The Playstation 5, or the PS5 in gaming parlance, is not on it way just yet. We expect a release date on the wrong side of 2018 and possibly a late-2019 or even a 2020 launch. The way the gaming business is gaining momentum, it will be a very different world three years from now. The reason we can take an educated guess on the specs and features relies on several factors. One of them is the future of storage technology. We detail our analysis below.
The Cloud is virtual and is virtually limitless. The external hard drive is none of those. Both the storage options have its fair share of supporters and detractors. To sum, the basic argument is between on-site versus off-site storage capabilities. The external hard drives are fast and safe from untoward guests who can often be hackers. You control the data. On the other hand, they have a physical limitation of size and storage capacity and these two are directly proportionate. They are also vulnerable to accidental occurrences like theft, fire, and hard drive failure. Cloud solutions, on the other hand, provide continuous, ongoing and very reliable automated service, but are slower than on-site solutions, and more vulnerable to hackers, theoretically at least. Unless one does precocious research, it is very different out make out the right option for a user.
Another factor which the Playstation 5 manufacturer Sony will want to look at is the pricing and strategic gains that can be made if the service is moved to the Cloud. External hard drives have a much more linear pricing structure when compared to cloud services. The formula is simple: the more space a drive has, the more it will cost. A PCWorld study last year revealed that all hard drives by various companies are priced per gigabyte and vary only slightly, although there are exceptions. Cloud pricing is tricky: each vendor charges as it sees fit. When we compare various cloud-service providers like Magic, Box, DropBox, Zetta and Norton, we see that users have to pay more for better file encryption, the creation of multiple restore points, dedicated customer-care service and excellent backup services should anything go wrong. The pricing will thus range wildly, to put it mildly. Surely if the PS5 decides to migrate to the Cloud, it will rethink its strategy if it wants to ensure its viewers are able to access the system. A distinct possibility is if Sony PlayStation 5 is actually Cloud-based and has its own dedicated Cloud-based service, ensuring customer loyalty and ease of use.
The Cloud and the external hard drive debate is old and is not to be settled soon. However, Sony will look to use the 6-7 years of time it will get between the release of the PS4 in 2013 and the expected release of the PS5 to gauge public sentiment and technological progress. If Cloud-based services open up to a faster and more secure future, a move to the Cloud is worthwhile. On the other hand, if any new breakthrough is achieved in external drive technology, and this is most likely, the drive may still house the console’s brains. We believe that the PS5 will indeed be Cloud-based. Whether we are right will be determined in the years to come.