51w ago - Following up on our previous article, today MCVUK (linked above) reports that according to their sources Sony is indeed close to acquiring a high-profile cloud gaming firm.
To quote: "In a move that will rock the next generation of console gaming, Sony is close to agreeing an acquisition of a high profile cloud gaming firm, MCV understands.
It was reported earlier this week that Sony was to reveal a partnership with a cloud gaming firm - specifically either OnLive or Gaikai - at E3 next week.
Subsequent chatter had seemingly calmed the rumours, suggesting that the proposed agreement was to do with Sony streaming TV services, and not consoles.
However, MCV understands that the deal is far more extensive than anyone could have predicted and will see Sony fully acquire one of the two firms. The deal, our source says, "is close to being signed".
The acquisition has implications for all parts of Sony's business, both in the consumer tech and console divisions.
Although work on PS4 is already well underway, Sony is very likely keen on bringing its PlayStation gaming content to non-console owners - a move finally made possible by this deal.
And there could be benefits for console users, too, with gaming content likely to be available when on the move and without the need for a direct connection to the console.
If nothing else, the deal should hit home the fact that the digital gaming revolution is not a distant dream - it's happening. Now. And the implications for games retail are both obvious and colossal."
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Diablo 3 is partially a cloud based game. All the content is not installed to your computer, some is only on Blizzard's servers in order to prevent cheating/hacks which would directly be about items. Blizzard are doing everything in their power to prevent such a thing from happening since they are relying on the Real Money Auction House's success in order to make absurd profit.
That could be destroyed if the items/economy was tampered with like it was in Diablo 2. The entire game is basically built around the RMAH, even at the cost of the quality of the game. It's for this reason there are no trade channels, they don't want people to be able to trade directly and avoid their Auction House fee which (if it's the same as the in-game Gold AH fee) is a whopping 15%. That's robbery, I don't use Ebay but I can't imagine them charging 15% on every transaction.
I wouldn't be surprised if they actually make more profit from this system than monthly fees like in WoW. Either way I can't imagine it lasting long if they don't revamp the entire game, the flaws and poor programming in the game are endless. There are more sacrifices of quality in order to be built around the RMAH such as the obvious lack of offline play, etc.
People are even speculating that the Auction House does not show an ID or name of any sort in order to make it easier for Blizzard to just conjure up super rare items and sell them there. I would be surprised if they didn't do this.
Unfortunately from how things look the cloud is the future of gaming. I for one won't buy into it. Sure the cloud has its advantages but none of which I really care for, but the disadvantages turn me off.
No offline play: my PS3 is offline 90% of the time, the other 10% is used mostly for trophy syncing, some multilayer, updates, and sending/receiving messages. No interest in an always-on game system.
Internet Connection Required at all times: sorry but I have had some issues with downtimes from every ISP I had. Couple that with power grid issues, and you will twice as likely encounter downtime.
If the service goes, everything, and all your investment, goes with it. Not interested in the risk. Sorry.
But it WILL be the future of gaming whether some of us want it or not. The mainstream market embraced digital with the iTunes music, despite having less sound quality than the CD, and DRM-laden Digital Distribution on PC is at its strongest. Steam is popular, but it is also DRM no matter how you spin it. Online passes also didn't stop games from selling millions, and there is no shortage of gamers defending the rumored anti-used games technology in the PS4 and Xbox720.
The truth is, the games industry would love us to be able to play their games without actually possessing them, for consumer control and copyright protection purposes. The cloud is the only way for publishers to really achieve that goal, and you bet it is going to happen. The consumer is willing to let it happen.
I think the fact that you're device is effectively a thin client and doesn't actually do any processing except for displaying streamed output and sending your input would be a good enough reason
It's not like the Assassin's Creed DRM which required you to be online to play... you're connecting to a server which is doing all the processing for you. So OnLive and GaiKai would never be able to allow you to play a game while offline and then sync your data.
Yeah that isn't the case anymore: it's free to sign up and you either rent/buy the games as one-off payments or pay a set monthly fee to play as many games as you want at no extra cost.
Also, YMMV with regards to latency etc. (and that is why I tend to stay away from FPS games with OnLive) but I find the lag to be negligible in games such as Batman:AA... However I do have a 60Mb internet connection
I've been thinking more and more about how this "popular cloud service" could logically be Steam instead of OnLive etc. Portal 2 already has the integration, PlayStation Plus has the cloud save feature (although I don't know anyone who actually has a P+ subscription!), the Steam store has a nice mix of casual "PlayStation-Mini" style games for the Vita and Hardcore for the PS3, and it would tie in with the PS3-Vita Transfarring or Remote Play abilities nicely.