What does Sony and Microsoft’s potential collaboration mean for the rest of the world?
Words by Jason Sewald
Earlier this week, in shocking fashion, news broke out that Sony and Microsoft are reportedly looking at a potential partnership in creating a cloud gaming system. The news of this development has taken almost anyone interested in technology by storm. So what I want to discuss is what cloud gaming is, the reasons for this potential collaboration and whether or not I think its going to work out.
To start off with, I should explain what “cloud gaming” actually is. Essentially, cloud gaming aims to do the job of a hardware gaming console without the actual hardware, through a massive server somewhere on this planet. In simpler terms, it provides a service where you don’t necessarily need a console to play video games anymore; a Netflix for video games so to say. The idea of cloud gaming is still a bit niche, however, it started gaining traction when Sony and Microsoft offered their own services such as Playstation Now and Microsoft Game Pass respectively, where you pay a subscription fee to play new and old games on each console.
Now going back to Sony and Microsoft and the possible reason for this incredible development may be the day in age that we live in. By that, I mean that the idea of games being bought in a physical form have become less and less popular as time went on due to downloadable games being cheaper and easier to obtain. The next thing in the food chain would naturally be consoles, however, gamers are a defiant bunch and this process may take longer than expected because although I said physical games are becoming less popular they are still being bought by a majority of consumers. Another reason I believe was the cause for this was the Google Stadia. Earlier this year, Google announced its own plans for a cloud gaming console to much skepticism, but a lot of people embraced this new idea they have put forward, mainly due to the fact that Google – like Sony and Microsoft, have infinite money so they can put in a considerable amount of cash into the development of a brilliant console, and I think it is this specific thought that scares the two juggernauts because they don’t want to make anymore space than they already have to in a market they are used to dominating.
Now that we’ve covered what cloud gaming is and the possible reason for the possible collaboration, would this really work out? In my humble opinion; I don’t think so. Even though this has the potential to be incredible, I also believe that both companies (especially Sony) have a very clear identity and vision as to who they are and I think it’s that differing vision they have will be the main reason this is not going to work out. A reason that supports this is that way back when, before the first Sony Playstation, Sony were working with Nintendo to bring us a console, which at the time, would have been one of the biggest things ever, called the “Nintendo PlayStation”. However, the console never saw the light of day due to disagreements by the two respective companies and Sony pulled out and then created the now iconic Playstation and the rest, as the say, is history.
All in all, these are my thoughts on this but I will say that even if that does not work out the fact that Sony and Microsoft are looking into a collaboration is still incredible news and that alone opens up more pathways to further push the boundaries of a medium that I and billions of others love.