While Microsoft is set to make the most of cloud-based gaming with their rumored Xbox Scarlett consoles, for PlayStation cloud gaming is a much greater risk, as Sony investors apparently fear the abandonment of hardware in favor of more accessible cloud gaming. However, Sony Chief Financial Officer Hiroki Totoki is confident that this stage of cloud gaming won’t pose a risk to the PlayStation for more than five years, despite recent reports of major developers making preparations for this technology.
The Sony CFO’s comments were made in a quarterly financial conference call for investors and analysts. As a result of the console cycle moving forward, he reported that Sony is preparing for “potential volatility in profitability” for the PlayStation brand, and that open-platform free-to-play games could pose a risk in the next five years. However, he assured that the onset of cloud gaming will take much longer than five years to happen, and so is not being considered as a potential risk in their five-year plan.
This is a strange revelation from the Sony C-Suite, given that a job listing surfaced last December advertising for a role at Sony based in cloud gaming, specifically, “putting games on any device.” Of course, the PlayStation’s PS Now service allows subscribers to stream games from their library to PS4 and PC, but Totoki’s comments don’t reflect the ambition of others in this field. Certainly, the Google Stream Project has already successfully streamed Assassin’s Creed Odyssey in their Chrome browser, and many expected the technology to develop further within the next five years.
Moreover, rumors of the potential risk of a cloud-based Nintendo Switch could severely impact the status of console hardware in gaming, enabling players to stream their favorite games on the move. Some have even argued that consoles could be holding back the evolution of gaming, with much greater accessibility and potential in a cloud-based future.