Gaming consoles are at risk before the era of cloud gaming
The new threat called cloud gaming
Cloud gaming's rapid growth is a threat to gaming consoles. Cloud gaming or gaming on demand such as PlayStation Now, Xbox On Demand and Origin Access in the most ideal form is the platform for streaming high-end games from the Internet to any device like PC, smart TV, tablet and mobile phone.
Simply put, you only need to own a mid-range computer and a strong Internet connection to play games that require very high configuration. Therefore, cloud gaming is expected to bring AAA (blockbuster) games to any device, anywhere.
The moves of tech giants
Cloud gaming platform did fail once, typically OnLive streaming device because of too many restrictions on content, lag, Internet connection speed at that time... However, cloud gaming has come back and is backed by the big names of gaming industry, which means this technology has been more carefully prepared.
The beta version of cloud gaming service Nvidia GeForce Now released on January 9, 2018 allows users to play games online via PC, Mac or its Shield tablet. PlayStation Now, the service that provides streamed PlayStation games to PC so that players can enjoy games dedicated to this system, has been developed and improved by Sony every day, even though it is not widely promoted.
In October 2018, Microsoft revealed Project xCloud. The project aims to upgrade the Azure cloud computing system to stream AAA games to any device. Accordingly, the steady development of Xbox Game Pass is seen as part of the strategy to build needed platform and database for Project xCloud.
Around the same time, Google announced its decision to expand cloud gaming with Project Stream. This project is going through its own development tool. Accordingly, testers will be selected to test Assassin's Creed Odyssey on Chrome browser.
Amazon is also not out of the race with the announcement of launching its own streaming game service in 2020. In Japan, users already can play online Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Resident Evil 7 with Nintendo Switch.
The empire of cloud gaming is still far away
Cloud gaming's biggest drawback is the bandwidth overload problem in maintaining AAA games. Accordingly, although the response from Assassin's Creed Odyssey test on web browser is quite good, if you want to play games in 4K resolution, you still have to own gaming consoles and high-end TVs. In addition, lag is another noticeable obstacle. Even though gamers always set the screen to the lowest latency, video game pausing for a few seconds due to slow Internet connection is really a hassle.
These problems above are really challenges to the ability of Internet bandwidth at home. However, with 5G network, things can be solved thanks to its transfer rate of up to 10 Gbps in theory. However, it is not until at least 2029 that new cloud gaming facilities are officially ready to serve users.
Although many giants in the industry like Microsoft or Sony have taken certain steps to catch up with the new trend, they still believe gaming consoles will live at least 10 more years.
By: Olivia Mendoza