It isn’t surprising that EA announced a new focus on video game streaming during their E3 press conference today. Video game streaming has grown immensely over the last few years and EA already has a subscription service in it’s EA Access platform. EA Origins (which is exclusive to Xbox One) allows players to stream games from the EA vault directly to their Xbox One consoles. Part of me wants to run away from streaming games but, I’m very optimistic about the potential.
I AM A CONSOLE GAMER
As a 30 year old gamer, I have seen a lot change….a lot! The first game system I played as the NES and we have come a long long way from 8-bit goodness. One thing that has never changed for me is my love for gaming consoles. I still camp outside for video game consoles even knowing that I can just pre-order one online. The satisfaction of having a brand new console in your hand at the earliest moment still puts a smile on my face. There is no other feeling like it. And this is part of the reason that I struggle to embrace streaming for the games I play. The other reason being that I enjoy collecting my physical titles. I have over 500 games in my game room and I’d be crushed to have to give that up. There are always more retro titles to buy though.
EASE OF USE
EA is thinking about the future as any forward thinking business should. Streaming has its advantages and its tough not to take notice. Why get up from your couch to purchase a game when you don’t have to? For me it’s the feeling of having something physical in your hand. For young kids today, it’s about getting things fast. Thinking back to my childhood, I would of loved for a download option for games. Asking my parents to drive me to the local video store every Friday became a pain. Even worse was that they didn’t always take me. Streaming is brilliant.
THE FUTURE IS CALLING
This past week Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot commented that there would be one last console generation. His feeling is that the need for in home hardware will diminish. Streaming will take it’s place and lead us into the future. This statement resonates with me because I also feel that streaming is going to take over gaming. It reminds me of the CD’s and MP3’s. Early on it didn’t seem like a threat but, fast forward 20 years and CD’s are hardly sold in stores. Does it make sense to need a physical disc when you can download the full game onto a drive?
Let’s say hypothetically I decide to make the jump to digital. Are my games completely secure in the cloud? I would say no because, technology isn’t always stable. A server could fail, a license could expire or more importantly a company could decide to cut support in a game altogether. We’ve seen more than our fair share of games pulled from online stores. I myself feel that the games I play should be mine. Though i do own my games, I don’t always have free reign when a cloud is involved. I could go into online gaming but that would be a story for another article.
I’ve purchased a handful of titles digitally but, I’ve purchased two in particular which serves my optimism for digital games. State of Decay 2 and Detroit Become Human are awesome games that I really enjoy. I still place a higher focus on my physical titles but, I have to say that its amazing to pre-download games and play immediately at launch. I m also signing up for EA Access today. There are a few games that I would love to play but, I wouldn’t spend the money on. I hope I’m not becoming the type of person I’ve always complained about. I want it today, and I want it right now…..I am so disappointed in myself. EA I will be keeping my eye on you.