Sony buying streaming game service Gaikai for $380 million, to establish 'new cloud service'

Sony announced this morning that it will purchase game streaming service Gaikai for $380 million in a "definitive agreement" that will see cloud gaming head to Sony Computer Entertainment's various properties. The announcement shies away from saying anything too specific, but notes that "SCE will establish a new cloud service" based on today's acquisition. The implication of course is that Gaikai will offer cloud-streaming gaming via the PlayStation 3 and Vita, not to mention any unannounced future systems and other Sony properties (Bravia televisions, for instance).

"SCE Will deliver a world-class cloud-streaming service that allows users 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," SCE prez and CEO Andrew House said of the news, hinting at where we'll see Gaikai's tech implemented.

It's unclear whether the streaming tech is intended for Sony's PlayStation 3 or for future consoles unknown (or both). It's also unclear if Gaikai CEO David Perry will remain with his company in any capacity, or if he'll move to Sony, or if he's out altogether. And how does this affect Gaikai's existing partnerships with various television manufacturers (especially considering Sony's also in the television market)? We're not sure just yet.

Gaikai was recently rumored to be seeking a buyer, to the lofty tune of $500 million. Today's news sees them coming up $120 million short of that number.

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SCE to Build a Cloud Service Bringing Gaikai's Cloud Based-Streaming Technologies into Its Network Business

Tokyo, July 2, 2012 – Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) today announced that it entered into a definitive agreement on June 30, 2012 (Japan Time) to acquire Gaikai Inc., the world's leading interactive cloud-based gaming company, for approximately USD 380 million. Through the acquisition, SCE will establish a new cloud service, ensuring that it continues to provide users with truly innovative and immersive interactive entertainment experiences.

"By combining Gaikai's resources including its technological strength and engineering talent with SCE's extensive game platform knowledge and experience, SCE will provide users with unparalleled cloud entertainment experiences," said Andrew House, President and Group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. "SCE will deliver a world-class cloud-streaming service that allows users 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."

"SCE has built an incredible brand with PlayStation and has earned the respect of countless millions of gamers worldwide," said David Perry, CEO of Gaikai Inc., "We're honored to be able to help SCE rapidly 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."

Established in 2008 and headquartered in Aliso Viejo, California, Gaikai has developed the highest quality, fastest interactive cloud-streaming platform in the world that enables the

streaming of quality games to a wide variety of devices via the internet. With this acquisition, SCE will establish a cloud service and expand its network business by taking full advantage of Gaikai's revolutionary technology and infrastructure including data centers servicing dozens of countries and key partners around the world.

The transaction is subject to certain regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.

SCE will continue to aggressively expand a new world of entertainment through the introduction of innovative technologies and the delivery of amazing experiences.

About Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.

Recognized as the global leader and company responsible for the progression of consumer-based computer entertainment, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) manufactures, distributes, develop and markets the PlayStation®2 (PS2®) computer entertainment system, the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) handheld entertainment system, the PlayStation®3 (PS3®) computer entertainment system and the PlayStation®Vita (PS Vita) portable entertainment system. SCEI has revolutionized home entertainment since they launched PlayStation in 1994. PS2® further enhances the PlayStation legacy as the core of home networked entertainment. PSP® is a handheld entertainment system that allows users to enjoy 3D games with high-quality full-motion video and high-fidelity stereo audio. PS3® is an advanced computer system, incorporating the powerful Cell Broadband Engine and RSX processors. PS Vita is an ultimate portable entertainment system that offers a revolutionary combination of rich gaming and social connectivity within a real world context. SCEI also delivers the PlayStation® experience to open operating systems through PlayStation®Mobile, a cross device platform. Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, SCEI, along with its affiliated companies, Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC., and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd., and its division companies, Sony Computer Entertainment Japan and Sony Computer Entertainment Asia develops, publishes, markets and distributes hardware and software, and manages the third party licensing programs for these platforms in the respective markets worldwide.