I’ve been gaming exclusively on Xbox since the release of the Xbox 360 in 2005. But two console generations later, the world is changing. And cloud-based game streaming is on the cusp of eliminating the key advantages of game consoles when compared to PC gaming, and many are providing the same all-you-can-eat benefits we see elsewhere in video and music streaming services. It’s time to take a closer look.
Here in late 2020, there are four key game streaming services as I see it: Xbox Cloud Gaming (formerly Project xCloud), which is part of the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, Google Stadia, NVIDIA GeForce Now, and Amazon Luna, the latter of which is still in early preview. It is not coincidental, I think, that three of the four are offered by tech giants with strong cloud computing and AI infrastructures: In many ways, this is as important as relationships with game developers and studios.