Another set of leaks have revealed Microsoft’s discussions about getting Xbox cloud gaming running on a PlayStation 5.
As shared by Tom Warren, Microsoft does not expect Sony to approve that Microsoft publish their Xbox cloud gaming app on their platform.
The conversation involved familiar names with the public, such as Phil Spencer, Sarah Bond, and Matt Booty. It also included people who we assume would be more connected with the technical teams in the company, including Tim Stu, Kareem Choudhry, and Haiyan Zhang.
Tim started the conversation with Kareem, asking if it could be possible to play Xbox cloud games using the web browser on the PlayStation 5. While we know this works on PCs via web browsers, including Windows, Linux, MacOS, and even iOS, PlayStation in particular hasn’t come up yet.
Kareem explained that Sony would have to support the necessary browser requirements to make streaming on PlayStation 5 possible. Sony may not even intend to help Microsoft here to make it possible. They could, for example, get PlayStation Now to work on the PlayStation 5 browser, and that could also make it possible to make Xbox Cloud Gaming playable.
There is a dedicated PlayStation Now app for PlayStation 5, as well as PlayStation 4, so one may rightly ask; why would Sony have to make PlayStation Now run on the PlayStation 5 browser? But it could function as a backup in the situations when the PlayStation Now app cannot be used, such as a security breach.
Now, Matt has explained that end users can’t just open the PlayStation 5 web browser. We know there is web browser functionality in the console, but you can’t just open a web browser app in the platform.
You can open links when you open messages in your PlayStation 5, but the browser windows that open up from those links have limited functionality. Kareem has chimed in that hackers have found ways to access the web browser. However, in an official capacity, there is no roadmap for Sony to make the browser available to developers. The conversation ended with Phil talking about getting their engineers to work on it.
So, one may even wonder, why is Microsoft even asking about this? But Microsoft has good reason to investigate these things. As we reported all the way back last year, the EU’s Digital Markets Act is set to force changes on everyone.
We have already seen Apple forced to switch to USB-C, abandoning the Lighting cable standard. Another chance will allow third party stores to open on Android and Apple devices. While the rules for those have yet to be fully decided, the EU may later decide that video game consoles will also be required to follow this rule.
So Microsoft’s big gamble to bring cloud gaming to Apple and Android, may also come to PlayStation and Nintendo’s platforms too. Epic Games itself enabled playing Fortnite on web browsers after they were blocked and removed from Apple’s stores. This web browser access is a simple hack around such rules, and could also make access simpler than having to make native apps.
Whether this discussion really leads to Xbox games being playable on the PlayStation 5 has yet to be seen. But the fact that this conversation happened to the point that it leaked, should be an indicator that it isn’t entirely unlikely at all.