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Earlier today, the site VG24/7 (Video Games 24/7, for those that hate acronyms) had apparently heard from an inside source that Sony will be announcing a partnership with a cloud gaming platform, specifically either OnLive or Gaikai. This partnership would come with the addition of being able to stream games from “The Cloud” on Playstation devices. The announcement is rumoured to be made during Sony’s E3 press conference, which is to be held Monday, June 4th at 6:00pm PST.

Whether Sony chooses OnLive or Gaikai or if this rumour is nothing more than a rumour, this tid-bit coincidentally follows a recent patent made by Sony. This patent, which uses the title of “Advertisement Scheme for use with interactive content”, would allow Sony to stop gameplay of a particular title and forcefully stream a commercial to the player. This patent could be used in conjunction with OnLive’s or Gaikai’s streaming services to provide a new stream of revenue for video game companies.
It appears that our own Matt Sainsbury (slightly) saw this coming; game streaming is almost inevitably going to be a part of video game consoles and, from the looks of it, Sony is to be the first to embrace this type of service. My whole take on this situation is that the ability to stream games from a console could be an enhancement and detriment; on one hand the convenience involved would be great and maybe even lead to “Free” games that only stream commercials every once-in-a-while. On the other hand, this could also lead to being forced to pay $60+ USD for a game and then be taken out every 10 minutes because “BEST SODA BRAND” has decided that I need more indoctrination propaganda forced into my brain.

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  • I think that advertising bit is inevitable. Games are becoming increasingly commoditised, and as a byproduct of that selling games has become a very low margin business. There's more value in offering ads, so that's where the publishers and developers are going to go. 

    I don't mind the idea really – ads don't really annoy me on TV, so I'm assuming they won't annoy me when playing games. 

  • My problem is how often the ads will be shown and at what price will the games cost. I would happily pay $30 or less for a big-budget game that also streams ads to compensate for the reduced price, but forcing me to watch commercials for a $60 digital copy of a game just seems intrusive and would completely break any immersive experience that I could potentially gain from the game.

  • I think it's far too early to start predicting what Sony will do with ads – if they even do. 

    Sony's got a good track record with ads. There's nowhere near the same level of advertising on PSN as XBLA, and Sony's Music Unlimited service, unlike Spotify, isn't ad supported. 

    Don't forget that filing a patent doesn't necessarily mean anything will be done with it. 

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