Unlike Microsoft and its monopoly on games in the cloud, the Japanese manufacturer shows some reservations.
Sony and PlayStation don’t know which foot to dance on. While cloud gaming slowly continues to evolve at Microsoft, the Japanese giant is interested in it from afar rather than closely. However, this does not prevent him from launching strange projects. Since the days of the PlayStation 3, gamers on Sony’s consoles have been able to enjoy Remote Play. This feature, once limited and then popularized with the PS4 and PS Vita, allows the image and controls of a game to be transmitted directly to a portable device (or a PC since 2016). This variant of cloud gaming therefore transforms a home console into a server.
At Microsoft and like at other suppliers, the titles are stored directly on dedicated servers that do not require the purchase of a console. This way of experimenting with the cloud has taken its first steps at Sony via the PlayStation Plus premium subscription since June 23, 2022. However, the Redmond company has been testing its tool with players for almost three years already. This strange delay will continue to grow as Sony works on Project Q, a machine dedicated to its Remote Play from the PS5. If this strategy seemed strange until then, an interview with general manager Kenichiro Yoshida leaves no room for doubt: Sony does not trust cloud gaming.
The cloud: a fake good idea?
Sony plans to move into cloud gaming, but at its own pace. While the manufacturer says it is threatened by Microsoft’s ambitions in this area when it comes to Call of Duty and Activision, it is still reluctant. “I think the cloud is an incredible business model, but when it comes to video games, the technical difficulties are very high” explains Kenichiro Yoshida. Indeed, this technology requires a substantial internet connection which is still far from being available to everyone.
This therefore makes cloud gaming a niche market, bound to evolve we do not really know when. In addition to these player installation restrictions, this kind of service also faces “dark times”, those times of the day when the crowd is higher and limits the performance of the service. “Dark time has been a problem for Microsoft and Google” adds Yoshida. However, the managing director does not hesitate to make his ambitions known: “There will be challenges in implementing cloud gaming, but we want to address them.“
One thing is certain, the Project Q could be much more dangerous than a classic cloud gaming if it were to be too expensive. Having to invest in a €550 console and then a second device dedicated to Remote Play could discourage many players. Case to follow.