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Gaikai on PS4: EU launch uncertain due to broadband issues

Backwards compatibility service targets 2014 US launch, but faces 'bumps along the road' for EU

Sony's Gaikai cloud streaming service is targeting an 'early-ish' 2014 launch in North America, but has no projected launch window for EU due to 'issues of broadband' in the region.

SCEE president and CEO Jim Ryan has told Edge that the service - which eventually will bring PS1, 2 and 3 games to PS4 - hasn't been dated for Europe because there are "bumps along the road that need to be ironed out".

"The plan is to begin with North America next year and the plan is to provide a streaming service that will allow for PS3 content initially to be streamed to firstly PS4 then PS Vita and then PS3," said Ryan in an interview with Edge.

"And so that will happen in 2014 in North America initially. Now, and I touched upon these issues of broadband in Europe during the presentation - Europe is of course on the roadmap for that service to be deployed at some point in the future, but for reasons outside of our control we don't yet have a timeline for it," he went on to confirm.

This, he added, is why Sony left Gaikai talks out of its Gamescom presentation in Germany. "At a show which is now pretty global in its reach but primarily aimed at a European audience, we didn't really want to start talking about the virtues of this great cloud-based service without knowing exactly when it'll come to Europe.

"We've got a roadmap, there's just a few bumps along the road that need to be ironed out," he said.

As Sony as previously explained, PS4 is unable provide native backwards compatibility with PS3 games due to the vast architectural differences between the two platforms.

When eventually launched, the Gaikai streaming service will serve as a solution to this problem, providing access to older PlayStation libraries via a cloud streaming service similar to OnLive.

Gaikai tech will, however, also be powering other PS4 hardware features that will be available at launch, including its ability to live-stream gameplay footage to other PS4 users, and instantly stream playable demos to the console.

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