Sony's president of worldwide studios, Shuhei Yoshida, has clarified debate on the PS4's potential to take advantage of cloud-processing, stressing that, whilst it's entirely possible, it is by no means mandatory.
Taking another well-aimed blow at what Sony perceives to be a weakness of Microsoft's Xbox One, Yoshida responded to rhetoric from Redmond which claims that utilising non-local computation will enable the One to evolve into a more powerful machine by pushing more and more processing to the cloud as the platform ages.
Speaking to Polygon, Yoshida pointed out that the PS4 will also have this capacity, but, because of the negative perceptions of alwyas online, as well as issues of bandwidth and latency, it would be entirely up to developers to decide whether to use it.
"Linking, matchmaking...there are already many computations being done on the cloud side," he told Polygon's Michael McWhertor. "We don't believe every title needs that," he said. "But if your title needs [an] online connection to provide some online features: Go for it."
In fact, Sony had made online and cloud functionality a fairly major focus of the initial PS4 reveal, espousing the use of Gaikai technology to download demos and other content in the background whilst players were otherwise engaged. With the tide of public opinion currently very much turning against the notion of features which require an internet connection, Sony seem to be keen to shift focus back to the box itself. Expect that focus to shift back somewhat once consumer anger subsides.