Sony is no stranger when it comes to bleeding-edge technology and the company has no intention of falling behind when it comes to the future of gaming. As such, the PlayStation manufacturer has three fundamental pillars that it is building its latest home console around: virtual reality, streaming technology, and wearable lifestyle/fitness devices.
According to Sony exec Andrew House during a Q&A at this year's Develop Conference (via IGN), PlayStation Now is the company's way of making strides forward as we barrel towards a streaming-centric future.
There are two or three potential directions that our industry and our form of entertainment could go. Our acquisition of Gaikai and our commitment to PlayStation Now is again very much in the spirit of looking at how the distribution method is going to shift over time.
I've been paying attention to what's been happening to the music business and I think someone told me recently that the people involved in the music industry are maybe a fifth of what they were ten years ago. If you look at the stats on music streaming last year right now, last year was the first year that music downloads actually decreased year-on-year. It's only by six percent, but it's on the downturn. Streaming, meanwhile, is something like 30 percent up.
No one can make perfect predictions about where these things trend but it says to me that convenience of streaming has been embraced first in music, now in video and television, and it's going to play some role in our business as well. Our goal, rather than have the future dictated to us is to try and be a pioneer, shaping the way it goes. That's what we're trying to do with PlayStation Now.
With regards to the recent rise in popularity of wearable technology, especially within the lifestyle and fitness industry, Sony plans to make efforts to get its foot in the door here as well, as House added:
We're also seeing a revolution in the development of sensor technology, whether it's lifestyle fitness management or the trend for wearables, I think we're on the cusp right now of seeing a huge number of these different sets of technology get down to the physical size and low cost where they're going to be very ubiquitous. This could play some sort of role in a new generation of interactive experiences.
And finally, with regards to virtual reality, the Sony exec went on to point to Sony's work on Project Morpheus as evidence to the fact that PlayStation 4 is covered on the VR side of things.
Then the third one is virtual reality. There's just a sense that we have that the technology is again reaching that tipping point, it's on the cusp of being something that really delivers you true presence, of feeling like you're in another world. When that's delivered it's really magical and I think that how far, how large, how quickly that's going to become a major part of what we do remains to be seen, but we definitely think the magic of that experience leads you wanting to pursue it.
What do you make of Sony's three-pronged approach to future-proofing PlayStation 4? Is it just me or is all this health initiative talk sounding a bit familiar. Nintendo's Quality of Life platform anyone?