Is This The End of the Video Games Console?

Video game Consoles
Image by turkguy0319 via Flickr

Cloud video gaming has been a hotly debated topic in the video game industry for years. If successful, cloud video gaming has the potential to leave consoles such as the X-box and PlayStation obsolete. So does the launch of Playcast Media’s high end video streaming service in Europe signal the death-knell for the video games console?

Launched in Portugal last week, in conjunction with Portugal Telecom, Playcast Media’s new high-end video games service, promises to offer an “all you can play” AAA video games package for just 10 Euros per month. Major publishers including Activision, Atari, Disney, Capcom, Codemasters, THQ and Strategy First are available on the service, with no need for a console or the video games software in order to play. “The new platform brings endless hours of game-play directly to users,” boasts Playcast Media CEO, Guy de Beer.

“This appeal to the mass market, rather than the niche of core gamers, dictates challenging value for money targets.”

The games catalogue consists of 100% next generation video games titles, including some of the best and newest brands, with a mix of genres, including first person shooters, racers, fighting, action as well as children and family games. Cloud video gaming is very interesting from a commercial standpoint, and could revolutionise the industry. The rewards for games developers and publishers are potentially astronomical as not only will cloud video gaming open up the games market beyond the ‘niche core’ of gamers; it should also extend the profitability of individual games, too.

Currently, 90-95% of the revenue generated by a video game is made in the first six weeks of launch, but if the games catalogue was available via cloud gaming, it could allow publishers to extend the sales value of each game.

Talking Point

What does the future hold for the video games console?

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  1. This cloud video gaming definitely sounds interesting, but I am worried that to enjoy this revolutionary gaming experience you will probably have to spend a hefty chunk of money.

    However, if the companies offering “cloud-based” video game services can provide this service at a reasonable price I am sure it might be the end of video game consoles. Because who wouldn’t want on-demand gaming, that is if it works as they say it would.

  2. Sounds very interesting but I dun see how that would make sales have longer legs… Isn’t this like music? The bulk of the album sales still come in the first few weeks.

  3. @Henway – I am sure the games industry will still be like the music industry in terms of sales coming in the majority for the first few weeks, but up until now and the advent of cloud video gaming, the ability to purchase back catalogues of games is sometimes restricted. When you access hundreds of games via the system, it will increase the long-tail of video game sales.

  4. Cloud seems a great idea but i think a lot of people wouldn’t want to be paying a subscription service. And what about when the server or your internet connection is down? You won’t even be able to play a game.

    At least when PSN or XBOX Live is down on a rare occasion, you can still play games offline.

    1. @John – while pricing is an extremely important factor, it doesn’t necessarily guarantee that the majority of gamers would want it. I therefore with James that while the technology is innovative and will certainly appeal to a lot of users, there is still a sizeable amount of people out there that prefer to buy and play games in the traditional way.

  5. Will there be competitive online gaming like x box live, I’m not going to lie when I buy a game I don’t spend the time playing the campaign because frankly I don’t care I just want to talk trash and compete with people online.

    If the cloud system doesn’t offer an x box live style game play it definitely will not come close to killing the console…

    If it does then you will not only be streaming the game, but also the connection to the other players, and with lag already being a problem at times I don’t see this working out in clouds favor either…

    The console will live to live on for now

  6. The controller looks uncomfortable, this may sound ridiculous but a comfortable controller is important look what happened to the original bulky x box controller

  7. I really hope it never catches on. Maybe most consumers will realize the flaws with buying a monthly service. Consoles last years at 300 dollars where as you would easily be paying $120 a year with service cost alone not to mention the ability to play requires an internet connection.

    1. That is very true, but what you also need to take into account is the cost of games for the console versions v.s. this gaming system. Will the cloud video game console charge for games?

      1. I think the Playcast Launch includes AAA games unlimited for 10 Euros per month. Personally, I think it will bring more casual gamers into the gaming industry, especially if providers begin adding ‘games on demand’ packs to their entertainment bundles.

  8. I think there is no way that vidoe consoles will become obsolete as long as the company created it continues to discover new versions that will meet the high demands of people.

    Nice post BTW:}

  9. I don’t think video game consoles will end. Although mobile gaming has taken a lot of attention right now, but it just wouldn’t take the place of consoles. It’s just a different gaming experience with consoles compared to mobile phones.

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