The Sony PS5 is expected to launch next year – something Sony hasn't made a secret of – but it looks like we could see the Japanese heavyweight wade into cloud gaming with its own dedicated console and give the Google Stadia a run for its money, if its recent patent is anything to go by.
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Spotted by SegmentNext (opens in new tab), the patent relates to a "cloud gaming system," which was reportedly filed by Sony Interactive Entertainment America LLC with the US patent office at the end of last month. It refers to both "systems and methods" for cloud gaming and goes on to describe various aspects utilised in the process, including streaming of video games.
"The cloud gaming system implements at least one channel driver to facilitate I/O processing for the one or more client devices when executed by the computing resources of the one or more data centers," it reads, according to the website.
Google Stadia is set to launch this November, and Microsoft has shot down rumours that it's working on its cloud gaming console, saying that the infrastructure doesn't exist to the standard required to make it a viable option for replacing traditional games consoles just yet.
Despite sticking to its tried and tested home consoles, Xbox is working on its project xCloud game streaming service to complement its Game Pass subscription service that offers a robust library of games for players to download as long as they keep up with the membership fees. The Xbox One S All-Digital Edition (opens in new tab) also launched this year, putting an emphasis on downloadable, all digital content.
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Sony's PlayStation Now is a similar game streaming subscription service that allows players access to a backlog of PS2 and PS3 games, as well as a number of PS4 titles. Recently, Sony reaffirmed its commitment (opens in new tab) to improving the service as well as its Remote Play feature, saying that it will be "leveraging the latest computing, streaming, cloud, and 5G technologies" to bolster and improve on both of these features.
Whether or not Sony is feeling more confident than Microsoft when it comes to Cloud gaming next generation is unknown, and a filed patent is no assurance of anything, but considering the direction that content consumption is moving towards, we could see either a vastly improved PlayStation Now game streaming service, or a cloud console launching from Sony by the time next year rolls around.