PS4 will stream PS3 games using Gaikai technology, which Sony had acquired for $380m (£246m) last year, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Sony is also likely to introduce more advanced motion controls with PS4, featuring Vita-style touchpad on the front of the system’s new controller. Streaming technology will be the unique selling proposition (USP) of PS4 as cloud gaming helps keep costs low for customers and allows them to easily play intricate games on mobile devices.
Previous PlayStations have been backwards compatible, but the PS4 is expected to use AMD x86 chips, which wouldn’t be compatible with earlier Sony consoles which is where streaming comes in. Sony is also expected to extend these streaming services to PS Vita and PS3. The PS4 controller is also likely to be revamped to feature a touchpad in the place of the Start, Select and PlayStation buttons. The PS4 controller may even feature Siri-style voice control, according to an earlier rumour.
Sources close to the matter were quoted as saying to Wall Street Journal that ”the new technology, to be unveiled Wednesday along with the new console, will allow users to play games delivered over the Internet.” They also said that the streaming service is designed to use current PS3 titles on the new console; the new device is also expected to play new games stored on optical discs.
The Gaikai streaming technology is one of the new features and enhancements expected to be offered with the new console, which Sony is expected to unveil at an event in New York on Wednesday. Sony’s new PlayStation, for example, may control the action with higher fidelity cameras for its “Move” motion-sensing technology and touch-sensing pads on new controllers, according to people who have seen and been briefed on the devices.
Previously, Gaikai had disclosed its future plans saying that it would incorporate a streaming service to gaming platforms that is time sensitive, but still at the same time, maintains high quality graphics and gaming content. “Games are uploaded to our datacenters located broadly around the world. They are then streamed using high-end servers to internet-connected devices, similar to the way videos are streamed to your computer, except interactively”, the company had stated.