Sony Is Working Towards “a Future Where Consoles Could Disappear” as it Tackles Cloud Gaming

While Sony Computer Entertainment is enjoying massive success with the sales of the PS4, having recently surpassed ten million units sold through to customers, there’s an arm of the company that is working on a future vision where consoles might not be necessary anymore, as reported by the online version of the prominent Japanese newspaper Nikkei Shinbun.

Nikkei talked with Director of SCE’s Strategy and Product Planning Department Hideaki Nishino and Deputy Director Shuzo Kikuchi, in order to get their vision of the future as they work on PlayStation Now.

Nishino-san mentioned that they’re “working in anticipation of a future where gaming consoles could disappear,” explaining that mobile gaming has created a fierce competitive environment for consoles, and the evolution of cloud gaming has made them somewhat unnecessary. That’s why they’re currently imagining how gaming could be in the era of the cloud, and studying how gamers play and their purchasing habits.

Kikuchi-san also explained that there has been resistance internally due to the fact that PlayStation Now could be seen as conflicting with the business model built by Sony based on the sale of consoles, but he clarified that “Sony Computer Entertainment’s business is not selling gaming consoles, but its essence is to sell video game content, which makes the decision to deliver said content through the cloud important.”

According to Kikuchi-san they saw the potential conflict with cloud gaming coming, and with the acquisition of Gaikai, they accelerated the project even further to challenge the conflict by actually taming it. With just two years in development to its actual implementation, PlayStation Now has taken shape “faster than ever before.”

He also mentioned that he wants the system to be perfect, and admitted that with the quick response of the market the initial reaction of the costumers in North America hasn’t been positive, but Nishino-san explained that the impossibly fast evolution of Gaikai served as a stimulus to those working on it at Sony Computer Entertainment and created a sense of general activation internally.

It’s relevant to mention that Nishino-san and Kikuchi-san did not provide a time frame for this future they envision, and it could definitely be years until it comes fully to fruition, but personally I hope that despite the evolution of cloud gaming, there will always be room in the market for physical consoles.

[Translation: Griffin Tatum]

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  • Matt Destasio

    See, I do agree that console gaming as we know it now isn’t going to last too much longer, but I envision a jump to true computer consoles that bridge the gap between gaming consoles and laptops. I don’t think that laptop gaming is going anywhere, but the casual gamer doesn’t want to play their games using a laptop. But laptop gamers would welcome gaming thats natively designed to run on a larger screen. All Microsoft (I say MS because they already work extensively with both consoles and computers) would need to do is build an OS around the idea that it will be used with a home television, and then build several accompanying pieces that control it based on what you intend to use it for. A new keyboard that works comfortably by itself with the mouse, a small touch-remote (probably just an app) and then the xbox controller. I think laptops have become dated for the general public because most people prefer their lightweight and quick smartphones for general browsing and light duty computing. Hell I’m typing this entire post on my phone right now, because why the hell would I want to get my big clunky computer out, boot it up, wait for the browser to load, etc.. I think that the natural progression is to somehow merge the two (laptop and console) into one machine that can literally do everything you need it to. As someone who isn’t a fan of computer gaming, I would love to have access to a wider variety of games and a fuller entertainment experience, and I think this is the way to go.

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