Last week we saw CES and a surprising huge presence of Sony at it. It is surprising since CES while a great venue normally is just a venue for cool advanced gadgets and tech. What I mean by that is companies like Apple and Google which are responsible for the majority of smartphone on the market didn’t have a press event or booth at the show.
It make senses since they have gotten so big that they would rather have their own tradeshow just like how video games have gotten so big They have gotten so big that they branched off into multiple conferences from GDC, Gamescom, and E3. So to hear Sony announce PlayStation Now at CES was surprising at least to me.
Though since Sony is riding high on their successful release of their new PS4 it makes sense that they want to continue the momentum. By releasing more news about expanding their PlayStation brand they keep excitement on their already impressive launch. With selling 4.1 million consoles by years end and becoming the most successful console launch ever momentum is looking good.
PlayStation Now actually doesn’t have too much to do with the PS4 but more about their ability to stream gaming content to multiple devices. This means you will be able to stream gaming content directly to a Sony Bravia TV connected to the internet or on your most tablets when on the go. This is exactly where gaming needs to go.
Content should not be locked to any one setting or environment but given to the consumer to decide where and when he wants to consume it. Not everybody wants to watch movies in a theater or even at home not in the digital mobile age. Gaming is no different especially when we already seeing gaming mobile market thriving. If one can bring the home gaming experience on the go to devices that consumers already own then they should.
The problem though is the reality of bandwidth and if you can give them this experience at an affordable price. The reason why bandwidth matters is because the core gamer will not use this if the quality of gaming is diminished in anyway. The casual will not use this if the pricing is too high since they still have access to free-to-play casual games.
If these problems can be addressed than I think something very important will happen to casual gaming. That is the accessibility to play certain immersive games that so far is only available to consoles and high-end computers will be available to much more wider audience. By offering content to devices that most consumers already own have in their homes or carry with them everyday many casual gamers will start turning to core gamers.
This will change core gaming too in a great way. If the core gaming experience can be taken on the go and retain its high quality then this will help the core gaming market. Currently mobile gaming either needs a dedicated device or game designed specifically for the mobile market. With PlayStation Now you will have the choice of both.
It is one thing to just bring the core gaming experience with you but it another to bring the same core experience from home with the same saves, profile, and network of online friends with you on the go. We will see how much they can do given the bandwidth limitations or if this is a service too early for its time.