The future of the home console is as clear as when The Last Guardian is going to be re-revealed. PlayStation Now is an evolving beast and one that still has plenty to say about the future of gaming, not just for the PS4 but for the industry at large. The future of home consoles will depend on a variety of things, most of which still need to run their course.
The PS4 is off to a furious start since it was launched back in November of last year. We're not even at the one yar anniversary for the PS4 and things are already looking great. Looking forward though, PlayStation Europe head Jim Ryan spoke about a time that could potentially see the gaming industry without physical gaming consoles.
"We’re aware of the dangers of complacency, which is why I used the word twice last night in the press conference. And you know, is it necessarily the case that there’ll always be a static gaming console? Not necessarily. And you know, the work we’re doing on PlayStation Now is evidence of us exploring alternatives," Ryan said.
What ultimate purpose and function PlayStation Now will serve is unknown to press, consumers and even Sony. Ryan was asked if it's possible for PS Now to serve in the stead of a hypothetical PS5 or whatever console may or may not come after the PS4.
"I certainly don’t want to, and wouldn’t, use the term PlayStation 5. But as a significant component of our means to get PlayStation experiences into the hands of as many people as possible, absolutely. Potentially," Ryan said.
That's an interesting thing to imagine, PS Now eventually serving as the home location for PlayStation gamers. Now, that time is a long, long ways off and it's all just talk, but it's not impossible to imagine a time when physical home consoles are a thing of the past. 10 million PS4's sold through to consumers in under a year may have something to say about that, though.
Sony was fairly quick to come out and say that EA Access doesn't provide the best value to their PlayStation consumers, and they're right. With services like PS Plus and more pointedly, PS Now, EA Access would pretty much be a competing service to PlayStation Now. It's perfectly logical and expected that Sony would not be interested in a subscription service like EA Access when they themselves are in a way, crafting a service of their own. Ryan talked about EA Access and how they look at it from a PlayStation standpoint.
"We don’t have anything against EA Access, we just need to position it… these sort of offerings they’ve got to fit into the framework of everything we do and everything that we offer. And we’re just not quite comfortable with how it sits within the whole ecosystem of our digital offering, including PlayStation Plus," Ryan said.
You absolutely cannot blame Ryan and Sony for feeling this way, it makes all the sense in the world. It'll be interesting to see how the PlayStation Now service will evolve over time and the changes Sony makes to it.