Sony’s integration with Gaikai is one of the PlayStation 4’s greatest selling points, and one that was heavily highlighted during the console’s February reveal. Fast-forward to Gamescom this year however, and Gaikai was barely mentioned. Sony has explained the reasoning behind that decision, and what it means for European gamers.
The main reason for this lack of European focus on the internet streaming technology that Gaikai offers is due to the lack of broadband parity throughout the countries of Europe. Although many parts of the UK, Germany and France for example do have a large amount of high-speed internet options, this is by no means standard across the continent, making the reliability of a service designed purely around high-speed connections a problem. Therefore it seems that North American gamers will be using streaming technology to play demos, and potentially legacy PlayStation games long before those of us in Europe.
The upshot of these issues means that, although Sony still plans on rolling out the Gaikai features next year in North America, European gamers look to have a longer wait in store. In an interview with Edge magazine, SCEE president Jim Ryan explained the reasoning behind the decision.
“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.”
He also commented on why Gaikai wasn’t discussed at Gamescom this year. “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,” he admitted.
So how do you guys in Europe feel about this delay? Although I understand the reasoning behind it personally I cant help but be a little disappointed that in the UK we are being lumped in with the rest of Europe again, despite our broadband services being some of the best in the world outside of the US and Japan.