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Google set to announce next-gen console. Rumored partnership with SEGA

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Interesting read, though I don't necessarily agree with it. Way too early to call it one way or the other.

 

Though I do wonder why some people seem so invested in pushing this as the inevitable future of gaming.

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Interesting read, though I don't necessarily agree with it. Way too early to call it one way or the other.

 

Though I do wonder why some people seem so invested in pushing this as the inevitable future of gaming.

 

Not necessarily inevitable, but it does seem like that's the likely logical progression. Basically physical media to larger capacity physical media to download and play to streaming and play. I still think "download and play" still has a lot of life left in it, though, and it may very well hold on for interactive gaming for a while longer (as opposed to not so much for movies/TV, music, and print).

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Yeah, it's not so much a "push" as "this is happening whether you like it or not, and you might not hate it as much as you think you would."

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I agree with the article but not to the same extreme. I think it is a fallacy to equate something being the future to something entirely replacing the past. If when touch based phone gaming came out and someone claimed it would be the future then they would be correct. However, if they took that to the extreme that there wouldn't be controller based gaming then they would have been wrong. That is even more apparent now since Stadia is now also the future and it uses controllers. In other words, this kind of reasoning seems like if when air planes were invented someone claimed that it would be the future of long distance transportation to the point of trains no longer having a place in the future. There are more trains and tracks now than before the invention of the plane.

 

https://youtu.be/oyJwQvbTWZM

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Saying this sort of gaming platform is inevitable is fine. Saying Stadia is inevitable is just silly. Maybe we should also just "shut up about" Google+, Google Glass, Google Answers, Google Video, etc., and "just accept" them.

 

Stadia needs a network effect to be viable. Whether it will reach critical mass or not, given the obstacles, isn't a forgone conclusion.

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Saying this sort of gaming platform is inevitable is fine. Saying Stadia is inevitable is just silly. Maybe we should also just "shut up about" Google+, Google Glass, Google Answers, Google Video, etc., and "just accept" them.

 

Stadia needs a network effect to be viable. Whether it will reach critical mass or not, given the obstacles, isn't a forgone conclusion.

 

No one is saying Stadia will be the one, but it does seem like game streaming in general going mass market at some point is inevitable. There are tons of big players throwing big money at it. That's hard to ignore.

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No one is saying Stadia will be the one [...]

Except someone is saying it. The headline from Flojo's BOOM article is "STORM COMIN'! YOU MIGHT AS WELL SHUT UP ABOUT GOOGLE STADIA AND JUST ACCEPT IT". (the all-caps is theirs, not mine) And in the article itself "You can shout at the wind, and throw rocks at the clouds, and shove your fingers in your ears and go "La la la!", but Google's Stadia, and cloud-based gaming, is the future."

 

Given Google's product history, it seems a bit of fanboy wankery for the article to say Stadia is inevitable.

 

I agree that some streaming platform is likely inevitable. But I see a lot of parallels between game streaming and VR, including some unique technical challenges, and big players desperate to own the space. The timing may or may not be as "soon" as people think.

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I have no doubt that cloud streaming of videogames will become more widely accepted as the tech and internet speeds improve, but I highly doubt it will replace existing options any time soon.

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The more I hear and think about it the more depressing and bleak this future looks like. Here are few more things to consider, even if you don't care for such trifles like ownership (which tbh thanks to Steam & co is dead and buried anyway)

 

-no more game preservation

-no more modding

-no more gfx/code tweaking on PCs

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I think industry analysts and investors want streaming services like Stadia to be the future of gaming, but given the backlash that's come from the people who actually play video games since Stadia's announcement it seems pretty clear that streaming services are not the future of gaming; no matter how much the bigwigs who want to make money off them might wish them to be. If the majority of people who pay money for their video games aren't on board with the idea then it's not the future of gaming, and no amount of corporate saber rattling will make it so. Gamers vote with their wallets, and we all remember what happened with EA's loot crate shenanigans.

Edited by Jin
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I wish you were right but a) there's plenty wide-eyed enthusiasts already b) they will keep on chipping and eventually grind the naysayers into insignificance. Google has a huge fanbase (fancy that, for a soulless corp :) infinite warchest and incredibly strong lobbying influence. And gaming is too lucrative field for them to give up on, what with the opportunities for revenues streams, datamining and ad placement.

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I would say, more like FRRRRTT

 

I start reading and that guy got several thigns wrong or misplaced.

 

I started writing about games just as home computing was being superseded by 16-bit consoles. When Digitiser launched, we chose not to cover the Amiga because... well... what was the point?

 

2016-Global-games-market-share-by-screen

 

Global_Games_Market_2018.png

 

Oh yeah, computer playing is totally dead as you can see. Not relevant anymore.

 

 

Sony was doing everything right, Sega and 3DO and the CD-i were doing everything wrong, and the momentum was very clearly heading in one direction. That didn't stop Sega fans snarling at anybody who told them differently.

 

OK, so you're comparing a multimedia (NOT A CONSOLE) system released in 1990, an add-on released in 1991, a console released in 1993 and the last one in late 94? Hmmmmmm could it be that, you know, Sony had 3 past experiences to learn from their mistakes, and not as you suggest from the way you order the consoles names, that Sony came first and other later?

 

The earth isn't flat, vaccinating your children won't make them autistic, global warming isn't a hoax perpetuated by the Chinese, and streaming is the future of gaming. It's just a fact.

Ok, how does that prove anything?

 

The earth isn't flat, vaccinating your children won't make them autistic, global warming isn't a hoax perpetuated by the Chinese, and ROM-based cartridge is the future of gaming. It's just a fact.

 

Oh funny! It works too!

 

And it goes on a rant about how physical media is dead. Which make me think that this guy is mixing up "dematerialized games" and "streamed games". It's further implied as he posted a picture of CupHead on the Switch, which isn't a streaming system but a mostly download-based system.

 

I think this guy didn't understood that Google isn't gonna do a "Playstore for console games"...

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If they can actually get it accomplished a streaming game service should end piracy for titles which are only available there and provide recurring revenue as well. It's a win win for the content providers.

 

Players won't have to keep specific devices and I assume it would be a lot more difficult to cheat. Those are the only bonuses I see for players with a good enough connection to do this stuff. This is assuming this type of service won't send people through their data caps since those are a thing in the US.

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Interesting read, though I don't necessarily agree with it. Way too early to call it one way or the other.

 

It may be generational. People who grew up with consoles are generally not going to accept the downsides of streaming, while kids raised on streaming as 'normal' won't see

what the big deal is.. at least until they become hipsters and rediscover consoles (like vinyl records)

 

Though I do wonder why some people seem so invested in pushing this as the inevitable future of gaming.

One reason could be whose payroll they are on.. But obviously not everybody is a shill. it's also the internet, sometimes people just take up an extreme position and defend

it to the death, especially when you are being bombarded by people who hold the opposite opinion.

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No one is saying Stadia will be the one, but it does seem like game streaming in general going mass market at some point is inevitable. There are tons of big players throwing big money at it. That's hard to ignore.

Tons of big players chase fads too. Remember when motion controls where the future? Or 3D TV? They do this because they don't want to be left behind should it actually take off.

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For funsies, I signed up for another Playstation Now 7 day trial this morning. The last time I tried it was around 2015-2016, and since then my internet service was upgraded to 120Mbps down/10Mbps up. I also assume Sony has been making tweaks behind the scenes.

 

I put about an hour into it, playing a handful of games. Experienced significant, gameplay affecting stuttering and lag - not consistently, but often enough to be frustrating. And the picture quality, while not terrible, is still obviously softer and more compressed than playing locally (sitting 15 ft away from a 43" screen)

 

Granted, Sony != Google. They may have some magic up their sleeves to make this work better than Sony has been able to so far.

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The more I hear and think about it the more depressing and bleak this future looks like. Here are few more things to consider, even if you don't care for such trifles like ownership (which tbh thanks to Steam & co is dead and buried anyway)

 

-no more game preservation

-no more modding

-no more gfx/code tweaking on PCs

 

Game preservation is only needed when the games or hardware they're played on are no longer commercially available/viable. In theory, taking what the user's device has to be out of the equation eliminates at least one of those factors.

 

The modding thing is still an open question. There's nothing stopping that from being an option just because a game is streamed either, in theory. Pluses and minuses to everything, really.

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Tons of big players chase fads too. Remember when motion controls where the future? Or 3D TV? They do this because they don't want to be left behind should it actually take off.

 

Absolutely, but I see this as more of a fundamental technology than an add-on technology. If game streaming works well, there's no reason why it shouldn't be universally adopted at some point, unlike say, motion controls, which aren't universally applicable (just like touchscreens), or 3D TV, which can be difficult for people to use comfortably (and may again become a real thing once there are true holograms/glasses-free technology that is comfortable for everyone).

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Game preservation is only needed when the games or hardware they're played on are no longer commercially available/viable. In theory, taking what the user's device has to be out of the equation eliminates at least one of those factors.

 

Fairly shocking statement, seeing as it's coming from you - the acclaimed videogame historian.

 

Are you seriously saying that we should just let some corporation to take care of everything and it will surely make every single game available forever? It's as if various console e-shops never closed down without giving a damn about content, no game ever disappeared without trace from Apple/Google (even Steam I think) stores. As if Netflix model hasn't already proven it's all up to some executive's whim. As if common sense wouldn't tell you that it's simply impossible.

 

I'm sorry, but that "pluses and minuses to everything" way of arguing just does not cut it. Some little pluses do not balance gigantic minuses.

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I can see a cheap flat monthly fee gaming service as the future, and I'd expect other major players like Steam to start offering alternatives if it catches on.

 

But streaming seems dubious. I can see benefits of a hybrid approach where you could see screens of other people without taxing your GPU (say a 4 player Mario Kart where your PC/console only renders 25% of it), but I am not convinced dabbling with the tech at home (streaming my PC over an NVidia shield via 5Ghz wifi). It was plenty playable, but the compression artifacts were noticeable and bothered me.

Edited by Newsdee

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Fairly shocking statement, seeing as it's coming from you - the acclaimed videogame historian.

 

Are you seriously saying that we should just let some corporation to take care of everything and it will surely make every single game available forever? It's as if various console e-shops never closed down without giving a damn about content, no game ever disappeared without trace from Apple/Google (even Steam I think) stores. As if Netflix model hasn't already proven it's all up to some executive's whim. As if common sense wouldn't tell you that it's simply impossible.

 

I'm sorry, but that "pluses and minuses to everything" way of arguing just does not cut it. Some little pluses do not balance gigantic minuses.

Dude, they're video games, many of which are already sold as a service and have been for years. It's not as if your hated Google is going to obliterate all choice, history, and alternatives.

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