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Sony acquires AI video startup iSIZE to enhance PlayStation streaming

SIE and iSize

Sony Interactive Entertainment has acquired London-based deep learning company iSIZE to bolster its video processing and streaming capabilities.

Founded in 2016, iSIZE focuses on AI applications for video with products like BitClear and BitSave. BitClear uses neural networks to improve the quality of heavily compressed video in real-time with minimal latency. BitSave allows encoders to produce video at significantly lower bitrates while maintaining or improving quality.

These technologies could enhance Sony's streaming offerings. The company recently launched PlayStation's cloud gaming feature and is working on the PlayStation Portal (or Project Q) handheld focused on streaming. It's believed iSIZE's tech may feature in PlayStation's streaming platform and app to provide higher quality streams while using less bandwidth.

The acquisition also comes as Sony expands its in-house game development with studios like PlayStation Studios. iSIZE's other product, BitGen, could assist with game development by enabling live generation of photorealistic avatars.

In an official statement, Sony said that iSIZE will benefit its R&D and video streaming services. However, the financial terms of the deal were not disclosed due to contractual reasons.

iSIZE has a team of talented engineers and technical experts who have developed a suite of software solutions to optimize video. The company built an AI-based perceptual preprocessing solution that allows conventional, third-party encoders to produce higher quality video at a significantly lower bitrate.

It appears the company wants to apply iSIZE's AI expertise to streaming as it expands its offerings across platforms. This could help enhance the experience for players and build on PlayStation's position in the gaming industry.

In other news, Sony-owned Bungie laid off a significant number of employees a few days ago. It was later reported that the main reason for the layoffs was a huge drop in Destiny 2 player numbers. Unconfirmed reports claim that the expansion's launch has been pushed back from late February 2024 to June 2024.

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