PlayStation boss doesn’t expect merger with Xbox

“There is to my knowledge no scenario where the platforms combine”

Sony and Microsoft recently announced plans to explore joint development of cloud technology, but PlayStation boss Jim Ryan doesn’t foresee a future where the two companies merge their gaming brands.

“There is to my knowledge . . . no scenario where the PlayStation and Xbox platforms combine,” Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Ryan told The Financial Times. “The two platforms will remain separate with their own separate identities and brands and fans.”

The memorandum of understanding signed by the two companies and announced in May is expected to result in Sony using Microsoft Azure data centres for cloud gaming and content streaming services.

Sony acquired cloud gaming company Gaikai in 2012, before using its technology and intellectual property to launch game streaming service PlayStation Now in 2014.

Priced at $19.99/£12.99 per month or $99.99/£84.99 per year, the service currently has some 700,000 subscribers in approximately 20 countries.

“We are getting more confident with the [PlayStation Now] service and we are really going to start to push it hard this year and in years to follow,” Ryan said.

“We obviously have seen the trend in other forms of entertainment towards the mass adoption of streaming as a means of accessing content,” he added. “It would seem likely, very likely, that gaming will follow that trend.”

In a separate interview this week, Ryan said he was unsure if Sony’s next-gen console, which is expected to be called PlayStation 5, will be the company’s last.