Sony and Discord have revealed a collaboration that will see the latter’s influential gaming-focused chat app integrated with PlayStation’s social features. Sony appears to have negotiated a better deal than Microsoft, taking an unknown minority stake in the company ahead of a reported IPO. It’s a major leap, and one that comes as a surprise considering how recently takeover negotiations were in the air — Sony appears to have offered a better deal than Microsoft, taking an undisclosed minority stake in the company ahead of a rumored IPO.
The partnership’s exact existence is not mentioned in the brief announcement message.
The nearest we get to knowing what will happen is that the two parties expect to “bring the Discord and PlayStation interactions closer together on console and smartphone beginning early next year,” according to the press release.
In the very least, it’s fun to envision.
Discord has previously collaborated with gaming platforms, but the Microsoft partnership was not especially broad. This is almost definitely more than a case of “friends will see what you’re playing on PS5” and more of a case of “this is an alternative chat infrastructure for those using a Sony device.” It’ll most likely be a deep, system-wide yet obviously Discord-branded choice, like “Start a voice chat with Discord” while inviting a friend to your game or joining theirs.
The early 2022 release date suggests that this is a significant product update, likely coinciding with a major platform update on Sony’s long-term PS5 roadmap.
Although the latest PlayStation is better than the old one in terms of voice chat, the old one wasn’t all that nice to begin with, and Discord is not only easier to use but also something that millions of players use on a regular basis. And, if a game isn’t an exclusive these days, being robustly cross-platform is the next best choice — so PS5 players being able to easily enter and talk with PC players would alleviate a pressure point there.
Of course, Microsoft has its own benefits as the owner of both the Xbox and Windows worlds, but it has consistently squandered this chance, and the purchase of Discord may have been the missing link.
That bird has flown, of course, and while Microsoft’s acquisition talks reportedly valued Discord at some $10 billion, it seems the growing chat app decided it would rather fly free with an IPO and attempt to become the dominant voice platform everywhere rather than become a prized pet.
Sony has done its part, financially speaking, by taking part in Discord’s recent $100 million H round. The amount they contributed is unknown, but perforce it can’t be more than a small minority stake, given how much the company has taken on and its total valuation.
The scoop: Two weeks after Microsoft’s reported acquisition of Discord fell through, Sony has stepped in with an investment and collaboration with the chat platform that would incorporate Discord inside its PlayStation 5 gaming system.
How we got here: Discord was founded in 2015 as a gaming chat application. Six years and a pandemic later, it has 140 million monthly active users who may interact with one another through voice, text, or video in invitation-only “servers” on a variety of non-gaming topics ranging from banking to music. However, its primary focus continues to be the gaming community, which has welcomed its high-quality audio chat, varied community, and combination of free and paid services.
Microsoft desired this community after its own gaming-focused streaming network, Mixer, failed to garner momentum enough to compete with Amazon-owned Twitch livestreaming platform. Discord would have been an ideal addition to its Xbox assets, but Discord chose to take its chances on a road that would almost certainly lead to an IPO.
Sony saw an opportunity to integrate a platform with a large user base that overlapped with its core users and acted fast. The extent of the anticipated PS5 integration is not yet known, but Discord will almost certainly be extensively integrated into the experience. Given the fast growth of social audio, it’s also probably not a terrible investment.
The broader picture: Although the epidemic has helped Discord’s recent development, it already had a huge user base of 70 million in December 2019. Other standalone social audio applications, including Clubhouse, do not have the same track record. As major companies join the video and audio community sector, such as Twitter’s Spaces, Facebook’s yet-unnamed Clubhouse clone, and Spotify’s acquisition of Locker Room, that devoted following will be useful.
Social audio and video standalones that succeeded during the epidemic will need to innovate more, not least via new collaborations or offerings. The PS5 integration in Discord is a fantastic example, as is Zoom’s new SDK, which allows other applications to integrate Zoom as a video chat plug-in.
As the competition for audience increases, expect audio and video chat to become increasingly prominent in new settings.
More info at this Video:
How to Connect Discord On PS4 For Chat
With a broad selection of PS4 exclusives and PS4 independent titles available, Discord is the ideal method to keep in contact with other PS4 gamers across a variety of games. Likewise, when the PS5 arrives somewhere in 2020, we also fully anticipate Sony’s next-generation PlayStation to enable Discord for PS5 games, too.
Wondering if Discord works on PS4? Well, many gamers use it on PC or phone, however there is one method to utilize Discord on PS4 and other consoles. There’s a few things you need to take in order to set up Discord on your console.
Discord PS4 Set-Up
- Use a headset that supports USB connectivity and has an optical cord. We utilize a pair of V-Moda Crossfades cans, but we also have the Astro TXD mixamp. You need this or anything similar that switches audio between console and PC.
- Connect the optical connection between your mixamp and PS4.
- Go to Settings > Sound and Screen > Audio Output Settings
- Change the Primary Output Port to Digital Out (Optical) (Optical)
- Plug the USB into your base station and the other end into the PC
- Make sure you base station is in PC mode
- Boot up Discord on your PC and adjust the input device under voice settings to your mixamp
- Use a 3.5mm audio jack and connect it from your PC speaker output to the mixamp
- Go return to your voice options in Discord and adjust the output device to your PC speakers.
- Enjoy Discord on PS4! Happy talking!