Today in Connected Consumer

Sony made news this morning for something other than falling earnings and layoffs. Instead, it announced the acquisition of cloud gaming service Gaikai for $380 million. The move could have significant upside for Sony across multiple divisions, particularly given the price. Last month, Fortune reported Gaikai was looking to sell for around $500 million, so it appears Sony got a bargain. For starters, it could allow Sony to virtualize a lot of the capabilities of its next-generation PlayStation console by shifting some of the functionality to the cloud. Sony has been rumored to be designing an “off-the-shelf” PS4 console, leveraging existing processors and technologies to keep costs down, and the Gaikai deal could be a big step in that direction. The deal will also let Sony do for a decade’s worth of  PlayStation games what Spotify and Netflix have done from music and movies, by bringing games to any connected device with a display and a controller. Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter chimes in that Gaikai could also be embedded in Sony TVs, helping it promote sales of high-end displays. All in all, well played, Sony.