Sony has finally (officially) announced its plans to acquire popular company Gaikai, who specializes in cloud-based services. While rumors surrounding the acquisition have been making the rounds for quite some time, after Sony failed to mention it during their E3 2012 Press Conference many figured it was purely speculation.

For quite some time the industry has been shifting towards a cloud-based and digital business model, although it has failed to truly catch on, leading many to think that would be the future for next-gen consoles. The official indication that companies like Sony and Microsoft were leaning in that direction was this Gaikai rumor.

Now that Sony has officially announced its plans, it’s only a matter of time before speculation once again runs rampant with the idea that the next-generation consoles won’t just be about faster processors and more RAM but a completely digital selection of software that can be accessed anywhere, at any time.

According to Sony, the acquisition of Gaikai will result in gamers being able “to instantly enjoy a broad array of content ranging from immersive core games with rich graphics to casual content anytime, anywhere on a variety of internet-connected devices.” This sounds more like Sony plans to implement the cloud-based service in its current generation of devices, like the PS3, Vita, and current smart phones, but they do leave the future open.

CEO of Gaikai David Perry says that with his company Sony will be able to “harness the power of the interactive cloud and to continue to grow their ecosystem, to empower developers with new capabilities, to dramatically improve the reach of exciting content and to bring breathtaking new experiences to users worldwide.” Sounds like if the gaming communities respond well to the idea of cloud-based services (granted, gamers haven’t exactly flocked to OnLive) that there is room for their relationship to become stronger and stronger.

The acquisition hasn’t officially gone through though — the usual legal rigmarole must still be survived — but for all intents and purposes Sony has purchased Gaikai, and plans to use their cloud-based services very soon.

What do you think will be Sony’s first announcement after purchasing Gaikai? Will the next generation of consoles be based purely in digital software?

Source: Forbes

tags: Gaikai, PS3, Sony, Vita