Sony might be in talks to acquire either OnLive or Gaikai — the two biggest cloud gaming providers — according to a report on Edge that follows up on previous articles on MCV and VG 24/7.
The speculation jibes with comments previously made by a Gaikai executive about this coming E3. It begs the question: what if a console manufacturer got into the cloud gaming business in a big way? Seeing as how the Sonys, Nintendos and Microsofts of the world are hugely dependent on disc-based content, it’d be the equivalent of dogs and cats sleeping together. Well, get ready to have a talk with Fido and Furball, because they may be about to be roommates.
OnLive’s managed to bring spiffy tech to market but would probably continue to struggle to make a dent in the hardware market so a deal like this would make sense for them. Gaikai, on the other hand, hasn’t sunk money into manufacturing any kind of consoles or controllers, but it has shown proof-of-concept for YouTube integration and has a deal for the service to be integrated into upcoming models of LG smart TVs. Of course OnLive has a similar deal with the Google TV platform.
Sony offers full downloads of games via the PlayStation Network but such an acquisition would give them added infrastructure and the proprietary tech that eith company uses to make its streaming viable. Now, it’d be foolhardy to think that such a move would totally replace the next-gen hardware that Sony’s working on. But it might shift the design of Orbis/PS4 towards being a box that can stream content more effectively than the current console. The future of consoles is going to be more online-centric moving forward and if these reports are true, Sony would get ahead of the curve in a big way.
When contacted for this story, Sony replied that they do not comment on rumour. Kotaku also reached out to OnLive, who had no comment to offer on the story.