You’ve heard of music streaming, and you’re probably addicted to binge watching your favorite shows on Netflix, Hulu or Prime. But what about video game streaming? And, no, I don’t mean live streaming, like Twitch or Mixer. There’s a whole world to be realized with the video game counterpart of the streaming world. It’s called “cloud gaming,” and major companies are looking into making a subscription-based version of the service available very, very soon.
What is cloud gaming?
In simple terms, cloud gaming is a digital way to rent video games. By paying a monthly subscription fee, gamers will be granted access to a library of games. The titles available are currently unknown. Most details are up in the air of uncertainty. But as nearly every console company begins to latch on to this cloud gaming idea, it looks like the blanks will be filled in sooner rather than later.
Currently, proposals for cloud gaming services exist, though virtually all launches are in development or active only in beta trials. Though it’s safe to say that this exploit is in its infancy, major players are gearing up to enter the arena. Services currently in development and/or trial launch include:
- Playstation Now (Sony)
- GeForce Now (Nvidia)
- Project Stream (Google)
- Project xCloud (Microsoft)
Verizon, Amazon and Apple are also dabbling with the idea. And why not? It’s sure to be a lucrative playing field — someone will need to rise on top. While all of this is incredibly exciting, it’s unclear what this will mean for the video game industry as a whole. How will game sales be affected in a world where you can rent video games for one flat-rate subscription fee? What will the limits be?
Free-to-download Fortnite has proven that a game doesn’t need a hefty price tag to rake in the profits. Epic Games has and continues to enjoy the benefits of in-game purchases. Will this be a necessary direction for game publishers to take? Will this harm or benefit video game collectors and gamers as a whole? Are gamers really going to be interested in paying a monthly fee to rent games when new releases continue to rise in price? Will cloud gaming even work?
Only time will tell. Either way, I’m excited to see where this new direction of video game renting will lead. For better or for worse, this development could reshape the gaming world completely.
As a gaming consultant, it is exciting to see the industry growing in innovative ways that are providing more young gamers with exciting opportunities for the future.