Sony Interactive Entertainment's Jim Ryan believes the cloud gaming market may become vital sooner rather than later. During a video deposition presented in the Microsoft v. FTC trial, he expressed the belief that the cloud market will be a "meaningful component" of how players access games sometime between 2025 and 2035.
Ryan's words are an interesting contrast to what Xbox's Matt Booty has said about the technology. Last week, he called the cloud market very, very small, and basically said the company was investing in it just to be current.
Of course his words are betrayed by the various cloud gaming partnerships with third-party companies such as Nware. Not to mention, Xbox has made it an extension of its Game Pass service for multiple devices.
Cloud gaming services have been a friction point for regulators in regards to Microsoft and its Activision Blizzard merger. Over in the UK, the CMA blocked that deal over concerns about the control over the cloud market that Microsoft could potentially have.
PlayStation has taken smaller steps towards embracing cloud services, as PlayStation Plus' Premium members will (eventually) be able to stream cloud games via the PlayStation 5.
Ryan opens up on Microsoft's business moves
During that same deposition, Ryan was questioned about comments he made to PlayStation investors last year following the announcement of Microsoft's bid for Activision Blizzard.
At the time, Ryan reportedly told those investors that Xbox Game Pass was disliked by third-party publishers for being "value destructive." When pressed by Microsoft's lawyer, he affirmed this belief, calling it a "very commonly held view over many years by the publishers."
Likewise, he claimed the service was ultimately unprofitable for Microsoft, saying the company "appears to be losing a lot of money on it."
Earlier in the year, the CMA investigated the Microsoft-Activision merger and found that a game's arrival on Game Pass hurts its sales for a full year post-addition. That information would be something Microsoft and affected publishers would have, and would likely factor into what games join Sony's service, PlayStation Plus.
Later in the deposition, Ryan was asked about his thoughts on Starfield and Redfall being turned to Xbox exclusive. Before Microsoft bought Bethesda, the former was being looked at as an exclusive for the PlayStation 5 (to go along with Ghostwire Tokyo and Deathloop), and the latter had a PS5 version that was latter scrapped.
Even though he confessed to not being a fan of either being poached for Xbox, Ryan acknowledged that he "doesn't view it as anti-competitive."