August 13, 2022

Binary Blogger

Are you a 1 or a 0? News, Thoughts and Reviews

PS4 and XboxOne: Welcome To The Cloud

4 min read

Well video game enthusiasts the next generation of consoles are on their way. The two big leaders, the Sony Playstation and the Microsoft Xbox, have revealed their consoles and the evolution of the game only system to entertainment hubs of the living room.

Each have taken the next step integrating data, services, entertainment on demand. They are even beginning to move away from physical discs as a requirement to play the game as Microsoft will install the games on the Xbox One and you won’t need the disc after that. The next logical step for the generation after is digital only.

Now as a Cloud expert this is a logical step for the console makers, game makers, entertainment providers. As a video gamer I can see how the normal Joe will hate this model, especially when it comes to used games. It is also exposing the country’s ‘entitlement’ mentality on getting things without paying full value for it. Moving entertainment games to a consumable cloud model will improve the business of making games but will hurt retailers and turn gamers away from the consoles.

Here are some of the huge benefits the console makers and game publishers will gain from moving away from physical discs to a digital activation and local install model. First will be a big step to curb console modding, piracy, copying discs, hacking, cheating, and all the other practices some do that ruin it for everyone else. Installing and activating a game to your Xbox Live account, for example, can allow Microsoft to disable your game from working immediately. Not just disabling your Xbox Live account but blocking the game itself going forward. If you cheat at Call of Duty: Ghosts you can have your console never allowed to active COD: Ghosts again. Since all the play will require an Intenet connection to activate, that’s easy to do.

From a financial side the publishers and the console makers can put GameStop very close to out of business in the next 7 years. There are people who only buy used games and never pay full price ($39.99 to $59.99 new today with rumors next gen will rise to $69.99 for new release). I don’t think the games will stay full price for long if they want to sell it but the publishers can continue to make money on each activation for one physical disc. Today they make money on the initial sale but then the used game market dictates prices and the publishers don’t get a cut on that. That’s why they introduced micro-transactions, paid DLC, and other in game purchases to make money over and over for each new user since the DLC content doesn’t travel with the discs or have to be bought and activated from the discs. Cloud games keeps the money flowing for a game for years after the first release.

However, if they do that I would demand that there will be no more paid DLC for these games. If they are going to stick the users to pay to activate a ‘pre-owned’ game then don’t jack them again for in-game purchases or expansions. Gamers will walk away if that happens.

I read an article that quoted a Microsoft Xbox team member, I couldn’t find it but I will paraphrase. Basically the Xbox guy said they Apple with their Apple TV box could take 30% of the console game market overnight. Sony and Microsoft are afraid of Apple. High quality, fun, cheap, quick games at the user’s fingertips on multiple devices at the same time. If the gamers are alienated at the wallets, that could be the future.

On the flip side, the gamers themselves need to calm down about the used games pretty much going away. This is the era of The Cloud, consumable services or in this case game software. The future is coming and eventually the only delivery method will be over the ‘air’. No more ownership of media. I predict the next-next generation consoles after this one will not have an optical drive just a multiple terabyte hard drive with 128GB of RAM running off your 1 GB home internet connection. The only way you will get movies, games, shows will be through a cloud service. Easy, quick, but locked down for consumption only and not individual collection.

PS4 and Xbox One are just the next big step for the end game of consumable media and ushering in the Cloud to the home users. No more is it a business IT discussion, whether or not people realize it, the Cloud is here and going to be in their living room.

End of Line.

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