Next gen gaming – will gaming consoles survive?

Next gen gaming – will gaming consoles survive?
Next gen gaming – will gaming consoles survive?

The next generation of gaming seems like it is going to be fascinating, as Apple and Google make moves into this market with their Arcade and Stadia platforms. One effect that this could have is to change the way people game, putting the future of the games console at risk.

Next gen gaming – will gaming consoles survive?
Next gen gaming – will gaming consoles survive?

Cloud and subscription platforms

Given the frequent media comparisons between them, it is important to note that while Google Stadia is a cloud gaming platform, Apple Arcade is not. Instead, it is a subscription service that lets you download and play games on any iOS device, whereas Stadia is a cloud streaming service that lets you stream games on any device with Google Chrome.

Apple got off the mark first, launching Arcade during September and it has more than 100 games already. The early signs are that it has caught the imaginations of gamers, helped by the range and quality of titles and the low $4.99 monthly fee.

Google Stadia gets its much-anticipated launch on November 19th and it will have the advantage of being cross-platform. Unlike Arcade though, gamers will only be able to access it if they can get online, as it is a streaming service. Latency is an issue that some observers have raised as a potential problem, but Google is indicating that it is dealing with that by getting developers to create games specifically for the service and by using the greater processing power that it offers.

What about consoles?

This might make the future seem bleak for consoles, but the latest Xbox and PlayStation models may be able to hold their own. Little is known yet about what games will be available for either Xbox Project Scarlett or the PS5, although the former will definitely offer Halo Infinite right from the launch.

PS5 is bound to have some great titles too though, from VR to cutting edge mobile casino games. In addition, both consoles will offer the user some streaming options, as Microsoft has its Project xCloud service and Sony has PlayStation Now.

The latter has more than 700 games already in its library, with more set to be added once the PS5 hits the shops, giving those who opt to go with the new PlayStation console even more games choice than Apple or Google’s new services can currently provide.

The price of the new consoles, which early previews of the two indicators are likely to be in the region of $500 each, could be a problem for Sony and Microsoft though. Apple Arcade lets you download hundreds of games for less than $5 a month and the pricing for Stadia is likely to be in the same ballpark and this seems like the factor that will see the new services catch them up in terms of user numbers.

Google Stadia and Apple Arcade are both serious challengers to the game consoles because they offer gaming quality and choice at a much lower cost.


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