Previous reports stated that Sony was expected to announce a partnership deal between PlayStation and a leading cloud gaming service during E3 2012. It was pumped up by a tweet from PlayStation Plus content manager Ross McGarth saying that gamers will need a subscription prior to the show.
Then the rumor mill changed its tune and said Sony planned to actually acquire an online game streaming service -- presumably OnLive or Gaikai -- and that the deal was "close to being signed." As before, the deal would be announced during E3 2012.
The final rumor arrived just before the show, narrowing the cloud gaming service option down to just Gaikai. According to unnamed sources, Gaikai would be used to stream PlayStation and PlayStation 2 games to the current console, thus seemingly bringing back backwards compatibility. There was even speculation that Gaikai could pipe in its current library of PC games like Magicka and Spore.
Out of the three reports, the most recent made the most sense. But now E3 2012 has come and gone without any kind of announcement by Sony. OnLive and Gaikai went on about their business, announcing new features (OnLive) and deals (Gaikai) with manufacturers. Gaikai CEO David Perry was even sitting in his hotel room during Sony's E3 2012 press conference, a clear sign that there's no deal between the two companies.
"I was sitting in my hotel room, and I know everyone was like, 'Oh my god, are they going to announce cloud gaming?' And I was like, 'No, they're not going to announce cloud gaming.' I wasn't even there!" he told Eurogamer.
But he's open to the possibility. Like most of us, he envisions a future in which all consoles will embrace cloud gaming, eliminating the disk and possibly even the digital download at some point.
"I honestly can't think of a future for the console companies that doesn't include cloud gaming at some point,” he added. "They can hold out as long as they want to, but at some point, you don't want to be the console that can't do this. To some extent, I expect all three of them will have this."
He said he's been negotiating with the console giants from the very start, evangelising how far Gaikai has come. "'You really should take this seriously,'" Perry said he told the console makers. "Let's just say they're listening, and always have been. You see them when you go to conferences, we see them listening very intently - 'how's this going, where's this going?'"
"I want to be very clear," he concluded. "I don't think physical media is going to go away really quickly."
So is this a matter of case closed? Maybe not. There may not have been a deal prepped and ready for E3 2012, but there could still be something in the works. It may not be an acquisition, and it may not be Gaikai, but there may be some truth underneath all those rumors.
Still, Perry believes that a combined "bunch of random events" made people jump to conclusions, and he's probably right.