Sony revealed information about the upcoming Playstation 4 console two days ago, and while the company did not answer all of our questions, it did answer a couple of interesting ones. We know that Sony's Playstation is moving away from the cell architecture to x86 architecture which should make it a lot easier for companies to create multi-platform titles.
Among the features is the integrated Gaikai game streaming service which enables PS4 users to play games that are streamed to their location. This does not really make much sense in terms of games for the Playstation 4, considering that gamers do not gain anything using the technology for that.
It appears though that Sony plans to make available games from previous Playstation generations this way. The main reason here, at least when it comes to the Playstation 3, is incompatibility of games with the PS4 hardware. You can't just play PS3 games on the PS4 using physical discs due to those incompatibilities.
We do not know yet if and how your old collection of games will be made available on the new system, and if that will be a possibility, if it will be free of charge.
What the majority of commenters and journalists failed to take into account though is something that could give Sony an edge over Microsoft's Xbox 720 and Nintendo's Wii U. Gaikai started out as a service to stream PC games to PCs. Imagine Sony announcing that it will make available PC games on the Playstation 4 via its streaming service.
I'm talking about PC exclusives here, World of Warcraft, Team Fortress 2, Dota 2 or Hotline Miami. Sure, not all will play fine on the PS4 due to control issues, but if you can connect a keyboard and mouse to the PS4, you can theoretically play all recent PC games on the system as well.
In theory, Sony could also make available Xbox games or Nintendo Wii U games on the system.
This would require some form of cooperation with game companies for obvious reason and it is likely that Microsoft and Nintendo will flat out object to that, while PC gaming companies may be interested in that. Gaikai managed to sign up 50 game publishing companies before it was acquired by Sony.
It is not clear at this point in time if Sony has plans to go ahead with the idea of bringing PC games to the PS4, but if the company does, it will certainly have an edge over Microsoft's Xbox 720 in this regard.
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