The term "streaming" is enough to make many gamers shudder. To them, it signals that physical, tangible games are going by the wayside. That companies are trying to replace their beloved, collectible physical games with less tangible alternatives they don't fully own. From here on out, it's a question of whether the phenomenon will catch on. And with the likes of Google backing streaming, could we see an industry shift as early as 2020?
So far, the craze has yet to entirely grasp the attention of gamers. Google Stadia is the biggest example of this. It was billed as a way to stream games already available on console, such as Destiny 2, Red Dead Redemption 2, Assassin's Creed: Odyssey, and more that would stream with equal, if not better, performance than their console and PC counterparts. It was a bold claim, but one that did not hold true.
Of course, Google Stadia is simply the recent, most prominent example of this. For years, Sony has been at it with PlayStation Now on the PlayStation 4. At $9.99 per month, gamers can stream games from the PlayStation 4, as well as from the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 2. The service is undoubtedly nice but has taken a back-burner to Sony's other projects. Plus, some games are only available for limited periods of time, including Grand Theft Auto V, access to which is ending in January of next year.
The next major instance of game streaming comes in the form of Project xCloud and broader Xbox game streaming. With these services, players can stream titles from their Xbox One on their Android tablets and phones. It's a service that seems fairly cool, effectively allowing players to play Xbox games as handheld titles. Whether it will widely capture the attention of gamers is certainly another matter.
Going into 2020, game streaming will undoubtedly be a topic of interest. With Google Stadia and streaming features from Microsoft and Sony, it'll be interesting to see where these companies take it. Unfortunately, the lack of certainty suggests things might remain static for a while. The technology isn't quite ready to ensure stable streaming for all, and many gamers hold on to their physical media for dear life.
What do you think? Will game streaming take the industry by storm or will it fall under the weight of traditional gaming methods?