As rumors of a new PlayStation handheld swirl, Sony appears to be making a push to reinvigorate its cloud gaming efforts.
Sony has offered cloud gaming for quite a while, actually, but the company has never emphasized the functionality. “PlayStation Now” long offered a rotating library of games and older titles that could stream from the cloud to PlayStation consoles and PCs, but never mobile devices. Last year, Sony minimized the service even further, taking away its stand-alone branding and throwing it into the most expensive tier of the revamped PlayStation Plus subscription service.
Now, it appears Sony is taking a renewed interest in cloud gaming tech.
The Verge’s Sean Hollister uncovered 22 job listings where Sony is hiring for cloud gaming tech with a specific aim at PlayStation. One of the roles looks for a person who will “develop and deliver the strategic vision for cloud game streaming at PlayStation.”
Some of these job listings have since been removed from public view, but they are quite specific that Sony is looking into cloud gaming. One listing, since removed for a “Director of Product Management for Cloud Gaming,” said that “Cloud Gaming is on its way to becoming a major part of the gaming industry”; other listings were for engineers and project managers, among other roles mention the Sony Interactive Entertainment Future Technology Group. Those listings read in part:
As a member of Sony Interactive Entertainment’s Future Technology Group (FTG), you’ll have the opportunity to lead the charge in the cloud gaming revolution. FTG is at the forefront of putting console-quality video games on any device.
The Sony FTG is also partially responsible for some of Sony’s R&D, including VR, controllers, and some software elements.
The listings imply that Sony’s cloud gaming could run on a hybrid system using Kubernetes and Amazon’s AWS. That’s a bit surprising, considering Sony had previously announced it would “explore” in partnership with Microsoft’s Azure, but it was noted back in 2021 that nothing had reached advanced stages.
It’s noted that, currently, Sony appears to be hiring for more roles in this cloud-focused FTG than any other roles in PlayStation. However, that implies Sony isn’t close to actually launching anything. After all, most of these listings apparently imply that these projects are in their early days. The Verge also notes that Sony is working to patent tech related to cloud gaming.
This news comes as Sony is also rumored to be launching its own handheld PlayStation device, which was previously reported not to include cloud gaming. But with this work in the background, the future of such a device certainly looks a lot brighter than something that is tied to a PlayStation console.
With Google Stadia dead, there’s certainly room for further advancement in cloud gaming. Nvidia’s GeForce Now service keeps advancing with killer tech, and Microsoft is putting tons of content onto cloud gaming through Xbox Game Pass, but there’s no one really pushing for games that are specific to the cloud as Google envisioned with Stadia. And with the previous Stadia Games & Entertainment lead, Jade Raymond, having taken root at Sony, things could certainly be looking up.
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