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Opinion The Verge - How Sony bought, and squandered, the future of gaming

Jul 3, 2019
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Thanks to the internet and social media, theres way more negativity going around than ever before. As a gamer, a guy that was with PS since day one, I have very fond memories and really have a connection to the brand. Sure, they made some weird decisions but if you look at it as a whole, its been a beautiful trip and still going strong. Im sure its the same with a Nintendo or Xbox fan. Todays media puts everything under the microscope and wants to just criticize. Did I hate the random censorship PS does on some games all of a sudden? Absolutely but as a whole, its been amazing 25 years.

Not just gaming, but anything in general really. movies suffer the same thing, but unfortunately gaming suffers from this problem far more.
 

Mattyp

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People seem to think streaming will become this flawless thing with enough time or with enough effort. It won't.

Yes it seriously will, the day physical stops is the day I stop buying new games and I don't own one digital title on xbox or PS4 don't get me wrong I hate where we are headed but to say streaming will not become flawless after the leaps and bounds we've seen in the tech in just last few years is naive. Microsoft has the backbone in place and continually growing it for Sony to utilise it which works best for all parties in the future. If you told people 20 years ago you could instantly beam any TV series or movie in the world to your TV instantly they would call you nuts.

The worst part of shitting on streaming by half the people here is that shit loads of them have a high digital library on ps4/xbox/steam now. YOU OWN NOTHING ALREADY the collection is worthless. If you don't buy purely physical you are part of the problem. Once the tech gets there to be near flawless what's the difference between only having to buy a controller connected to your TV for CoD or buying a $600 system for something you buy digitally anyway the interface is identical you just no longer buy a box for your digital only titles.

The younger they are the less they give a shit about any of the politics of how that it works just that it works.
 
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Rest

All these years later I still chuckle at what a fucking moron that guy is.
Feb 28, 2014
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But how did Sony let Google become the front-runner in cloud gaming to begin with, after having the better part of a decade to freely build it out?
If PlayStation Now has 1,000,000 subscribers, and Stadia has less than 200,000, how is Google the front runner? What kind of sense is that supposed to make?
 
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Dlacy13g

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I will say this...I dont think Sony has "squandered it" but they have not made the most use of it.

I also think I Sonys business model is so focused around hardware attachment they struggle with the services side big picture. All their efforts are around driving hardware engagement and rarely is the focus centered around services that lack Sony hardware.

Even now with PSNow finally opening up to PC it feels as though they do it begrudgingly and ironically still tied to Sony hardware with their requirements for a dualshock 4 controller to used to play PSNow on pc. If they are not careful this will be their Achilles heel As we move forward into more and more cloud based environments.
 

diffusionx

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Yes it seriously will, the day physical stops is the day I stop buying new games and I don't own one digital title on xbox or PS4 don't get me wrong I hate where we are headed but to say streaming will not become flawless after the leaps and bounds we've seen in the tech in just last few years is naive.

No, it won't. It will have problems with lag, and image quality, and of course be beholden to network connections and data caps. Google can't build infrastructure (well, they stopped trying at least) and they can't beat physics. People will just deal with the problems and accept the downsides for convenience sake, as they accepted inferior tech in other areas. And then there will be hipster gamers like us who still want games running natively on hardware and the zoomers' kids will laugh at us.

That is, if it takes off. Which I'm still not convinced it will, although obviously all the companies want it to happen (because they will have full control at that point).

The worst part of shitting on streaming by half the people here is that shit loads of them have a high digital library on ps4/xbox/steam now. YOU OWN NOTHING ALREADY the collection is worthless. If you don't buy purely physical you are part of the problem. Once the tech gets there to be near flawless what's the difference between only having to buy a controller connected to your TV for CoD or buying a $600 system for something you buy digitally anyway the interface is identical you just no longer buy a box for your digital only titles.

"Purely physical" is just a technicality these days. You can own a disc with the game name stamped on the front, sure. They're all run from the hard drive after a full install though. The game probably has a massive day one download that replaces huge chunks of what is on the disc. Heck it might just have a 20 meg executable and the rest is downloaded though.

I actually don't buy digital games on console normally, but physical has been kind of pointless this gen.
 
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Bryank75

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Yes it seriously will, the day physical stops is the day I stop buying new games and I don't own one digital title on xbox or PS4 don't get me wrong I hate where we are headed but to say streaming will not become flawless after the leaps and bounds we've seen in the tech in just last few years is naive. Microsoft has the backbone in place and continually growing it for Sony to utilise it which works best for all parties in the future. If you told people 20 years ago you could instantly beam any TV series or movie in the world to your TV instantly they would call you nuts.

The worst part of shitting on streaming by half the people here is that shit loads of them have a high digital library on ps4/xbox/steam now. YOU OWN NOTHING ALREADY the collection is worthless. If you don't buy purely physical you are part of the problem. Once the tech gets there to be near flawless what's the difference between only having to buy a controller connected to your TV for CoD or buying a $600 system for something you buy digitally anyway the interface is identical you just no longer buy a box for your digital only titles.

The younger they are the less they give a shit about any of the politics of how that it works just that it works.
It will never work well enough to justify moving from a primarily hardware based sector.

On one hand you will have quality and dependability, we have already seen with testing that even with gigabit connections and balanced 100 up / 100 down connections and located centrally, the tech doesn't work well. Lag is too prevalent and even when performing to spec, latency is so big it makes shooters and games requiring fast reactions unplayable.
Image quality is compressed and will always be, it will always have artifacts and look soft and not fully 3d..... therefor it will never reach a quality beyond a 720p equivalent.

Then you have to see this from the perspective of consoles, they are now developing not just in the narrow aspect of power but far more broadly.... instant load times and raytracing, haptics, a huge catalog already being brought forward, VR, Exclusives and I hear streaming and content creation from PS5 will be a big focus with streamlined interfaces, easy to use overlays and other services making streaming far more accessible.

Mid gen refreshes push the tech farther and faster than before, particularly if consoles start to push FPS and the standard of raytracing further. That will take massive bandwidth and the compression will never do any of it justice....

The Stadia launch is just a sign of things to come.... a total disaster of a launch.... embarrassing. I heard the community managers were grovelling over at Reddit and saying they would hand deliver the founder packs....
Centralizing gaming is a terrible idea fundamentally..... think of all the ways it could go down or be compromised.... what fool is betting on this future?
 
Feb 27, 2013
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I don't get it?

  • Sony came in to this generation 'Doomed', according the media.
  • They were bankrupt and had to sell a building, more proof of being doomed
  • Had a more powerful, less expensive, customer-friendly console
  • Launched console VR in the early days while still wondering if they would make it through the gen.
  • Released more exclusives than anyone else
  • Launched a re-vamp of their breadwinner title; God of War, in the midst of EA et al saying single player games were dead
  • The first company to launch a 'pro' version in the history of consoles.
Yet,

  • Microsoft stumbled out of the gate and have released a pitiful amount of exclusives
  • Microsoft had to launch a new console and call it the Xbox One X (even though it's only an Xbox One in CPU alone)
  • Nintendo messed up with the Wii U and have only got back on their feet thanks to the Switch
  • Google Stadia is, well, very short of the mark on what Google promised.
and Sony have squandered the future?

No matter what you say, think or feel about Sony, there is very little doubt that the PS5 won't be the front-runner again.

Wish there was a feature in gaf where these top quality posts would be recognized with stars and all so that if anyone were to say anything otherwise we could refer to these. Good one sir!
 

Bodatan

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Well, Sony actually had to work on improving the service, figure out a business model, and on top of that, didn't have the backing of media to shill it for them, unlike others.
By copying the competitors at the same time 😂🤣
 

A.Romero

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Perry sounds a bit salty...

Not much to say. Technology is not there yet, Sony is making profit somewhere else. It does surprise me how far their vision went.
 

Mattyp

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May 29, 2017
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Image quality is compressed and will always be, it will always have artifacts and look soft and not fully 3d..... therefor it will never reach a quality beyond a 720p equivalent.

Let's check back in on this in 5 years xcloud is already outputting at more than 720p isn't it? Haven't gotten to test it out yet. If you mean on sheer image quality I bet you could take 2 screenshots and the difference would already be negligible. It doesn't matter how powerful the hardware is and continues to advance at one end the blade in the rack still does all the heavy lifting of every process. All they need to get down is the streaming no matter how far advanced the boxes become with streaming all you're doing is pushing a 4K image the same as Netflix and every other streaming company is already easily doing. Like you said though it comes down to the lag of the connection, and it will get better to being non existent as the world continues to change into a more connected place. 5G has now been rolled out in my country for a year, they will continue to improve the delay and input lag to a point where it isn't noticeable enough to care the world wont stop at gigabit connections at the rate we expand I we'll reach 10x that in the next decade. Just 15 years ago I was still on a 28.8k modem and a 80mb file was a 4 hour exercise and 400ms of lag in CS was normal, its now a second and 4ms.

Like I said I'll always be physical and I continue to see physical being a massive market, but I can also look into 5-10 years down the track and how big of a thing streaming is set to become and all those disadvantages, they will disappear when the technology catches up to what they want to implement there's a reason all these companies are spending billions on the tech.
 

mckmas8808

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I will say this...I dont think Sony has "squandered it" but they have not made the most use of it.

I also think I Sonys business model is so focused around hardware attachment they struggle with the services side big picture. All their efforts are around driving hardware engagement and rarely is the focus centered around services that lack Sony hardware.

Even now with PSNow finally opening up to PC it feels as though they do it begrudgingly and ironically still tied to Sony hardware with their requirements for a dualshock 4 controller to used to play PSNow on pc. If they are not careful this will be their Achilles heel As we move forward into more and more cloud based environments.

They aren't struggling with the services side "big picture". The hardware attachment has worked FOR 25 YEARS!!!! It's so dumb for media people to act as if the hardware in gaming doesn't matter anymore while we see Nvidia, Sony, and Nintendo making billions in profit due to their hardware choices.

What is wrong with some of you people? Seriously...... Dlacy13g Dlacy13g have you really thought about this for more than 20 seconds? You say Sony is doing things begrudgingly, yet they did cloud gaming before MS and Google. Again they were first to market! So, what are we really talking about?
 

Bryank75

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Let's check back in on this in 5 years xcloud is already outputting at more than 720p isn't it? Haven't gotten to test it out yet. If you mean on sheer image quality I bet you could take 2 screenshots and the difference would already be negligible. It doesn't matter how powerful the hardware is and continues to advance at one end the blade in the rack still does all the heavy lifting of every process. All they need to get down is the streaming no matter how far advanced the boxes become with streaming all you're doing is pushing a 4K image the same as Netflix and every other streaming company is already easily doing. Like you said though it comes down to the lag of the connection, and it will get better to being non existent as the world continues to change into a more connected place. 5G has now been rolled out in my country for a year, they will continue to improve the delay and input lag to a point where it isn't noticeable enough to care the world wont stop at gigabit connections at the rate we expand I we'll reach 10x that in the next decade. Just 15 years ago I was still on a 28.8k modem and a 80mb file was a 4 hour exercise and 400ms of lag in CS was normal, its now a second and 4ms.

Like I said I'll always be physical and I continue to see physical being a massive market, but I can also look into 5-10 years down the track and how big of a thing streaming is set to become and all those disadvantages, they will disappear when the technology catches up to what they want to implement there's a reason all these companies are spending billions on the tech.
Deep down, I believe Microsoft has as much faith in streaming as me.... remember, they are launching 2 SKU's in this coming generation!

I believe the penny has already dropped on the limitations of streaming.
 

diffusionx

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Let's check back in on this in 5 years xcloud is already outputting at more than 720p isn't it? Haven't gotten to test it out yet. If you mean on sheer image quality I bet you could take 2 screenshots and the difference would already be negligible.

Digital Foundry ran an article a few days ago with xCloud and One S screenshot comparisons and xCloud actually looks like total shit. It looks way worse than I thought it would. Now on a small cell phone that won't necessarily be the case but they also said some games were hard to play because of the input lag.

And this is from MS, the supposed cloud service leader, working on a big initiative. Really, this stuff might improve around the margins but the core issues with streaming games are not going to be fixed, they will just be tolerated.

 
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Dlacy13g

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They aren't struggling with the services side "big picture". The hardware attachment has worked FOR 25 YEARS!!!! It's so dumb for media people to act as if the hardware in gaming doesn't matter anymore while we see Nvidia, Sony, and Nintendo making billions in profit due to their hardware choices.

What is wrong with some of you people? Seriously...... Dlacy13g Dlacy13g have you really thought about this for more than 20 seconds? You say Sony is doing things begrudgingly, yet they did cloud gaming before MS and Google. Again they were first to market! So, what are we really talking about?

Yes Sony bought Gaikai well before but they really just sat on it. It was never meant to be a way of playing current games for them. They took the service and relegated it to being their backwards compatibility solution. Only now in the past year have they put PS4 games on the service and even that seems to be done sparingly and with the 1st party games they have a caveat of they are on a limited time window.

Your comment of "The hardware attachment has worked FOR 25 YEARS!!!! " is how businesses die my friend. We have been doing the same thing with success so why change is a death sentence to most over time. Cable TV was saying the same thing for years and look at the challenges they face now. Traditional landline telephone services have pretty much been killed off by wireless technology. Some companies have adapted to those changes but others have literally been swallowed up and are gone now because they didn't adapt. I also am not saying Sony is in a no win situation. They did have foresight to invest and were indeed first to market yet where do they find themselves in that market? PS Now is still an after thought to them you can't seriously argue otherwise.

and yes... I took more than 20 seconds to think about this and even tempered my response because there is nothing wrong with me.... nor anyone else who has an opinion you may not share.
 

MrRenegade

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This article is dumb because it makes the assumption that creating a streaming service for video games was a good idea with huge market appeal. That isn't true in 2020, much less 2012-2019. Maybe once we have low-ping, low-orbit satellite connections for everyone in the world, but the infrastructure for cloud-based gaming does not exist in America, which is the largest consumer of video games.
That is why "Elon Musk" iz creating the low bandwidth spacce internetz for evvryone. So they could stream da gamez for you anywhere in da world.
 

mckmas8808

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Your comment of "The hardware attachment has worked FOR 25 YEARS!!!! " is how businesses die my friend. We have been doing the same thing with success so why change is a death sentence to most over time. Cable TV was saying the same thing for years and look at the challenges they face now. Traditional landline telephone services have pretty much been killed off by wireless technology. Some companies have adapted to those changes but others have literally been swallowed up and are gone now because they didn't adapt. I also am not saying Sony is in a no win situation. They did have foresight to invest and were indeed first to market yet where do they find themselves in that market? PS Now is still an after thought to them you can't seriously argue otherwise.

and yes... I took more than 20 seconds to think about this and even tempered my response because there is nothing wrong with me.... nor anyone else who has an opinion you may not share.

The bolded is correct and that's why Sony isn't just standing still. They bought Giakai knowing where the future was headed. They created Playstation VR knowing they had to keep things interesting and innovate. And you ask, where do they find themselves in the market? Right now they are number 1 in the streaming game market world wide. They have 700,000 paying subscribers. And will probably be close to a million subs at the beginning of 2020 all paying $10 a month. How is this a bad thing?
 

DeepEnigma

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The bolded is correct and that's why Sony isn't just standing still. They bought Giakai knowing where the future was headed. They created Playstation VR knowing they had to keep things interesting and innovate. And you ask, where do they find themselves in the market? Right now they are number 1 in the streaming game market world wide. They have 700,000 paying subscribers. And will probably be close to a million subs at the beginning of 2020 all paying $10 a month. How is this a bad thing?

I think they already cracked 1 million after the price drop. I still can't care less for streaming, no matter who is doing it.

The console wars over streaming services from "enthusiast gamers" (who normally would not touch it even if they were paid to) is a hoot to watch though.
 
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