Road to NextGen 2020
PS5 launching with support for 10 or more streaming services
All the usual suspects present and accounted for, Sony approaches media consumption differently
Sure, it was not a difficult one to figure out, but it’s always nice to have a breaking story properly confirmed: The Road to NextGen reported a few weeks back that, based on the most recent photos of the PS5 Media Remote, Sony’s new home entertainment system would likely launch with much better support for Internet content services than what the PS4 offered back in 2013. We now have confirmation from Sony — via a post in the official PlayStation blog — that this is indeed the case and, what’s more, things are looking even better for the PlayStation5 as a streaming device than we originally hoped for.
The new PlayStation will launch, according to Sony, with supporting apps for access to Netflix, Disney Plus and Apple TV Plus for movies, TV series, documentaries and other entertainment content, as well as a Spotify app for music. The PS5 will also support YouTube and Twitch from day one — not just for watching content hosted by those services, but also for broadcasting game sessions there in real-time (technical details about resolution and bitrate were not offered at this point).
Via a clarification statement a few hours after the Playstation blog post went live, Sony confirmed to Ars Technica that Amazon Prime Video, MyCanal, Hulu, Peacock and other services — which were mentioned in the original post as “coming to the PS5”, leading most outlets to believe that they would appear at a later date — will also be available on launch day. What’s still not clear is whether these are apps built for the PS5 or just the already available PS4 apps that happen to work on the new PlayStation too. Hulu and Crunchyroll have confirmed that their content will be available through PS5 apps at launch.
What’s more interesting, though, about Sony’s original PlayStation blog post is this: the company seems to have changed its mind regarding entertainment other than gaming with its home systems. Support for streaming services or local media playback on the PS4 seemed — based on ease of access and quality of apps — almost like an afterthought, the kind of function that was reluctantly added because consumers asked for it, not because Sony actually wanted to implement it with any kind of enthusiasm. On the PS5, though, there is a whole separate area of the user interface dedicated to media accessible right from the main screen.
It’s an important difference and a clearer, more honest — and probably more effective — approach than the one taken on the PS4. Games still take center stage, of course, but it’s good to know that whenever one wants to just watch something or listen to music at a moment’s notice it will be easier than ever on a PS5. What’s more, based on how Sony describes it in its blog post, it seems that most of those streaming services’ apps will either be pre-installed on the PS5 or exist as icon shortcuts to directly be installed whenever needed — a far cry from the digging one had to do in order to find the same kind of apps on the PS4.
All that’s left now is the opportunity to have some hands-on time with the PS5 streaming apps in order to determine whether they are of high enough quality by 2020 standards. Not long now, then. Not long at all!