PlayStation planning major cloud gaming push with rumoured new portable

Following rumours of a new cloud-based handheld, it’s been discovered that Sony is in the midst of a hiring spree for cloud gaming roles.

Whereas Microsoft has been very enthusiastic about the potential of cloud gaming, setting up a division to create cloud native games just last year, Sony’s never seemed that interested in the concept.

Its PlayStation Now cloud streaming service has never been pushed as much as PlayStation Plus and is nowadays gated behind PS Plus’s most expensive tier.

Yet it seems Sony’s strategy may be pivoting. Aside from rumours of a new cloud-based handheld, it’s been discovered that the company is hiring for multiple roles involving cloud gaming.

Talk of a new handheld popped up only recently, with some fans hoping it could be a successor to the PlayStation Vita.

However, insiders Tom Henderson and Jeff Grubb claim that it’s designed specifically for remote play, a feature that lets you stream PlayStation 5 games to another device like a PC or tablet.

Such hardware is looking ever more likely thanks to multiple Sony job listings that unambiguously mention cloud gaming as the focus.

One listing for a director of product management for cloud gaming reads: ‘Are you a ground-breaking innovator in the cloud streaming product space? Then you likely agree that cloud gaming is on its way to becoming a major part of the gaming industry.’

Curiously, said listing appears to have been removed, although not before it was spotted by The Verge, which reports that Sony is hiring for 22 cloud related roles.

There are several openings for a staff software engineer, which all read, ‘As a member of Sony Interactive Entertainment’s Future Technology Group (FTG), you’ll have the opportunity to lead the charge in the cloud gaming revolution.

‘FTG is at the forefront of putting console-quality video games on any device, and we’re looking for a staff software engineer to join our cloud engineering team.’

The Verge also reports that Sony has been regularly filing patents related to cloud gaming, several of which have PlayStation console architect Mark Cerny’s name attached to them.

Such examples include a method of sharing a single graphics processing unit (GPU) across multiple applications and a way of pausing and resuming games in the cloud.

Patents don’t always get used, but these further demonstrate that Sony is serious about pursuing cloud technology for its gaming business.

Given Sony’s still in the process of hiring, that implies their plans are fairly distant. And yet the rumours for the portable suggested it would be out relatively soon, although that might be why it’s initially focusing on remote play with the PlayStation 5.

Hopefully Sony and Microsoft have been paying attention to what became of Google Stadia. Google very much championed its service as bringing cloud gaming into the mainstream, only for it to die just three years after its launch.

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