Could Sony Show A Game Streaming Service At E3?

Sony have been demoing a lot of games in the last couple of months, throwing aside an E3 full of game-based surprises to ensure two things: that the games (God of War, LittleBigPlanet Karting) get some free attention and – secondly – that they can concentrate on other things during the actual conference and let the press get their hands on the games with a little bit of background knowledge.

And whilst we heavily expect Sony to push the hell out of Vita in Los Angeles in a few days time (or at least we hope they do) we’re also wondering what else they might have up their sleeve. We’re going to assume that now isn’t a great time to announce new hardware – they need to concentrate on the new portable and ensure that gamers still buy into the likes of The Last Of Us. So, we’re thinking something else.

A service.

A service that, maybe, just maybe is tied into the recent chatter about PlayStation Plus. Something big is happening with Plus, but we don’t know what it is other than we’re happy to assume that it’s not just going to be a free game and that whatever’s going on is something a bit more interesting than a complimentary download – we get those anyway. So what could it be? What might Sony be planning for Plus?

Well, how about – and hear us out here – a game streaming service. What if, within your Plus subscription, you get the option to instantly test drive a game from whatever Sony have got stored in a central bank of PlayStation 3s? We’re not saying this will be free – it might be under a different tier of Plus or require separate payments, but anything is possible.

[drop2]We’re not the first to think about this, either – VG247 hinted at something similar this morning (especially in the comments) and there’s been chatter about OnLive on consoles for some months. What if Sony have managed to get together with someone like OnLive (or done it themselves) to really get across what the PS3 is all about without having to wait for eight gigs of data to download before you can start playing?

And what about Vita? PlayStation Suite is surely going to feature heavily in Sony’s plans for the next six months or so. Perhaps the Android link could see OnLive – already available and impressive as an Android app – appear on the Sony portable? That would certainly breathe fresh life into the console that many are, in my opinion, prematurely writing off.

However, we really do have to re-iterate what we said this morning. Nobody’s told us anything official about any of this – nobody really does. We’ve got bookings at E3 but there’s nothing mentioned that might be clues – it’s all just wishful speculation (so don’t go out and buy PlayStation Plus on our say so) but there’s a few of us here on the same wavelength.

If this comes about it could be very interesting indeed – I’d personally love to see what all the games are about that I just don’t have time to download and play.

I guess we’ll see.

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25 Comments

  1. On paper it would sound awesome but, if it were to happen, let’s hope to God that Sony aren’t going it alone.

    • ‘Sony’ & ‘network’ in the same sentence? Never.

      *Currently undergoing maintenance*

      VG247 seemed to hint it was an existing major player, so Gaikai or Onlive… Probably.

      • Although it has been brutal with maintenance lately, could they be in the process of preparing the network for this sort of service?

      • Exactly. Maintenance immediately came to mind. It is a good point that said maintenance could be for this very service however…

        I’m not getting my hopes up though.

      • that is a very good point.

  2. 2 main cloud services are OnLive with it’s PlayBack Bundle (which they charge £6.99/m) & you can access 200 games from their back catalogue. And of course Gaikai with it’s emphasis on streaming full games in the form of 60min trials.

    Could be either, but of it’s OnLive I think it would be difficult for them to erode their own margins to include the PlayBack bundle in any money they make off a small percentage of PS+ subscription. Of course they do streamed 30mins demos & game purchases outside of this bundle but it’s not as compelling a proposition.

    Gaikai seems a better fit, with a specially curated version of their offering (so it will exclude non-playstation titles like Witcher2 & Trackmania & Splinter Cell Conviction)

    This seems a much better way of letting people sample games than downloading an 8GB trial… Sony might even bring their own 1st party titles to a PlayStation curated Gaikai.

    Great stuff either way.

    • Possibly just using OnLive/Gaikai tech though, rather than their library. So streaming PS3 games via OnLive’s technology?

      Gut instinct is that it has a greater chance at full game access on the Vita though, with less to transfer and the Android link already in place.

      Ideal world scenario though, is an app that resides on the XMB and accesses OnLive (or Gaikai, I’ve never explored them too much) in the same way their microconsole does, there are probably a whole host of licensing issues to get around in that scenario. Maybe Sony titles added to the OnLive catalogue and accessible anywhere OnLive (or Gaikai) is? Uncharted on your netbook?

  3. I’d be interested in streaming full games to my Vita. I’d consider getting a + subscription if they’d price it right, which I’m sure they wouldn’t.

    • I dunno, PS Plus right now is priced reaaaaally cheap.

  4. my internet is so fast there is no point in streaming would rather download the full game.

    • My internet sucks so bad there is no point in streaming would rather download the full game. oh, wait…

      • you have no choice trust me when you get a 100mb connection a 5gig game is done so fast you would use more bandwidth streaming every time you wanted to play than doing the full download.

  5. Sony are bound to balls this up, whether it’s pricing or just managing to provide a service that doesn’t need down time every week. Onlive never did well, can’t see Sony doing any better either, I think that there are too few people with internet connections up to scratch.

  6. You can barely stream youtube so I don’t believe you could stream a game on ps3! Maybe d/l first / subscription type affair?

  7. Great idea, I am a big believer in the idea of onLive and streaming games, I am yet to be 100% convinced about its application yet though.
    OnLive is excellent and when I was paying for it I loved it, but it just needed that little extra something that only games like FIFA,Battlefield,GoW can fill. A big brand spanking new AAA release that I could play for months and months at a time.
    Now if Sony were to get into this market I think this would be at the very least one step closer to happening and I would be extremely happy about that, (I’m sure that happiness will wilt away once Sony shoot themselves in the foot announce that the system can currently only 14 people playing concurrently worldwide or something ludicrously outrageous ;-) )

  8. Would love it, save from having to download demos.

  9. This would be an interesting move from Sony if they do indeed offer this. In my mind it would be a move to negate the MS 360 rental scheme we have seen offered in the US (will surely come to these shores in due course). Ok you still have to pay for a PS3 but if you then buy PS + and get access to 50/100 games for the price that’s got to be a deal breaker. Especially if you are new to gaming.

    It would offer more value for the PS Plus subscription, growing numbers and keeping existing members happy. It would also make the PS3 and 360 go head to head on media capabilities/services offered which would be an interesting battle.

  10. Thanks to this article I thought it would interesting to go see if much has change din terms of whats available in the OnLive library, as it turns out they’ve added loads of Mega Drive Games and one of them is Toejam and Earl…..so I’ve signed up to OnLive again. Toejam and Earl and all there mega Drive friends on my tv once more…love it.

    • WHAT?!
      I am all over this as soon as I can be.

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