It’s the battle of the cloud-streaming gaming services with Gaikai and OnLive staring head-to-head in the marketplace and the exclusive manufacturer effects are coming in. Sony has gotten the jump on the market by buying Gaikai—this came after the cloud gaming outfit went trolling for a buyer—and that likely means that they’re going to snub the competition and as a result, it looks like Sony is dropping OnLive support from future products.
VentureBeat yesterday noticed that there’d initially been a reference to OnLive for a Sony product, but now that’s no more:
OnLive never announced a deal to get its cloud gaming service into Sony products. But we spotted a very interesting reference to OnLive in a new Sony product: an Internet-streaming media player that comes with Google TV.
As you can see in the specifications section below, OnLive’s gaming controller/universal serial bus dongle were listed as an optional accessory for the Sony device. This means that the device was going to come with OnLive preloaded. This was the first sign that Sony and OnLive had a deal in place, and that could be a big boost for cloud gaming. Sony’s new media player is available for preorder now and ships on July 9.
Sony confirmed Tuesday that the media player would no longer have OnLive as an option.
For OnLive, they’ve already made deals with Vizio and LG to launch in Internet-enabled Smart-TVs so losing Sony will likely not be that big of a deal for them.
So far Gaikai has made quite a good name for themselves in OnLive’s shadow. Ealier this year, they began to stream free-to-play MMORPG games through their services to customer TVs including Dungeons & Dragons Online and The Lord of the Rings Online. The highly social market for free-to-play MMO gaming is up-and-coming and a cash cow for many gaming studios tapping into it; with the additional audience available via Smart-TVs and cloud gaming it can only expand their reach.
Also on Gaikai’s front, the cloud gaming outfit inked a deal with Machinima.com to stream their video programming content. This means that not only is Sony receiving a streaming game capability for their Smart-TV devices; but the ability to stream gaming related news, shows, and general wackiness to interested viewers (making best use of the Internet-enabled portion of the streaming TV.)
OnLive has been fighting back by getting their product pre-loaded on Google TVs, pushing new games into their services and better product presentation (as seen at E3 2012), and using their cloud-streaming service to enable streaming of desktops to mobile devices. From this, it’s obvious to see that Gaikai is pushing hard for the pure-gamer route; and OnLive is thrusting themselves boldly into the common-ground enterprise and consumer apps marketplace.
No doubt, with the rise of cloud-usage, set-top-media boxes and products that tap the Internet to the TV such as GoogleTV, the Nexus Q, the Microsoft Xbox, and even mobile devices connecting more-than-ever into media there will be a huge space for cloud streaming outfits to grow into.