To the shock of everyone (including PlayStation employees), Sony and Microsoft will be working together on their cloud services for gaming. While they have been competing in the video game console industry for years, Sony is not an expert in the Cloud system. Running a cloud server is expensive and Microsoft is considered the 2nd biggest company with the capabilities. Sony and Microsoft “will explore joint development of future cloud solutions in Microsoft Azure to support their respective game and content-streaming services.”
Essentially, PlayStation’s online services will be hosted on Microsoft’s Azure Cloud platform. Don’t expect PlayStation exclusive games or services to come to Xbox or vice-versa. This collaboration can be considered a response to the Stadia from Google and Amazon’s Cloud gaming system (which still isn’t out yet).
Cloud isn’t going to take over anytime soon
Despite the Stadia coming out this year, don’t expect Cloud Gaming to take over the industry. Reports from players have said there were mixed results including delays in registering actions and reduced graphics quality. I strongly believe that console gaming will be strong in the next generation however Cloud gaming can be a game changer once 5G actually comes out. An analyst has predicted that Cloud gaming will only take 2% of the industry according to Bloomberg.
Electronic Arts Access subscription service is coming to PlayStation starting in July. It cost $4.99 a month or $29.99 for the whole year. If you pay for the subscription, you’ll have access to various EA title, 10% off new digital purchases, and early access to their demos. It was only on Xbox and PC because PlayStation didn’t want other gaming subscription services on their devices that weren’t PlayStation provided.
Why is this important?
EA Access coming to PlayStation are signs that Sony is relaxing on their isolation policies. Many players are familiar with PlayStation not having cross-platforming capabilities for a majority of the games. Many players complained at Sony, especially after Nintendo and Microsoft announced cross-play between the platforms for Fortnite but Sony had not. Sony has since announced crossplay for Fortnite in September. With Sony lessening their restrictions, this may lead to the PlayStation having different subscription services or more open crossplay games.
Yesterday, Sony announced a change in their executive management for PlayStation. Starting on April 1st, Jim Ryan will become the President and Chief Executive of Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE). John Kodera, the previous President, will become deputy President.
CEO and president Kenichiro Yoshida stated the move will “ensure sustainable evolution of the PlayStation platform and further growth of the network area.” Yoshida believes the change will help PlayStation Network grow as it has 90 million users. With so many users, Sony is looking to add more content for users to access.
Who is Jim Ryan?
Jim Ryan has been with Sony since 1994 and has been overseeing the Europe PlayStation market. He has helped established PlayStation as the dominant console in Europe and was promoted to deputy President for his successes. He is also known for his statement against backwards compatibility for the PlayStation 4 back in 2017.
“When we’ve dabbled with backwards compatibility, I can say it is one of those features that is much requested, but not actually used much,” says Ryan. “That, and I was at a Gran Turismo event recently where they had PS1, PS2, PS3 and PS4 games, and the PS1 and the PS2 games, they looked ancient, like why would anybody play this?”
Future Changes for Sony
While Ryan hasn’t announced any upcoming changes, Sony will not be attending E3 this year. People are predicting Sony will announce the PlayStation 5 this year and will save it for their own event PlayStation Experience (Which was not held in 2018). Sony may move towards a digital subscription service similar to the Xbox Game Pass which gives players access to the entire Xbox One and 360 libraries for a monthly fee. Subscription services are becoming more popular as it helps bring consistent revenue across the year rather than huge spikes at quarter ends.
The final DLC: Silver Lining releases December 21st. It is the 3rd and final chapter for The City that Never Sleeps DLC pack. It features Silver Sable who has returned to retrieve her stolen Sable International tech. Whether this is the final DLC story for Spider-Man remains to be determined.
Included in the DLC are three new Spider-Suits. One is a crossover promotion with Into the Spider-Verse by Sony Pictures and Marvel (BTW go see the movie, it’s excellent), a cyborg Spider-Man from Spider-Man #21 and the Aaron Aikman Spider-Armor, from Edge of the Spider-Verse #3.
No Raimy suit for the fans but I was hoping for the Black Symbiot, Superior, or Mile Morales’ suit. Are you excited for the DLC?