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By Usama Jawad96
Sony still in talks with Microsoft, but cloud strategy to be 'only on PlayStation'
by Usama Jawad
The cloud is the next frontier which tech giants such as Microsoft, Sony, Google, and Amazon seem to be interested in conquering. Microsoft and Sony even signed a strategic partnership back in 2019, which included the use of Azure, AI solutions, and more for content streaming. The deal caught many by surprise given the firms' rivalry in gaming but nothing tangible has emerged so far.
Now, PlayStation boss Jim Ryan has confirmed that Sony is still collaborating with Microsoft, but its cloud strategy will be solely about the PlayStation.
In an interview with Nikkei (paywall, Japanese, translated by VGC), Jim Ryan went on to say that:
The statement is vague enough to be open to anyone's interpretation. To us, it seems like Sony will use Microsoft's Azure-based infrastructure for technical tooling, but at the end of the day, the solution will solely be for the benefit of PlayStation gamers rather than a cross-platform audience. Of course, plans like these can change anytime.
When asked about the future of cloud gaming and its potential to disrupt console release cycles, Ryan emphasized that "history shows that sales peak in the third or fourth year. At the end of the cycle, the cloud may play some role." When it came to the question about whether the PlayStation 5 will be the last console from Sony, Ryan understandably did not give a straightforward answer and stated that the company is currently evaluating how gamers are enjoying the console, and only after its own investigation is complete will it be able to "think about the future of PlayStation".
Importantly, Sony did boost its PlayStation Now infrastructure recently with support for 1080p gaming, so the firm is definitely interested in the potential of the cloud. That said, only time will tell whether it is ready to go all-in on its cloud strategy, whatever that may end up being.
By Usama Jawad96
PlayStation Now is finally getting support for 1080p streaming
by Usama Jawad
There are two core services which make up the online PlayStation experience: namely PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now. You can find out more details about each of them in our dedicated article here, but in a nutshell, the former allows you to play multiplayer games online and also throws in a selection of games each month that you can play for free. Meanwhile, the latter allows you to stream a vast library of games to your PS4, PS5, or PC.
Up until now, streaming on PlayStation Now has been limited to 720p resolution, which doesn't impact old PlayStation games as much, but significantly pulls back the visual fidelity in newer titles. This is set to change soon as Sony has announced that it will start supporting 1080p streaming for capable games this week:
It is interesting to note that Sony first promised to roll out support for 1080p streaming back in 2019, and it took two years for the plan to come to fruition.
All in all, this is good news for gamers because it offers them titles in higher resolution, bringing them in line with the visual fidelity offered by games being played in the traditional method. On the other side of the fence, cloud gaming via Xbox Game Pass is currently limited to 720p too, but we do know that Microsoft is testing out support for 1080p streaming internally as well.
Sony reverses PlayStation 3 and Vita store closure decision
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
In April, Sony revealed that its PlayStation 3, Portable, and Vita digital stores will soon become inaccessible, as the PlayStation Store will shut down across these platforms later this summer. However, after much criticism from the community, the decision has now been rolled back, though not entirely.
In a new announcement, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO and president Jim Ryan plainly said the company had originally "made the wrong decision". The PlayStation Store will continue to be available across the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita devices, however, the PlayStation Portable's digital store will close as previously planned on July 2.
Regarding how the company came to the original decision, Ryan said the following:
Sony's quick turnaround after vigorous community feedback is a similar move to what Microsoft pulled in January, where the company had to backpedal heavily on the Xbox Live Gold price doubling measures after facing a tremendous community backlash of its own.
"We see now that many of you are incredibly passionate about being able to continue purchasing classic games on PS3 and PS Vita for the foreseeable future, so I’m glad we were able to find a solution to continue operations," Ryan added regarding what had changed Sony's mind.
By Namerah S
Sony Xperia 1 III and Xperia 5 III price revealed on Sony Russia website
by Namerah Saud Fatmi
In a launch event that was live-streamed on YouTube yesterday, Sony announced its latest trio of smartphones under the Xperia branding. The Japanese conglomerate unveiled the Xperia 1 III, Xperia 5 III, and Xperia 10 III.
Almost all the key specifications of the three smartphones were unveiled yesterday. However, Sony chose not to share the exact launch dates and prices of the Xperia devices. Thanks to two new listings on Sony Russia's online store, spotted by Android Authority, the Russian prices are now known. These are likely to be similar in other parts of the world such as the U.S., giving people approximate figures for the phones once they launch in those places as well.
As seen on Sony.ru, the Xperia 1 III boasting a 6.5-inch 4K HDR OLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, 21:9 aspect ratio and Gorilla Glass Victus is priced at 99,990 RUB ($1,313.31). The device also features the Snapdragon 888 5G chipset, a 4500mAh with 30W fast-charging, and a quad-camera setup that includes a variable telephoto lens paired with a dual PD sensor.
Meanwhile, the Xperia 5 III is selling for RUB 84,990 ($1,116.29) on the Russian site. The second Xperia device features a 6.1-inch 21:9 HDR 120Hz OLED display with a 21:9 aspect ratio and Gorilla Glass 6. It uses the same SoC as the Xperia 1 III, the SD 888 5G chip, and also has a 4500mAh with 30W fast-charging. Both smartphones have IPX5 and IP X8 waterproof certifications paired with IP6X dustproof ratings.
Pre-orders for the two smartphones are currently open on Sony Russia's online store. As for the launch date, Sony Russia has teased launch promotion on its official Instagram handle, revealing Russian release dates and pre-order bonuses for the region.
As seen in the promo banners shared by Sony Russia on the social media platform, the Xperia 1 III is set to arrive on July 20 while the Xperia 5 III is scheduled to launch on August 3. Both Xperia products will ship with a pair of Sony WF-XB700 true wireless earbuds as a pre-purchase bonus.
Days Gone launches May 18 on PC, platform specific enhancements detailed
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
Sony and Bend Studio announced in February that Days Gone will soon leave its PlayStation exclusivity behind, with the action survival horror game getting a PC release this year. Now, that release has a launch date attached to it. Days Gone is launching across Steam and the Epic Games Store on May 18.
As with most other console ports nowadays, the PC version is landing with additional enhancements over the original 2019 PlayStation 4 version. Bend Studio says the new version has "increased level of detail, foliage draw distances, and graphical customization" options for much better visuals.
Support for unlocked frame rates, ultra-wide monitors, keyboard and mouse, as well as first- and third-party controllers were confirmed as well. Moreover, there will be a Super Resolution Photo Mode included here, an upgraded version of what is available in the original.
Days Gone PC pre-orders are now available across Steam and Epic Games Store for $49.99. Following this launch, and with Horizon Zero Dawn now behind it, Sony is planning to bring even more PlayStation exclusives to PC, though no specific games have been announced just yet.