors?

8 Comments
  1. Date: October 12, 2012
    Author: Mr. Helpful
    Quick re-wording for ya, where you say "But it seems as though Sony already has all the pieces of the puzzle put together and it’s now it’s just a matter of putting them together." Change it to: "But it seems as though Sony already has all the pieces of the puzzle and now it’s just a matter of putting them together." [Reply]
    • Date: October 12, 2012
      Author: siesel
      Thanks a million Mr. Helpful, I don't know why the updated version wasn't up as I spotted it earlier as well. It should be all corrected now :) [Reply]
  2. Date: October 12, 2012
    Author: jvbro
    The average gamer is over 30. I'm guessing many of those people have families with priorities. When I get about an hour of game time on average a night, why the heck would I want to "sit" around some virtual space when I could be doing something specific like "playing" a game... [Reply]
    • Date: October 12, 2012
      Author: siesel
      There are millions of people who currently use Home and millions more who spend countless hours on Facebook, Twitter among other social websites. It may not be ideal for you, and I hope that Sony would give you options Twitter are already a part of Home to some degree as you can get feeds from within it. [Reply]
  3. Date: October 12, 2012
    Author: tango
    all empty talk ps is dying [Reply]
  4. Date: October 12, 2012
    Author: John
    Fail, fail and fail. All of this spells Epic Fail! $ony sucks and they are near death. [Reply]
  5. Date: October 12, 2012
    Author: Jayson
    i like what your getting at but what if sony can actually put playstation home in the cloud, wouldnt that make playstation home seamlessly accessible and what if you can have an avatar like for the xmb but an actual character like xbox but graphically better like drake from the uncharted game the actual drake out of the game. hanging around walking and talking in the xmb. you can then send him through home as a message to your friend that would be awesome. now think about it with every 1st and 3rd party character in everyones xmb that would be sick!!!! tell me what you think??? [Reply]
    • Date: October 12, 2012
      Author: siesel
      Hi Jayson I think that's a cool concept, though in Home you already have an avatar that you use to navigate around the space. I think it would be really cool to bring it to the xmb, but they would need to have a classic version that keeps things as simple as they are now, for not everyone is going to want to be forced to use an avatar every time they want to use their PS3 or PS4. I think Home being on the cloud is what would make it accessible on the PS Vita, but also allow it to be a lot more streamlined with virtually no loading time. [Reply]
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