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The Truth Behind The Debunked Rumor of Sony Buying Gaikai

Sean W. Jun 4, 2012 2

Sony onlive gaikai

Before E3, rumors started to swirl that Sony was teaming up with a cloud gaming service like Gaikai or Onlive.  On the last Lords of Gaming podcast, I expressed I was skeptical about the entire cloud service rumor.  Radford also hoped it wasn’t true and it turns out it we were both correct.

The site that broke the now debunked rumor was VG247, a gaming blog.  Here is the quote from the site.

VG247 has learned that Sony is to announce a cloud gaming deal with either Gaikai or OnLive at E3, apparently allowing streamed games on PlayStation hardware. Details are light, but the news expected to be announced in the Sony press conference on June 4.

On the original blog post, there is a link on the word “learned” as if that will allow you to see the source of the rumor.  This link doesn’t go to any such proof, but instead it links to another page on their blog that gives their opinions and expectations on what will be presented at E3.  This should have been the first clue there is an issue with this rumor, but that didn’t stop the rumor from making the rounds on a variety of games blogs including IGN and many more.

The rumor excelled days later to Sony potentially buying a cloud service, a rumor that ended up being reported on the Huffington Post.  On the Huffington Post article, it links back to a MCV article where they say the deal is most likely for TVs, not game console.  Regardless of this, the rumor continued to build and build.

The true origins of the rumor seems to be an email sent out by Gaikai PR inviting the press to check out what they are presenting at E3.  Here is the quote from the email:

Dear Editors, Analysts, and Members of the Press:

Gaikai, the cloud gaming service company, has some major announcements in store for E3 that have the potential to change the future of video games and game consoles. 

Yup, that’s it.  The email was sent out on May 22, 2012.  A few day’s later, the rumor was circling the internet and Onlive became introduced to it.

Now the conference is over, I’m sure there are some people that are disappointed that Sony didn’t announce any such partnership at E3, but the bad link on the original article should have been a sign.  Sony inking a deal like this for TV sets to make them “smarter” make more business sense as the company is looking to dig their TV business out of the gutter.  The move doesn’t make since for their console.

What about the Gaikai announcement they spoke of in the email.  Well it looks like the announcement was a partnership with Samsung, who has worked a deal with Gaikai to bring their services to smart TVs.  Maybe the similar “S” in both companies confused people and mixed up the companies.