Sony Admits Cloud Gaming A “Threat” To Consoles

Sony CFO Hiroki Totoki admitted during Sony’s FY2018 Q3 earnings call that cloud gaming is a potential future threat to its business, although the company will remain focused on hardware.

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Iltapalanyymi1581d ago

imagine playing games with massive input lag

this isn't the future

Team_Litt1581d ago

I disagree. It's not the immenent future but to say it's not the future at all is shortsighted and wishful thinking.
We all love hardware gaming but as improvements to cloud computing and infrastructure happen we will eventually move towards cloud gaming as the norm.

1581d ago
PETE19851581d ago

You have lost all credibility by delivering an opinion in such a manner.

sprinterboy1581d ago

Exactly, Elon musk for instance says he wil have about 5,000 small Internet satalites positioned around the globe within 10years giving everybody extremely fast 10gbs speeds @ low cost

RizBiz1581d ago

It doesn't matter how much infrastructure there is, the speed of light is finite. There will always be lag for streaming services.

AnthonyDavis1581d ago

Yep you guys preach the truth. Until they get the latencey to 5ms I’m never gonna play game streaming. I’m for cloud processing, where the cloud assists the background areas or something like that.

gamer78041581d ago (Edited 1581d ago )

It's an alternative option, perhaps for on the go gaming, but it will never replace local.gaming the global infrastructure isn't there and wont be be for any foreseeable future. maybe after science figures out teleportation of humans and cars become obsolete.

Team_Litt1581d ago (Edited 1581d ago )

Woah what? What's happening here? What the heck did I do to you?

Edit: Is this about my conversation with Offroad? It wasn't as one sided as it seemed. He was busy responding on another thread because he'd run out of bubbles. Here:

nucky641581d ago

as far as infrastructure - i live the for day when everyone.....everywhere - has the high internet speeds mostly limited to urban areas. i live about 2 miles outside of a small town and i'm limited to 4mbps. but, in town my friends have 100mbps. (and then there is the question of data caps). if high internet speeds are limited to certain areas, tech like the cloud or all-digital gaming will never happen.

kneon1581d ago

The key word there is eventually. We're still a long way off from where the infrastructure is there for the majority of gamers. Until then there will be hardware, no one wants ignore a large part of the market.

rainslacker1581d ago

The average game polls the input at every 33ms. If you can get that low on latency, then it should work fine. Streaming the picture back is more a problem, as you cant buffer video like you can with regular movies, as each frame needs to be drawn before it's diplayed.

KillBill1581d ago

No because there is no infrastructure that can get around how fast light (i.e. data) can travel.

kevnb1581d ago (Edited 1581d ago )

How does running games server side make any sense in any way shape or form? In can see games being delivered digitally, but actually running them remotely is madness and nobody wants it.

starchild1581d ago (Edited 1581d ago )

Streaming will become common and will largely supplant local console gaming eventually. Many people that buy consoles are
actually pretty casual. They are not hardcore gamers like most of us that visit sites like N4G. For those kinds of people streaming will be good enough. The convenience factor will outweigh the negatives for them.

That said, there are going to be physical hardware options for people who do care about quality and for those who don't have access to adequate internet. Similar to what we see with other forms of entertainment like music and movies.

darthv721581d ago

People forget the early days of streaming music and movies and how choppy that experience was. Improvements to compression technology coupled with increases in internet speeds has now made the experience 'almost' as good as the physical media. I say almost as the auto adjusting can play havoc at times but otherwise it is very entertaining.

Gaming will get there too. It already works but improvements to compression and internet speeds will mitigate the choppiness some experience from time to time. Things dont change overnight and this is one that has been getting better each year that it is being worked on. Our physical games and systems will be relics and collectables like old cars or baseball cards. Things to look at and admire while we entertain ourselves in more modern ways.

kevnb1581d ago (Edited 1581d ago )

@darthv72 streaming video is still 100% processed by the users hardware, this is why streaming games makes no sense. You dont want to have to run the game for the user, just store the data. We are approaching the point where every device is powerful enough to run any game, why go cloud? It would make more sense to move to open apis and have games run natively on more devices, you can still easily setup walled gardens. Everyone pushing for it doesnt really understand what it means. Its way too expensive to run all these games remotely like this all the time, it doesn't even make sense for a publisher to want this unless they are clueless like EA.

So to summarize, for games local download services like gamepass are actually closer to netflix style than something like ps now was. It doesnt make much sense to want to run the game remotely, videos arent played remotely either.

darthv721581d ago

@kev, streaming is not 100% end user processed. That would be true if it was a downloaded item, but then it would no longer be streaming now would it. The end user side does buffer some of the data but the delivery and processing of that is done on the service side, not ours. We help in that process but not 100%.

Why are so many so quick to dismiss this evolutionary step in gaming? Are they just not willing to accept that change is inevitable and this is the direction things are heading......? All of these changes really arent meant for those of us who grew up on this industry. I been doing it for over 40 years and I can see how the younger generation sees things and doesnt really take the same interest in what we held dearly.

It just happens, us old timers and our ancient ways just get aged out.

kevnb1581d ago (Edited 1581d ago )

@darthv72 no, they send you the video little by little and your device processes it. Why are you arguing about something you have no clue about?

The worst part is you could just look this up on google, but you didnt and decided to just jump to your own conclusion which Im not even sure how you came to. If it worked the way you said the video would be processed twice, how much sense does that make? Mind you yes, there is some server side logic that goes on to make sure the video keeps playing including lowering the file size.. but thats not processing the video. Also, why would you even need a more powerful device to stream higher quality video? Where are you even coming from?

In summary:
For non interactive media, the difference between streaming and downloading the entire file is that you get the video/song in pieces as needed vs having to download the entire file.

AnthonyDavis1581d ago

Man some of you guys don’t know what your talking about.

1. Music and video processing requires so little hardware it doesn’t matter.

2. Latencey would not matter since it’s music and video. You can wait a second for music and you can wait about 5 seconds for a video to start.

3. Games are different. Every button you press is essentially like pressing play/pause on music or video streaming. That means you gotta wait for that button to send over all the way to the cloud and then wait for the cloud to process to send it back and see the output of that result on screen.

4. The average is not 30ms for game streaming. That’s like almost the ideal. The average latencey is around 50ms for most users and a lot of people are worst than that.

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Lionsguard1581d ago

I played AC:Odyssey on Google's stream project it was actually pretty damn good with no input lag, that is if your connection can handle it and has no data caps, because it was something like 16gb/hr at only 1080p. Is it the future? I think so but not until the vast majority of people get cheap, stable connections of at least 200Mb connections or even more if they want 4K or VR. It's a future threat that exists sometime in 2030 maybe.

pyroxxx1581d ago

How close to the data center were you? What is your Bandwidth? Hell sitting on the server gives you added 70ms,.. so how is that no input lag? This is pretty horrible if you ask me.

sprinterboy1581d ago (Edited 1581d ago )

Plus young gamers 20yrs from now will be like grandad tell me a another story about the fanboy wars again when they fought over physical, digital and streaming haha.
Everything in life changes in the end, gamers won't even know what it was like playing physical copies of games, in fact gamers will look at us as relics of the old times like wtf they used discs? Just like most people look at vinyl, cassettes, vhs etc.
Ask yourself a question everybody, when was the last time you, family member, friend or a friend of a friend actually put a film on dvd or Blu Ray disc in a player? Mine was probably the film gravity and b4 theat I can't remember. Its all digital, Netflix, Google movie store, amazon, etc now.

Zeref1581d ago

how did you know it's 16GB an hour?

Profchaos1581d ago

The idea of the average user who may have a 500 GB data limit spending 16gb per hour playing games is quite a lot if you think about it

rainslacker1581d ago

I've played PSNow and for the most part it was fine. I had some hiccups, but that's because my internet at the tiem tended to be sporadic on how well it ran. Out and about on wi-fi on the Vita was hit or miss, but worked fine at work where we have exceptional internet.

Streaming games can work, just some people act like it's nowhere near good enough. But, it can be if one's connection is good enough. The problem it faces is that not everyone has good internet, so it's not ready for prime time, or as a major replacement to traditional models. Just another option for those who can use it. And there is nothing wrong with that, so people really should stop acting like it's going to take over traditional models....particularly in the near future.

Some cite 5G, and think that's going to be ubiquitous at a cheap price next year or something. Most ignore that these upgrades don't happen overnight, and the internet back bone as it is can't even handle the uptake of video streaming services, so there is a ways to go before it becomes a suitable complete replacement for gaming.

kevnb1581d ago (Edited 1581d ago )

that game has noticeable input lag on even native hardware, but the game is designed in a way that its not a big deal. Try playing a shooter or something where input lag needs to be low. I dont get the point of using all that data, running games on remote servers and just making the entire process more complex than it needs to be. We are getting to the point where even phones are fast enough to run console quality games like fornite at 60 fps, as time goes on the idea of streaming games becomes more ridiculous.

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I_am_Batman1581d ago (Edited 1581d ago )

The latency-problem could be mostly eliminated if companies start heavily investing in having more cloud-computing serverfarms on the map effectively reducing the distance between the server and client.

Another big problem is the image quality. Cloud gaming companies mostly recommend minimum bandwidths of around 5Mbit/s. The highest quality stream is commonly around 20Mbit/s.

Let's take a look at the uncompressed video bandwidths you get from your local console/PC through the HDMI cable for comparison (audio not calculated in):

[email protected] 30fps: 1.49Gbit/s
[email protected] 60fps: 2.99Gbit/s
4k @30 fps: 5.97Gbit/s
4k @60fps: 11.94Gbit/s

If you want 10-bit HDR you can add another 25% on top of that bandwidth.

The huge delta between the local bitrate and the streamed bitrate means that the signal is extremely compressed, making it look like a twitch stream.

I'm not suggesting that compression is a bad thing to use in a situation like this. In fact it is necessary to make a service like cloud gaming possible but if the video is compressed down to about 1% of it's original bitrate you can't really expect to maintain a crisp and detailed image.

crazyCoconuts1581d ago

Nice post. Beyond that big bandwidth limitation, there's the issue with consistency. Buffering is used for watching movies but you can't buffer a video game so games are more heavily impacted when there are drops.
Also, VR ups the ante with 120fps, so you still need local hardware for VR in the foreseeable future.

battlegrog1581d ago

This is exactly what MS is doing with its massive server infrastructure. Also they have created some different streaming tech that used some of the devices processor or something

SierraGuy1581d ago

Improvements to video codecs and what not will help the visual streaming aspect...look at h.264 vs h.265.

Zeref1581d ago (Edited 1581d ago )

You think the input lag is unsolvable?

rainslacker1581d ago

Input lag is inconsistent. I generally got 33-50ms lag on WOW, but had to set it up to get it to do that. 120ms is more common for every day use for me. The average game polls the input at 33ms. But, when polled, it still has to send that data, which adds lag, at which point, the server has to be in the proper loop, so that can add more lag, then there is the lag induced as the server renders the frame and sends it back, which means we have a perception lag.

Overall, on a good connection, you can expect about 100-120ms lag time due to physical ability to move the data back and forth....even with the fastest connections. For many games, that won't cause any noticeable difference in playing the game, because many games do account for perception lag. But, if the connection becomes sporatic, or slows down for some reason, because they all do at some point, then it can become more a problem. Even better internet services aren't going to be completely free from problems, and more often than not, those problems are outside the users control.

Such things may not be so often that it's really a problem though. Main issue here is consistency, and on the business side of things, the problem is the ubiquitousness of fast and reliable internet is not that high.

343_Guilty_Spark1581d ago

As if this problem couldn’t eventually solved be solved by advancing technology

Rhythmattic1580d ago

Correct... Flying autonomous cars for everyone! ..... One day.

Sirk7x1581d ago (Edited 1581d ago )

I played AC: Odyssey on the Project Stream beta, which just ran the game in Chrome from a webpage, and the thing is, there was no noticeable input lag. I honestly couldn't believe how well it ran. 1080p, 60fps, decent settings (honestly looked better than on base Xbox One), minor artifacts occassionally but almost no lag at all. I gotta say, it absolutely felt like a glimpse of the future. There were a few times where I remember explicitly thinking about how amazing it was that this is possible now. I've been gaming for a long time xD
All that being said, you need fast, solid internet for it.

DillyDilly1581d ago

Your very short sighted if you dont think the technology will improve over time

DillyDilly1581d ago

Either (A) your very short sighed or (B) You know this is gonna become a thing but cant accept it so you will live in denial until your dying breath (C) Dont like it cause its a Microsoft thing as if it was Sony leading the way youd love it unconditionally.

Streaming / Digital / Discless Consoles is the future wether you like it orn ot


I’d say C is most likely most people on this website apparently...

n1kki61581d ago

Cloud gaming is a threat to Sony. With Microsoft's Azure cloud services they are in a power position to drive cloud gaming. The money isn't in the hardware anyway; it's in the games. Sony will need to develop their streaming service sooner than later.

Also, it's unlikely Sony will be able to partner with an Amazon or Google since we already know that those two companies have already started investing in cloud gaming platforms.

The lag issue will be solved. We have seen huge strides; googles AC offering was pretty close. Will cloud gaming be a replacement for ALL gamers? Maybe not, but I still don't understand why people continue to be angry about more options that make gaming more accessible AND more AFFORDABLE for EVERYONE.

rainslacker1581d ago

Sony already has their streaming service up and running, and it runs fine. They should continue to improve it.

I'm not sure what you know, but it's apparently not what's going on with streaming services right now.

Also, Sony has partnered with RackSpace, and they also have their own servers. And, there is no reason to assume that Sony wouldn't use any number of third party cloud providers if they felt the need, and need would denote demand, which would mean they could afford it.

Lag isn't much of an issue if it works for you. It's when one doesn't have good internet that it's a problem. The lag problem will be solved, but it's going to be a while before really good connections are commonplace.

Also, you'd think that internet would become more affordable, but the ISP's may have a different idea. Unless the government starts providing free internet for everyone, or subsidizing ISP's, it's not going to be affordable to everyone, and there are plenty of people who don't have internet in their homes.

Ju1580d ago

"Sony will need to develop their streaming service sooner than later. " Are you guys really that brainwashed? Sony just rolled out PS Now to more European countries. PS Now covers the US (Canada?) and pretty much all of Europe now. What's there to catch up when they are like years ahead?

Given I have a GB Fiber, I had a blast in Mortal combat 2 players last night, Indistinguishable between download an streaming....and that while I was downloading 2 games in the background.

Cobra9511581d ago

It certainly isn't MY future. I can't speak for anyone else, though. People are lazy and don't evaluate what they're doing very well. They won't care that cloud gaming will strip so much control and possession away from them. They'll just care that they can log into a service from whatever device they're using, and play. That's so depressing it's giving me a headache. I'll stop thinking about it for a while.

Psychotica1581d ago

That's assuming internet and server speeds didn't get faster in the future.

beulahland1581d ago

@Iltapalanyymi imagine listening to songs without downloading them! this isn't the future!
imagine watching movies without downloading them! this isn't the future!

OC_MurphysLaw1581d ago

@Iltapalanyymi At one point people said we could never have online multiplayer, that lag was too bad and only local LAN was good enough. Hell we had people screaming we could never push gamers to broadband gaming for online because dial up modem connections were far too common in the world. The point is... times and tech changes and evolves. What we have today is not what will be tomorrow. This IS part of the future whether you choose to acknowledge it or not.

SierraGuy1581d ago

It will only take off when Tesla launches those thousands and thousands of laser satellites into space that send data between one another.

Starlink is coming...but not for a while.

isarai1581d ago

It's fin if you're not playing an action game, RPGs and Adventure games are perfect

EliteComments1231581d ago

exactly i always want hardware. to take to friends house etc.IMAGINE The internet goes out!!! LOL

Sophisticated_Chap1581d ago (Edited 1581d ago )

5G networks will eliminate the lag we experience on current internet networks. This is why self driving cars wont become a reality on a large scale until 5G is in place. The whole reason that Microsoft has started working on Cloud gaming, has 100% to do with 5G coming around the corner. Same goes for Google, and everyone else that is getting into game streaming.

alb18991581d ago

Do you know what 5G is?
5G is very close.

NeoGamer2321580d ago


30 years ago browsers were just starting to display textual web sites...

25 years ago browsers were showing pictures...

15 years ago people starting streaming music on the web...

10 years ago "the cloud" started....

5 years ago HD streaming of movies became popular...

You get where I am going here. Like it or not the internet keeps getting faster and faster and more capable of doing things.

Ju1580d ago

Dude, I just played Mortal Combat on PS Now. If that would lag, it would be unplayable.

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ArchangelMike1581d ago

Well we know we are getting at least one more console generation, after that though it's anyone's guess where the market will lead. What I do know for sure is that I would much rather wait till I'm at home in front of my TV, with my sound system blaring and the lights off to play games like RE2, God of War, The Last of Us, Prey, BFV etc etc - than playing them on my phone or ipad while I'm on the bus, or while I'm on my lunch break - its just not the same experience for me.

However I would gladly play Tetris, or Hitman Go, or Fallout Shelter, or any number of disposable mobile games, while I'm in transit - but these are not full-on AAA game experiences. They are short disposable mini-games, and I hope cloud based gaming doesn't translate into short accessible mobile games-on-the-go replacing full on AAA games. I will always prefer the full on AAA TV+couch gaming experience over cloud based gaming on the go.

jwillj2k41581d ago

Cloud gaming will never be the standard unless companies are willing to alienate their userbases. They’d be cutting out a significant portion of people who don’t have fast enough internet speed to have a normal gaming experience. People will not continuously pay for a bad gaming experience. I don’t see this as a threat except in very small pockets of first world.

SwampthingsSon1581d ago

We’ve been saying we’re getting “one more console generation” since PS2 launched. Doubt Sony, Nintendo and even the lowest selling Microsoft would give up a $100 billion dollar industry anytime within the next 20 years.

battlegrog1581d ago

For sure i get that but realistically this is happening and people wanna be able to grab a decide wherever they happen to be in that time and play top quality games just like its music and movies. Its coming and it will be main stream. So sony better figure out how to have its own version as to do it well you need a massive scale structure and tech team. I assume they could just rent someone else service for ps version

ginsunuva1580d ago

Uh.. you do realize cloud is not just mobile?

ArchangelMike1580d ago

Sure. But please explain why there is a fear that cloud based gaming would replace traditinal consoles? Why is Sony calling it a "threat to consoles"?