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Sony Buys Cloud-gaming Service Gaikai for $380 Million

We've been hearing rumors about Sony's plans for cloud gaming for quite a while. Back in May, there were reports that the PS3 manufacturer may acquire a cloud gaming company as opposed to building its own platform. Those rumors mentioned both OnLive and Gaikai as possible acquisition targets. Though Gaikai appeared to quash rumors of a Sony deal early last month, Sony today announced that it had acquired the four-year-old company behind the successful cloud gaming platform.

The deal, announced early this morning, is worth $380 million and will allow Sony to establish its own cloud service using Gaikai technology and infrastructure. This includes data centers that service dozens of countries and key partners around the globe. Sony's Andrew House said that the acquisition will enable Sony to deliver a 'world-class cloud-streaming service' for a wide range of content. House said this will include graphically rich games as well as 'casual content' and added that users would be able to access the service on "a variety of internet-connected devices."

The news comes after Gaikai CEO David Perry put folks off the scent last month. Previous rumors had pointed towards an E3 reveal for Sony and Gaikai, but that never came. Speaking after the conference, Perry revealed that he was sitting in his hotel room at the time of the Sony press event.

"I was sitting in my hotel room, and I know everyone was like, 'Oh my god, are they going to announce cloud gaming?' And I was like, 'No, they're not going to announce cloud gaming.' I wasn't even there!" he told Eurogamer.

It was enough to plant the idea that there might be no Sony/Gaikai deal after all. Today, Perry said that Gaikai was honored to help Sony 'rapidly harness the power of the interactive cloud.'

"SCE has built an incredible brand with PlayStation and has earned the respect of countless millions of gamers worldwide," said Perry. "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."

The acquisition will still need to go through the usual regulatory approvals and neither company mentioned when they expect things to be signed and sealed.

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