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Sony Admits Cloud Gaming A “Threat” To Consoles

Sony CFO Hiroki Totoki admitted during Sony’s FY2018 Q3 earnings call that cloud gaming is a potential future threat to its business, although the company will remain focused on hardware.

Cloud gaming eliminates the need for an expensive console, allowing gamers to access games on their computer or mobile device as long as they have a stable interest connection — and pay a subscription fee, similar to Netflix’s streaming content.

Sony’s PlayStation 4 is currently the most popular console on the market, with more than 90 million units shipped worldwide since it was launched in 2013.

However, sales have slowed as many PlayStation fans are awaiting the next generation of the iconic console.

But with cloud-gaming becoming more and more a reality, many began to suspect that the next iteration could be cloud or semi-cloud based.

Totoki have put those suspicions to rest, as he states that it will be some time before the proper infrastructure is available to the gaming industry to full embrace and roll-out a cloud-based gaming model effectively.

“Hardware will become unnecessary, some would argue. But on this point, I think that would take a much the longer the time required for games going to the cloud, it would take much long time, much overtime and also the platforms trying to reduce the revenue share percentage.”

PlayStation has its own cloud-based gaming platform, PlayStation Now, which it recently expanded into eight new European countries — no sign of it heading Down Under.

PlayStation Now includes a collection of over 700 PlayStation 2, 3, and 4 games which subscribers are able to play on their computer or PlayStation 4. However, it doesn’t include PlayStation’s complete library or new releases.

Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo have dominated the gaming market for decades with little competition, but the latest shifts towards cloud-gaming by big tech companies like Google, Apple, and Amazon who have the cloud-technology, could knock them off the top.

Microsoft is developing its own streaming service, Project xCloud, which enters public beta testing this year and is expanding its Xbox Live online to Nintendo Switch, iOS and Android devices.

Even big game development company EA Games has announced their plans for a cloud-based gaming service, Project Atlas.

The race is on to see who will be the official “Netflix for Games,” PlayStation, however, looks like it may be holding onto its hardware for some time yet.

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