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

PS5 Begins Rolling Out Before 2020? PlayStation VR is the Missing Link

For the longest time we’ve been under the assumption that the PS5 will release in 2020, but new rumors are making it sound like the PS5 isn’t that far away. In fact, it’s looking like the first signs of the PS5 will start appearing at the end of 2016 when PlayStation VR arrives in October. I know what you’re thinking, what does a virtual reality headset have to do with the PS5? Ladies and gents, it is (or will be) the PS5! I know, your mind just got blown, but I’ve looked at the factors and considered the rumors and it’s all starting to make sense. Read on as we discuss the evidence and signs that the next generation game experience from Sony is coming much sooner than we all thought. 4 Reasons Why PlayStation VR Represents the First Stage of PS5’s Launch Let’s assume that PlayStation VR is the first step in an ongoing rollout leading to the PS5. What would that mean? Are we looking at a VR only console? Will there even be a console? When will Sony stop beating around the bush and call it a PS5? Questions without answers my friends, but the clues are lying in wait. You simply have to look in the right places. Here are four reasons that suggest the PS5 and the PS VR headset are one and the same: 1. PS5 is a Cloud-Based Console We’ve discussed the prospect of a prospect of a cloud-based console on PS5 Gamers before, but the signs have been growing stronger and stronger. It started with PlayStation Now, a cloud streaming service that is best described as Netflix streaming, but for video games. While that service hasn’t exactly taken off, it’s not going anywhere either. It’s paired with a gaming culture that is slowly pushing digital downloads over discs. It’s likely that the PS5, if it is a console, will have an optical drive for the sake of making people happy, but who will use it in that scenario? How often do you download games instead of going out and buying them at launch? When we stop to think about it, we’re being conditioned to prefer digital content and furthermore we’re being taught to prefer things like streaming over downloads. And why not? It’s more convenient, except when the internet goes down. Still, the world is embracing the change faster than we ourselves realize. Is it some grand conspiracy theory, or is this truly what we want? The answer is still up in the air, and that’s why Sony is taking this route. It’s clear, judging by PlayStation Now, that Sony likes the idea of a streaming game service. They wouldn’t have invested so much time into it otherwise. Sony is good about testing the waters before they push out a new product. They still have their flops, but mostly the gradual introduction of new hardware like PlayStation VR and new services like PS Now gives them the opportunity to test the waters. … Read More

Will the PS5 Have a Disc Drive? How do Cartridges Sound?

There are certain things in life that we’ve always come to expect: the sky is blue, the sun rises in the east, space is big, and games always come in a physical form. Whether it’s a cartridge or a disc, games have always been something we can hold in our hands and put on a shelf. The prospect of that going away is terrifying for many of us. Change isn’t something that gamers really like. Look at the Xbox One for example. They tried to turn it into an online-only console and we all know how that ended. Case and point, taking away an optical drive or removing the option entirely is something that may not go over well with gamers in the grand scheme of things. Is it truly possible that the PS5 will ditch discs altogether, or will we still have the option between digital and physical like we know and love? It’s time to start asking the hard questions, so let’s discuss the elephant in the room. Will the PS5 have an optical disc drive? A New Patent Points to…Cartridges? In the beginning of gaming, games were delivered to us on cartridges. True old school gamers will remember the old method of blowing into the bottom of it when the games didn’t start (which isn’t a good idea, by the way). Things transitioned over to discs for the most part, but consoles like the Nintendo Switch still use a different format. When it comes to portable systems, discs aren’t the best idea because they’re bound to get jostled or shaken during the course of play. This can lead to skips in the data and damage to the disc itself. So, if we think about the PS5 as a portable/console hybrid, then it would make sense for the format to change. We also need to talk about the fact that games are far too big these days for Blu-ray discs to hold. Red Dead Redemption 2, for example, comes on two discs when you buy it. One disc to install the game, and one to play it. There’s also this quote from PlayStation boss John Kodera, who mentioned this during an investor meeting in May 2018: “Rather than separating portable gaming from consoles, it’s necessary to continue thinking of portable gaming as one method to deliver more gaming experiences.” There’s also this South Korean patent filing that was made public recently. In this patent, Sony describes an “electronic game cartridge.”This was first revealed by TechTastic. It was later revealed that this design is intended for the existing Sony Toio, a robotics toy crowdfunded by First Flight, which produces concepts from Sony employees. Even so, this concept could also apply to the PS5. This is purely speculation on my part, but my prediction would be that Sony could achieve something using a combination of discs and cartridges. For those who buy the physical copy, your game will still be on some sort of high-capacity disc, but when you want … Read More