Sony was bringing PlayStation Now to mobile, confidential Apple document says

In 2017, long before Apple declared that cloud gaming could only exist on iPhone if it crossed gigantic obstacles, Sony was preparing to launch its PlayStation Now cloud gaming service on mobile phones, a confidential document reveals. .

It could have been the biggest expansion of Sony’s PS Now gaming service in years. The service originally streamed PS2 and PS3 games to smart TVs, Blu-ray players, and PS3 and PS Vita, but cut all of those original platforms in late 2017 (coincidence?) Though it recently added 1080p streaming and a PS5 client, it has never been offered on Android, iOS or Mac.

But according to a confidential document unearthed by The edge from Epic vs. Apple trial, Apple had inside knowledge of Sony’s upcoming launch. Apple had heard of a “[not-yet-announced] Mobile extension of an existing streaming service for PlayStation users, streaming access to over 450 PS3 games to start with, with PS4 games to follow.

A handful of PS4 games launched on PlayStation Now in July 2017, but the presentation notes that the service is “only PS3 games at the moment”, suggesting that Apple has been told of more than just switching to mobile.

PlayStation Now is listed as a ‘mobile’ subscription, in a document entitled “HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL – ONLY IN THE EYES OF THE LAWYER”.
Apple; Screenshot by Sean Hollister / The Verge

Why did Apple bring this up? It’s right in the middle of an explanation of Apple’s plan to launch its own game subscription service, Apple Arcade, which won’t be announced until two years later. At the time, Apple was preparing to target the top 30 video game studios and ask for up to “a few hundred titles” to add.

Apple describes its “games subscription service”, to be launched as Apple Arcade
Apple; Screenshot by Sean Hollister / The Verge

In 2019, I wrote that Sony had missed the opportunity to be a leader in cloud gaming, despite being the first large company to recognize its potential, by purchasing both of the first startups (Gaikai and OnLive) who proved the idea. But despite Apple’s resistance to cloud gaming on the App Store – read my new story on what happened with Microsoft – there is an intriguing possibility that Sony is not giving up just yet. Sony would now have a Spartacus project that would bundle its cloud gaming service with a PlayStation Plus subscription, and it would also bring original PS1 games and “eventually” PS5 games to the service.

However, Jason Schreier’s scoop for Bloomberg does not mention cell phones at all.

While it’s possible that Sony read the piece and decided it wasn’t worth fighting Apple like Steam, Shadow, Microsoft, and Google did for mobile access, it could also be that Sony has decided to focus on selling more consoles instead – if you have a PS4 or PS5 in your house, the company’s PS Remote Play app already lets you stream it (maybe even on cellular) on a wide variety of Apple devices, as well as Android. You can even stream a new PS5 to your old PS4, giving it a new lease of life.

Sony would not comment The edge.

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