Cloud gaming is the forever elusive feature that PlayStation fans have been clamouring for, since Xbox Game Pass launched it last year, but I’m predicting that it will drop a lot sooner than you may think.
In fact, I’m going to sweeten the bet with some extra detail. By the end of 2022, you will be able to open a PlayStation Cloud Gaming app on your web browser. Not only that, but an announcement will be made at a showcase event in September.
What makes me so confident? Maybe it’s just an overwhelming amount of false hope, but there are some pins to tie together with thread on my conspiracy board that helps me make a pretty good case.
Sony’s patent tells an obvious story
It all started with a patent for “Browser-based Cloud gaming” back in 2019, which was granted and published in April 2022.
The patent describes what is seemingly a more open version of PlayStation Now (now fully integrated into PlayStation Plus Premium), which broadens the scope beyond working on proprietary hardware devices to being usable on a web app or browser.
Technically speaking, it is very similar to what we are getting from Xbox Cloud Gaming — a series of consoles connected to a server with a local cache for game data to reduce any potential for lag.
As you can see, it’s been years in the making, but while we got a small glimpse of that through PS Now, that was just a fraction of what this patent seems to promise.
Strike while the iron is hot
Let’s compare this to what is happening in the world of Xbox. The service has been live for a long time now, undergoing plenty of updates to improve latency and setting up partnerships to put cloud gaming on the likes of Samsung TVs.
Beyond that, its mobile aspirations continue to grow with the likes of Logitech working with Tencent on a handheld and plenty more partnerships that I can’t talk about yet (but soon).
There’s no denying that the company is already a few steps ahead of Sony, but all is not lost. As you see from above, everything is in place, but PlayStation absolutely needs to push the button and launch as soon as possible.
To remain silent any longer runs the risk of a situation similar to what happened with the PS3 and Xbox 360. You see, with the benefit of launching a year earlier, Microsoft’s system absolutely dominated and the company was already releasing sequels to its popular franchises — leaving the PS3 playing catch up all generation long.
Granted, there are a lot more reasons why Sony’s third console lost out to the mighty 360, such as how difficult it was to develop games on it and the bizarre pricing, but there’s no doubt that it missed out big because of this delay.
Cloud gaming is unmistakably the future and the longer PlayStation remains quiet, the further it will fall behind and the further Microsoft will surge ahead, developing its service and improving based on real world user testing.
We all knew this was coming. The question has always been when? With all the information in front of us, I’m willing to bet it will be sooner than you think, to the point that we may see some sort of announcement at the inevitably upcoming PlayStation Showcase in early September.
With Sony’s silence alongside certain huge releases toward the end of the year in PSVR 2 and God of War Ragnarok, it’s becoming increasingly likely that we’ll get a sequel to the previous jaw dropping PlayStation Showcase.
Sony has all the chess pieces in place: a confirmed patent for cloud gaming and a PlayStation-branded Backbone One controller, and I believe you will see these pieces fall into place very soon.
If I’m wrong, I’ll tweet a picture of the pint I buy for my Editor on Laptop Mag’s Twitter, so be sure to follow, to laugh at my humiliation.
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Jason brings a decade of tech and gaming journalism experience to his role as a writer at Laptop Mag. He takes a particular interest in writing articles and creating videos about laptops, headphones and games. He has previously written for Kotaku, Stuff and BBC Science Focus. In his spare time, you'll find Jason looking for good dogs to pet or thinking about eating pizza if he isn't already.