Rumor: Sony Buying Either OnLive Or Gaikai
One of the bigger rumors about Sony’s appearance at E3 2012, not including the Plus revamp, is that they’re going to announce a cloud gaming deal of some kind. Word was that Sony had reached a partnership deal with either OnLive, or Gaikai, one they’d confirm in their press conference on Monday, June 4. That alone would be a rather important development, but MCV is reporting that this could be way more far reaching than a simple partnership: it seems they’re gunning for a full-on acquisition.
MCV sources claim this acquisition “is close to being signed,” and will definitely be either Oakland-based Onlive, or Orange County-based Gaikia. If this pans out, it would be the first time that a major console manufacturer would intentionally unbuckle their hardware and original software, and it has the potential to rip through the console world like a broadsword. Sony could dramatically increase consumer access to their games, but possibly at the expense of fewer consoles sold. With PS4 still not even officially confirmed, a move like this begs speculation that they’re planning some kind of major shift away from their hardware business, and an tacit approval for an eventually-all digital world.
Then again, Onlive (for example) already requires a small bit of hardware. Acquiring them outright could simply mean making (again, just for example) OnLive available on PS4 exclusively, or indicates the creation of some kind of hybrid service plan. For all we know, an acquisition could be part of the rumored efforts by Microsoft and Sony to build tremendously invasive anti-used game tech into the next generation of consoles. We don’t really know, obviously, but I will be on hand at Sony’s press conference, and we’ll make sure you know what the truth is as soon as it happens.