Sony will buy cloud gaming service Gaikai

Sony’s presence in the world of cloud gaming is about to explode.

The company has announced that it will acquire Gaikai, an up-and-comer in the nascent digital gaming space, for around $380 million.

Gaikai provides technology to allow users to play games in a streaming format, meaning they don’t have to go out to a store and pick up a game, or even wait for a game file to be downloaded and installed.

This is of course the direction that all entertainment sectors are heading toward, as companies try to create the most frictionless experience for consumers as possible.

With this acquisition, Sony “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,” said Playstation boss Andrew House in a statement.

One of the few rumors circulating last month’s E3 trade show that didn’t come true was that Sony was planning a major cloud gaming announcement. The name Gaikai was floated around, but of course no such announcement surfaced last month.

Now, though, it’s clear that something certainly was boiling behind the scenes, and it’s quite possible Sony wanted to make the announcement but was still working on finalizing the details.

It’s unclear exactly how the company plans to use Gaikai’s resources in the immediate future. Sony said nothing about what it will do with Gaikai’s existing products and content partnerships.