As reported by Nikkei, Sony appears to be recalibrating its strategy, ushering in an era of increased Research and Development (R&D) allocations specifically tailored for the gaming dominion. The technology giant’s spotlight is now firmly on games that echo the continuous engagement of Fortnite, as well as immersive mixed-reality odysseys. Drawing out its financial roadmap, Sony envisions a whopping $2.13 billion investment for fiscal 2023 in gaming R&D. This ambitious sum constitutes approximately 40 percent of its cumulative R&D chest, marking a two-fold hike from the 2020 figures. The driving force behind this surge? A resolute intent to cement its stature in the realms of cloud gaming and virtual reality, especially with Microsoft’s looming acquisition of gaming titan, Activision Blizzard.
Sony’s illustrious repertoire boasts narrative-heavy titans like “God of War” and “Horizon Zero Dawn.” However, the wind in the gaming world is veering towards live service games. Characterized by a perpetual influx of fresh content ranging from intricate maps to distinctive weapons and avatars, this genre promises a steady revenue stream. Sony’s endeavors in this segment, until now, have been somewhat measured, boasting a singular live service offering in 2021. Yet, the gaming behemoth has set its aspirations sky-high, aiming for a lineup brimming with 12 live service marvels by the dawn of March 2026. Charting its course for the PS5, Sony is poised to earmark 55 percent of its game evolution to live service experiences by March 2024, with a 5 percent jump slated for 2026. The strategic acquisition of Bungie dovetails perfectly with this vision.
Sony’s Counterplay: An Answer to Microsoft and a Nod to the Metaverse
As Sony maps its gaming trajectory, Microsoft’s playbook showcases its pursuit of Activision Blizzard. This potential acquisition could arm Microsoft with a formidable arsenal of live service sensations, such as the iconic “World of Warcraft,” “Call of Duty,” and “Destiny 2.” Further amplifying its position, Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming service stands tall, while Sony is only just dipping its toes into PS5 game streaming.
Sony, however, is not merely playing catch-up. Its ambition scales further, exploring the labyrinthine facets of the metaverse. Intent on amplifying its mark in extended realities—encompassing virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR)—Sony is poised to galvanize its global gaming studios, including the powerhouse Epic Games. The latter’s prowess, especially with the Unreal Engine, revered for its AR applications, seamlessly complements Sony’s pursuits. This visionary approach also resonates with the tech world’s latest gems, such as Apple’s forthcoming Vision Pro headset and Sony’s own recent unveiling of the PSVR2.
As Sony refines its strategic palette, the gaming division emerges as a cornerstone. Surpassing even its imaging, cinematic, and television ventures, gaming is now a pivotal revenue stream for Sony. This shift underscores Sony’s cognizance of the gaming industry’s metamorphosis, indicating a pivot from classic models to robust ownership of game development sanctuaries.