Many agree that the next generation of consoles could be the last, at least when it comes to them being traditional consoles packed full of powerful(ish) hardware. After that, most industry folk believe that we’ll be streaming our games from the cloud. Microsoft certainly believes this, and there are rumours that the next generation Xbox from the company will come in two flavours: a traditional one, as well as a cheaper set-top box that’ll stream games from the cloud.
EA thinks we’ll see games beamed from the cloud too, saying that’s not a matter of “if,” but rather “when.”
“The main challenge I believe has been service infrastructure, the bandwidth you need to deliver that opportunity on scale,” EA’s executive vice president of strategic growth Matt Bilbey told GI.biz. “And today, that is still a challenge. But I think over the next year to two years, that barrier will drop. Not for everyone, but for a lot of people. Bandwidth capabilities will go up so the business model around streaming a game becomes more viable.
“If you buy into a streaming solution and the experience is laggy half the time, you’re going to stop and not do it again, which is the challenge some of the companies previously had. I think there’s now a solution where we can deliver on the promise, and we’re working with a lot of the companies who create the server infrastructure, and there are a lot of innovative solutions from a lot of big companies we’re working with that will actually allow us to bring this to life.
“I don’t think it’s a case of ‘Will it or won’t it?’ It will happen. It’s just when.”
And that’s more than likely going to happen…eventually. Once the latency issue has been thoroughly solved, it’s a model we’ll be moving to. And EA”s in a nice position to adopt it, already offering their games through a subscription model thanks to Origin Access and its newly released premier tier.
EA’s comments here echo those made by Activision.
“Over the long term, we think that cloud-based gaming and streaming is a very strong positive for the industry and particularly for us,” says Activision COO Cody Johnson. “It should ultimately accelerate growth in an already growing industry.”
“We feel there’s still work to be done before the tech is ready for mainstream adoption. We think that this will happen, probably not in the near term, and we’re well positioned when it does.”
Last Updated: August 10, 2018