Are Video Game Consoles Close To Extinction?
Media changes and adapts to make it more viable for consumers. We've changed from cassettes, cartridges, disc based formats to now streaming. No longer are we in the days where we can drive down to the local rental shop for the latest new releases in films. Instead, there are several streaming services and on-demand alternatives where viewers can rent or purchase the video content. Could we be seeing the same movement happening with video games thanks to Remote Play and services like PlayStation Now?
Streaming video game content is still a new service with the biggest competitor in the market right now is Sony's PlayStation Now. Sony holds the servers allowing gamers to stream a catalog of video games from the PlayStation 3 with PlayStation 2 and the PlayStation said to be on the way. All that is needed is a way to access the application, a stable and strong internet connection along with a video game controller, in this case it would be the DualShock 4.
Sony is also offering their PlayStation Now application through other devices not directly owned by Sony. Recently, it was revealed that early this year Samsung Smart TVs will have the PlayStation Now application for download. Additionally, the service is no longer just offering rentals but a subscription like plan similar to Netflix. Gamers could pay $20 per month which allows access to their entire video game catalog on the service or $40 for three months.
Both Microsoft and Sony is offering ways to use Remote Play features in their latest consoles, while it's not a streaming service like PlayStation Now, it does offer a similar concept. Sony's PlayStation 4 currently allows the ability to Remote Play with the PlayStation Vita, PlayStation TV box along with the Xperia Z3, Z2 smartphones and tablets. Microsoft recently announced their Windows 10 operating system and with it a few changes to the Xbox One. The upcoming update to the Xbox One will allow gamers to stream their video games right on their PC.
There seems to be a trend on allowing gamers to enjoy video games through several mediums unlike before. Instead of having to be forced in using a particular console to enjoy a video game, manufacturers like Microsoft and Sony are granting the ability to use a wide range of devices though it's still surrounded by a particular console.
As of right now, Microsoft, Nintendo nor Steam has announced any service to compete against the PlayStation Now. If gamers are interested in streaming their video game catalog to a different device or computer in their home then they would need to do so through their own systems within the same internet connection. The best example I could use in this case would be Valve's Steam OS where gamers can stream their video games on Steam to a Steam Machine running the Steam operating system.
I personally don't think we'll see a drastic change for a few more years. Internet connection alone for the PlayStation Now application is recommended to be 5Mb/s. There may also be a small disadvantage image wise though Sony stated that gameplay will look consisted with something along the lines of HD internet video streams.
What do you think? Let us know in the comment section down below if you think video game consoles are slowly going extinct with streaming services more on the forefront? Either way, getting access to a wide range of video games without having to shell out money for a brand new console does sound appealing.