The current game consoles are getting a bit long in the tooth, but signs point to late 2013 as the earliest that a replacement for either the PlayStation or Xbox consoles to come online. But then interesting something happened this past week, which could change the way that console makers think about their hardware and software service: Sony bought cloud gaming company GaiKai for $380 million.
Sure, rumors abound about what hardware, chips, and specs these devices will have when or if they’re eventually released. All indications point to about the same type of hardware development we’ve seen in past consoles — including high-performance, next-gen CPUs and GPUs to power even more robust gameplay and graphics capabilities. But if I were Microsoft or Sony right now, I’m not sure I’d be betting on an ever-more powerful box to power its new game platforms. In fact, I’d take a contrarian approach and make as lean of a box as possible, and put all the processing power up in the cloud.