Thursday, 24 May 2012

Rumor has it That Sony will Bring Cloud Gaming Services OnLive or Gaikai to PlayStation Hardware at E3

VG247 has spread the rumor that Sony is about to strike a deal with either OnLive or Gaikai to bring cloud gaming to PlayStation hardware. VG247 seems pretty assured about this information as they have posted a special article just about this news after it was revealed in their What to Expect from E3 2012 article. The cloud games would be playable on the PlayStation 3 (PS3) and PlayStation Vita (PS Vita) and maybe even other Sony hardware like tablets, smartphones, Smart TVs and Blu-ray players. The Sony cloud gaming deal will supposedly be announced at Sony's pre-E3 press conference on June 4.

Ross McGrath, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) PlayStation Plus content manager, also tweeted earlier this week: "By the way, if you don't have a PS+ subscription, now is the time to get one. For real. Just get 3 months if you aren't sure. Trust me." This tweet could imply that cloud gaming is coming for PlayStation Plus (PS+) subscribers.

There are strong signs that either of the two largest cloud gaming services could strike the deal with SonyOnLive has been unusually quiet in the first half of the year, which could point to something big coming. OnLive has positioned their service as a closed off console like platform in the gaming cloud. The Netflix like all-you-can-eat OnLive PlayPack games bundle could be a great supplement and a large boost for the ailing PS+ subscription service. Playing high-end PC games would also be great for console gamers.

OnLive has also great support for Sony mobile devices, as they have enabled support for the Xperia PLAY slide out gamepad controls for the OnLive App for Android  and later also enabled support for the PS3 controller on the Sony Tablet S for the OnLive App for Android.

OnLive games play great on the Sony Xperia PLAY, but playing high-end PC games on the gorgeous PS Vita OLED screen with the better controls of the PS Vita would be nothing short of breathtaking and would certainly boost PS Vita's reputation and sales numbers.

Gaikai on the other hand has positioned themselves as an open white-label cloud gaming service. They currently only support game demoing, but have plans for full games. They have demos of many high-end PC games from EA that OnLive doesn't have, as EA has not brought any games to OnLive though they are partnered. They also have a demo of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition, a blockbuster RPG game that is not on the PS3Gaikai is also partnered with Facebook, YouTube, Walmart, Origin and many others. Sony could potentially benefit from these partnerships.

Getting streamed cloud games demos on the PS3 and PS Vita would certainly be great for gamers, as they could start gaming right away and wouldn't have to wait a long time until a game demo is downloaded. Gaikai cloud games demos could also be a great supplement and a large boost for the ailing PS+ subscription service and playing high-end PC games via Gaikai on the gorgeous PS Vita OLED screen with the better controls of the PS Vita would also be nothing short of breathtaking and would certainly boost PS Vita's reputation and sales numbers.

Gaikai also has plans in the mobile arena, as evidenced by their announcement that their cloud gaming network will be available on the world's first gaming tablet, the WikiPad. So their coming to the PS Vita would certainly fit in their mobile strategy.

During a panel at CES earlier this year titled The State of the Games Industry: Consoles Are In Trouble, Nanea Reeves, chief product officer for Gaikai, said, "Not all of the current console makers will have one more generation. That will be the big news at E3." Does she know more than her words tell?

OnLiveFans has already got responses from the PR departments of the two cloud gaming rivals. OnLive gave their usual cut-and-dry, "No comment on this." Gaikai's response was more interesting, "There are always rumors about companies, and cloud companies, teaming up with console makers. Sorry we can't be of more help. If you hear of anything more, could you let us know?" This response could mean that Gaikai doesn't know anything about such a deal and it's indeed OnLive that will partner with Sony. But, of course it could also be a diversion tactic, a very simple one. But, many times it's better to keep it simple, so what will it be, truth or lie, or rumor?

Where does Microsoft fit into all this cloud gaming speculation. There has already been speculation that Microsoft will join forces with OnLive or with Gaikai. And what's with Nintendo? This year's E3 promises to be spectacular on big reveals, but depending on what really happens, it could just be depressing. Well, the wait will not be long.

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