Yet another feather in the cap of an already impressive company.
Calm down Xbox fanboys, this isn’t going to be another article where I line you up square in my sights and pull the next-gen trigger. Today, we’ll be talking about the future of gaming as it relates to Sony’s direction. And that is the word I’d use, future. Of any gaming company on the market today, the one whose future seems more secure than anyone else’s is Sony. Who would have thunk it? All you hear is how they’re struggling and, if not for its games division, they’d have gone belly up long ago. Yet playing would’ve/could’ve with these theories all day long won’t change the fact that, as of 2014, Sony is an absolute forced to be reckoned with (with no signs of slowing on the horizon).
And I must say, this isn’t a one trick pony by any stretch of the imagination.
If you were to remove the gaming x-factor from the equation, Sony still has a damn good strangle hold on other facets of media. Their support of the blu-ray medium was a home run (in contrast to Microsoft backing the wrong horse in HD-DVD) which is just one area where the Sony brand has taken root in the world of entertainment. Their infrastructure is stronger than ever, but is propped up by their presence in the video gaming world. Let’s have no doubts about this whatsoever. Even though the company theoretically loses money on the hardware front (as most game companies do) it more than makes up for these financial dips with its extensive games libraries, digital services and innovative new tech.
And on the tech front, their upcoming Morpheus Project could very well redefine what it means to be a gamer in 2015.
While the idea of three-dimensional media has been experimented with in both gaming and movies in the past (unsuccessfully I might add) it looks as if our digital advancements have finally caught up to where it might now be a feasible venture. Even though the Oculus Rift development shoved the concept back to the forefront, the kind of name recognition only Sony can bring to the table is how it will ultimately garner widespread appeal. Makes perfect sense, as using the PlayStation as a launching platform to access such a huge install base is a stepping stone that the Oculus simply doesn’t’ have (even with its new backer Facebook).
Shuhei Yoshida (PlayStation worldwide studios president) is confident in their direction, to say the least. In a recent interview, he touted Morpheus as giving Sony an advantage so large in the market it can almost be considered unfair. He went on to say, “…We have something here that we've never experienced before. Working on game development, we always try to create a new kind of experience…For Sony Computer Entertainment, VR and Morpheus is one of the areas we are very excited about…We're really focused on bringing that experience to consumers…Every developer who has started working on VR learns that they have to relearn what they have learned over the years making games.”
It would seem that Sony doesn’t see themselves as just a competitor of Nintendo or Microsoft, but a trailblazer in our industry (behind which all others should follow). In that regard, I’m not sure I can argue with them. The Morpheus is a single example in a myriad of others which the PlayStation has proven itself as the platform of innovation today (and the place to be tomorrow). It garners the favor of both gamers and game developers alike by huge margins. Not only do they look to transform how we interact with our game content in a virtual environment, but physically as well. The latest roll-out of the PlayStation Now service (even with its rocky start) proves to make buying titles at your local retailer an antiquated practice. Streaming game, music and movie content to any device on the planet (regardless if it’s an official “game console” or not) is what will break our chains in a way that would make Khaleesi proud.
In closing; I probably should give some honorable mention to our friends and family over at Microsoft and Nintendo. Don’t get me wrong; both these systems have a respectable presence in the gaming industry as of now (and I truly hope they continue). The problem is; there is room for BUT ONE at the top…and Sony has firmly planted its flag there. Until we see a serious change in how these competitors approach their business models; you’re looking at the inevitable #2 and #3 consoles for the foreseeable future.
I’ll let you decide which one is which, as the results may vary depending on the camp you fall into.