Sony‘s chief executive Kenichiro Yoshida has warned that technical issues remain with cloud-based gaming, calling the technology “very tricky.”
“I think cloud itself is an amazing business model, but when it comes to games, the technical difficulties are high,” said Yoshida, citing latency, which refers to the time it takes for an action inputted on the controller to be reflected on screen, as the biggest issue. “So there will be challenges to cloud gaming, but we want to take on those challenges.”
Yoshida also highlighted that due to the fluctuating popularity of gaming during the day, for example, a high number of players all logging on when they finish work, it’s financially inefficient to run when there are few players, and that conversely, a high number of players logging on at the same time could lead to issues in performance.
Referring to these quiet periods as “the dark time,” Yoshida said, “The dark time for cloud gaming had been an issue for Microsoft as well as Google, but it was meaningful that we were able to use those [quieter] hours for AI learning,” said Yoshida.
PlayStation has “aggressive plans” for the cloud gaming space, according to PlayStation boss Jim Ryan, the details of which he claims will be revealed over the coming months.
“We observe mobility in gaming habits to be an increasingly important trend, and the cloud will be fundamental to allowing us, or indeed anybody else, to exploit that trend,” he said in a recent interview.
“We do have some fairly interesting and quite aggressive plans to accelerate our initiatives in the space of the cloud that will unfold over the course of the coming months.”
PlayStation has experimented with cloud features for over a decade, with its PlayStation Now service (now rolled into PS Plus) representing one of the early pioneers of the space.
Cloud gaming currently represents a small percentage of the global games market, but its viewed as a potential disruptor for the future.
Notably, regulators have been scrutinising Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard over its potential to give the Xbox maker an advantage in the emerging space, which they fear could represent a monopoly, should the cloud become dominant in the future.