After Sony recently announced their purchase of the Gaikai cloud gaming service for $380m, they’ve now announced that they will be dropping OnLive from their latest Google TV powered Blu-Ray player. This makes sense, as OnLive is a competing cloud gaming service and it wouldn’t make sense to support the competition. OnLive has been making strides in partnerships with companies like LG and other Google TV manufacturers, and they likely anticipated this move by Sony and are focusing their efforts elsewhere.
The new Blu-Ray player, scheduled for release in just 4 days, quickly had some o fits online documentation updated to remove any listing of OnLive connectivity, as reported by TG Daily. If there’s an app store on this Google TV, I imagine it might be difficult to constrain users from downloading the app themselves, but it definitely won’t be coming as part of the set and there may be an issue with trying to get an OnLive controller to work with the device.
Sony will likely not have time to bake in Gaikai functionality, but that’s one of the big advantages of Gaikai, it’s web-based and only needs the download of one plugin to be able to use – Sony could include that in a firmware update.
This bodes well for new types of social TV and social gaming experiences on almost any web connected TV. Both OnLive and Gaikai promise the ability to connect with other gamers playing games of any type, and this may lead to the emergence of new, relevant social networks. Either Gaikai and its Sony Network will begin to become a cloud gaming maven or OnLive will do it – whether or not they’re purchased.
Do you think a cloud-gaming social network is going to be a big part of gamers’ lives in the future?