Sony acquires broadband company to strengthen its cloud-gaming ambitions

playstation network

More than a month after Sony announced it would acquire cloud-based streaming video game service Gaikai, the company plans to make another major purchase that will develop its cloud gaming business. Sony and Japanese broadband company So-Net signed a filing that will make the latter a fully owned subsidiary.

According to ZDNet, Sony intends to purchase the 42 percent stake in So Net it doesn’t already own for approximately $764 million. Sony already owns a majority stake in the company but the acquisition will, in the company’s words, allow it “a full leverage of So-net’s business portfolio and assets.”

That full leverage focuses in particular on So-Net’s usage for Sony’s cloud-based entertainment businesses. It plans to use So-Net to “advance the pursuit of cloud services and interactive entertainment experiences in Japan and Asia” as well as “an expansion of Sony’s network service platform to Asia outside Japan as well as within Japan.”

So-Net’s a good grab for Sony. The company currently has more than 2 million broadband subscribers and its sales totaled approximately $1.2 billion last fiscal year. Sony needs that kind of healthy influx of cash, especially considering its brutal losses.

The So-Net purchase does more than just increase Sony’s control of an already reliable earner—It’s another pillar in the company’s impressive attempt to future proof its entertainment business. Gaikai gives Sony an established infrastructure to relaunch its PlayStation business around streaming as well as physical disc and digital download sales.

Gaikai and So-Net also compliment Sony’s mobile business. In October of last year, Sony bought out Ericsson’s share of the two company’s joint venture Sony Ericsson. The brand has lost significant market share to other Android handset makers like HTC and Samsung, not to mention the still booming Apple.

Sony has tried to hold an iron grip around entire industries before. When CD sales crumbled in the face of digital distribution, Sony invested heavily in the Blu-ray disc format, trying to get a foothold and failing miserably in the process. Blu-ray was shortsighted though. The future of entertainment is in cloud-based streaming services, and Sony has shown impressive foresight in its acquisitions. So-Net will allow it to reach millions of customers directly, hoping to offer them streaming PlayStation service, in addition to music and movies through the Sony Entertainment Network.

The question now is whether it will look to partner with a broadband provider in the US or purchase one outright.

Home Theater

I’ve seen the 8K TV future, and you should be excited. Here’s why

Samsung set the tech world on fire when it announced it would sell an 85-inch 8K TV in the U.S. along with several 8K screen sizes in Europe. Debates over the validity and value of such a high resolution have continued since, and we're here…
Home Theater

From game consoles to 4K UHD spinners, these are the best Blu-ray players

Streaming may be popular, but the disc isn't dead yet! To get the very best picture and sound quality from your system, you need to be watching Blu-ray or 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs. Here are the best Blu-ray players you can buy right now.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Home Theater

Put your home theater to the test with these spectacular Blu-ray releases

What's the point of having all of that awesome home theater gear if you can't breed a little jealousy in your friends and family? We've put together this list of fantastic Blu-rays that have the goods to drop a few jaws.

More days gone: Sony moves zombie exclusive ‘Days Gone’ to April

Sony has delayed the PlayStation 4 exclusive Days Gone to April. It was previously bumped from a 2018 release window into February, 2019, but Sony Bend apparently needs more time to add polish.

Annual game releases are boring. Try a quirky indie game for the PS4 instead

While big budget games rely on practical innovation, indie games dive head first into new, unexplored territories. If the quirky and unusual appeal to you, take a look at our list of the best indie games on PS4.
Product Review

Huawei’s monster Mate 20 X makes the Galaxy Note 9 look small

The Huawei Mate 20 X has a 7.2-inch screen, but is surprisingly manageable to hold, yet still a little too big to carry around. Huawei’s pushing the phone’s ability as a mobile gaming handheld, challenging the Nintendo Switch.

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in 'Destiny 2: Forsaken'

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.

‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’ adds Black Market system to dress up your soldier

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 added the Black Market system to PS4 today, giving players new ways to unlock and acquire additional customization items, such as outfits for Specialists.

In 2018, the rivalry between AMD and Intel has become more interesting than ever

When it comes to selecting a CPU for your PC, there's no shortage of chips for you to choose from. With Ryzen, Threadripper, and Core i9 CPUs though, the AMD vs. Intel argument is muddier than ever.
Product Review

Kill a Nazi while skiing in ’Battlefield V: War Stories’

World War II is hardly a unique setting for a shooter, but Battlefield V’s War Stories has managed to liven it up. Our preview left us eager to see more of the new Battlefield’s single-player story.

The best video games to gift this holiday season, from ‘Spider-Man’ to ‘Hitman 2’

The holidays are quickly approaching and you might be looking for ideas on what to get your favorite gamer. Here are the best games you can buy for your gaming loved ones this holiday season.

Have problems with your Xbox One? We have the solutions

The Xbox One has evolved over the years, but so have its problems. Thankfully, we have solutions for some of the console's most enduring problems, whether you're experiencing issues with connectivity or your discs.

Gaming on a laptop has never been better. These are your best options

Gaming desktops are powerful, but they tie you down to your desk. For those of us who prefer a more mobile experience, here are the best gaming laptops on the market, ranging from budget machines to maxed-out, wallet-emptying PCs.