From catching up on our favourite shows on Netflix to using apps like Amazon Music to listen to tunes on the way home from work, streaming has become a fundamental part of our daily lives. In fact, it probably has more of an impact than we actually realise.
The ability to effectively stream high-quality content on devices including computers, smartphones and tablets is already important to many people. However, a number of key announcements in recent weeks have suggested that the streaming capabilities of new products will particularly become a major concern for gamers in the near future.
Of course, streaming has in some ways existed in gaming for a while. For example, the PlayStation Now subscription service gives people the chance to stream games, while online casino sites like Mr Green also offer so-called ‘live’ games. These are managed by a real-life dealer via a video link and players even have an opportunity to communicate with them as they would in a standard casino. Then there are also video services like Twitch, which have grown massively as the trend for watching top gamers in action has become more popular.
But while there have been major strides made in the area, the idea of being able to stream games to a high quality is still in its infancy. However, some of the biggest names in the technology world have recently revealed how they have been examining the area.
At the start of October, Google outlined how it had been working on Project Stream to solve some of the ‘biggest challenges’ around the technology. The trial revolved around streaming Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Odyssey to a Chrome browser on laptop or desktop, with the organisation asking for US volunteers with home internet connections of 25 megabits per second to get involved.
Coincidentally, around the same time, Microsoft revealed it was working on Project xCloud. The initiative is aimed at developing streaming technology which will give gamers choice regarding the device they play on – with titles being available on anything from a PC or console to a mobile. Public trials related to the project are expected to begin next year.
Another major name to throw their hat into the streaming ring is EA, which recently confirmed it is working on Project Atlas. The platform is expected to ‘harness the massive power’ of AI and cloud computing and allow gamers to access blockbuster games with the ‘lowest possible latency’.
A bright future
Game streaming could have a huge impact on our lives, potentially removing the need to buy or download games and even meaning that powerful consoles are no longer necessary.
While the concept may not become the accepted norm anytime soon, it certainly appears to be the way things are going and we may well see the creation of a Netflix-like service for streaming games in the future. With this in mind, it will be fascinating to see how such issues impact on the decisions that gamers make when buying new technology.