OnLive should have embraced console games, says Gaikai

Ben Rayner
April 10, 2015

OnLive’s inability to tap into console games was key to its downfall, according to rival Gaikai.

OnLive was a brave and revolutionary prospect when it was first announced. The ability to play great games from a media server through a dedicated device, on your laptop or even tablet.

It never quite got its feet off the ground however, eventually opting to focus on PC game streaming, which according to Dave Perry, founder of competitor Gaikai, was OnLives big downfall.

Perry, speaking through his blog, went into detail about how he believes that OnLive chose not to adopt the whole console ecosystem causing the service to struggle from the get go.

“OnLive was a heck of a competitor to Gaikai, at every single turn we made different choices. It was very worrying, were we making the right choices?”

“Our issue was that PC games (for keyboard and mouse) were becoming really difficult to get across a myriad of TVs, phones, set-top boxes and websites from the cloud, especially as a lot of great games are no longer supported by anyone, even their publishers have disappeared.”

“So at Gaikai we kept looking at the console libraries and sighing€¦ how lucky they were to have organised, well supported platforms, with incredible game libraries that worked on standard controllers.”

Gaikai survived its problems though, thanks to Sony buying them out for a reported, and rather eye watering, £259 million. Something that would have kept OnLive on its feet, if they were to have received the same console backing.

Perry went on to say:

“Onlive did an assignment for the benefit of creditors (an asset sale) shortly after Sony acquired us. We were in complete shock,”

“OnLive then grew a second time enriched by new funding and new leadership, by integrating Steam versions of the games, they accelerated on-boarding but they never got the chance to integrate a console library.”

OnLive has since been bought by Sony, only for them to close all of its services down and acquire all of its patents, in a bid to stop it competing with their own Playstation Now cloud streaming platform that is powered by Gaikai.


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