Is th3 gaming Equivlanet to Netflix on th3 Horizon?

As gaming continues to evolve and become more accessible to a large spread consumer base, the industry is heading into a future that may see it become a more streamlined entertainment platform to rival Netflix and Hulu. As pointed out by Game Radar, Microsoft is looking to create a streaming service called xCloud which will allow gamers to stream Xbox games on consoles, PC’s or devices such as tablets and smart phones. OnLive in 2010 had launched a similar idea where you were able to stream high end games to a console created by them or an app but unfortunately it didn’t receive the support needed to build a sustainable following and ultimately went out of business. Fast forward and now Microsoft, Google and Amazon look to capitalize on providing subscription based stream-able game platforms.

It will work via the Cloud where you will connect to servers that will stream the game to your desired applicable device. Though limited information has been released as to when the full service will launch, Microsoft plans to begin consumer trials some time in 2019. This service will provide further options for individuals not wanting to pay for multiple home consoles to have access to games exclusive to Xbox as well as the growing community of mobile gamers. The infrastructure of a Netflix like gaming service has already been materialized by Xbox and Playstation with Xbox GamePass and PlaystationNow respectively. The only differences are these services are exclusive to their consoles with the exception of both allowing PC users to purchase the services. There are opportunities for this to be a success given the interest some have in streaming games with programs like PlaystaionNow and Xbox GamePass existing, but to what degree does this practices become the norm of how games will be purchased and played in the future?

As someone who has used Sony’s PlaystationNow Streaming service I have my concerns about this potential future for games. To begin with, to be able to stream without many interruptions the internet connectivity must be at a certain level that is not always feasible due to region restrictions. While this may not be a huge deal for some games, certain ones require a level of quick response such as shooters that would be greatly impacted by the input lag due to connectivity. There’s also the fact that you will be paying a subscription fee to have access to streaming the games. This negates you from having any ownership over any of the title and intern creates questions for how downloadable content will work under these conditions. Will this be included in the subscription price and if not how will paying for downloadable content be justified when you don’t own the rights to the game?

There are definite pros and cons to heading down this model of selling games. I just hope as consumers we do our due diligence to weigh out all the options before we completely provide our support (money) to these kinds of practices. What do you think does the streaming service of video games peak your interest? Do you believe this is a viable option to be able to have access to a large catalog of games? Also, do you believe we have the right sort of infrastructure in internet connectivity to allow for something like a “Netflix-for-games” to be successful?

7 thoughts on “Is th3 gaming Equivlanet to Netflix on th3 Horizon?

  1. Hmmm, it’s an interesting concept. One I never really thought about before, but it could work. I only see it being a problem with not picking up as quick as Netlfix since there are a lot of people obsessed with only one or two games for a very long time. I do not see those people paying for a streaming service that they don’t use to it’s full potential.

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    1. There are examples of it being a possible with Xbox game pass and Playstation’s PlaystationNow but similar to the models of a spotify or a Netflix youre paying for access to essientially renting the product instead of having full ownership which I feel is problematic if it becomes the norm if the surrounding infastructures like Internet connectivity are not first addressed.I only feel strongly about this with gaming due to the need for percise timing and reactions with gaming where movies and music are not as interactive.

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  2. This is really interesting! I personally don’t think me or my family would be able to use a subscription based service simply because we already have problems with streaming Netflix as it is. The internet structure (even in some cities) might not support the lag-free gaming speeds that are required. At least with Netflix, when it freezes, you don’t miss anything, you can just rewind.

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  3. Great. Now I’ll never see my boyfriend again even though we live together. Haha.

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  4. When I hear the word ‘streaming’, I automatically think $$$. We have Bell Fibe (it was automatically installed in our building) which makes internet speed/downloading/streaming really fast, but is more expensive than others. To stream something really large like a game, I’m assuming a house would need a more expensive data package? I wonder how much it would cost to be able to Stream large games and how much extra it would cost a user.

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    1. I feel like in most cases it depends on the makeup of users of internet connection in your household. I have the luxury that I’m the only one who uses the internet in my house apart from when family and friends visit but in a household with 3+ people connecting to the internet it could definitely become expensive. Streaming anything does provide a conversation on how much you’re willing to spend on internet to ensure you have the right speed and data limits to avoid frustrations from connectivity and extra usage charges.

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