PlayStation 5 probably won’t be console, it’ll be a cloud service, says Tekken’s Harada

Tuesday, 8 October 2013 11:43 GMT By Dave Cook

PS5 won’t be a piece of hardware, Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada reckons, it’ll be a cloud-based service instead.

I mean, PS4 isn’t even out yet, but it’s fun to speculate isn’t it? That’s exactly what Harada has been doing in this week’s issue of Famitsu.

Translated by DualShockers, the article saw Harada laying down his vision of what the next-next PlayStation might be.

He said, “I think in the future things will be played on the service, rather than on the hardware. The Cloud is often mentioned, and if cloud services progress, the time when only the name of the service will remain will come some day.

“The PS5 Probably Won’t Have a main console, but just the screen and controller. So what remains will be just the name of the service. It could be named just “PlayStation network”. Steam is defined a platform, but it’s not a hardware platform. It’s the name of the service.”

You know what? I agree with him. This could actually be possible. But what do you think?

Thanks Dragon.


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  1. Pytox

    Oh boy :D:

    #1 2 years ago
  2. AmiralPatate

    I also imagined it would get to that point. The only barrier right now is network access. Maybe PS5 is a bit early, but it could happen in 10-15 years.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Mike W


    It’s true what he’s saying though, I think all the systems (I don’t know about Nintendo) are going to become services like Netflix or better yet Steam.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. VibraniumSpork

    Just kidding. So obvious. When they do away with disc-trays altogether, what other options were left? Physical Media will be an abstract concept to our kids. As will Miley Cyrus, hopefully.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Mr_Weasel_

    It is bound to happen sooner or later. When the day comes I will still purchase the network or whatever you wanna call it, but I will miss the days of collecting physical game discs. :(

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Ireland Michael

    Yeah, this isn’t going to happen.

    The console manufacturers would be limited to an even smaller demographic by making it a cloud service, and there would be countless problems with it being a digital only service. They would lose potential billions in licensing alone.

    And just looking at the reaction people had to the Xbox One, it’s pretty bloody obvious that console people still want ownership of their products. Any console manufacturer that would go this route would sink faster than a sack of potatoes.

    “Teh Cloud” is a marketing fad, that everyone is trying to push but absolutely nobody actually wants. It’s the “3D movies” of video gaming. Digital distribution will undoubtedly become a bigger part of the console market (though I sure as hell am not going to spend $50+ just to download data), but that’s about it. Consoles will always have physical media.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. VibraniumSpork

    @6 Even in, what, 10 years time? Look me up in 2023 and if I’m not trucking all my Blu-Ray-based media down to Oxfam in favour of some kinda 4k-streaming media device I’ll eat my futuristic, gas-powered hat. ;)

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Kreion

    @6 Nice to see you spouting your ignorance all over the place yet again.

    The idea that the next Playstation will be a cloud based service is a bit fast, but the idea that consoles will eventually be there? That’s perfectly plausible. As internet speeds increase streaming games will have less and less lag time, until it is eventually unnoticeable – when this happens cloud gaming would be viable.

    Lot of people say they still want to own their games, but the reality is that if it is more convenient for them not to and the benefit to them is big enough, they will give up that idea. Look at Steam – previously in its life the offline mode was so bad you couldn’t really play games on it, but people still used it.

    And you really would spend $50 to download data. I mean you have an OS, and lots of other programs on your computer. Plus if you have steam your already doing that. You might be playing less for a singluar game, but the point still stands that you are playing to download data in some capacity or another. I cam pretty much guarantee you do not have a physical version of ever piece of digital software you spent money on – that includes music and such too. It’s all data

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Dave Cook

    @6 Give it time. It absolutely will happen.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Ireland Michael

    Nope, not even in 10 years time.

    What kind of processing would it be?
    Would it all be processed on and external computer and streamed to the TV?
    Will it be streamed to a machine with actual hardware in it?
    What about latency? You want to wait a split second for any input you make to register onscreen?

    If its a box that does some of the calculations, you still won’t have Internet speeds fast enough to transfer that much data in ten years times. Why? Because the amount of storage required and the power of the hardware will have already outstripped the data speeds.

    The Xbox One showed without any shadow of a doubt that people want ownership of their software. People do not want to spend insane amounts of money simply for data, that requires verification or limitations. The only people that want “teh cloud” are the marketers. In ten years, digital distribution will be everywhere, but the physical media will still exist, because its a necessity for this particular medium.

    @9 It absolutely will not, and I’ll safely put my money on it.

    Why is absolutely nobody taking advantage of the Xbox One’s “infinite power of the cloud” for instance? At most we’re getting games with persistent servers identical to what PC games have been doing for the past decade.

    OnLive was supposed to revolutionise the gaming landscape, but in reality almost nobody uses it. Nobody wants delayed inputs and blurrier visuals.

    I’m not saying it won’t be used. It will be used to compliment hardware, not replace it.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Erthazus

    But not next gen.

    When there will be 4K images as a standard no way in hell Cloud distribution will do well with a 4K stuff.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Kieran

    it is going to happen eventually look at X1 is trying with the cloud !!! il miss the physical copies whenever this happens i love collecting dvds lol

    #12 2 years ago
  13. ps4fanboy

    anyone says anything including me :D

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Dave Cook

    @10 I never said a timeframe. But it will happen. The market players want consolidation and closed routes to call their own.

    It’s the dream ticket they’ve all yearned for since pre-owned became a thing. Synchronized devices, where you can access the format by any means, anywhere, like a captive audience.

    If any company doesn’t want that right now then they’re going into the wrong direction.

    I don’t necessarily agree with the approach of some, but this will happen. The signs are everywhere.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. monkeygourmet

    It will happen sooner or later, purely because of the extra control it gives companies.

    It’ll be digital download first, then we will see the cloud start to blend in.

    The allure of more control over the user base will push technology in that direction wether you want it or not…

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Ireland Michael

    @8 “That’s perfectly plausible. As internet speeds increase streaming games will have less and less lag time, until it is eventually unnoticeable – when this happens cloud gaming would be viable.”

    Internet speeds has little to no correlation with lag, unless you literally have dial up. Lag is due to latency, which is an unavoidable reality of data transfer. If a game is completely processed “in the cloud” that would only make the problem worse.

    The best servers in the world right now can (individually) barely handle a few thousand people at a time, using minimal data processing. Add cloud processing and latency to the mix, and you have the potential for server nightmares that would make the GTA Online launch look like a catwalk.

    “And you really would spend $50 to download data. I mean you have an OS, and lots of other programs on your computer. Plus if you have steam your already doing that. You might be playing less for a singluar game, but the point still stands that you are playing to download data in some capacity or another. I cam pretty much guarantee you do not have a physical version of ever piece of digital software you spent money on – that includes music and such too. It’s all data.”

    The only games I have ever bought on Steam were either sold for a fraction of the price in a sale, gifted to me, or bought through the Humble Bundle. I have never payed anything even close to full price for a digital download, and I never will, because I enjoy actually being able to use, lend, share and store my games. If I want a new retail PC game for the single player component (which rarely happens), I will buy a DRM free disc. If such an option isn’t available, I simply won’t buy the game.

    Music costs a fraction of the price. I’ve only ever bought about $10 worth of music anyway.

    @15 “The allure of more control over the user base will push technology in that direction wether you want it or not…”

    If this is true, why then did Microsoft end up doing a complete u-turn, due to an insane amount of consumer backlash, on the very “control” policies you’re talking about?

    #16 2 years ago
  17. pcbros

    Onlive was a decent example of what future consoles could be like. No expensive hardware needed and run all games on high settings. Having a solid internet connection was the only real requirement.

    In ten years, a lot of people will have internet…

    #17 2 years ago
  18. Ireland Michael

    @17 And resolutions will have increased, increasing the the amount of data being transmitted too.

    Most ISP will still have download limits in place, making entirely cloud based gaming unaffordable. You’d hit the cap within a matter of days.

    The exponential increase in data being sent and received would bottleneck most data lines.

    Latency will always be a problem. It is unavoidable. You cannot eliminate it completely.

    Most homes in the world have Internet speeds that can barely handle the direct transmission of HD resolution video, which has been around for over half a decade. By 2023, they may have just caught up to 4K, but something even better will have already replaced it anyway. Internet speeds will always lag behind the latest technology.

    It will be a viable alternative. Maybe you’ll have a dedicated console, but a subscription app on other formats that allows you to play the games when you’re not near the machine (if you don’t mind delayed inputs, lag, and blocky visuals), but the console itself will still exist, and it will still use physical media.

    It’s like absolutely nobody paid any attention to the reasons behind the Xbox One backlash.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. Dave Cook

    @18 what about advanced compression like we have on Spotify? WHo’s to say how far that will go in aiding faster, smoother streaming.

    “It’s like absolutely nobody paid any attention to the reasons behind the Xbox One backlash.”

    They did, they just chose to ignore that it’s basically what Steam does now, give or take a few features.

    It’ll happen, I firmly believe that. But whoever does it next will do it much better than Microsoft.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. stealth

    you know what? I dont agree with him and that would be terrible. We would not own anything

    #20 2 years ago
  21. Playmaker

    but but but all the Sony fans made fun of MSFT and duh poowwaa of daa clooudd!!

    Ireland Michael you really are obsessed with the old days and will eventually wither away, as well. I can’t wait until Apple joins into this fray and implements the exact same MSFT policies under an “iPolicy” name and everyone eats it up. What are you so afraid of exactly? That you’ll never own a game like the old days? Yes, it is coming as new developers don’t want to just give away ownership of their material, but you can lease it for a price pal. It’s coming and you better get ready for it. Keep clawing and fighting and holding onto that dream b/c the world is going to leave you in the dust.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. The_Red

    That’s it. Now I utterly, truly and completely hate the word cloud. I won’t even look at sky the same way, let alone use the damn tech. FUCK THE CLOUD.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. orakaa

    @6 & 16: +1 000

    #23 2 years ago
  24. Ireland Michael

    @19 Consoles aren’t PCs, Dave, and even the PC has alternatives to Steam. Even Steam allows you to play offline, and the data is inevitably stored on *your* PC, making it extremely easy to back up and access.

    Someone may do it, (and by the looks of Gaikai, may already be), but only as an alternative. It’ll be the Kindle of gaming.

    @21 I don’t believe in the future influence of a single technological concept, therefore I’m a fossilised relic of the past who can’t see the potential of anything?

    Reactionary, much?

    I’m not “afraid” of anything. I just think cloud computing is the VR headsets of the 2010′s.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. Dave Cook

    @24 Aren’t they becoming more like PCs by the generation though?

    I think the timeline is the issue here. I’m not saying it’ll be in ten or even twenty years, but I do see this happening. I genuinely believe the games industry will go the way of set-top boxes, where PlayStation is a service offered through your telly box or TV itself. “Original programming” (i.e. game exclusives) will be the differentiation between who you side with.

    #25 2 years ago
  26. Ireland Michael

    @25 Only insofar as their design architecture is easier to develop for. The Dreamcast was essentially designed that way, and that was over decade ago. Its just common sense, since all games are initially developed on computers anyway. That doesn’t make them a PC.

    Its a completely different market with consumers who want completely different things. We buy consoles because we want high quality games running on solid hardware without the frustration that often comes with PC, and the accessibility of its design.

    They may create *a* subscription service using the PlayStation name, but it won’t replace the console. Why would it? That’s just lost money.

    If people want cloud gaming, then they have no right to complain about the Xbox One’s original setup, because it’s the same thing, only worse. Without a connection, you couldn’t play, at all. *Nobody* wants an always online experience – DRM is the most hated thing in the industry right now – and that would be a *requirement* of cloud gaming.

    It’s the most extreme DRM imaginable.

    #26 2 years ago
  27. Bowser

    I’m with Ireland Michael on this one. I don’t think this will happen and, if it does, I want no part of it.

    #27 2 years ago
  28. monkeygourmet


    Are you taking into account generation shifts with your view of gaming in the future.

    Your starting to sound like Marty McFly playing ‘Wildgun man’ in that cafe in Back to the Future 2… :)

    This will make you feel old…:

    (school kids trying to identify gadgets)

    #28 2 years ago
  29. VibraniumSpork

    I think Ireland Michael makes a pretty terrific argument (seriously, the dude’s a one-man 300). The tech side seems to be the biggest issue – can the latency problems in such an undertaking be overcome? I couldn’t comment with any degree of authority but to paraphrase Dr Ian Malcolm, Tech, uh, finds a way.

    As for the question over whether or not people would go for it as they wouldn’t actually own anything? I think attitudes will change. As Dave pointed out, many people are happy to subscribe to streaming media providers like Spotify or Netflix without being able to lay claim to any of the content outside of their subscription fee. You have to wonder why gamers would be immune to the same sort of attitude in the future.

    (Classic VG247 thread here btw; lots of well-made arguments and nary an insult in sight)

    #29 2 years ago
  30. monkeygourmet


    RE Netflix, Spotify… Exactly. I think they were already talking about a streaming service for 4K.

    4G’s just about to hit my town, am looking forward to seeing what thats like and my internet is pretty damn fast now (BT Infinity). Can usually download about 5gb – 10gb in 45 mins max (on Xbox servers).

    Downloading a 700mb file a few years back was a chore, now 20gb files are a very real possibilty.

    Im not saying that directly links to streaming games, but im just trying to show the jump in tech in a small space of time.

    Also, as I said before, control and monitoring are what a company craves. The logical conclusion is users accessing a closed service and paying for content as they use it. Maximum control and advertising can be personalisied that way.

    #30 2 years ago
  31. Lv01

    @29 i agree with a lot of that, as i do with a lot of the stuff that Ireland Michael has said.
    however, in the form of giving up physical media… maybe you’re right, and attitudes will change over time, as dave says, but im still a walk into a shop, walk out with a new game kinda buyer. and i think i always will be.
    dont get me wrong, i will download indie games from PSN like the next guy, but when the latest verison of final fantasy drops (even FFXIV, for heavens sake!) i was in store, buying it on disc, so it stacks up next to all my other ones.

    and i know its mine.

    by contrast, spotify and netflix (i subscribe to neither, but i do subscribe to lovefilm) i would treat (as i do lovefilm, even lovefilm instant) as rental services, which i wouldnt want for my games.
    i accept renting films (maybe less so music, so u may have a point there) as once ive seen it the one night, i wont want to watch it the next night. but a game? im gonna wanna play that tomorrow!
    but my biggest point on this is, music and film cost a fraction of games. were paying more than double the cost of any film for a game.
    so, using the current digital sales model, if they are expecting us to still pay £50 for a game on a streaming service, and then to not have ownership of it afterwards… no thanks.

    this would only work if the cost of streaming those games was done using a different model. but the pricing of that model would be key.
    because, if i dont want to buy a game for 3 months (lack of releases that interest me, for instance), at the moment i dont have to pay £xx a month to keep playing my previous games which i would class as being ‘paid for’ in previous subscriptions, while not streaming any new content that would be the only way i could justify the continuing subscription.
    as it stands at the moment, i only pay for something when something comes out that i want to play.

    and again, when i have, its then mine.

    #31 2 years ago
  32. AmiralPatate

    “Ownership” of creative content is a very illusive thing. You don’t actually own games, you own the license to play it, a license that could be revoked if there’s a breach of TOS, whether it’s digital or physical.
    Some people still cling to the idea they own something when what they have is a bit of plastic. But in the end, even if they have the data, they don’t own it. People aren’t accepting that easily, but they’ll deal with it eventually, just like Steam users did came to terms with it.

    #32 2 years ago
  33. Ireland Michael

    @28 I already feel old. =P

    @29 I used to work in network administration, so this stuff is all fairly familiar to me.

    Latency will never be eliminated unless we somehow discover how to send information faster than the speed of light.

    Even in a phonecall, there is a (mininscule) delay. When you’re physically inputting a movement with a controller, the slightest delay on screen feels far more pronounced because you’re used to the instantaneous response.

    You start employing ideas like multiplayer, peer to peer processing, external servers outside of the cloud, and the reliability of your own Internet… well, that’s a huge clusterfuck of latency right there.

    Do people actually think in 10 years we won’t have connections that randomly go down or data lines that won’t get congested? Really? Faster speeds won’t stop those sort of things from happening. It won’t stop servers from crashing every so often or a data centre going down. It won’t stop basic human weather from affecting the reliability lines or knocking them out entirely.

    And if you’re stuck into your current session of Call of Duty: War of Ghost Ops 7? Tough shit. No cloud, no game for you!

    “(Classic VG247 thread here btw; lots of well-made arguments and nary an insult in sight)”

    Except for the bit where I was called an outdated old codger who will eventually wither away to nothing. =P

    @30 “Also, as I said before, control and monitoring are what a company craves. The logical conclusion is users accessing a closed service and paying for content as they use it. Maximum control and advertising can be personalisied that way.”

    It may be what the companies want, but the giant slice of humble pie Microsoft was forced to swallow in the wake of the Xbox One revealed, to the point that they had to backtrack on every piece of bullshit they tried to spoonfeed people, showed that the consumer *doesn’t*.

    At the end of the day, the consumer is king. The Xbox One only proved how much influence they really have, when they bother.

    @32 “Ownership” of creative content is a very illusive thing. You don’t actually own games, you own the license to play it, a license that could be revoked if there’s a breach of TOS, whether it’s digital or physical.”

    This is factually untrue.

    In fact, here in the EU, we have laws that protect people’s ownership of their digital data. Unless it closes down, a company is legally obligated to provide you access to any digital media you’ve bought from them, even if you are “banned”, and you can backup everything you own.

    I don’t know how the laws are handled in the states, but those “licences” hold absolutely no weight in my corner of the world. I pay for goods, I own them. I can do anything I want with it, bar piracy.

    #33 2 years ago
  34. monkeygourmet


    “It may be what the companies want, but the giant slice of humble pie Microsoft was forced to swallow in the wake of the Xbox One revealed, to the point that they had to backtrack on every piece of bullshit they tried to spoonfeed people, showed that the consumer *doesn’t*.”

    I agree, but maybe the companies to watch in this potential form of service delivery are Apple, Google, Valve etc…

    I guess MS / Sony users may have expectations based on older business models, basically; “Fear of change”. Im not mocking that by the way, Im one of those people although more fearful of the potential of controlled media distrubution and abuse of technology.


    Oh shit…

    Not the ‘ownership’ thing again… That was a shit fest last time that reared it’s head lol :)

    #34 2 years ago
  35. Ireland Michael

    @35 Service delivery is one thing. I have no problems with digital distribution, as long as a physical alternative exists.

    An entirely cloud based gaming platform is another ball game altogether.

    “Not the ‘ownership’ thing again… That was a shit fest last time that reared it’s head lol”

    Indeed it was. And people still argue it, even though the law proves them wrong. Every single movie I’ve watched since the 80s has told me that I can’t resell it, but… oh look, the law says otherwise and second hand DVDs are legally sold everywhere.

    #35 2 years ago
  36. AmiralPatate

    Yes, you have the right to download it and all, but you still don’t own the content. You own the license, not the data itself. Which is slightly different, even if it’s not visible to the end user.
    Anyway, all that is purely academic, the point is there’s no difference between physical and digital, meaning you have the same rights (which may or may not be not that much) over it.

    #36 2 years ago
  37. Ireland Michael

    @37 I can do *anything* I want to anything I own, and I can sell it afterwards, so long as its not a duplicate (piracy) and I sacrifice all ownership of it in the process of doing it.

    In fact, I could hack a game’s code, completely alter its design, and then put it online for someone else to buy, so long as there is only one copy of it. And not a single court could stop me.

    These “licenses” exist (and were originally created) specifically to counter piracy. They do not extend to individual use, despite what anyone would like to claim to the contrary.

    #37 2 years ago
  38. lookingglass

    lol @ all those people who bitched about Xbox One’s policies… Haha this must be your last console generation ever…

    This generation is going to be over in 5 years too when mobile power surpasses PS4 lol. At least XBO is built with the cloud in mind haha

    #38 2 years ago
  39. AmiralPatate

    You can sell the license, yes. Selling an altered version of the game, I’m pretty sure you can’t.

    #39 2 years ago
  40. Ilovesony

    @everyone.. Remember when we all said. “Oh the year 2000 we are gonna have flying cars and things like that” here we are 13 years later and has anyone bought a flying car yet?.. who knows what the future holds but one thing for sure… Internet will be faster.. we will be talking terabytes or glompabytes by then… blu ray will be the old medium.. we will have chips on our hands or in our skin.. and I will finally get to unveil my illudium 232 explosive space modulator….

    #40 2 years ago
  41. Legendaryboss

    Teh cloud.

    #41 2 years ago
  42. archaven

    Oh boy.. i love this.. console fans gonna have an uproar! Lol. They gonna be jealous when this ‘service’ available to the PC master race? And the PC gonna get access to all the exclusives on consoles? And i already seen all the console fanboys hatred mocking at PC gamers calling them elitist.

    Come on! we are all gamers. I have no problem Steam making its accessibility to console gamers.. so why should they be jealous about PC gamers having access to console games?

    One word: There are few minority of selffish console gamers.

    #42 2 years ago
  43. Doppleganger

    This what Xbox One was supposed to be but poeple are so ignorant and kept changing it over the years to accumodate the genral dumb ass market. Now that Sony says it poeple eat it up and I find it funny how they say this even before they even released the Playsation 4. Sony is like Vultures and are just eating Microsofts mistakes this gen. Good for them, but I must admit Im more about the content and PC users have it best and Xbox One has better content and online service.

    #43 2 years ago
  44. Ireland Michael

    @43 Sony didn’t say anything,

    Tedious platform bias is tedious.

    #44 2 years ago
  45. pcbros

    Onlive was fairly new technology but I really enjoyed streaming high-end games to my low-end PC.

    If Sony does succeed in streaming PS3 games to your PS4/Vita and possibly to mobile devices, then I don’t see the problem. Microsoft is also planning on streaming Xbox 360 games to the PC as well.

    Sony and Microsoft’s recent investment in streaming technology is not in waste, they have bigger plans for the future.

    For those worried about not owning the hardware… who cares? Who wants to buy a $400-$500 console every generation? If it breaks, you have to fix it. With streaming, they deal with ALL hardware issues (minus the streaming device). You wouldn’t be forced to have the same hardware for ten years. They could at anytime beef up the hardware and make that Playstation 5 a Playstation 6 and you wouldn’t have to do anything except enjoy the new power. The fact you are buying purely digital releases, the prices of games could be reduced as well. Also no need for installing 50GB games and worrying about HDD space.

    Besides the need for a high-speed connection, I don’t see many negatives to streaming games.

    #45 2 years ago
  46. ChandlerL

    I remember when PCs were going to revolutionize the industry moving us away from mainframes and the inconvenience of them. Y’know back then companies had to rent time on the mainframes in order to use them. Then some companies could eventually afford their own. Then PCs– and “everyone” had one.

    Will it come full circle? Will we all end up with “dumb terminals” linking into an enormous singular service? Will we have to rent time again? Will a new generation of PCs come after freeing us from the cloud?

    Why do I have the “Circle of Life” song in my head? :)

    #46 2 years ago
  47. fearmonkey

    I highly doub’t the cloud replaces hardware completely. I would bet more that you will still have a hardware box even if the cloud is the main method of rendering a game.

    We are just now approaching games hitting 1080p 60FPS on next gen consoles, and right around the corner is 4k TV’s. By the time that consoles or hardware catch up to 4k, you will have 8k hit.
    The bandwtih to stream 4k games would be huge and we would need unlimited internet (no caps) for that.

    I have said it before but I would bet that the cloud would compliment rather than replace the traditional hardware box.

    #47 2 years ago
  48. sebastien rivas

    So ok you have a Tv and you go buy your ps5 controller, then what?
    The controller has wifi? How about mutiple players, you know… I have friends over…
    Also who says service says subscription.
    Not everyone’s ready to go and leave a CC for monthly payment, i assure you Sony you ll loose audience overtime, and for what?
    More instantaneous profit perhaps

    #48 2 years ago
  49. sebastien rivas

    +1 I did not think of that one.

    #49 2 years ago
  50. pcbros

    @48 – You could buy a “stream box” or use your PC. Second, subscriptions are not exactly needed for streaming.

    Onlive requires no subscription. You download free app, buy a game for $5 and play all you want.

    #50 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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