The future of game streaming is an open road. However, we already have some markets where we can draw a map: online video streaming services. If we are not careful, the game streaming will reach the same speed thresholds.
As Microsoft, Sony, NVIDIA, Google, and others start to scale up their game streaming subscription services, we can already see what the biggest problem for gamers will be: an increasingly fragmented selection. While platforms and consoles struggle to get the biggest and best games in their streaming service, and only their streaming service, players will find that it's impossible to get all the desired titles on just one of them to play them. Of course, this is nothing new for the games industry: it's the old problem of the exclusivity of the old platform, which is now spreading to more and more platforms.
Streaming Looms On The Horizon
To clarify our terms: "Streaming games" in this article refers to playing video games at home over a broadband connection that exposes the actual hardware on which the Game is hosted (the PC or the game console, which perform the crushing of numbers) somewhere on a server. [1
This is not a streaming video of someone playing a game you watch on a service like YouTube or Twitch.
If you are not familiar with it: Game streaming is very cool. It allows someone with minimal hardware, such as a $ 200 shield, to play games that are otherwise limited to a $ 1,000 gaming PC. No local media or massive 50 GB downloads are required, and a relatively low monthly fee can give you access to hundreds of games, including: For example, the Netflix setup. As far as hardware is concerned, the only downer is that you need a solid broadband connection: most of these services recommend 25 Mbps, but I've found that they stutter at less than 50%.
If these components are present, the experience is pretty amazing. You can play games with maximum graphical settings with near-perfect sync, including the fastest multiplayer shooter or fighter. And it just gets better and more available: It's widely believed that Microsoft is developing a pure streaming version of the next Xbox console, which would undoubtedly be available on Windows. Even Nintendo is coming in: the company is currently transferring some older titles to SHIELD owners in China. Presumably, Amazon also wants to get into this action.
This is where the "but" comes into play.
The Library Problem
Streaming video services struggling with threads and nails to obtain original, exclusive content: Netflix has released its high-profile Marvel series, conventional shows like Orange is the new Black and even full movies like Bird Box. Hulu has exclusive assets such as The Handmaid's Tale and sequels such as The Mindy Project . The video from Amazon Prime is home to shows like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and The Man in the High Castle.
And that's great! These services become own powerful production houses. However, if you try to view one or more broadcasts of each service, as is the case in this "golden age of television," you must subscribe to them all. Do you want to show the new Star Trek or Twilight Zone ? Add CBS All Access. How about the Teen Titans or Young Justice superhero shows from DC? Add DC Universe. Want new Marvel and Star Wars shows? There's this new Disney service later this year.
The promise of online television was to look a la carte without forcing anyone to pay for something they did not want, like cable. But a decade later we have the same cable problem in a new outfit. To get all the TVs you want, you have to pay a lot of them that you do not need. To achieve this, there are various possibilities, for. For example, subscribing to one service at a time, all content, and then the next. However, this is not ideal, especially if Amazon Prime bundles programming with other prime services. Most people who see all their content online need to pay for at least two concurrent services, even though they do not need live TV access for sports and news.
This issue will also apply to streaming game services. Now players will not only have to deal with platform-exclusive titles such as The Last of Us or Spider-Man on PlayStation and Smash Bros and . Zelda on the switch, they have to juggle which of their games can be played either online or only locally. What are included in the service fee, and which only need to be purchased for remote gaming? Toss a coin.
If you are frustrated with the decentralized nature of first-rate online television, wait until you make the same game for new 60-dollar games.
Possible Solutions: Requirements for Console Publisher and PC Rental  There is a new generation of consoles expected in 2020, at least for Microsoft and Sony. This is usually the case when slaughter lines are drawn and new exclusives are consolidated. Provided both Sony and Microsoft plan to focus on streaming games, this is an opportunity to avoid at least part of this market crash.
Currently, every streaming service needs to negotiate with developers and publishers to get games. Once these arrangements have been made, the service may host games in its backend and deliver them to customers, either as a free subscription-included delivery or as an optional fully digital purchase. As owners of the Xbox and PlayStation brands, Microsoft and Sony can use a bit of good, old-fashioned enterprise armament to highlight their streaming services.
You see, developers and publishers also have to pay licenses for the release of console games. For this reason, games on Xbox, PlayStation and Switch are usually more expensive than in the PC market.
If game publishers want to access the integrated audience on Xbox or PlayStation, Microsoft and Sony can make their streaming services a condition for publishing to their consoles. Do you want to publish a game on Xbox Two or PlayStation 5? Well! You will also make it available for streaming.
This strong-armed approach will not solve the decentralized problem for gamers, but assume that both Microsoft and Sony could implement it in some way for the next generation of consoles, at least meaning that the transition to streaming games will not more fragmented than the current market. The big names in the industry are still fighting for exclusivity, but players do not have to wonder if the hot new game can be played in their Xbox stream (or whatever the name may be). Of course it gets more complicated on the PC.
Streaming, which relies on PC games, is even more decentralized, and services from NVIDIA, Google, and Amazon can not use this tactic. Take a look at the current library for GeForce NOW for a great example: It's an overview of AAA publishers. Big names like Valve, Ubisoft, Activision-Blizzard, Take Two and Bethesda are represented, but titles from EA are missing (thanks, Origin) and smaller indie games and older classics are remarkably thin on the ground. However, consumers can benefit from the PC platform in other ways. The same widely open approach enables smaller and more competitive services like Shadow.
. Shadow lets users "rent" a high-performance virtual gaming PC Access from any Windows, MacOS, Android or Linux device with low power consumption. iOS support will be provided soon. This solution means you still have to manage the game installations and performance yourself. However, the game content is more or less available everywhere, where you get a stable broadband connection with the available 4K and 144Hz options. Shadow even allows local and remote backups.
The service costs $ 35 per month and does not include an all-you-can-eat library, but the low cost of PC games in distribution and bundles can offset this – a game that costs $ 20 $ 30 or $ 30 for consoles can often be purchased for $ 5 during a Steam sale. It's a promising and flexible approach, but it's designed to make streaming easier for players.
Streaming games solve some big problems, especially when it comes to costs. If you have an internet connection that you can handle, there are some really exciting options available in the near future. You will also be struggling with new annoyances. The streaming game platform that resolves or at least minimizes these annoyances will gain the upper hand.