Recently Sony announced that they will be launching Sony Now; a cloud gaming program on the Playstation 4 system. This is a huge step in gaming because it allows users to play many of their game titles in the cloud instead of on a gaming console. Although Playstation will be supporting Sony Now on the Playstation 3 and 4, because it is a cloud technology, it will not necessarily need a console to run it. This means that you will most likely see this service on smart televisions and set top boxes as well.
What does this mean for the future of gaming?
This means that video games will now be more accessible to a larger range of people. In the near future, people with smart TVs will be able to access their Sony Now account just like they access their Netflix account directly from their TV. The need for a Sony Playstation console or X Box may start to dwindle. Just like your Netflix or Hulu account, all you will have to do is log in to your account and play the game where you left off along with being able to access trophies, stats and game saves. People may also have the choice to simply rent this gaming service instead of owning individual titles. For a monthly fee, all of your games will be accessible through your app as long as you have a remote to play it on. One of the best aspects of this new technology is that you will now be able to play all of your games on all of your devices.
Is this the end of video game consoles?
Cloud gaming is already gaining traction as we have seen in the Sony Now service and other companies are out there testing the technology as we speak. Orange Telecommunications in France recently bought a minority in the share capital of the Japanese company G-Cluster Global that specializes in cloud gaming. It is unsure, however, if companies like G-Cluster will take over the gaming market or simply compete with giants like sony and Microsoft. One important question still exists; will a cloud gaming system be able to handle the newest high quality game titles? This is where Sony and Microsoft currently have the upper hand, but with internet speed capabilities advancing everyday, simple game applications on your TV may be able to fully compete in the near future, and Sony already has a stake.
No one knows for sure where the future will lead for gaming, but there is certainly going to be some huge competition and reevaluation for the gaming development community in the near future.