Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida warned that cloud gaming is technically “very difficult” to implement. He sees the cloud as a great business model, but when it comes to streaming games, the latency and associated delays cause major technical difficulties. In an interview with the Financial Times, he downplayed the risk for his company of losing touch with the rest of the industry and Microsoft.
AI against latency?
In the future, the manufacturer of the Playstation will examine various options for streaming games over the Internet. The use of GT Sophy – Sony’s AI, too Used in Gran Turismo and left an impression – could improve cloud gaming. Yoshida described it as the biggest problem the delay (latency) in the transmission of games on the Internet.
Sony was one of the first giants in the games industry to already acquired the cloud gaming provider Gaikai for 380 million US dollars in 2012 has. Three years later, the Playstation manufacturer bought the game streaming service OnLive, which allowed streaming games purchased from Steam on smartphones, tablets and PCs. Sony discontinued OnLive’s service after the acquisition.
Costly inefficiencies in cloud gaming
From 2015, Sony offered its Playstation Now game streaming service for Playstation 3 games on Playstation 4, for example, since the PS4 was not backwards compatible. 2016 became the service on Windows PCs expanded and came a year later to Germany. Im Juni 2022 ging Playstation Now in of the new Playstation Plus structure and has since been available as a premium subscription.
Yoshida pointed out to the Financial Times the costly inefficiency of cloud gaming, with servers sitting idle for most of the day before having to deal with heavy traffic towards the end of the day. Sony used the time when the servers were not or little used to let GT Sophy learn how to beat human players in Gran Turismo.
Cloud-Gaming vs. High-End-PCs und Konsolen
Many gamers are not yet ready to switch to cloud gaming and are sticking to high-end gaming PCs or consoles, also due to the latencies and speed required for the internet connection, which is particularly important in competitive games. Single-player games ran relatively smoothly on Google Stadia, but the service was discontinued at the beginning of the year. A year earlier, Telekom also stopped its MagentaGaming cloud service and finally discontinued it.
Providers such as Google and Telekom also had problems with the games manufacturers who did not want to offer their titles on third-party platforms. Microsoft’s strong business in the cloud gaming area is the Xbox manufacturer’s undoing in the planned acquisition of Activision Blizzard. That is the EU recently gave the green light, but only under the condition that titles like “Call of Duty” will be made available to other cloud gaming providers and competing systems in the future. The British antitrust authority CMA blocked the dealbecause Microsoft, unlike the EU authorities, could not resolve concerns in the cloud gaming sector.
Strong cloud gaming business becomes Microsoft’s undoing
Sony and Microsoft have been at odds since the announcement about the planned takeover specifically around “Call of Duty”, to the Financial Times Yoshida didn’t want to comment on the deal. Despite the takeover, Sony would still be ahead of Microsoft as a game developer.
Microsoft President Brad Smith also plans to speak to the CMA as part of London Tech Week, where he will be speaking on AI, and express his disappointment at the decision to block the Activision-Blizzard acquisition, reports Bloomberg. Smith had previously described the EU as a better place for companies and start-ups, which in turn did not sit well with the CMA, which is blocking the deal. In extreme cases, Microsoft could react by withdrawing Activision from the British market. But it will probably not come to that.