Sony possibly buying into cloud gaming, and yes, the PS4 will support physical media

Sometimes I'll share a rumor that I don't really think is accurate just because I find it interesting. Today is one of those days.

The rumor in question is that next week at E3, Sony will announce the acquisition of a cloud gaming provider, with both OnLive and GaiKai called out by name. The rumor comes from MCV which doesn't list a source.

I'm doubtful of this one for a few reasons. First and most obvious, the complete lack of a source. Second, the fact that I first heard this rumor being spread around some gaming forums (not the most reliable sources for accurate info). It was only after that buzz died down (well, maybe 'buzz' is a bit strong) that MCV posted their findings.

The good news is, we'll know for sure in less than a week.

But let's assume the rumor is accurate. What would Sony do with this technology? Would it be primarily as a way to bring high end gaming to their Android devices? (Onlive already has an Android client for this.) Or would it be meant for one of their gaming consoles, either the Playstation 3 home console or the Playstation Vita handheld (or even the much-rumored but never confirmed PS4, aka Orbis).

Here's what's interesting about bringing a cloud gaming service to the PS3. Most, if not all, of the games on the OnLive service (I'm not as familiar with GaiKai but I believe this is true there as well) are Windows games, not console games. By bringing a cloud gaming service to the console they could open users to a whole new library of games, and by owning the company, they can make sure that service never appears on Microsoft's Xbox 360.

At the same time, there's the old "Bring a horse to water" adage. Are PS3 or Vita gamers really clammoring to play PC games on their consoles? I'm not sure they are, particularly since a lot of the games require a mouse and keyboard; not many gamers have those accessories hooked up to their Playstations.

Anyone have thoughts as to whether such an acquisition would be a smart move for Sony? Personally it seems like a long shot to me.

In other Sony news, or perhaps non-news, a while back there was a rumor going around saying the PS4 would be a fully digital system with no support for physical media. This generation seemed too early for a fully digital console (look how well the PSPGo did) so I wasn't surprised to hear the rumor debunked by the Wall Street Journal. The same article re-affirms the rumored Holiday 2013 launch date.

Read more of Peter Smith's TechnoFile blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pasmith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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