3 mins read

Though Cloud gaming service OnLive isn’t up for sale just yet, the founder of the company, Steve Perlman, is a entrepreneur who sets up companies to be acquired. The question is: who will acquire OnLive?

Previous Perlman projects include WebTV and Moxi Digital, as well as Rearden, an incubator for new companies in media and entertainment technology. He’s a man that builds companies up, and then sells them off for a career. At some stage OnLive will be on the table – especially given the interest in Cloud that some of the biggest gaming companies have shown.

It’s also likely that when OnLive is sold, it will go to one of the console manufacturers to provide the Cloud infrastructure for the next generation (or the one after) of consoles. Now, of the four major game platform holders I think we can dismiss Apple as a company that doesn’t acquire gaming companies, and Nintendo as a company that’s still in the early stages of building an online network; it’s not ready for Cloud, which is the next step beyond that.

That leaves Sony and Microsoft. Both have made their cloud aspirations very clear. Sony already has a Cloud service in Music Unlimited, and it is pulling its massive infrastructure together under the SEN. Microsoft has Zune, and Steve Ballmer famously stood up at a conference in front of 20,000 or so business partners in one year to say “if you’re not in the Cloud, we’re not really the company for you.”

Furthermore, acquiring a Cloud gaming platform makes business sense to both companies. Games are becoming an increasingly commoditised form of media. Like music and movies, there’s not a great deal of margin left in making games, so a good, safe and consumer-friendly way to maintain margin while adding value to the end user is to build a subscription Cloud model of consumption.

So I suspect that over the next few years OnLive will be speaking to both Sony and Microsoft. I also suspect that Microsoft might have the edge, as some of Perlman’s previous projects have been sold to Microsoft or ex-Microsoft people, but by the same token Sony is looking for a way to reverse its fortunes. A high profile acquisition that offers the company significant competitive advantage may well be the way the company sees an out.

What does everyone else think? Sony, Microsoft, or do you think OnLive will go to a publisher looking to broaden its reach?

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  • Considering that Microsoft is trying to turn the Xbox 360 into an entertainment box rather than solely a video game console (for better or for worse), I say that Microsoft will be the first to jump on a digital-only system. Whether that means that they acquire Onlive or not is completely up in the air in my book, although it would probably help MS if they did buy the company and wanted to go in that direction.

    Also, the first paragraph needs a question mark at it's end.

  • It's important to note that there's a difference between downloads and Cloud. Cloud is a streaming service where the player doesn't need to download a game. I think all the platforms are heading towards a download-only future, but I'm very interested to see which becomes essentially the first major Cloud gaming provider.

  • Why would they want that garbage?

    Theres a reason why its up for sale, it flopped, nobody has it and nobody wants it

  • Maybe MS will buy them just for the patents. I don't think they need to buy them as Xbox Live will be capable of streaming very soon without Any OnLive acquisition anyway. The amount of movies they already stream is humongous. Sony isn't able to buy anything, they are near bankruptcy and will have to do it on their own.

  • "Near bankruptcy?" Do you have a source for that? The company needs to make a dramatic turnaround, but it's way too early to start using the 'B' word. Furthermore, now would be precisely the best time to make a big acquisition, because that could seed the aforementioned turnaround.

  • It's not up for sale through – other than the simple fact that Perlman has a track record for building up companies to sell them. 

    I don't think you're privy to the financial results of OnLive, or if you are please pass on the details. I'd be interested to see them.

  • I think Microsoft probably makes the most sense at this point, but it's hard to say who is in what position 2 years or so now.  

  • LOL, you know you don't have a life everywhere you post right? It's unbelievable how pathetic that is. N4G breeds PS idiots all the time. He's right about Sony going to crash and burn, you dumb PS fanboy.

    Having lost 90% of their company value in just 10 years.
    Having lost 25% of its remaining value after Kazuo Hirai became CEO and adressed the company last month.
    Having lost more than a BILLION USD just last week and the stock value being the lowest that it has been in 25 years right now and still falling rapidly (even today ALL IN THE RED for SNE).

    He's not talking about PlayStation, he's talking about Sony taking PlayStation with them down the drain with their (Kaz) retarded business plans. There is NOTHING that is going to change, it will happen pretty soon as shareholders have no more faith in the company and are dumping everything SONY they can in a heartbeat, the current stock brokers advice right there. Short it and short it fast while it's still worth anything. Sony will indeed have no more capital to buy OnLive or anything else for that matter and even their E3 lineup won't matter for their PS3 or the worst selling handheld to date, the Vita.
    Buying a Sony product right now, even if it is the profitable PlayStation brand is gambling with your money as chances are high that support for those products won't even exist anymore next year.

  • "n4g breeds ps idiots" Sure pal, you absolutely have no agenda behind your posts at a "pro ps3" site. your not a troll at all, nope not you sir. You are wealthy, handsome, not living at home and  not paying $50 a month to essentially be given the privilage to buy more ad space for kinect on your already bloated ad I mean "game" system. Bravo.   

  • That would be best thing they can make the Steam Box out of this Tech….. and people stop fighting over companies that provide you with nothing you make no money of Microsoft or Sony, just because your not able to purchase a system does not mean you should bad mouth it. My cousin was the same way about Sony and the ps3 then he finally got one as a gift and he sucks up to this ps3 like it's the only system in the world and his Xbox is now on the side catching dust. My brother same about Xbox 360 he got one for his daughter to play Kinect games, I got him the Gears of War trilogy and now his on this thing everyday and I have to hear him suck up to this system everyday "Talk about a Turn around". Lesson this things where made for you to have fun, So have fun and forget about the brand, you'll have a lot more fun if you can just have your pick no matter what system it's on.

  • microsoft will probably get it but who cares? They are a media company n thats not what im interested in.. Sony & Nintendo are game 1st, media 2nd & thats what i want..

  • Yeah, but all his numbers are facts. Doesn't matter if he's trolling. He has a very valid point. Sony is going down, HARD! Sucks to be a supporter of PlayStation, but they weren's much to begin with this gen.

  • I hope neither will buy this pile of shit, I got the console last year at pax and decided to try it but soon found that it brought everything i hate from multiplayer to solo play.  granted I dont have "top of the line".  but the service mixed with the support i hope they burn

  •  Way to make yourself look like a moron, 'Brad'.

    *Tell someone that they have no life 'everywhere they post'*

    *Make some random accusation that a Website somehow can breed fanboys when it handles topics of every platform like Metacritic handles ratings for all platforms*…

    You know how far you've fallen on your ass by your first two sentences being completely retarded, right?

    Anyone who attacks fanboys or 'Sony' as much as you and 'Guest' above are just pitiful tools of society, rofl.

  • That would be interesting indeed. I'm sure Valve is looking for the next direction to take Steam now that that is established as the dominant PC gaming platform. There needs to be innovation to keep the product fresh in people's minds.

  • I didn't consider Apple simply because Apple isn't interested in games, and has yet to make a major acquisition in the space. Of course, there's a first time for everything.

  • Hello to everyone. I'd like to say first up that I appreciate everyone taking the time to comment here – it's great to see the topic has generated such interest.

    However, I have spent the first half an hour of my day editing and deleting comments that were personal attacks and/ or filled with inappropriate language. That's time I usually spend drinking coffee, so now understandably I have a headache.

    Digitally Downloaded is a place for civil discussion, please. There's no rule to say you have to agree with what other people are saying, but it's not on to attack other people for having their say.

    Thanks for your support, and I look forward to seeing you all around soon!

  • I think Microsoft because the online service that they offer is much more established and robust than Sony's service,not that Sony couldn't be, but MS has the lead on them in that area. So I feel that MS would offer a better online gaming experience.

  • i think m$ because they are america and also bought webtv.
    onlive is more established/infrastruture in usa.
    sony is to set in japan and losing money on all sides to aquire onlive, but might try to copy and improve on the model.

  • I Think Sony need it more Microsoft are a software company and can devolper there own tech sony is hardware they will need this more is playstation will do well in the future

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