The PS5 is arguably the best console of this generation, with a vast gaming library encompassing PS5 and PS4 titles — and even older legacy games if you’re subscribed to PlayStation Plus Premium. Sony’s dominance in the console space is nearly absolute, which is great for the company. However, if the Tokyo-based tech giant wants to expand the PlayStation brand, it must move beyond consoles.
Fortunately, this is something that’s already in the works.
In a recent interview with Norges Bank Investment Management, Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida stated that, in the future, PlayStation gaming experiences “will be ubiquitous” and that folks will be able to play “wherever there is computing.” To clarify, the CEO said Sony wants to bring PlayStation games to PCs, mobile devices and the cloud. Some of this is already in place.
Sony has the pieces in place to effectively mimic Xbox’s “Play Anywhere” strategy. Thanks to Xbox Game Pass, first-party Xbox exclusive games are simultaneously released on console, PC and mobile devices. There’s no reason PlayStation gamers can’t enjoy this level of access across different platforms. Given the Sony CEO’s statements, it seems the company will finally catch up with the times. Selling games for consoles is great (and profitable), but having them available on multiple devices would be even better.
The pieces are in place
While Sony mainly promotes PlayStation games for the PS5, you can play many of them on other platforms.
For example, a handful of first-party PlayStation titles are currently available on PC, including Marvel’s Spider-Man, Horizon Zero Dawn, God of War, The Last of Us Part 1, and several others. The aforementioned PlayStation Plus Premium lets you play hundreds of PS3, PS2 and PS1 games via the cloud both on PS5 and on PC.
You can play PlayStation games on a PC, either locally or via the cloud. What about mobile? Right now, the Remote Play streaming app is the easiest way to play your PlayStation games on a mobile device … which can be a dicey proposition if your internet connection isn’t great. That said, Sony has multiple studios working on mobile games (via GameRant).
Even if it’s in a limited fashion, PlayStation games are available to play on PC or via the cloud. Mobile is lagging, but the company claims it’s working on fixing that. What’s needed now, then, is better harmony between console, PC, cloud and mobile.
Microsoft already does this with Xbox Game Pass, where you can begin playing a title on one machine and seamlessly continue on another (and vice versa). Mr. Yoshida’s statement gives me hope that Sony is actively working on a similar approach.
The PS5 is my favorite gaming console, but I actually tend to play the best PC games more often. Unlike with PS5, I’m not shackled to a single platform. I can play PC games on the best gaming PCs and the best gaming laptops. Of course, I also have the option to fire up titles on gaming handhelds like the Asus ROG Ally, Lenovo Legion Go and the Steam Deck OLED. I can also play Xbox games on these platforms via Game Pass on PC (though it takes a bit of work to install Windows on Steam Deck).
PlayStation can and should provide this same experience to its users. Again, the company has the means of delivering seamless cross-platform play. All that’s needed now is unity between the various platforms. I’d also ask for simultaneous releases on all platforms, but given Sony’s statements about how that would devalue its games, I’ll keep my demands reasonable.
Sony’s PlayStation is the undisputed champion of consoles at the moment. But if it wants to retain that status, it needs to get more serious about bringing its games to other platforms. Perhaps we’ll see a true PlayStation answer to Xbox Game Pass one day.
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Tony is a computing writer at Tom’s Guide covering laptops, tablets, Windows, and iOS. During his off-hours, Tony enjoys reading comic books, playing video games, reading speculative fiction novels, and spending too much time on X/Twitter. His non-nerdy pursuits involve attending Hard Rock/Heavy Metal concerts and going to NYC bars with friends and colleagues. His work has appeared in publications such as Laptop Mag, PC Mag, and various independent gaming sites.