Video game consoles come in generations, and each generation takes advantage of new technologies. We’ve moved from wired controllers, 8-bit graphics, and bulky cartridges to wireless controllers, photorealistic graphics, and digital games with cloud save functionality. At the rate technology improves, it’s only natural for gamers to wonder what the future holds in store for gaming consoles. According to one game industry veteran, the future of video games is actually one without consoles.
During an interview with Variety, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot claimed the gaming industry is nearing the end of the console era and that streaming is the way of the future.
“I think we will see another generation, but there is a good chance that step-by-step we will see less and less hardware,” explained Guillemot. “With time, I think streaming will become more accessible to many players and make it not necessary to have big hardware at home. There will be one more console generation and then after that, we will be streaming, all of us.”
Guillemot believes gamers will soon be able to stream games on any device, be it a big screen tv or a tiny smartphone, without the need for a console. In fact, several companies already provide this kind of service, albeit in a limited fashion. Sony offers the PlayStation Now subscription, which lets gamers stream an ever-growing library of PlayStation games on their PlayStation 4 or PC, and Nvidia is testing the waters with Nvidia GeForce Now, which will allow PC and Mac owners to stream games they own from a virtual computer.
Guillemot isn’t alone in this console-free, streaming-centric dream. The Executive President of Gaming at Microsoft Phil Spencer seems to share the sentiment. According to Spencer, gaming is “less about having specific devices to play a certain game on, but having your favorite games accessible on any device you have.”
Of course, several obstacles stand in the way of universal stream-oriented gaming. For example, not everyone has access to the Internet speeds necessary for game streaming. However, Guillemot is confident technology will quickly advance and that problems such as this will become non-issues.
What do you think? Are we headed towards a future where streaming is king and consoles have gone the way of the dodo, or will Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo continue to make consoles for the foreseeable future?