The PS5 Could be a Cloud-Based Console

We’ve become comfortable with our discs, with our controllers and gaming consoles. We’ve allowed our imaginations to fall asleep. Sure we’re seeing virtual reality making a comeback, but that’s not enough. That’s just refining a technology that was far too ahead of its time when it was first introduced (anyone remember the headache inducing Virtual Boy?) What I want to know is where’s the innovation? Going from cartridges to discs: that’s a leap. Moving from 2D to 3D graphics: that’s a leap! Really, really pretty graphics: that’s nice, but we’re overdue for another leap in gaming innovation, and my money’s on the PS5. There’s growing evidence that the PS5 could be a streaming console powered by the cloud. Join us as we look at the evidence, and how a console like this could function. Major Players in The Game Industry Believe Streaming is The Next Big Thing Ubisoft is one of the largest publishers in gaming, responsible for hit titles like Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, and The Division. While they don’t have specific control over how Sony will structure the PS5, their CEO, Yves Guillemot, has offered some insight into a potential future for game consoles. On IGN’s Daily Fix, a new quote from the CEO was revealed: “I think we will see another generation, but there is a good chance that step-by-step we will see less and less hardware. With time, I think streaming will become more accessible to many players and make it not necessary to have big hardware at home.” So, while Ubisoft’s CEO doesn’t think the PS5 may necessarily ditch hardware entirely, he does believe that this will be the transition gaming takes into the future. Yves was also one of several major players in the industry who contributed to a recent Kotaku article on streaming high-end games Todd Howard also spoke with the Kotaku author over at The Guardian. Gamers will know Todd as the head of Bethesda’s game studio and the father of titles like Fallout and The Elder Scrolls. As it turns out, Todd is indeed a fan of streaming as a potential next step for gaming: “I think streaming technology is definitely coming, and it’s gonna make people’s access to games infinitely easier. You’ve seen it happen to music and movies​, and it’s definitely gonna be happening to gaming,​ and I think it’s a great thing.” While Sony has been offering cloud streaming with PlayStation Now, the head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, has been talking about the technology a lot since E3 2018. From his perspective, streaming allows them to reach gamers on any device, not just a console. He predicts a future where game creators can reach billions of people. He makes a good point in the aforementioned Kotaku article when he says that some studios resort to simple match-3 games instead of immersive story-driven experiences because they need to develop for mobile platforms and the hardware limitations within. Phil Spencer’s second quote in the article is also very interesting: “That … Read More

The PS5 Will Be Backwards Compatible, Thanks to Microsoft

Every time a new console is announced, the first question on everyone’s minds is “will it be backwards compatible?” We are happy to tell you that on 4/16/19 Playstation’s Mark Cerny confirmed the PS5 will be backwards compatible with PS4 games in an interview with Wired Magazine. That being said the fear of a new generation invalidating all of our purchases from the previous one is very real in gamers everywhere. The very structure of the PS4 was completely different than the PS3, which was the basis for why Sony said the PS4 could not be backwards compatible. Even so, they’ve made concessions here and there. Looks like they are getting it right for the PS5. Meanwhile. Microsoft is making more and more Xbox 360 games compatible on the Xbox One every week. Sony’s been backed into a corner. It’s time to bring out the claws and make backwards compatibility a feature on PS5. Thankfully, rumors are pointing to this being the case. PS5 Backwards Compatibility: All The Latest Evidence The PS4 is absolutely killing it this generation, with millions of consoles now comfortably sitting in gamer’s homes. That’s an impressive install base, but if Sony releases a brand new console without backwards compatibility, they would essentially starting from scratch. Yes, the PS4 would continue to exist for several years, but when it comes time for the PS4 to go the way of the dodo bird, all those gamers will have a huge library of games that they can no longer play on PS5. It doesn’t make sense any way you slice it, and with Microsoft already offering backwards compatibility on Xbox One X, so Sony had to step up. Here is what some of the evidence was that Sony was going to include backwards comparability: Software Testing Patent If you’re feeling like you need more technical documentation in your life, you should check out this full patent listing from Sony. If you’d rather get to the point of it all, here’s a quick excerpt: “If the CPUs of the new device have lower performance than the CPUs of the legacy device, many errors in a legacy application may arise due to the inability to meet real-time deadlines imposed by display timing, audio streamout or the like. If the CPUs of the new device have substantially higher performance than the CPUs of the legacy device, many errors in a legacy application may arise due to the untested consequences of such high speed operation.” Breaking this down, the excerpt describes an issue with running legacy software on more or less powerful CPUs. If the hardware is more powerful, such as the case with PS5, there could be unintended consequences of throwing an older game into this new environment. The goal of this patent is to create a timing testing mode that can “disrupt” the processors and test for errors while in this mode. On it’s own, this doesn’t guarantee anything, but it does prove that the concept of backwards compatibility was … Read More