) is set to make a major announcement today regarding the
future of the PlayStation business
. According to
The Wall Street Journal
, Sony will unveil the company's next console, which will include
a streaming game service.
concurs with that report.
Earlier this week Sony
that it would reduce the price of the PS Vita to 19,980 yen
(roughly $215) in Japan. This price apparently applies to both
the Wi-Fi and 3G versions of the device. Sony also announced a
that will allow users to purchase old arcade games, such as
) Frogger, for $1.49.
While the event could involve all of these announcements
(particularly a PS Vita price cut in America and other parts of
the world), consumers are expecting Sony to focus on PlayStation
4 and/or its streaming game service.
The two may or may not be mutually exclusive. It is possible
(though unlikely) that users will be able to access the service
without using PlayStation 4. If the service works well enough,
Sony could feasibly apply it to other game platforms, such as PS
Vita and PlayStation 3. Sony could also bring it to the PC and
tablets, but only if it can find a way to do so without stealing
the spotlight from PlayStation 4.
However, there is a good chance that Sony's streaming game
service is still in the development stage. It took Microsoft
) several years just to build Xbox Live for the original Xbox,
and several more to perfect it on Xbox 360. Sony did not even
bother to bring a full online game service to PlayStation 2;
instead, the company waited until PlayStation 3 arrived in
Xbox Live and PSN (Sony's service) do not stream games; they
merely download them from the Internet. Investors may be jumping
the gun if they think it won't take equally as long to perfect
the streaming of full games. Unlike movies, games are not static;
they contain large, interactive files that require two-way
communication. When a consumer presses a button on the
controller, he or she expects an immediate response. If there is
any delay -- even the slightest pause -- consumers will instantly
notice. It will detract from the experience and potentially ruin
the game that they are playing.
Video game streams are entirely dependent on the quality and
reliability of users' Internet connections. If the connection is
too slow or if service is interrupted, the game experience will
Thus, it may be more realistic to assume that Sony will
provide the first teaser for PlayStation 4 and confirm that it
will eventually stream games without demonstrating how the tech
will actually work. Instead, expect the company to introduce a
few tech demos (to show off the graphics engine) and a live
presentation of the new controller.
When will this presentation take place? According to
, Sony's PlayStation event will begin this afternoon at 6:00 p.m.
EST / 3:00 p.m. PST.
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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