[I fixed the title!]
On the Xbox side, Brian Crecente reported at Variety that Microsoft, and major game developer and distributor Ubisoft, both seemed to see the future of gaming in streaming.Ubisoft’s CEO Yves Guillemot was very blunt, telling Variety that, “With time, I think streaming will become more accessible to many players and make it not necessary to have big hardware at home.” He went on to posit that “there will be one more console generation and then after that, we will be streaming, all of us.”Microsoft’s Phil Spencer, the company’s executive president of gaming, was far more coy—never outright saying that the console’s days were numbered. Instead, he pushed the recent company line that games should be hardware agnostic. “I care less that people play Minecraft on an Xbox One, but that people can play Minecraft no matter what console or device they have in front of them,” he told Variety....What this means is that a potential PS5 released in 2020 wouldn’t even necessarily be as powerful as a gaming PC built now in 2018. That’s a problem, because next-generation games are already, according to Arthur Gies for Variety, choking on top-tier PC systems. Consoles can squeeze a lot more performance out of hardware thanks to the fact that they don’t have to multitask as much and that game developers can code to specific hardware instead of designing games to work on a wide range of hardware, but it’s still a tall order to ask them to develop for something not even as powerful as a gaming PC built today.But if streaming is a part of Sony’s next console, then the hardware isn’t as important. It could direct play some games, while more powerful games could be streamed.And here’s where we get to the big problem. If streaming is a big part of the next generation of consoles then a whole lot of gamers are going to be pissed. Nvidia is already streaming resource-intensive games to its Shield console now, but the experience is... just adequate. That’s because streaming a game—especially one with 4K resolution, or HDR, or at 60 frames per second or higher—requires a lot of bandwidth, and many American gamers simply don’t have access to internet service that can handle it.
Stores that sell video game physical media like Gamestop, game consoles, and the problem of not having enough internet bandwidth to play the best video games will someday be forgotten relics of the past.