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Old 07-05-2012, 06:36 PM   #1
AkumaATR
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Sony + Gaikai Predictions

So... I have to speak up about this recent acquisition, as I disagree with almost everything I am hearing.

Some specifics, metaquotes from around the Internet I've seen:

Quote:
This Gaikai tech is going to save the Vita. Now Sony can stream a huge library of PS1 and PS2 games to Vita owners.
I am really doubting this. There may be a subscription service like this coming, but I don't think it will save the Vita. Only good Vita-targeted titles will save the Vita at this point, and there aren't any coming anytime soon. Streaming these old games to a system with impressive embedded hardware like the Vita just seems like a waste to me (they should be working on system-exclusive content).

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This Gaikai purchase will results in a huge library of games coming to PS3 owners.
Why? Sony is out to make money. Backwards compatibility is not in the financial interests of most companies (they prefer to resell you titles over and over until the end of time, which we're falling for/enabling). I was very disappointed when Sony dropped PS2 support by taking out the hardware that made it feasible. I argue that this was more about wanting consumers to purchase new product for their limited screen time vs. having customers get more time out of their existing purchases (no extra upside for Sony). I don't believe cost was a big issue. If it was, why wasn't there a PS3 sku with a slightly higher price to cover this cost? Consumer confusion in this gen regarding SKUs was already off the charts -- couldn't have been much worse.

I am not saying it won't happen. But I do think it's a dumb move on Sony's part. Fans of classic gaming are going to want a relatively lag-free experience. More stuff we can spend money on in which we don't truly own anything as a result -- whoopee. I don't think the user base is high enough regarding people who will find this offering satisfactory (wrt Internet connections/no ownership/general interest), and I don't have the greatest faith in Sony implementing this well.

I think it's likely the Gaikai purchase was simply a move to have a foot in the water if/when game streaming offerings actually take off.

Something will have to change if Sony offers this service. It will be expensive to implement/host. They aren't going to have PS2s and PS1s duck-taped next to the servers. They are a hardware company, maybe they are investing (burning more money in this case) in some server-side hardware for this. It all sounds very technically impractical to me. If they have a server-side software solution (emulator) it would be fairer to consumers to simply distribute or sell the software (I'm assuming our PS3s would not be capable of running it well). If they offer such a thing as part of Playstation Plus, I think they will raise the subscription cost substantially.

I understand some of the arguments for OnLive etc. (supercomputer streaming to $10 devices), but this doesn't make sense at all for legacy titles imo (streaming). I do like the Wii's Virtual Console in concept (I do find it despicable that titles are tied to a single Wii vs. a person, and technically an account as well (I have some games on SD card that I can no longer run on the Wii I purchased them on).

Sony is already struggling to meet consumer expectations in a number of areas, I just don't see them being foolish enough to put a lot of effort into this streaming stuff right now. If they do it, I predict failure in this dept. for at least for the foreseeable future. I only see it possibly making sense for exciting new content that can't run natively on the PS3 (which they can potentially make more money off of).

Thoughts?

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Old 07-06-2012, 08:50 AM   #2
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Oh man you got to go beyond current technology. This is clearly a move for next gen and beyond. I believe they are more interested in the technology and capabilities that Gaikai has in store for the future. Companies like this are always thinking ahead and developing newer tech and capabilities. Sony saw this in the company and jumped on it. Also buying proven/established tech is a lot easier (and cheaper) then actually doing your own R&D. I think they are buying this and developing the PS4’s backend capabilities around it. It’s pretty exciting.

Imagine a PlayStation that has no physical media. You plug in the box and stream everything straight to your TV. Now do I think this will be the PS4. No way not completely but I do think it will use cloud base gaming in some fashion. Besides physical media is still way too common and going completely online would push away a lot of customers. But it’s in the cards man. It will happen in the future. Hell even now I rather buy a game and dl it to my Xbox then buy the physical copy. It’s just easier and I don’t have to swap discs.

Also I believe Sony will probably go to a paid service like Live. Live proves that people are willing to pay for an elevated service and they can use this product to provide that service to people who are willing to pay for games, music, moves and so forth. Let’s say one of perks for having Sony’s “gold” service is that you can instantly play certain games without dling them or try demos without wasting space on your PS4’s HHD. People would pay for that. Shit I would! lol
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Old 07-06-2012, 11:31 AM   #3
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I only really care about the cross-platform development possibilities here. Devkits are really expensive, and PS3 development in particular is rather user-unfriendly, so a lot of devs will just go with PC/Xbox because the environment is so similar between them. But if they do this right, it would allow me to make a game in XNA for PC and be able to have it stream to all of Sony's systems without having to shell out thousands of dollars I don't have, and allow me not to have to worry about the vagaries of the cell processor or differences in graphics hardware and so forth.
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Old 07-06-2012, 11:54 AM   #4
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I only really care about the cross-platform development possibilities here. Devkits are really expensive, and PS3 development in particular is rather user-unfriendly, so a lot of devs will just go with PC/Xbox because the environment is so similar between them. But if they do this right, it would allow me to make a game in XNA for PC and be able to have it stream to all of Sony's systems without having to shell out thousands of dollars I don't have, and allow me not to have to worry about the vagaries of the cell processor or differences in graphics hardware and so forth.
This is all by design (the price of devkits, the delta between platforms, etc.). Devkits are expensive as a barrier to entry; the major players in this industry want such barriers to entry -- fewer development parties/products equates to more eyes on what they're selling. The delta between platforms has been eroding for some time, but the PS2 and PS3 are exceptions. This was simply part of Sony's history of proprietary hardware and software (one method of trying to dominate a space). "If the PS hardware is wildly different, maybe we will get more exclusives, become very successful, and have our own massive segment of the market that we control and profit more from." That's the thinking. In the end third parties insist on the biggest customer base possible, so of course they end up making cross-platform tools and games, at the end of the day, it's just been made a pain in the ass and most titles end up being victims of least-common denominator development (Wii can't do this, so let's drop that just to make things simple, PS3 doesn't have enough memory for that, so let's scale texture specs down a bit, Xbox 360 can't spit out at that poly count, so let's reduce our model specs, etc.). Sony's history is chock-full of MiniDisc-type moves (I've ranted about that in plenty of other threads, so...).

Anyways, my point is that these companies aren't actively looking to allow you to compete (the barrier to entry is far larger than say iOS, the mindset is one of exclusion vs. inclusion regarding the market). If the industry had the mindset of how Apple ended up with a wildly successful app market, better solutions than the streaming one your propose would already exist/be forthcoming for developers like us.

XNA is a sandbox to appease you (like if someone wanted a Ferrari and got a Honda just to be quiet, heh), and in my opinion, limits you (you spend your time playing in the limited sandbox they've created for you, learning a lot of proprietary things -- not a waste of time, just not enough to make me happy). Microsoft knows you won't be making anything cutting edge with it, and they control the limited visibility of whatever you put in the marketplace. 10k barrier to entry (back to the barriers point) to even touch the XBLA route. I try to support platforms with more open markets.
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Old 07-06-2012, 12:05 PM   #5
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This move doesn't feel meant for western markets.
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Old 07-06-2012, 01:18 PM   #6
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Software guys... heh. You guys actually think this buy is software related? hahaha Come on guys. The PS4 is probably already built and ready. If anything Sony has had a plan on how this thing will work for a couple years now. And by that I mean what they want to put out there to the consumers as far as software and the platform’s capabilities. Also on that plan is how to distribute software and how they want the developers to develop for it. I can almost guarantee that Sony buying Gaikai has nothing to do with software development. This is purely infrastructure and distribution. They want to have a fast, easy, secure way to deliver games to their consumers because in the end this is what gamers want. Easy and fast.

I can already see the infrastructure for this design. One hundred percent virtual servers(probably ESX) running across nexus switches configured with VXLANs sitting in some huge datacenter in mid America( and a few other places around the globe) pushing thousands and thousands of different instances of the same game to different users across this side of the globe. Some shmuck powers up his PS4 and logs into his PlayStation account authenticating against one of the servers. Boom!! They’re in the network browsing a hundred different games to be streamed straight to the unit at the house. “Oh hey!” says Shmuck, “I want to try out the new demo for Final Fantasy 20! Oh I can do it now and not wait for a lame ass download? Thank you Sony for being so awesome!! Sure I’ll pay you 19.99 a month for your Platinum service!!!”. Five years from now we are all blazing across the internet streaming games online while Evil’s true dream has come to fruition….GameStop finally closing down. MUAHAHAHAHA!!!

And this all happened because Sony looked forward and saw the future of distribution…. The mother fucking Cloud son!!
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Old 07-06-2012, 05:53 PM   #7
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They want to have a fast, easy, secure way to deliver games to their consumers because in the end this is what gamers want. Easy and fast.
True, but they don't want it to replace but rather augment the traditional content delivery method (Bluray discs).

In short, they're likely building a version of the Xbox's Live Arcade to distribute minor titles and small downloadable games. You won't be playing Mass Effect 4 via Gaikai-download on the PS4.

Included in this will be pushing game demos, music to replace Pandora service, and video to replace Netflix--all in an Itunes Store mock service.
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Old 07-06-2012, 06:13 PM   #8
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If sony wants to stick with physical media a tad longer, but want to break the mold and look like good guys again...

First of all, scrap all physical retail copies of games. Make them purchase everything in digital format, then give the customer the option to creating their own physical back-ups. Each copy is tied to the system that spawns it, will only work on that system or if logged into the PSN account of the creator if the disc is placed into another system.

Sony needs to include a blu-ray burner/player with the PS4 and allow customers to burn games they purchase onto physical media, then only playable if you're logged into the PSN account of the disc's owner or it's being played from the console that spawned it. Sony ties your accounts to the physical units, and when you purchase a new unit you transfer ownership to the new unit via a crude bios with minimal permissions the user can access to link a system to their PSN account.

The only way piracy can happen this way is if your account name and password are stolen. Even then if they use your PSN account to activate a new machine, those discs are only good on that one machine while it's logged in. Multiple spawns of titles would be impossible because you can only be logged into 1 account at once, no matter if they spoof or clone your PSN account.

I know it's really restrictive DRM in a sense you won't be able to let friends borrow games unless you also lend them your PSN account and password, but it gives the customers a flexible way to make backups and portable "trash" copies to take up to the cabin/friends/ect that will still work with the proper system or credentials, and Sony won't have to worry about mass piracy.
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Old 07-06-2012, 08:29 PM   #9
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That seems overly complex to me, a hybrid of undesirable new trends and old habits (new schoolers don't care about physical copies or care to burn their own copies of anything). Even though you and I would like to make copies, the majority of people don't care about this because they are from a different generation (when no one really owns anything they spend money on, and this is acceptable). I personally don't like licenses tied to accounts I can't easily make on a per-game basis (I have a handful of reasons, again many new schoolers don't care about what I care about). However, in the end, we're only enabling this new desired way of thinking by publishers that software is somehow different than everything else since the dawn of time that's had an aftermarket. Prepare to have this invade other areas of our lives as well. Why stop with software? Why not have a coffee pot tied to a few fingerprints? Maybe companies decide that everyone should have a new car... used car market is a threat to the auto industry...

Totally hypocritical. The second people "steal" software, copyright owners wanna scream and shout that bits on the wire are identical to physibles on a shelf. But then they're happy to say that software is different wrt traditional ownership rights (my being to sell it when I'm done with it to someone else).

Just frickin' sell these games for less, Barbie Horse Adventures should not be next to Halo 4 on the shelf at a $60 price point. Otherwise all of the Barbie Horse Adventure games lose money, no one cared to give it a shot with limited funds, and publishers get in this situation where every game has to be MEGA AWESOME BIGGEST GAME EVER, GET READY EVERYONE!!! Publishers should also learn to make games for less, and stop burning money. Indies have to learn how to do this -- other industries have to come up with compelling ways to stay profitable (not just delete the notion of an aftermarket) -- why shouldn't they!? Suggestion -- trim the expensive fat starting at the suits level instead of at the bottom where talented people actually contribute to product...

It's ludicrous really.
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Old 07-06-2012, 08:42 PM   #10
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Just frickin' sell these games for less, Barbie Horse Adventures should not be next to Halo 4 on the shelf at a $60 price point. Publishers should learn to make games for less, and stop burning money. Indies have to learn how to do this -- other industries have to come up with compelling ways to stay profitable (not just delete the notion of an aftermarket) -- why shouldn't they!?

It's ludicrous really.
Ludicrous is what I paid for Mickey's Mystical adventure on the SNES. The only place I could find it was FAO Swartz.

Edit: also, I am overly complex. It's the only way I keep myself from being bored with rational solutions that work.
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Old 07-07-2012, 12:00 PM   #11
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Heh, hobbies are a good thing. :-]

How was Mickey's Mystical Adventure?

I was pretty impressed with the sprite work in one of the Mickey Genesis games back in the day... pretty game. Fantasia-based game iirc...
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Old 07-07-2012, 01:43 PM   #12
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I'm just going to repeat this post I made from the other Gaikai discussion:

Quote:
...this whole "its better on my PC/console" [as opposed to a 12mb connection to OnLive] talk is pointless because it's not about you and what you want...

The biggest advantages to cloud gaming are that publishers no longer have to ship products to retail, you will never "own" a piece of software again, and hardware vendors no longer have to take a huge loss on micro-sized technical marvels to put in your living room. In fact, the hope is that in the future you won't need a console or PC at all, and instead everything will stream to SmartTVs with a simple App. They don't care about your experience, they care about the money they'll save going completely digital and raking in the cash with subscription fees and F2P microtransactions. Gaming as you know it has about 5 years left.
You can kick and scream and argue all you like, but this is what I am currently working toward (along with MANY other developers) and what you will eventually be playing... unless you decide to give up video games and go play outside, which might do some of us some good.
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Old 07-07-2012, 02:01 PM   #13
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How was Mickey's Mystical Adventure?
it cost me 90 bucks, played like Super Gouls and Ghosts, and I was an idiot for giving it to a friend who "lost it"
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Old 07-07-2012, 02:04 PM   #14
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I'm just going to repeat this post I made from the other Gaikai discussion:



You can kick and scream and argue all you like, but this is what I am currently working toward (along with MANY other developers) and what you will eventually be playing... unless you decide to give up video games and go play outside, which might do some of us some good.
I explained all of this in my PS4 post regarding if they were smart and thinking outside the box, gaming would become all digital, and if the average user wanted physical copies he would have to manufacture them himself. Think of the money that saves the devs,...
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Old 07-07-2012, 06:40 PM   #15
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I'm just going to repeat this post I made from the other Gaikai discussion:

You can kick and scream and argue all you like, but this is what I am currently working toward (along with MANY other developers) and what you will eventually be playing... unless you decide to give up video games and go play outside, which might do some of us some good.
Wrong, you still need customer buy-in, or competitors who don't go along with you will rake in all the cash. Good luck.
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Old 07-11-2012, 10:20 AM   #16
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, Barbie Horse Adventures ...
Is this fun? I swear I'll play it if its fun. I have no shame in my gaming life.


Although I would not mind if all physical media disappeared I do not see it happening in the near future. Sure the roads are being paved for that type of business model but Gaming's current economic structure is just to fixed on selling physical copies. Its just my personal and professional (because in network engineering I freaking hear the word cloud every damn day!!!) opinion that Sony is looking to the future. Will they jump on the streaming bandwagon all the way!? No way... Ask Reed Hastings if that is such a good idea. Poor SOB. lol
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Old 07-11-2012, 04:03 PM   #17
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Is this fun? I swear I'll play it if its fun. I have no shame in my gaming life.


Although I would not mind if all physical media disappeared I do not see it happening in the near future. Sure the roads are being paved for that type of business model but Gaming's current economic structure is just to fixed on selling physical copies. Its just my personal and professional (because in network engineering I freaking hear the word cloud every damn day!!!) opinion that Sony is looking to the future. Will they jump on the streaming bandwagon all the way!? No way... Ask Reed Hastings if that is such a good idea. Poor SOB. lol
Getting rid of physical media is fine and dandy, if that were all consumers were giving up. Problem is that historically we own less when we give up the physical part, like the ability to resell what we used to own. Course I don't want to get up off the couch to put a disc in!
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