In 2011, OnLive was being valued at as much as $1.8 billion. Today? They just sold 140 cloud gaming patents to Sony. OnLive’s streaming service will close on April 30th.

Terms of the deal between OnLive and Sony were not revealed. During OnLive’s heyday, their patent portfolio was believed to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Did they get anywhere near that from Sony? No one knows for sure, but I doubt it.

Sony is no stranger to cloud gaming. They bought Gaikai for $380 million back in 2012. That purchase would eventually lead to Playstation Now, a recently launched game streaming service. PlayStation Now costs $19.99/month or $44.99/3 months and lets you stream more than 100 PS3 games. More PS3 games are offered on a per rental basis, which averages out to about $1 a day for a week.

PlayStation Now announcement

The 140 patents purchased by Sony will strengthen their patent protection in the game streaming sector.

In 2011, game streaming was teased as the future. There’s only one problem. A lot of people’s internet just isn’t up to the task of streaming games in HD with no input lag. Not to mention those of us who have data caps (Me. WTF Comcast?)

Sony’s PlayStation Now service needs “a steady broadband internet connection ranging between 5-12 Mbps). So, 12 Mbps for the best experience.

There is light at the end of the tunnel, though. Internet speeds are improving. Google has installed gigabit internet (1 Gbps) in several cities. Even Comcast is jumping on board with their announcement of 2 Gbps internet in the Atlanta metro area starting in May. Once these speeds are commonplace, then game streaming will be a viable option for many of us.


OnLive announces its closure, “It is with great sadness that we must bring the OnLive Game Service to a close. Sony is acquiring important parts of OnLive, and their plans don’t include a continuation of the game service in its current form. Your service should continue uninterrupted until April 30, 2015.

Sony’s Philip Rosenberg (VP, GLobal Business Development of SCE and SVP Business Development and Publisher Relations of SCEA) on the purchase of 140 OnLive patents, “These strategic purchases open up great opportunities for our gamers, and gives Sony a formidable patent portfolio in cloud gaming. It is yet another proof point that demonstrates our commitment to changing the way gamers experience the world of PlayStation.”



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  • OnLive was the darling of the tech space several years ago. At one point, their investors included AT&T, Autodesk, HTC and Warner Bros.
  • Once valued at $1.8 billion, the company was sold to investor Gary Lauder for $4.8 million in 2012.