OnLive hasn’t announced any deals yet to get its cloud gaming service into Sony products. But we’ve spotted a very interesting reference to OnLive in a new Sony product: an Internet-streaming Blu-ray player that comes with Google TV.
As you can see in the specifications section below, OnLive’s gaming controller/universal serial bus dongle are listed as an optional accessory in the Sony device. That means that the device likely comes with OnLive preloaded. This is the first sign that Sony and OnLive have a deal in place, and that could be a big boost for cloud gaming. Sony’s new Blu-ray player is available for preorder now and ships on July 9.
OnLive declined to comment on the Sony deal.
OnLive streams games from remote servers in a web-connected data center, or “cloud.” This means that high-end games can run on low-end machines, since the actual processing and rendering are handled elsewhere. This means that you can play high-end, console-quality games on a TV set (embedded with the OnLive app) without the need for a game console. All you need is a controller, such as the one listed below.
Rumors surfaced recently that Microsoft had talks with OnLive about an acquisition, and there was a rumor that Sony’s PlayStation business would announce a deal with OnLive at E3. Neither of these rumors have come true.
OnLive already has announced deals with Vizio and LG, which will both ship TVs with the OnLive player built into them. At the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), OnLive showed how you can find the OnLive app via the Google TV user interface on upcoming TVs from LG.
Sony, of course, is a different animal. OnLive can help enhance Sony’s TVs and Blu-ray players by making high-end games available on TV sets. OnLive’s rival, Gaikai, announced a deal to provide cloud gaming for Samsung TVs.
[Update: Sony now says that this device will have no OnLive support; that's not a surprise, since Sony bought Gaikai on Monday for $380 million]