Sony and Microsoft have always been at odds in the long-running "Console War." However, when it comes to improving content accessibility through the use of subscription services or cloud gaming technology, it's safe to say that Microsoft is the current champion with its Game Pass and Cloud Gaming offerings in the Xbox ecosystem. The good news, for PlayStation fans, is that Sony is slowly catching up with Microsoft in this area.
A clear indicator of this is the complete revamp of the PlayStation Plus subscription services that took place a month ago. While not as generous as Xbox Game Pass in terms of providing day-one access to new titles, several signs have shown that PS Plus is going in that direction, such as the release of Stray for the PS Plus Extra and Premium tiers, for example. Another indicator is how Sony is working towards offering cloud gaming access on non-PlayStation hardware.
Based on a recent patent filing, Sony could be developing a cloud gaming experience that can be enjoyed using nothing but a web browser. Titled "Browser-Based Cloud Gaming," the patent application explains that the system is designed as a more accessible version of the PlayStation Now cloud gaming service, which only works on a proprietary hardware device. With the new patented system, the service can allow users to access it via a whole host of devices, so long as they can run a web browser.
For the uninitiated, cloud gaming refers to the process of streaming a video game through an internet connection via a remote server. There are many benefits to this method of gaming, with the most obvious being that users don't need to download a game title in full. Instead, they are able to instantly access the game, which is actually being run on a dedicated machine hosted in a data center somewhere. Of course, no method is perfect enough, as cloud gaming relies a lot on a fast and stable internet connection in order to provide a satisfactory experience.
This internet requirement might prove to be a challenge, especially for users in some developing countries. However, cloud gaming is still seen as the way of the future as it doesn't limit what devices that players use to play games on. With Sony's browser-based cloud gaming system, they could be playing God of War or other PlayStation exclusives on their phones while they are out and about. At home, they could be playing games directly on their TV with no console in sight, just like what Microsoft is already offering to Xbox Game Pass subscribers.
As of now, there's still no information as to when Sony might implement its new browser-based cloud gaming system. With patent applications like this, there's never a guarantee that it will be brought to fruition. One thing for sure, though, is that this signifies Sony's willingness to keep up with the ongoing trend, and that is a big win for all PlayStation fans out there.
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