Sony hosted its investor relations meeting for 2019 and, as expected, one of the main topics was the PS5 and plans for the PlayStation brand going into the next generation of home console gaming. One of the more curious developments at the tail end of the current generation is the reveal of Google Stadia and how the competition will respond. As revealed in the IR documents for the game and network services segment of the meeting, Sony didn’t consider cloud game streaming a true part of current gen but is dedicating resources and evolving it for next-gen services.
In a previous report, we pondered whether or not a newly revealed patent meant Sony would be introducing a streaming service alongside the PlayStation 5. The idea is that it would compete with the Stadia, Google’s cloud game streaming platform which launches this fall, but the IR report shows that Sony is aiming to enhance PlayStation Now and present it as one of the three ways gamers can experience the next generation of PlayStation. Here’s the vision Sony laid out for streaming in the future:
“A massively enhanced PlayStation community where enriched and shared PlayStation experiences can be seamlessly enjoyed independent of time and place – with or without a console.”
The “without a console” part is key here as PlayStation Now is currently limited to PC and PS4 (stream to both, download on PS4 only). Google Stadia will work with laptops, televisions, and tablets without a need for additional hardware and it seems like Sony is gearing up to do the same with PlayStation Now. Sony also points toward the new partnership with Microsoft as a means to achieve the ideal growth and scale. That handshake between the two gaming giants allows Sony to utilize Microsoft’s platform for content streaming. The last interesting footnote is the mention that the 780 games that are on PlayStation Now require “no developer effort.”
One of Google Stadia’s focal points has been how the platform will seamlessly work with tools game developers already utilize, allowing them to just work on one version of their game and not have to work on porting to all the different devices Stadia will stream to.
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