In a statement Japanese conglomerate Sony Group Corp said, it is well-positioned to play a leading role in the metaverse.
The metaverse is a term that encapsulates the idea that consumers will spend more time in online simulated environments. While the concept is evolving, it has become a buzzword in briefings and a driver of industry dealmaking.
“The metaverse is at the same time a social space and live network space where games, music, movies and anime intersect,” said Sony’s CEO Kenichiro Yoshida said at a strategy briefing.
Incidentally, Sony’s music, gaming and movie businesses have contributed two-thirds of its operating income in the year ended March, underscoring the group’s transformation from consumer electronics maker into a metaverse-ready entertainment juggernaut under Yoshida and predecessor Kazuo Hirai.
The firm is a gaming gatekeeper with its PlayStation 5 console, however observers point to the risk presented by the growth of cross-platform, cloud-based titles and their potential to reduce the influence of proprietary platforms.
Sony has been adjusting its approach, enabling cross-play in Fortnite in 2018. This week, Epic said in-game “V-Bucks” currency purchased on PlayStation would be usable on other platforms.
“PlayStation has played a huge role in the social gaming revolution that’s nurturing the growth of the metaverse as a new entertainment medium,” Epic’s CEO Tim Sweeney said on Twitter.
The company has also taken steps to expand beyond its single-player titles such as “Spider-Man: Miles Morales”, and earlier this year in January it announced a deal to buy Bungie, the developer of online multi-player shooter “Destiny”.
“We believe it will be a catalyst to enhance our live service game capabilities… (It) represents a major step forward in becoming multi-platform,” said Yoshida.
Sony also licences its content to other platforms, and profits from the value to streamers of content such as popular U.S. sitcom “Seinfeld”. Though the firm owns the Crunchyroll anime streaming service, it has not pushed as aggressively into operating its own video platforms as rivals such as Walt Disney Co with its Disney+ service.
“We are aiming to turn the mobility space into a new entertainment space… We believe mobility will be the next megatrend,” said Yoshida.