A friend of mine who likes to tell me how much of a genius I am also likes to knock me by saying I don’t know the difference between “Irony” and “Coincidence”. Call it what you will, but I can’t help but chuckle at the fact that shortly after making this post about the transition of the video game industry, both Sony and Electronic Arts made huge announcements this past week about some of their long term plans.
Looking at Sony first, the announcement of their recent purchase of Gaikai was surprising. (Personally, I thought EA was going to do it.) For those not familiar with Gaikai, this is a service that allows for PC gaming in the cloud with content streamed directly to your browser.
It’s a fantastic idea because it eliminates certain system requirements that can often be a barrier for entry. This network also allows for “anytime/anywhere” play so as long as you have an Internet connection, you’ll be able to play your game and keep the party going.
There are theories abound on what Sony plans to do with this technology, but there shouldn’t be any surprises to have some type of integration with the presumed-to-be-under-
As for EA, the writing has been on the wall for some time, but they’ve been in the news this week about their intentions to go to a 100% digital distribution. The market has already been tested for this via Valve’s Steam client as well as older, downloadable games for Xbox LIVE Arcade and PlayStation Network.
While there are those who still want to pick up games the old fashioned way, being able to buy products directly from the publisher is so efficient, especially for those who love buying their games on launch day. For the publishers, the profit margins will be higher because they aren’t dealing with retail distribution. When over 40% of your revenue is through digital games and services, why wouldn’t you want to shift your focus?
A good storage story that isn’t necessarily a storage story is fascinating to me. The increase of digital distribution or cloud storage usually equates to more data centers, which in turn means more servers. So yes, this feels like a win/win.