If you’ve got $500 million kicking around, you can have your very own cloud gaming service.

Cloud gaming, in simple terms, is an online system in which all the heavy lifting is done by powerful remote servers rather than the user’s own console or PC. Input – button mashes, mouse clicks, whatever – is streamed to the servers, and the results are streamed back to the user, allowing even the simplest of hardware to run advanced, demanding games. The only restriction, obviously, is a fat pipe; if you don’t have one, you don’t get to play.

You probably already knew that, just as you probably know that there are two big players in the cloud gaming arena right now, OnLive and Gaikai. By all reports, things appear to be going well for Gaikai – it announced a partnership with Samsung earlier this month to bring integrated streaming games to Samsung’s Smart TVs – but in spite of that (or, perhaps, because of it; the motivations of big business often elude me), the word on the street is that the company is now on the block.

And it ain’t cheap. According to CNN Money, the company is expecting to attract “well in excess of $500 million.” There aren’t too many relevant companies that could put together that kind of scratch, but the big console manufacturers – Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo – could do it, and Intel may also take an interest in Gaikai’s ability to support its upcoming online TV service.

At the end of May, it was reported that Sony was looking hard at either Gaikai or OnLive, although Gaikai founder Dave Perry shot down that rumor about a week later.

Source: CNN Money

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