metaOS: Is Sony ahead of the curve?

Discussion in 'Everything Else' started by stolenxnametag, Jun 14, 2014.

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Do you like the idea of a metaOS operating your online services?

  1. Yes

    2 vote(s)
    50.0%
  2. No

    2 vote(s)
    50.0%
  3. Well, I mixed feelings about it (explain).

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. I didn't read about this and I don't give a shit.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. stolenxnametag

    stolenxnametag PSLS Level: Kraken PSLS Ambassador

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    Fragmentation or No?
    If you're like a lot of modern electronics consumers, you likely fall into one of two categories: you either (a) have a unified bunch of tech that can freely communicate with one another because they're coded to do so, or (b) you have multiple connected devices that do not share so much in common with one another. If you're in Group A, then you maybe have a Macbook, an iPhone, and an iPad in your home, or some similar offerings from another single company, such as Microsoft. If you're part of Group B, then you might be interested in what we'll today call a metaOS.

    technalysis1.png
    Projected SCD (smart connected device) share, separated by OS makers via [re/code]
    Think about it this way:
    - You have a homemade gaming rig or cheap Best Buy laptop in your home for whatever purposes they serve. If you're a student, then you save all of your homework on this device. If you're an executive, then you maybe keep a digital portfolio handy. If you're a gamer, then this is probably stationary and has an enormous library of console-quality (or better) games, attached to their respective services (Steam, Origin, etc.). This device probably runs on either Windows, OS X, or one of the many Linux distributions.
    - You have a smartphone that runs on a different OS platform than the above device. Maybe it has Android, iOS, or Windows on it.
    - You have a tablet that might or might not have anything in common with the previous two devices, because, "Why buy an iPad if I already have a phone with iOS," or, "Why buy a Galaxy Tab if I have an Android phone with a 5- or 6-inch screen?"
    - These devices can all browse the Internet, and they can all access your favorite social networks (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) and streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, YouTube).

    technalysis2.png
    Market fragmentation to best illustrate Group B, via [re/code]
    What's wrong with Group B? The problem is that while they all can share some basic functions with one another, they all store your media (music, videos, pictures) separately, not all of them can play your favorite games, and not all of them can access the same content through their OS-maker's app stores.

    Enter the metaOS.

    According to this article at re/code, Microsoft is working on creating something to make this possible. What I'm talking about is a service-based infrastructure that allows you access all of your stuff, regardless of the platform you're using as your local OS. Basically, you create a profile through your metaOS that hosts all of your info in a cloud database somewhere in Utah or California, and you can seemlessly access your stuff from anywhere that has Internet connectivity. Oh, and you're worried about those instances when you don't have Internet? That's okay. Your local device still has everything safe and sound on your pc / smartphone / tablet, and your privacy settings don't mandate connectivity at random intervals.

    What does this have to do with Sony?
    In case you haven't noticed, Sony already has a metaOS of sorts, Sony Entertainment Network (SEN). With my Android smartphone, Android tablet, Windows PC, PS Vita, PS4, and PS3, I can access a lot of the same stuff.

    Using a list, I'll illustrate compatibility:
    - I can't play the same games on all of those devices, but all of them have access to my PlayMemories account that hosts pictures that I uploaded from different devices.
    - 3 of those devices can play PS Mobile games that are all available to download.
    - All of the gaming devices also have access to my saved game data that I'm paying for through PS Plus.
    - Oh, and all of the playlists I've created on Music Unlimited? They're all accessible through each of those devices, and my smartphone, tablet, and Vita can download the tracks from said playlists and play them offline.
    - The movies that I have purchased through the PSN are all available on all of those devices except for my PC.
    - All of those devices are linked to Facebook and Twitter in some kind of way as well, which means that I can share information with others about my interactions with these services available via SEN.

    musicunlimited.png
    Music Unlimited's Premium service has a lot of cross compatibility via [Sony Entertainment Network]
    While SEN isn't a full-on metaOS, it definitely has the capability to become one as service-based gaming through PS Now emerges in the future. If this sort of tech is widely adopted by gamers, then who's to say that Sony won't be pioneers in unifying other facets of our lives into meta-apps available through some online portal? I mean - for most of the content, we can already store things locally, but not being able to use PS Now when you're away from connectivity is just like not being able to use Netflix and Hulu. However, device-specific services can be stored locally to offset this, like downloaded games, music, or videos.

    Finding the Balance
    Obviously SEN isn't a perfect system because of compatibility issues. Then again, Google is already doing this type of thing with its services. I can share open tabs from Chrome between my 3 non-gaming devices already, and my Google account also shares all of my data between Gmail, Google+, YouTube, and Google Drive. I don't need all of my emails, social interactions, recently watched videos, or work-centric documents saved locally, but I can still save my homework to my laptop, away from Google's services. If Microsoft is going to help move others into a direction to where this can happen on a tighter scale, then we're probably going to see much more cost-efficient (and considerably more Internet speed-focused) devices in the future.

    I kind of like this idea, so I was wondering what others thought. Any ideas?
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2014
  2. Chandler Wood

    Chandler Wood Get Off My Wood Staff Member

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    If they can do it right, I could get behind this. I hate feeling locked to a certain platform and would love to be able to not worry about platform, OS, or device when planning future purchases.
     
  3. stolenxnametag

    stolenxnametag PSLS Level: Kraken PSLS Ambassador

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    This seems to be the primary benefit that Steam has over PSN and XBL for gaming. If Microsoft is able to perfect this, then I have a feeling that the Xbox platform is going to become tremendously more powerful. Not only that, but this could make mobile computing a lot more interesting.

    tl;dr Don't screw this up, MS! I'm on your team for this endeavor!
     
  4. Jacky

    Jacky PSLS Level: Silver

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    I suppose it would also depend on how sony would push the idea to consumers.
     
  5. bigwilybobbily

    bigwilybobbily PSLS Level: Newbie

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    Nope, nope, nope nope nope. do not want. IDK about you guys, but my internet sucks and is horrendously unreliable, until that changes I want as little as possible to do with the cloud.

    *begin off-topic*As far as gaming is concerned, if everyone started developing for PC, then everyone would benefit(games would be cheaper/no need to buy an entire console for 1 exclusive/etc.). Everyone would be able to access everything in the same way, PSN/Xlive would be direct competitors to steam, we would still have trophies/achievements, and I wouldn't need to rely on my internet for squat(after dling the game of course). *end off-topic*

    Also, if everything is mirrored locally and online, how is it different from a big dropbox? That being the case, I'd be expected to pay an ongoing fee just to use my own pc's operating system in the hopes that I need to access my 60fps porn archive desktop files on my laptop? I can't imagine they will give away all that space for free. Once again, NOPE!

    *pre-emptive apology* Sorry If I missed the point in some way...
     
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  6. stolenxnametag

    stolenxnametag PSLS Level: Kraken PSLS Ambassador

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    On this week's Bad Gamers podcast, @Chandler Wood and @Dan Oravasaari talked about seamless transitioning of crossplay saves between PS4/PS3/Vita. A metaOS would be the way to make that happen correctly, but it would have to be implemented in the appropriate way. Of course, the big problem is that you have to be connected to the Internet for the sync to happen.

    While this idea goes against the grain of modern economic theory, I have a wild hypothesis: if a large company like Microsoft could create a metaOS with proper functionality and combined online / offline storage and synchronization, I think it would forge new ambitions in technological innovations for data services. Since social networking and gaming are so popular online, an unprecedented amount of more people have broadband access today than they did 10 years ago, and smartphones are incredibly common as well. These things were products and services targeted toward more affluent people 10 years ago, but now people who have less discretionary income are able to realize, "Hey, we can buy that stuff too!" Because of this, faster and better-reaching cellular towers are being built and more broadband access through cable and fiber optics are being created. Who's to say that well-functioning and critically appraised online syncing operating systems wouldn't cause a similar drive to add growth in data service expansion? If that were to become the norm, then your Internet speed would be forced to increase just because your ISP would have to improve it to remain competitive.
     
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  7. bigwilybobbily

    bigwilybobbily PSLS Level: Newbie

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    Well hold on there, several games already support seamless crossplay saves even if @Dan Oravasaari and @Chandler Wood were unaware of them. Two examples are luftrausers and FEZ. Those games allow you to save directly to the cloud and it syncs automatically with no additional input required from the user. Basically, if the developers choose to, they can already sync saves automatically across PlayStation platforms. I've personally tested both of these, it's particularly noticeable with FEZ where I can start playing on my PS4, quit the game, start it on my vita and I will be in the exact same spot(Internet required of course).

    As far as forcing my ISP to be competitive, I sincerely doubt that. I have very little choice with ISP's. They haven't improved their service for quite some time, presumably because they have no incentive to. I hope you're right on that one.
     
  8. stolenxnametag

    stolenxnametag PSLS Level: Kraken PSLS Ambassador

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    Doki Doki Universe is a great example, too. However, FFX and Rainbow Moon on PS3 / Vita both require user input for crossplay saves, and forgetting to upload from your PS3 and download on your Vita can result in you getting to your destination without being able to continue on your progress. Thus, luftrausers, FEZ, and Doki Doki Universe are examples of the PSN metaOS working magic, and FFX and Rainbow Moon are examples of, "Oops. Shit didn't get implemented very well." haha
     
  9. Chandler Wood

    Chandler Wood Get Off My Wood Staff Member

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    Also, if you save while offline, then go online, do those games that do it automatically update to the cloud? Like Google Drive does? If I am playing my Vita offline at work, I want to be able to get home, have my Vita in standby, have it recognize that there is an updated save, automatically sync it to the cloud, so that I can turn on my PS4 and keep playing, without having to boot up the Vita first.
     
  10. stolenxnametag

    stolenxnametag PSLS Level: Kraken PSLS Ambassador

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    I think this calls for a test! I've never consciously saved Doki Doki Universe. My Vita save just magically appeared on my PS3 (or PS4? I can't remember). This was also the case for Motorstorm RC with my Vita and PS3.
     

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