PlayStation acquires minority stake in Discord, PS5 compatibility inbound

PlayStation has made a minority investment into Discord. It becomes the first of the Big Three console makers to begin a relationship with the popular online comms app.

PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan announced the partnership overnight with a short post on the official SIE blog. Beyond the disclosure that PlayStation had acquired a minority stake in Discord, few other details were provided. Sony took its minority stake in Discord’s Series H round. It says it has spoken with Discord co-founders Jason Citron and Stan Vishnevskiy on how to better bring communities together.

“Empowering players to create communities and enjoy shared gaming experiences is at the heart of what we do,” says Ryan. “… we are beyond excited to start this journey with one of the world’s most popular communication services.”

Discord by name, unified experience by nature

For the uninitiated, Discord is an online communications app. It combines voice and text chat, a streaming platform, and message boards into a single, shared, curated space. Channels can be focused on anything, from official community spaces run by larger video game companies to the voice chat you and your friends use on game night. Its user-friendly interface, broad stability, and lengthy feature list have made it wildly popular. Discord has a reported userbase of over 140 million unique users per month around the world.

So, what should PlayStation owners expect to gain from this partnership? They should expect to be the recipients of the first console-based version of Discord. Getting the app onto consoles has been a priority for PlayStation and Xbox both. Indeed, today’s news comes only weeks after reports that Discord walked away from three potential buyers — including Microsoft. These reports indicate that Microsoft was willing to pony up USD 10 billion for Discord, but talks fizzled when Discord backed away from the negotiating table.

Finally, and to be clear, no specific details on how or when Discord might appear on the PS5 have been revealed as yet. Those hoping for official Discord integration into the PlayStation platform may have to hold their breath a little longer. The minority stake shows that PlayStation is willing to play softball with the skittish comms company if that’s what it takes.

David Smith

David Smith is the former games and technology editor at The AU Review. He has previously written for PC World Australia. You can find him on Twitter at @RhunWords.

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