No more consoles?


#1

Well, according to the Ubisoft CEO, there will be one more “gen” of consoles and then everything will be streamed. Interesting concept, not sure how it will work but can see why he’s saying it. With internet speeds going up that shouldn’t be an issue. Hardware though? Does this mean my next tv will have an I9, 32 GB DDR5 ram and a 1090ti in it to cope?


#2

before we all start streaming video games like we do TV

Really? Because that has worked out so well for the companies that have tried it so far?

This sounds like one of those crazy statements Games industry people make that don’t appear to be based on anything in reality that is suddenly forgot about when they realise it is bs or someone stumps up enough cash for an exclusive deal that suddenly makes them change heir minds.

I don’t really know about Xbox and Playstation but part of my love of Ninty platforms is the platforms themselves - I still experience childish glee opening up new Ninty consoles, customising the interface(s) and options and actually using the hardware (at least where games utilise it) - am I alone in this? Wouldn’t going to streaming only kill this?

And how would this affect the price of games/subscriptions? Will prices drop or be maintained at the current level without extensive and expensive hardware development costs to recoup? Will they justify prices because of server upkeep costs?


#3

If we take the shelf life of the average console being 5/6 year, and we’re half way through this gen, your talking around another 10 years or so? In that time scale, would it not be feasible that we could be in the situation where everything is in place for us to stream games?

Could it be on a generic set piece of hardware, and pay to subscribe to playstation/xbox/etc to gain access to their games? I could see this happening.

I dont see this happening anytime soon but I do see this being a possibility in the future.


#4

Nah. The market may shrink if it goes that way, but you’ll never stop there being people who want to play stuff locally due to circumstance or preference, and people able to make something to cater to them in exchange for money. Sony would be best placed to try and unify gaming into ‘generic home entertainment’, but I think they may feel they’ve been stung before trying to go that way.

Streaming to the TV you play on, across a home network; yeah, i could definitely see that becoming more prevalent, but there’d also being a generation of consoles that support that rather than the games running on some other piece of home hardware.

I can see why they (publishers/hardware manufacturers) might want to as an industry; gaming as a service is probably considered a lot easier to monetise than producing and selling individual titles; your strong titles can carry everything else if you use a subscription service. But i struggle with how you sell it to the public given the poor uptake for previous streaming services. The first one to announce it can then be undermined by any opposition choosing to offer another generation of hardware if there’s a public backlash, making it too risky for anyone to want to go first. Whoever makes that call is someone high up gambling on the people who’ve said they can deliver something the public haven’t indicated a great desire for in a way that will make them change their minds, and risking your existing competitive business on it. You’d need to offer it alongside the existing offerings for a generation first and see what kind of uptake you get before anyone could make a call on whether it’ll actually happen long term.

Now if someone were to make an offering as a startup, that’s different, but every attempt at a new ‘competitive’ console goes the route of android/linux, mobile gaming platforms, and other niches because no one really wants to attempt to compete with nintendo, sony, and microsoft. I’m not totally convinced they even want to compete with each other, they just struggle to make their offerings distinct from each other, with Nintendo maybe the exception, and rely on throwing what amounts to marketing money at studios to produce exclusive titles.

Agree with Vred on Nintendo, and as i said above they do try to distinguish themselves. they may not always succeed, but they’re pushing the envelope way more than the others in terms of trying things out. Sony are probably ahead of MS on account of PSVR, but that’s hardly a unique offering. Also both of them come from other backgrounds and have their fingers in a bunch of other pies, while nintendo seem pretty content with where they’re at. I wish each generation didn’t end up focusing on the same titles each time (mario, mario kart, smash bros, zelda, pokemon etc), but they’re hardly alone in doing that.

And yeah; ‘this next generation of games requires new hardware, so you can now pre-subscribe to our ‘plus/precious metal/colour’ package for only an extra $N a weekmonth’ seems pretty viable as a way to keep revenues up.

That made me think when the hardware is in people’s homes, they pay the power and provide the cooling out of their own pocket, but i guess that’s offset by the savings you get on everything else. And then you throw all that money at ‘marketing’ (including exclusivity bullshit) to try and win the competition. because the competition isn’t about who can offer the best gaming experience to the most people, it’s about who can convince the most people that’s what their offering is :confused:

At some point in all that happening, wherever there was the opportunity, Valve, or Apple (or anyone not currently competing but in possession of huge amounts of cash), might decide to spend some of their giant moneypiles on something. Valve have less cash but more influence in the gaming industry, Apple have some 250+ billion dollars in cash, they’re not alone in the ‘sitting on a pile of cash’ club. My point being someone else could throw their weight into something and mix stuff up. I fear it won’t be anyone ‘new’, but maybe someone new to gaming.

I don’t think it’ll be Ubisoft.


#5

I don’t see it myself.

OnLive tried to make a game streaming service - and it failed miserably. Possibly ahead of its time. You could literally do anything on its cloud solution.

The trouble you have, as @vredesbyrd alluded to, is trying to change people’s mindsets of something that has existed from the early 80’s.

2 Things:

  1. Global broadband speeds are an issue. Sure, there are cities now with 300mbps. Equally, there are cities where you’re still lucky to get 10mbps. Then there is everyone else who struggle to get > 3mbps.

  2. I’m sorry, but if games get to a point where they can be streamed - it just means that game developers aren’t trying hard enough. Need to be making stuff that makes 8th Gen i7 with 32GB RAM seem the norm. Whether that be improved graphics, or AI or whatever.


#6

Totally agree on the first point, broadband speeds have a long way to go.

On your 2nd point Jes; with regards to console games, could you see those going away or being replaced with streamed/mobile gaming? I don’t see PC gaming going away as long as there’s any kind of home computer market, but as we’ve seen gaming PCs as an appliance largely fail (steam machines?).

On the one hand, i don’t think I’d mind. You might be able to stream previously console exclusives to a suitable PC if you subscribe, and it might provide some impetus for the PC gaming market to grow with dissatisfied console gamers, and as I’m not currently a console gamer I don’t think it would bother me if they did get replaced by streaming services as i don’t see a move like that having a negative impact on PC gaming.


#7

Yeah, I see your point.

I feel that the plateau of PC gaming technology/complexity/quality is governed not by the hardware that is available to PC gamers, but by the equivalent generation of console available at the time.

Afterall, modern consoles are more-or-less PC without a keyboard these days.

Is a software developer going to create a super-duper-whizzy version of a game to run on highend PC, and then bork it to work on Console? or are they just going to set the console as the ‘bar’ and make PC match it.

– edit –

So actually, a console-free, streamed, market could make PCs even more awesome. or worse. Meh.


#8

Im with Hammy, Sure at the moment the bandwidth requirements may be not quite there but with ever increasing investment in new Fibre technologies. BT expect to have ultrafst in 10million homes by 2020 and they are behind the curve of other parts of Europe.

I for one dont play much games on my phone, I saw someone playing fortnight on a tablet or something the other day, and I just thought, wtf? how can they play without a mouse and keyboard. It is evolution of the gamer, haveing access to their game, where they want to play it when seems to me like a no brainer for games companies.

Doesnt seem like something I would like to be honest, but I am a different generation but the subscription based digital model has proven successful in Music and movies I am sure that it is only a matter of time where the decision is not which console I want to buy, but which Network offers the best big budget titles? Amazon Prime? Sony Now? XBOX Llive, the names will remain, the hardware mebbes naw.


#9

Couple of good points there by Scott. If we take films in the home as an example. Starting of as video tapes, moved on to DVDs, then blurays/HD and now netflix/amazon prime/etc. 10/15 years ago who would have thought you would not have need to go to blockbuster to hire the latest film to watch at home.

Is it that unrealistic that with advances in technology that a Netflix for gaming is that far away or completely unrealistic? Streaming a game is obvious going to be very different as you don’t need hardware specs as such to watch a movie on your tv . If they can get the hardware bit sorted, I do believe this will be a thing.


#10

The market is already their for them. Big budget franchises such as COD, BATTLEFIELD, They have a huge console player base. That like to talk shit on their consoles in front of TV. Do they really care if its on a console or through their tele? As long as it plays good, looks good and they can call you all the insults under the sun then they will be happy.

And so bidding ware between services to pay for the rights for exlusivity on these titles as part of their package brings the money in.

Gawd, the future is shit. I want out.


#11

PS4/XB1 released in 2013. We already coming up to 5 years. Next consoles are said to be released Late 2020.

Anyways they’ll need to get their asses in gear getting everyone fibre optic within another 8-10years… I get 250MB yet my mate in a new build doesn’t have access to fibre and is lucky to have a 6MB connection…

PlayStation purchased Gaikai for billions a few years back for PS Now. Which I admit does work quite well, even with action slash em up games… HOWEVER my PS4 connects at around 180MB… HOWEVER HOWEVER my Virgin router sometimes decides to not wanna give me internet whenever it fucking chooses lol.


#12

Original ones, though there have been hardware upgrades to them have there not(PS4Pro/Xbox1X/etc) so while games havent changed, the hardware running them has been made (albeit slightly) better. Bit like upgrading your pc now. Want the play the games in 4K? buy the new version that can run 4k.

For me, if this streaming will work, it will come down to how they handle internet speeds (which should be a lot better when this comes around) and how they actually run the game. Will you need a basic hardware box that can run it at min specs, or upgrade to the pro version which runs on ultra.


#13

Well the PS4 Pro is a “Mid-Gen refresh” released 3 years after the PS4… So you’d imagine they put the PS4 itself at a 6 year cycle… The CPU didn’t get a massive upgrade at all… So I still see them coming 2020… Not sure about Microsoft though… The 1X got a massive GPU boost, but again lacks CPU power…

Oh it’ll work for sure, but I’d still much rather a physical console and most of the time even a disc… Least you can still play it when services go down :slight_smile:


#14

thats coz your getting old son! :slight_smile:
lol

You’ll be like Adrock getting vinyls. But getting old Console discs to play on your old consoles. :slight_smile:


#15

Hahahaha… To be fair, I’ve never kept older consoles… I just like having a disc, although my PS4 digital library is growing (thanks to sales) I’ll also always prefer Blu-Rays over streaming, yes less convenient, but until we can stream them at an uncompressed bitrate for Video and Audio, meh.


#16

i’m not sure the comparison with streaming music/movies is helpful; music has no interactivity and is much lower bandwidth, films and tv are typically much shorter in length, and neither require a great deal of processing on the back end. And each new platform has the back catalogue of the old one without necessarily going back to remaster.

Vinyl is analogue; games are digital and therefore can be stored, maintained and re-created perfectly digitally, so i don’t think we’ll ever collect games in the same way i collect records (which is to listen to them). Just a single thing with enough storage to hold them all (like we do with older generations of stuff now on a usb stick or hard drive). There’ll still be collectors for the physical objects, but i suspect there’d be a trend toward collectors rather than gamers.

I believe if you have the bandwidth you can stream blu-rays uncompressed online, you just need to sort your source and client to do that. I dunno if there’s a commercial offering of it, but that’s a mugs game at best.


#17

It was more just for how it has changed over the years. Most types of media seem to be following along the same lines.


#18

aye i get that. I’m thinking that because of the interactive, and in the case of multiplayer the social elements, that gaming will become an ‘experience’ rather than games being considered ‘media’ to be consumed like films/music. Those still change and evolve over time (everything does). I could also see singleplayer and multiplayer becoming more disparate entities, with SP being a media and MP being an experience, and different platforms targeting either or.


#19

I don’t think this will happen. We have bandwith restrictions(not enough for high end games). Never mind some other countries where the restrictions are bigger and you have data caps.


#20

I really dont buy the bandwidth restrictions as an argument against this happening. Its only going to get cheaper and more accessable. 10 to 20 years time online availability will be even more ubiquitous than it is now. 5G in citys, better 4g coverage elsewhere if it still even exits… Once upon a time we used Dial up and phones only were phones. Once upon a time a TV used Teletext for information. So the argument of the article that the next bout of consoles will be the last ones is looking at 10-15 years time. I can belive it.

I used the Playstations remote play feature in the house on my old Sony Xperia 3 phone. I had an adapter for my control pad to connect to my phone. I could lie in bed and play my games. That worked really well over my wifi in the house.

That all said, If the services move to an online model this surely will put more power in the hands of the developer/publishers to strike deals with platforms of their choice? i.e. Netflix, Amazon Prime. Those would seem a better proposition in terms of content delivery to the masses? But then again, SONY/XBOX retain the “gaming” branding power and they need to transition people to a new model, otherwise they just lose out.