As technology evolves over time, the focus of video game developers begins to switch. As more and more devices become “smart” enough to run video games, you no longer need to sell a console to a customer to get a game in their hands. Games can be made for their phone, tablet, or even streamed straight to their TV with no box in between. While the console market is still very much active (PlayStation 4 has sold 10 million units in just nine months), some within Sony foresee a time when there will be no consoles. And they are preparing for it.
Speaking with Japanese newspaper Nikkei Shinbun, Sony executives Hideaki Nishino and Shuzo Kikuchi explained that PlayStation Now is their first step towards preparing for a future where consoles are obsolete, and video games are played through various devices using cloud technology. These two are the Director and Deputy Director of Sony’s Strategy and Product Planning Department, and they explained that mobile and cloud gaming was seen as a threat to the console market, so Sony acquired cloud tech company Gaikai as a means of “taming” that market and using it to their advantage.
Naturally, not everyone at Sony agrees that cloud gaming is the future, and some are resistant to the idea, but Kikuchi explained 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.” These two want to continue to better PlayStation Now until it is perfect, and they admitted that the feedback on the service in North America has not been very positive. There’s still a lot of work to do if PlayStation Now is to be the future of Sony.