Sony has invested in Discord and will integrate the popular chat service into PlayStation, the company said in a blog post. The app is most popular among gamers, though it can be used for any type of communication, from chatting with loved ones to group study sessions.
The new announcement is light on specifics, but comes shortly after Discord ended discussions to be acquired by Microsoft for more than $10 billion. It looks like the failed acquisition talks mean Xbox won’t be getting any type of exclusive support now.
The blog post suggests that PlayStation consoles will at least gain support for chatting with friends on Discord. “Our goal is to bring the Discord and PlayStation experiences closer together on console and mobile starting early next year, allowing friends, groups, and communities to hang out, have fun, and communicate more easily while playing games together.”
Cross-platform play — Deep integration with Discord would be a welcome feature for PlayStation gamers. After years of reluctance, Sony in 2019 began allowing developers to support cross-play multiplayer in the games so that PS5 owners playing Among Us, for instance, can play with their friends who own a PC. But cross-platform games don’t support voice chat, meaning gamers have to run Discord on their phones or computers in order to talk with their friends. That’s inconvenient, and not ideal if you’re wanting to record sessions with your friends while keeping voice chat intact.
Integrating Discord could also allow gamers to stream their gameplay to the platform instead of Twitch.
Sorry, Microsoft — Microsoft’s Xbox already features an integration, but it only allows gamers to share their activity to Discord. It’s possible Sony’s deal won’t go much further.
Discord has boomed during the pandemic as people find ways to connect with their friends during lockdown. More than 100 million users are active on the platform each month, and Discord has raised nearly $500 million since its founding in 2012. The company is estimated to have brought in more than $130 million in 2020 selling premium subscriptions.