Xbox To Finally Launch Cloud Gaming Services
It has been hinted at for some time that video game hardware will become a thing of the past, replaced instead by cloud streaming services. Microsoft certainly seems to think that this is the future, given their announcement that such services are coming to the Xbox range of games consoles. With these services gamers will no longer be required to download games, assuming that those gamers have a fast and stable enough internet connection.
Cloud gaming essentially means that a console acts as a streaming device rather than an actual game processor, allowing the heavy lifting to be done on the side of the company server. This concept is not new, having been around for years at least. The biggest hold up has been, predictably, that the majority of the video game demographic does not have access to stable enough internet connections.
With that being said 5G is currently being rolled out internationally, potentially making this sort of setup a real possibility.
End Of Consoles?
There is certainly the possibility that cloud gaming could become the new standard, but not for a long time still. With gamers long being invested in purchasing powerful hardware, particularly PC players, gaming without hardware seems like a tall order. Microsoft, however, is clearly betting big on this business model, along with Google and Amazon. Though, lest it be forgotten, the Google Stadia service has already all but gone up in smoke.
Either way, Microsoft are still pumping multi-millions into their console division, with the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S currently on the market.
The Xbox Game Pass has also been a big drawing card for the company, providing a library of online games for an extremely reasonable monthly cost. Most notable is that the games are only available to download, seeming to be paving the way for a cloud-based future.
Going For Broke
But Microsoft currently seems to be alone in their push for gaming without hardware. Big time rival Sony doesn’t seem to be as invested in that particular future, making only the smallest efforts in that department. Sony instead seems to be focused on exclusive content, with some massive games exclusive to the company’s hardware.
Where it goes remains to be seen, but Microsoft may well be betting on a future that never happens. After all, Google Stadia’s failure seems to suggest that game enthusiasts aren’t as interested in cloud gaming as the mega-corporation seems to be assuming.