It seems that during the run up to its partnership with Microsoft, Sony had the PlayStation team left out of the talks. The team behind Sony’s console family was apparently just as surprised by the news as most gamers were.
According to a report by Bloomberg, Sony and Microsoft negotiated the deal without the involvement of the PlayStation division, who had been working on its own cloud gaming technology for the better part of a decade. Sony’s upper management in Tokyo handled the talks directly.
The news caught people at the PlayStation division off guard. According to a source who wished to remain anonymous, managers had to calm people down at the PlayStation unit. They reassured people that Sony’s plans for their next-generation console weren’t affected.
That last bit of information hints that Sony and Microsoft’s partnership won’t directly affect development on the PlayStation 5. At the very least, it seems that the team isn’t developing the new console with Microsoft’s Azure cloud in mind.
Everything we know about the PlayStation 5 already supports this theory. Sony is touting a large solid-state hard drive as one of the big upgrades coming to its next-gen console. This alone shows that the company is still working around the concept of games being installed and run locally.
The fact that Sony didn’t involve the PlayStation team in talks involving something related to gaming does raise a lot of questions. If the next-gen PlayStation is still the company’s focus, does this mean that it’s not fully behind the the cloud partnership? Or is Sony just being cautious in a field that hasn’t really gained much traction with gamers?
Sony has gone down the cloud gaming rabbit hole before with PlayStation Now. However, the company eventually took a step back in regards to the concept, allowing subscribers to download games. Whether cloud gaming takes off or continues to be a pipe dream, it appears that Sony is simply hedging its bets.