Perhaps you’re contemplating purchasing a brand spanking new PS4 but want to know what Sony has in store for the future? Conversely, maybe you’re simply not sure which game box you’d like to purchase (or even if the rather elevated price tags of modern consoles are worth it)? Fret not, because according to current industry rumors, we might actually be seeing the successor to the PlayStation 4 arriving much sooner than expected and there’s even talk of it being quite cheap.
Could the PS5 be a cheap small streaming box or dongle?
While most of the world is still reveling in the afterglow of the PlayStation 4’s release, top industry people are already turning their attention to the PS5. No doubt many are apt to say that it’s way too early to start thinking about any type of console follow-up to the wildly successful (so far) and popular Sony machine, there are some very good reasons to stand up and take notice.
In case you haven’t been paying attention, virtually all the major companies involved in producing consoles and software are turning their attention toward cloud-based streaming services. We’re not talking about the already available glut of app-delivered services most of us already use here, but the honest-to-goodness streaming of game content. In other words, it’s very possible that the PS5 will be little more than a glorified streaming machine which acts as a portal to a wealth of online content which can be accessed via subscription services.
The future of gaming is in the clouds
Sony is already moving to implement “PlayStation Now” on a large variety of devices, including not only the PS4, but also the PS3, Vita, smartphones, tablets and an ever-widening array of smart TV’s. Assuming that this venture is successful, it will turn virtually any device into a streaming node which allows users to play any titles from the entire PlayStation library. Moreover, because all of the hardware is located remotely, the actual cost associated with pulling this off is severely mitigated.
Quite simply, this means that the PS5 will most likely end up being a rather inexpensive “portal” which is tailored for the use of streaming systems. Just how cheap are we talking here? How does around $50 to $100 sound?
Sony actually purchased Gaikai in 2012 in order to make use of its awesome streaming technology, and many are no doubt already familiar with OnLive. Clearly, they’re investing in this area with intent to streamline the whole process of delivering content to gamers. There are a number of reasons for this, all of which make perfect economic sense from the company’s standpoint. First off, there are enormous costs associated with manufacturing and delivering powerful self-contained consoles to the market, and with each subsequent console release, Sony has had to operate at a loss at launch. Of course they always end up making up the difference, but the challenges and risks cannot be overlooked (from a business standpoint). Again, assuming that it works properly, a streaming-centric PS5 would virtually eliminate many of these problems, thereby giving Sony a more attractive bottom line and its consumers a more affordable console.
At the same time, they don’t seem to be waiting around for the PS4 to age and are apparently diligently working on its predecessor. According to statements gathered from Sony execs and power players, they’re currently entering a post-launch “breather” period to gain perspective on the PS4 and to initiate improvements. But they’ve also made it perfectly clear that they’re not going to wait around too long before initiating the next project as well, implying that the PS5 could very well be headed our way in a couple of years (or even sooner).