Streaming Games and The Future Of Consoles

Major gaming console competitors
Credit: Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft

With rumors of the next generation of consoles on their way, there is a lot of thought on what comes next. Early in June of 2018, the CEO of Ubisoft, Yves Guillemot, shared his opinion on the gaming consoles’ place in the industry. In short, he declared that streaming games will take over. Gone will be the days where a gamer gets their hands on a game and has to wait several hours for download and installation.

Streaming Games

Streaming games services for PlayStation and Xbox
Credit: Sony, Microsoft

Services like Xbox Game Pass and PlayStation Now are the beginning of what Yves Guillemot is saying. Internet is becoming a necessity in the world today so it makes sense that gaming may want to implement the necessity of having the internet to play all you want. Both services by Sony and Microsoft are constantly adding to their library, giving players access to games both old and new.

To put it simply, streaming games would work the same way Netflix, Hulu, and Youtube work. All you need is an internet connection and something to run the service in order to access its content. Streaming games as a service could be a great thing for gamers but, like many services, has its pros and cons.

The Good

It’s important to see why exactly console gaming may be turning to this format in the future. Streaming services have been very successful and popular among consumers simply because it allows people access to entertainment for a small monthly fee. These services provide people with a lot of benefits for what they pay.

Game Library

So many games to choose from! — Credit: Fox Network

These services have a huge selection of games! Both a blessing and a burden, players have the option to replay a game from a previous generation of consoles or find a hidden gem that got away. If streaming truly is the future then be prepared to have an immense library of genres to choose and play from. Not to mention that the most waiting to be done when accessing these games would be loading up the main menu.

Simple Set-Up

PlayStation TV Streaming Service
Consoles could be this small with streaming. — Credit: Sony

If streaming is the future of console then PlayStation has a head start on the change. PlayStation TV is the streaming console of the future. Compared to the consoles sold by Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo, this small compact box has huge potential to be the most convenient and simple gaming console made! This small box streams games instead of buying a PlayStation 3 or 4 which are several times its size.

The Bad

Streaming games stopped by internet
Internet is not always reliable… Credit: TitanticFall

Technology like this is great and convenient for consumers. It could very well be the first step towards a world where games are being streamed, but why is it that PlayStation TV isn’t as popular as the hardware available now?

The Necessity Of The Internet

Let’s face it, the internet opened up a whole new world for gamers. Playing with friends has never been so easy but the reality is that not everybody has internet. Switching to streaming services will affect a huge portion of today’s gamers by limiting what they can play even more.

No Internet means no downloading patches or playing online. These players rely on buying hard copies of their games and multiple controllers instead of having the internet.

No connection to an online signal
Credit: Google Chrome

For the sake of argument, let’s assume everybody has internet. In order to use these streaming services, players need a strong internet connection. My own internet connection is strong enough to support several people streaming movies in their highest qualities. When attempting to stream a game, I’m met with a notification that my signal is too weak. Streaming games will require a signal of at least 5Ghz and a direct connection for the best results.

The Future Of Console

My theory is that consoles will continue to create hardware while striving to find innovative experiences for players to have. Even now, streaming isn’t exactly where it wants to be.

Xbox Game Pass allows players to download the games and PlayStation Now will add the feature eventually. Xbox and Nintendo have yet to delve into the world of virtual reality.

Nintendo improved on the use of vibration in their Joy-Cons. PlayStation consistently adds to their virtual reality library with new experiences. Streaming’s use of portability is great but it does not eliminate the necessity of hardware for certain experiences.

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