PlayStation boss Jim Ryan doesn’t know if there will still be a traditional console market some years down the line.
Ours is an industry that’s constantly changing, and changing quite rapidly at that. The landscape was very different half a decade ago, and nearly unrecognizable if we go even further back. The question on a lot of minds right now is, with the advent of cloud gaming and online solutions, are the days of traditional consoles numbered?
Sony’s Jim Ryan, head of the PlayStation division, seems undecided on the matter. When asked in an interview with CNET whether he thinks the PS5 is going to be Sony’s last major console, he said he doesn’t know. He brought up how the PS4 was also declared doomed to fail by may before it launched, owing to the growth of the mobile gaming sector, but Sony proved the doomsayers wrong anyway. As such, he feels the PS5 is well-positioned to be similarly successful- but doesn’t know if the market will have room for a traditional console by the time the next generation rolls around.
“I actually don’t know,” said Ryan when asked if the PS5 is Sony’s last traditional console. “I’ve been around a while, and I sat there in 2012 and listened to all sorts of smart people tell me about mobile and that the PlayStation 4 was going to be the most terrible failure ever.”
“The logic was actually hard to fault,” he conceded. “But we believed in that product then, we believe in this next generation product now. Who knows how it might evolve? Hybrid models between console and some sort of cloud model? Possibly that. I just don’t know. And if I did know, I wouldn’t tell you.”
Either way, it’ll be a while yet before we find out. As it stands right now, there definitely seem to be some infrastructure issues with cloud-streaming solutions, as Stadia’s showing– but who knows, maybe technology will advance rapidly, and those infrastructure issues will go away a lot sooner than we think.