Recent rumors have suggested that Sony could release the PlayStation 5 as early as next year. While there is just speculation (and no concrete information) to go on at the moment, a new job listing from the PlayStation platform holder confirms that Sony is at least ramping up progress on its next-generation console.
On industry recruiting website, Greenhouse.io, Sony had posted a job listing for the role of senior network operations engineer on its Alison Viejo, CA. team. The job will involve developing the Sony network in order to support the "robust, low latency" game streaming offered by Sony's PlayStation Now streaming service.
But that's not all; the job listing also stated that the hired candidate will contribute to the "automation first operations team" in order to "increase our efficiencies and ability to scale rapidly as we build the next generation PlayStation backbone." After the job listing was picked up on by fans, it was later edited to remove the mention of the next generation PlayStation console.
The job listing seems to suggest that game streaming is going to be a major feature of the PlayStation 5. While PlayStation Now has already been relatively successful, Sony may be looking to ramp that up with its next console. Recent comments from industry analyst Mat Piscatella also suggested that the PS5 would have backward compatibility and that it would somehow work with game streaming. This could be what the hired network operations engineer will be working on.
Moreover, a recent survey sent out to players by Sony quizzed fans about their usage of PS4 features. This survey included questions on game streaming as well as their online and offline gameplay. Sony stated that the survey was being done in order to help it plan for the "future" of PlayStation. It could be that the PlayStation platform holder will use the data to figure out what software and features fans would want from an improved PlayStation Network infrastructure.
For the millions of PS4 users, many of whom enjoy online multiplayer gameplay through PlayStation Plus, the suggestion that Sony is focusing on streaming and PSN will be good news. In 2018, the PlayStation Network did have a few rough periods, with online gameplay and social features going down temporarily in October. These outages are less common than they once were, but if the PlayStation 5 is going to focus more on online gameplay and game streaming, the infrastructure behind that will need to be solid.