Sony buys, kills game-streaming service OnLive

Game-streaming service OnLive has had a bumpy history up until now, and that long, wild ride is now coming to a close. Ars Technica reports that Sony Computer Entertainment America is buying OnLive's intellectual property portfolio and shutting down the company's customer-facing services on April 30.

OnLive posted a statement about the shutdown on its support page:

It is with great sadness that we must bring the OnLive Desktop service to a close. Sony is acquiring important parts of OnLive, and their plans don't include a continuation of the Desktop service. Your service should continue uninterrupted until April 30, 2015. No further subscription fees will be charged, and you can continue to use the service until that date.

After April 30, 2015, our data centers will shut down and the service will be offline. All accounts will be closed, and all files you may have stored in OnLive Files, and credit card data will be deleted. We recommend that you back up any stored data as soon as possible. No refunds will be available for any subscriptions.

After its flagship game-streaming service failed to take off, OnLive reorganized in 2012, and attempted to relaunch itself as a kind of companion to gamers' Steam libraries in 2014. Based on the vestiges of the company's website, it looks like OnLive was trying to broaden the appeal of its streaming services to more general applications on business and mobile platforms. Given Sony's acquisition, those efforts apparently didn't pan out.

Comments closed
    • Xenolith
    • 5 years ago

    Game streaming still has a future. Just not the way OnLive had it set up.

    • Meadows
    • 5 years ago

    What exactly did Sony buy, and why?

      • sweatshopking
      • 5 years ago

      Technology and patents, it sounds like. Why? Idk.

    • Chrispy_
    • 5 years ago

    Normally I’d abhor Sony for quashing something buy buying it out and immediately re-locating (or firing) all the staff, it’s anti-competitive, it’s patent-trolling, it’s mostly a very negative thing done by an incredibly selfish and short-sighted company.

    In this case, I wish to thank Sony for eliminating one of the dumbest players in an arena of stupidity and idiocy. All that’s left is for them to patent-troll as they do best and then destroy the actual arena of laggy, fee-based SaaS game-streaming so that the other players give up too.

      • squeeb
      • 5 years ago

      +1 for justice

    • BobbinThreadbare
    • 5 years ago

    There was a leak at some point (unverified so who knows if true) that OnLive never had GPU virtualization working. So they needed a physical GPU for every single person connected. There’s no point in consolidating hardware if you still need 1:1 for every single person.

    • Shoki
    • 5 years ago

    Onlive was pretty terrible.

    • auxy
    • 5 years ago

    [b<]AND NOTHING OF VALUE WAS LOST[/b<] My reaction to game streaming has always [url=http://i.imgur.com/OMZiHEQ.jpg<]remained the same.[/url<]

    • albundy
    • 5 years ago

    Money well spent! lol

    • bjm
    • 5 years ago

    I suggest a new title: OnLive fails as a business, tries to recoup costs by selling patents to Sony.

      • A_Pickle
      • 5 years ago

      Not for lack of trying, though! I appreciate their contribution!

    • nanoflower
    • 5 years ago

    The description isn’t exactly accurate. Yes, Sony is buying OnLive’s IP but they are not buying the company and Sony is not shutting down the service. OnLive is shutting down the streaming service. Not really a surprise since they obviously needed funds and sold off their IP to get the last income, and Sony doesn’t need to buy someone else’s streaming service.

      • jihadjoe
      • 5 years ago

      Smart move by Sony since they’re doing game streaming on the PS4. They’d have been first in line for some patent trolling when OnLive’s business eventually crashed.

    • ronch
    • 5 years ago

    Never expected them to take off. With computing power getting cheaper and cheaper, streaming increasingly seems unnecessary.

      • ImSpartacus
      • 5 years ago

      Yeah, with high res, high fps gaming taking off, streaming is pretty much dead on the vine.

      You simply can’t stream 60 4k images every second to most homes. They are stuck with 720p stuff, at which case you might as well just do that locally with integrated graphics or something.

      • Kougar
      • 5 years ago

      Very true. Even less of a need for it now when anyone can use their desktop Steam account to stream any game they own to devices on the network.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 5 years ago

    the concept only worked for single player games that could tollerate a little lag. It is a strong concept and one day I’m confident it will be the only way to game.

      • lilbuddhaman
      • 5 years ago

      [quote<] and one day I'm confident it will be the only way to game.[/quote<] and whether we like it or not.

        • Crackhead Johny
        • 5 years ago

        We all look forward to the day when our only possession of significant material value is our labour-power (the ability to work). Owning things is bad.

        Proletariat powers-ACTIVATE!

      • nanoflower
      • 5 years ago

      I’m not confident that it will be the only way to game. I’m sure that many companies would love that to be the case but there are many obstacles in the way. Not the least of which is monthly bandwidth limits which impacts many people in the USA, Canada and elsewhere. It would be great if we all could have unlimited usage of our Internet connections but that doesn’t seem likely to occur in my lifetime.

        • w76
        • 5 years ago

        I don’t know why you think that about unlimited data. I’m sure people thought the same thing in the early 2000s about mobile data. As recently as 2006, each megabyte of wireless data cost $8. Fell to about a dollar by 2009, and now it’s pennies and continuing to fall. In 1998, CDNs peering rate for a bulk commitment was about $1200 per mbps. Today it’s about $0.63. It’s fell by between a quarter and half per annum. In both cases, unlimited data is fairly common. Bright House and Charter, at the very least, are two major US ISPs that have unlimited unthrottled data and always have.

        There’s a difference, too, between unlimited being available and being the best fit for everyone. I don’t pay for unlimited wireless data not because I can’t afford it (T-Mobile and others make it pretty cheap these days), I just don’t need it.

        I agree it won’t be the only way to game, though. Even with my point about exponentially falling bandwidth costs, games seem to be getting fat (UNCOMPRESSED SOUND, REALLY?) at an equally exponential rate. Also, GOG shows people still appreciate owning the files DRM-free in some cases.

      • Narishma
      • 5 years ago

      It will never be the only way to game.

      • auxy
      • 5 years ago

      [quote=”kamikaziechameleon”<] It is a strong concept and one day I'm confident it will be the only way to game.[/quote<][url=http://www.reactiongifs.com/r/334.gif<](nsfw language)[/url<]

      • f0d
      • 5 years ago

      since latency will never be as good as running it yourself i cant see streaming ever overtaking running the game yourself
      also 4k is starting to take off and streaming services will have huge problems trying to stream games at 4k

      why play in a way that degrades the performance and visuals of the game??
      even single player games look worse when streaming compared to running it locally

      • B.A.Frayd
      • 5 years ago

      And I’m very confident you are completely wrong. Lag will never be solved. It’s a physical impossibility. Single player only will work OK for most casual gamers at some point, but competitive MP will never work acceptably as a streaming service.

        • squeeb
        • 5 years ago

        Yup!

    • Neutronbeam
    • 5 years ago

    To the surprise of absolutely no one.

      • ronch
      • 5 years ago

      …except those who subscribed.

        • Pwnstar
        • 5 years ago

        And who did that?

          • ronch
          • 5 years ago

          Well, considering they put out an announcement regarding what happens to subscriber accounts, I suppose there must be subscribers, right? Otherwise, if they check their list of subscribers and find no one there, why would they bother saying what they’ve said?

            • Ninjitsu
            • 5 years ago

            For shits and giggles of course!

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