One of the big stories from E3 2012 was the revelation that Sony bought the cloud-based gaming service company Gaikai for $380 million. After the deal was completed news died down until today. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Sony intends to use the service that Gaikai provides to offer online streaming through its next PlayStation console.
According to the Journal's sources the only types of games that will be streamed at this time are PlayStation 3 games. PlayStation 4 games will still come on Blu-Ray discs. The article does not list any titles that will be available for streaming.
Online streaming of games is not new. For instance, Roku is able to stream simple games such as "Angry Birds" and "Galaga". What makes Gaikai unique, however, is that it specialized in streaming some of the latest games available on consoles, such as "Saints Row the Third" and "Mass Effect 3". The fact that Sony is going to be making this a centerpiece for its new console shows that it is making a big bet that cloud based gaming will become more paramount in the next generation of gaming.
The Journal article also states that Sony rival Microsoft was looking into cloud-based gaming but moved away from it due to increased costs of delivering the service to its consumers. Microsoft's position can certainly change if it sees that the service is becoming profitable for Sony.
More information regarding the PlayStation and, potentially, the streaming service will be made available at Sony's PlayStation event Wednesday, February 20.