Streaming services have become the backbone of modern-day entertainment, today’s consumers demand the best Possible Experience at a competitive price and they don’t really care about outright buying the Product / Service and gaming industry is also moving to the same subscription-based business model where consumers can pay a monthly fee to access a huge catalog of games that they can play on their Devices, But these devices has become critical because these devices represent different sect of gamers like Consoles, PC or Mobile.
While Mobile gaming mostly works on revenue streams from advertising and In-app purchases, console and PC games are the ones where the battle for game subscription and game streaming is being played
In the recent past a lot of gaming subscription and streaming services have launched like X box Game Pass, Google stadia, Playstation Now, Nvidia’s GeForce Now, Origin, Steam, EA Access, etc,
Well we understand that when we talk about game streaming services, then we talk about one of the very easily accessible and cost-effective solutions for the gaming enthusiast, that’s because the initial investment is less to minimal, gamers don’t have to buy expensive consoles or expensive PCs to play the games they want, Gamers can just subscribe the service, Buy some minimal hardware, Buying the game and then start playing the games on the TVs, Mobile Phones, laptops, etc, but the issue here is that the quality of the service heavily depends on the kind of internet connection the consumer has
The consumer’s physical location is also an important factor in determining the experience the play has while playing the game because the further the gamer is from the Cloud Game servers, the higher the latency will be, and as the latency increases the game becomes more and More unplayable.
One of the Biggest Launch of a Game streaming service is Google Stadia (But Not the Widest Reach) and since the launch, we have seen that High-Quality Game Streaming is currently not possible over mobile networks, while google stadia says that you need a minimum 30 to 50 Mbps network connection to play streamed games at 4k and HDR, but the image quality is not in par with the experience you have with dedicated hardware (ie: Console or a PC), while this scenario might change as we start seeing more stable network connections around the world, but it also poses questions on the latency issue as well, because no matter ho fast internet connection you have, the physical distance between the server and the player will always cause this issue, and the only solution is to place servers close to the end-users, it remains to be seen how viable and cost-effective such a solution will be for Gaming.
Let’s talk about the Game Subscription Services, here we have Contenders like Xbox Game Pass, PlayStation Now, Nvidia Now, Steam or Origin, but the big issue here is the pricing and the model in which the subscription services works.
Playstation now: This service allows you to Play PS3, PS2 games on the PS4 or the PlayStation TV, and they provide some free to play games per month, the service works as a game streaming and game subscription service as well, but the catalog of games is very limited since we doubt how many consumers would like to play last generation games on the next-generation consoles.
Google stadia: Currently the service is on Beta Mode and it is not available Globally, but when the service launches globally they will have a Bit Wider variety of free to play games, but their basic business model, which requires you to buy the games upfront by paying Full Price (similar to what you buy on a PlayStation store or an Xbox store or a physical Dvd), seems Flawed, and also Players want the best possible experience when they play a game, but Google stadium just cannot confirm you that best possible experience.
Nvidia Now: Nvidia now is also a game streaming service which will probably have a subscription service as well but it is limited to very small geography and it has been in beta Mode for almost 2 to 3 years now, they have a good selection of AAA games, but we need to wait and watch how the price the service and how they can scale up the service worldwide till then it is a big question to be answered.
Xbox game pass: the Xbox game pass is probably the most popular and user-friendly games subscription service, the game pass allows you to access and more than hundred games on your Xbox console or your PC and all the games available in the game pass or cross playable, so whatever you earn for whatever you progress in a console or a PC you can move it up to the other platform, that is one of the biggest assets of the Xbox game pass.
Then we have services like Steam or Origin, both of these services provide Free to play games and Digital distribution of games, Both of them have a free tier and paid tier as well, but you need to have supporting hardware (unlike Google Stadion or Nvidia now) to play games from these services.
Eventually, it’s up to you to decide, what kind of a gamer you are and what kind of experience you demand,
If you want the highest possible experience then game streaming services may not be the right choice for you, because there are too many iff’s and But’s around the services, then probably a game subscription service on a PC or a Console (PlayStation or Xbox) would be the Right Choice for you.
If you are a casual gamer and you don’t mind having the best Image Quality, HDR, etc, you just want to enjoy your time, then one of the game streaming services is enough for you.