Speaking with Variety, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot believes the next generation of consoles will be the last. What comes next, he says, will be streaming.
I mean, you can stream games right now if you really want to, but the service isn’t without its pitfalls, particularly here in Australia where our internet might as well be two tin cans and a piece of string. But once the ability to stream AAA games with ease becomes ubiquitous, Guillemot reckons it could do to gaming what Netflix did to movies and TV.
If you’re not familiar with the concept, game streaming works by simply using your home computer or TV as a window into a more powerful PC via the internet. You essentially play a game on the cloud through a cheap computer or TV rather than owning the expensive hardware required to run it locally.
Of course, this transition will take some time, which is why old mate says there’s gonna be another iteration of console hardware in between, and given Sony says we won’t see a PlayStation 5 until at least 2020, I’d wager it’ll take another five to ten years after that.
“I think we will see another generation, but there is a good chance that step-by-step we will see less and less hardware,” Guillemot told Variety. “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 has been spruiking the idea for a little while now, too. Back in 2013, he said there would be one more line of console hardware after the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Wii U. In 2016, he said a new console would eventually come along that utilises cloud-based technology.
As you’d probably expect, Nintendo America‘s Reggie Fils-Aimé and Xbox boss Phil Spencer have different thoughts on the concept. While Spencer is still keen to keep developing hardware, albeit, less generational in nature, Fils-Aimé says Nintendo still has a lot to offer in the physical realm.
“Nintendo Switch is the only platform delivering console-quality games that can be taken anytime, anywhere,” he told Variety on Guillemot’s comments. He went on to explain that the platform “has much more to offer in terms of unique experiences.”
Guillemot says “the fact that we will be able to stream those games on mobile phones and television screens without a console is going to change a lot of the industry,” adding that the AAA industry will be able to thrive in such conditions.
It’ll definitely be interesting to see the cloud-based gaming space grow and if it’ll have the same meteoric rise Netflix did. Until then, it’s business as usual, folks.
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