80w 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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Sure you can buy the disk, but that doesn't matter. In order to actually play the game, you have to be connected to the internet at all times. Even in single player mode. I travel a lot, and used to play lots of games on the road, trains, air planes, hotels. With games like this I wouldn't even have the option of playing them, or would have to pay additional for an internet location in some places just to play the game I supposedly purchased.
It's disgusting really and I for one refuse to support companies that are going to produce games this way. As I said before, there are already more games available than I can play in my lifetime. I don't need whatever the hyped game of the month is and will vote with my wallet. There is no reason they could have allowed you to play the game while offline and then re-sync your account the next time you can get connected.
That's another reason these things stink. You can only play the game you supposedly purchased if the company decides to leave their servers up, which they are under no obligation to do.
There are going to be lots of unplayable games in the future, and I think that is pretty sad. Just like when Yahoo or Wal-mart or one of those companies (can't remember, think there has been a few) decided to get out of the MP3 business and shut down their DRM servers, all customers who purchased music through them couldn't play their music anymore. It's a load of B.S.
I've had a free subscription to OnLive and I live near Chicago where they own some servers. It means I experienced less latency than some other states but there was still split second lag between when you pressed a button and when things on screen happened. It's not bad but it makes FPS's annoying to play.
I actually played some UT3 using their service and it was laughable at best. The king of twitch based shooters being played with movement lag? Gross.
On the flip side, I also played through some hours of Batman Arkham Asylum which was completely playable. The movement lag is not less noticeable it's just more bearable.
At the time, OnLive wouldn't let me play with wireless. It would refuse me access unless I plugged in through ethernet. I've heard they allow wireless now but your results will vary with that. The picture quality is good but a little muddy. But, obviously, better than if you have a bad computer.
So, you pay for a subscription to OnLive and then you have to buy or rent games as well. It's the main reason I didn't keep up my subscription. There's free games and cheap packs of games as well as renting so it's not a complete money sink. It might not actually require a subscription anymore though looking at their site right now. I got a year for free and once that was up I cancelled my account. You all might be able to try out OnLive right now for yourselves.
One of the guys suggests Steam as the Cloud Service as opposed to OnLive or GaiKai, which is interesting. But like the other guy in that video, I immediately thought of OnLive (which I am a member of).
Cloud Gaming is a good thing and a bad thing IMO...
It's good because:
It removes the necessity of expensive hardware.
It removes the platform exclusivity issue (I see it as an issue anyway) and potentially allows everyone to play the same software regardless of the system!
Allows the potential for better (read: Cheaper) priced software.
It's bad because:
Countries with a poor internet infrastructure will suffer.
There will always be latency.
The legal grey area surrounding "ownership" of the software still needs to be refined. Since all software is licensed according to platform/system/region specifics, a similar license will need to be agreed when paying for the software.
As for actually using OnLive as a service I have found it to be a great alternative to console specific gaming. I personally buy games on OnLive that I wouldn't buy for console (RTS and Adventure style games). The pricing for the UK store seems fair, 3 day and 5 day renting commonly around £4-£5 with the full ownership price around £10-30 or a £7/month all you can play subscription.
As for ownership, there is a statement on their website that they will support games for a minimum of 3 years but for longer if it is a more popular game: