A new report from the Wall Street Journal about the Playstation 4 released Monday suggests how Sony may leverage the Gaikai cloud service to expand the consoles reach to smartphones, TVs and social networking.
According to sources with The Journal, Kaz Hirai drove Sony to purchase Gaikai so that the PS4 could play titles available on the Playstation 3. The PS4 will still use physical disks sold through retailers but the implementation of cloud gaming will also allow Sony to stream games to smartphones and compatible TVs. That potentially means that players will be able to compete with one another while using different hardware.
Additionally, the WSJ says that the PS4 will allow players to share achievements on social networks via "smoother links" to Facebook or Twitter. This also includes sharing game footage on YouTube which is rumored to be the "Share" button on the new controller which will record and share the last 15 minutes of gameplay.
The Wall Street Journal report suggests that both Sony and Microsoft are driving their game brands as platforms versus dedicated hardware. We've already seen this with Microsoft as it has begun pushing the "Xbox" brand on Windows 8 and Windows Phones for not just games but music and movies as well.
We should find out more details about the PS4 when Sony unveils the next-gen console during an event this Wednesday, Feb. 20. Leaks so far indicate a controller with a touchpad and PS Move technology and that the console itself is powered by an eight-core AMD APU processor that puts the CPU and GPU on the same chip.