Editorial: The Future of PlayStation?
What if the future of PlayStation was universal? What if you could play every single PlayStation 5 game on any internet connected device, such as your smartphone, television, computer, or laptop? What if you never actually had to purchase another dedicated gaming console again, because the console was any device that you already own today?
Can you imagine being able to play the latest and greatest PlayStation has to offer just by signing into your PSN account from your phone? To me, that level of portability sounds like some kind of pipe dream. And I suppose to an extent, it is. However, this technology is already here, and it has been for years.
PlayStation Now could very well be a glimpse into the future of PlayStation as a Service, instead of a traditional home console. I mean, just think about it for a moment here. PlayStation Now is a cloud gaming service where you pay $20 each month to access a large catalogue of PlayStation 3 and even PlayStation 4 games on demand, from either your PS4, or your home computer. This service has the potential of replacing hardware entirely, allowing for you to play your PlayStation software from any device. The main requirement, and limitation, is the fact that this service would require an always-on and stable internet connection for it to function reliably.
OnLive was the pioneer of cloud gaming, and they tried to create a universal gaming platform in 2010. The OnLive Game Service worked surprisingly well, and allowed for me to play Just Cause 2 from my laptop which, at the time, was incapable of running the most basic of games. But OnLive? It worked perfectly at 720p. I rarely if ever noticed any kind of lag, and was able to easily enjoy some of the top games at the time, on hardware and devices that wouldn’t be able to play them otherwise. To me, the whole thing felt magical. Just the fact that when I purchased a single game, I could take that game with me anywhere, without having to lug around heavy hardware or consoles. I just signed into my account, selected the game I wanted to play, and hit ‘Start’.
PlayStation Now could become a true force within the world of gaming, and it has the potential to even replace (or coexist) with modern consoles. I mean, when the next generation of PlayStation comes out in a few years, is it not far more enticing to play your games on your existing Smart TV, rather than going out and purchasing a brand new $400 box? What if your new 4K TV had a PS5 built right into it? To me, that’s a very convenient alternative to our current market of constantly buying a new console every 6 or so years.
If PlayStation Now is the future of PlayStation as a Service, which is the direction Sony appears to be taking it, would you sign up for it? The internet is constantly getting faster and more reliable with every passing year, so in the near future, the internet won’t be as big of a limitation as it is today. Cell companies are even working on 5G deployment, so in theory, something such as a virtual game console could work in the near future on modern and updated cell phone providers. The fact is, whether unfortunate or not, gaming is heading towards a Software as a Service (SaaS) model, so it’s really just a matter of time before Sony, Microsoft, or Nintendo pulls the plug on traditional hardware generations, opting for a purely digital service.
So to conclude this article, and hopefully allow for me to finally go to bed, do you guys think that PlayStation Now is the future of PlayStation? Will PS Now, or a similar cloud gaming service, eventually replace traditional home consoles? Or do you think this is all just a bunch of hogwash? Let us know in the comments.
7/27/2017 Tyler Harvey