SONY’s Jim Ryan has spoken frankly about his vision for the future of PlayStation – and it sounds an awful lot like cloud gaming.
The PS5 has seen the company double down with exclusives again, which was a winning strategy for the PS4.
Meanwhile Microsoft has been building its game streaming service with Game Pass.
Game Pass gives players access to a huge library of Xbox titles from across generations.
It also includes brand new releases, meaning you can play them on day one without dropping £60 for the pleasure.
Despite Sony establishing itself as the king of stellar exclusives, Microsoft is catching up on that front.
It acquired ZeniMax media, finalising the deal earlier this year, and with it came IPs like The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, and the eagerly anticipated Starfield.
These games have historically released across both Sony and Microsoft’s platforms, but if they launch as Xbox exclusives, you can bet your butt that there’ll be an uptick in Xbox Series X|S owners.
Sony is quickly going to lose the upper hand in that arena, and it certainly isn’t in a position to compete in terms of the reach Microsoft is getting outside of its hardware right now.
Game Pass subscribers can play their Xbox games on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Windows PC, Android, and iOS devices.
It’s a huge piece of the pie that Sony is missing out on, but it sounds like Jim Ryan has plans to do something about that.
In a Fireside Chat with GamesIndustry.biz, Ryan opened up about his desire to see PlayStation games reach hundreds of millions of people.
“I’d like to see a world where the games that we make at PlayStation can be enjoyed by many, many tens of millions of people, perhaps hundreds of millions of people.
“Right now, success with the existing console model, a really great PlayStation hit – you’re talking 10 or 20 million people able to pay that game.
“If you compare that [with music and movies] they can be enjoyed by almost limitless audiences.
“I think some of the art that our studios making is some of the finest entertainment that’s been made anywhere in the world.
“To gate the audience for the wonderful art, the wonderful entertainment these studios are making – to gate the audience for that at 20 or 30 million frustrates me.”
I doubt Ryan envisions flogging ‘hundreds of millions’ of PS5 consoles.
The PS2 is the best-selling home console of all time, shifting 155 million units. The PS4 is a number two, with 108 million units sold.
Relying on hardware as the only way for people to play your games just isn’t cutting it anymore.
As the internet infrastructure improves, cloud gaming and game streaming services are the way forward.
And it looks like Sony is finally ready to join the party.
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