Ken Kutaragi, the former head of Sony Computer Entertainment, has established a startup that will work in the direction of network-based video game services. Even though such services can hardly compete against the PlayStation 3, it looks like the father of PlayStation sees a lot of potential in such services.
“We will initially focus on research and development relating to information processing, targeting cutting-edge networking operations,” said Ken Kutaragi, reports Nikkei web-site.
Recently chairman emeritus of SCE as well as Takashi Usuki, an ex-engineer from Sony, established a company called Cyber AI Entertainment. With the popularization of cloud computing, Mr. Kutaragi is reportedly considering the development of an “advanced platform for entertainment”.
All-in-all, it does look like the father of PlayStation is developing a network-based video game service.
Remote video game streaming services, which allow their customers to play games that are processed by the server, not by the local hardware, have three main advantages over contemporary consoles or personal computers: gamers do not need to buy expensive hardware (which means that more people can be addressed), gamers do not need to acquire games themselves in a retail stores or carry any physical media (which makes games more affordable or even free in certain cases), gamers cannot pirate software.
But while remote game streaming services have a number of benefits, they are hard to implement from technology standpoint (Internet still generates input lags, video needs to be compressed and decompressed, etc.) and their economic model also does not seem to be really feasible (one customer should be provided with enough performance to play a game with 1920x1080 resolution with all the bells and whistles enabled, which typically means dedicated graphics processor and at least two CPU cores, something not exactly cheap).
In the long run the advantages of remote game streaming services may surpass their drawbacks, however, it looks like this will hardly be the case for the next ten years.