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Forums - Gaming Discussion - Gaming Streaming - What does the future look like?

The_Liquid_Laser said:

If you want to know which platform(s) are going to win over the next several years, then you only need to ask three questions.  Here they are in order of importance:

1) Does one platform clearly have a much better game library?
2) Which platform is the best value?
3) Does one of these platforms especially appeal to marginal gamers (i.e. "da casualz")?

So I am going to break this up into two categories: A) Sony vs. Nintendo and B) the streaming services and C) Apple Arcade.

A)  So if you compare PS5 vs. Switch, both are going to have a good library of games.  Switch already does have a good library with plenty more games coming, and we've seen that PS5 will have games coming.  Switch is a much better value though.  It's cheaper (that's obvious), but portability also makes it a much better value.  Switch probably also appeals just a little more to "da casualz" because it's portable and it has some motion control games.  But really any system that uses the classic controler scheme doesn't appeal to "da casualz" too much.  Overall Switch is going to be the clear winner based on value.

B) Let's take Microsoft vs. Google vs. Amazon on streaming service.  Microsoft's service is going to have a much better library of games.  They simply have a lot more game studios and every Elder Scrolls fan, for example, is going to want Gamepass simply because of the games.  All of these 3 subscriptions services offer a similar value and don't really appeal to "da casualz" because they use the classic controller scheme.   Microsoft is going to be the clear winner for the next few years simply because of its game library.  Google and Amazon are really going to have to come up with some good exclusive games on their own if they are going to have a chance of competing with Microsoft.

C) Apple Arcade is in a category all on its own.  That's because it's the only platform right now that is seriously trying to appeal to "da casualz".  Most of its games use either touch screen controls or maybe a simple joystick with buttons.  Both of these appeal much more to marginal gamers than the classic controller scheme.  That means that Apple Arcade (and gaming in general on the iPhone) is going to continue to be a very profitable business for Apple.  This service is not going to be a big deal anytime soon, but in 10+ years it may end up being the dominant player in gaming.  In gaming, 10 years is a huge amount of time.  It's the difference between Final Fantasy 1 and Final Fantasy 7.  Add another 10 years and you are in the FF12/13 era.  Give Apple enough time to make tons of bank with "da casualz" and their games are going to be much better and more sophisticated.  They will grow into a serious force to be reckoned with.  It won't happen anytime soon, but don't take your eyes off of them either.

I like your analysis.

However, what about Sony vs. Nintendo vs the streaming services vs Apple Arcade? Do you think streaming will be king?

I think the value proposition of streaming can definitely reel in "da casualz".



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Streaming will at best be a supplementary means of playing games. Physical copies and digital downloads will remain the norm.

Streaming basically takes the worst aspects of always-online gaming and applies them to all games. Your ability to play is completely dependent on a constant connection to the service. You internet goes out? Can't play. The service goes down for whatever reason? You can't play. The service ends up being discontinued? Well, I hope you enjoyed your time with it, because you'll have nothing to show for it.

And this is to say nothing about all the questions streaming raises in regards to the prospects for long-term availability of titles. Just like how stuff gets rotated in and out of Netflix, the same can happen with video games. And think of all the video games that have been delisted from digital stores because of varying reasons (often rights issues). If a game is removed from a streaming service, you no longer get to play it. At. All. And again, if the entire platform gets discontinued, that means every game on it just goes *poof*. You better hope they're available elsewhere.

I'm no fan of digital downloads, either, since you still don't own anything (which carries a host of issues by itself), but at least you have a local copy saved.

Last edited by Shadow1980 - on 25 September 2020

Really unlikely that game streaming takes off, unless consoles, and any other method of playing games locally has died off. There will always be latency with streaming, and when the service removes a game, you've lost access to it.



Streaming passive media =/= streaming interactive media. So far, every attempt to successfully stablish game straming as something relevant has failed. You can blame it in technology not being quite there as much as you like. But in the end, the experience will ALWAYS  be inferior to running the game locally and it is just not as appealling. I don't know why some people insist on thinking that game streaming is the future of the industry, when history and technology are telling us the opposite.



Kinneas14 said:
The_Liquid_Laser said:

If you want to know which platform(s) are going to win over the next several years, then you only need to ask three questions.  Here they are in order of importance:

1) Does one platform clearly have a much better game library?
2) Which platform is the best value?
3) Does one of these platforms especially appeal to marginal gamers (i.e. "da casualz")?

So I am going to break this up into two categories: A) Sony vs. Nintendo and B) the streaming services and C) Apple Arcade.

A)  So if you compare PS5 vs. Switch, both are going to have a good library of games.  Switch already does have a good library with plenty more games coming, and we've seen that PS5 will have games coming.  Switch is a much better value though.  It's cheaper (that's obvious), but portability also makes it a much better value.  Switch probably also appeals just a little more to "da casualz" because it's portable and it has some motion control games.  But really any system that uses the classic controler scheme doesn't appeal to "da casualz" too much.  Overall Switch is going to be the clear winner based on value.

B) Let's take Microsoft vs. Google vs. Amazon on streaming service.  Microsoft's service is going to have a much better library of games.  They simply have a lot more game studios and every Elder Scrolls fan, for example, is going to want Gamepass simply because of the games.  All of these 3 subscriptions services offer a similar value and don't really appeal to "da casualz" because they use the classic controller scheme.   Microsoft is going to be the clear winner for the next few years simply because of its game library.  Google and Amazon are really going to have to come up with some good exclusive games on their own if they are going to have a chance of competing with Microsoft.

C) Apple Arcade is in a category all on its own.  That's because it's the only platform right now that is seriously trying to appeal to "da casualz".  Most of its games use either touch screen controls or maybe a simple joystick with buttons.  Both of these appeal much more to marginal gamers than the classic controller scheme.  That means that Apple Arcade (and gaming in general on the iPhone) is going to continue to be a very profitable business for Apple.  This service is not going to be a big deal anytime soon, but in 10+ years it may end up being the dominant player in gaming.  In gaming, 10 years is a huge amount of time.  It's the difference between Final Fantasy 1 and Final Fantasy 7.  Add another 10 years and you are in the FF12/13 era.  Give Apple enough time to make tons of bank with "da casualz" and their games are going to be much better and more sophisticated.  They will grow into a serious force to be reckoned with.  It won't happen anytime soon, but don't take your eyes off of them either.

I like your analysis.

However, what about Sony vs. Nintendo vs the streaming services vs Apple Arcade? Do you think streaming will be king?

I think the value proposition of streaming can definitely reel in "da casualz".

I am waiting to see if something like Gamepass ends up on the Switch.  If so, then they aren't really competing.  They are complementary, and it's very possible that both can succeed at the same time.

But let's say, for the sake of argument that nothing like this happens and they all end up competing.  My analysis doesn't change much.  Switch ends up dominating traditional console gamers in places like Japan, North America, and Europe.  There are also people in these regions who might get Gamepass, but it will be more for the games instead of for the value Gamepass is trying to offer.  If someone wants to play Elder Scrolls or Halo then they will get Gamepass simply because of the games.  

I put "da casualz" in quotes, because this is actually more than one group of people.  In places with a robust console market (Japan, North America, much of Europe), the so-called casuals are mostly people who do not like the classic controller.  These controls are too complicated.  They like using the Wii remote or a touch screen or something like that.  They will never play Gamepass even if it's free.  The value doesn't matter to them.  It's the controller.  So these people will play on mobile devices and maybe the Switch and that is it.  Apple Arcade is in the best position to appeal to these people, but they also just might keep using the microtransaction model instead.

Then there are all of the people who live in areas where there isn't much of a console market (like India).  This is another group of "da casualz".  The gamers in these markets are PC gamers.  But there are also people in these regions who don't game because they can't afford a PC, but they can afford a phone.  A service like Gamepass might really take off in this kind of market.  It makes gaming possible for people who couldn't afford it before.  It also will be a better value than Steam, so it might take customers away from Steam.

So, if we are talking about the next few years, then Nintendo is going to be the clear winner in traditional markets.  Gamepass will be the best streaming service and it might grow a lot if it gets good penetration into markets where consoles are not popular.  And Apple's mobile games (including Apple Arcade) will be a steadily growing service as well.  All 3 are in a good position to succeed in their own ways.  If I have to pick a winner going head to head, I'd say Nintendo.  But Gamepass and Apple can get to a lot of regions that don't have access to a Switch.  All 3 can be successful.



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DragonRouge said:

Streaming passive media =/= streaming interactive media. So far, every attempt to successfully stablish game straming as something relevant has failed. You can blame it in technology not being quite there as much as you like. But in the end, the experience will ALWAYS  be inferior to running the game locally and it is just not as appealling. I don't know why some people insist on thinking that game streaming is the future of the industry, when history and technology are telling us the opposite.

I agree the experience will always be inferior. However there will be a time when it won't be that much inferior and the market will recognize it.

Kind of like an Innovator's Dilemma case study... sooner or later it will happen.