The promise of Cloud Gaming seemed to be a false promise. But now it appears Electronic Arts (EA) can revive that dream.
Back in June 2018, EA demonstrated they were able to stream high-quality games via a high-speed connection. The person on the other end simply needed a controller to hook up to the television, computer, or laptop, and they could play the game.
Just like Netflix brings movies and shows straight to the consumer, EA is working to launch their own game streaming service.
All players will need is a controller, a high-speed internet connection on their device, and of course, a subscription. Then they’ll have access to a huge array of games to play with.
This would have been nice if they’d come out with this technology a lot sooner.
That One Roommate
Before Cloud Gaming, before even Netflix streaming, I was a college student sharing a house with five other guys.
The house, affectionately dubbed “The Shack,” should have been condemned. There were roaches living there, not to mention the squirrels and cats too. The squirrels left us alone, but the roaches were constantly inciting a turf war.
The cats just used the place to procreate, and loudly.
Rent was cheap though.
Which was the point, I guess.
To make the situation more livable, TV’s were brought in, DVD players, huge selections of DVDs, and games.
One guy had an Xbox. Let’s call him Rick.
While I did my fair share of movie watching, Rick played video games.
I shouldn’t judge, he turned out to be a great guy.
And I did spend a few nights trying to beat Gears of War. I wasn’t totally immune.
Yet, if you were to walk in there, 99 times out of ten, it wasn’t me on the Xbox trying to level up in the hottest game to come out that year- Halo 3. It would have been Rick.
So the soundtrack of the house was a constant stream of explosions, gunfire, Rick shouting into his headset, and vulgar putdowns from other people playing the game as well.
This was college.
Since Rick played hours upon hours of Halo, he was good at the game. I wasn’t.
I would be lucky to get five kills in a multi-player match. And Rick wouldn’t hesitate to point this out to me any time I picked up a controller.
I graduated college, got married, and soon found online gaming really wasn’t the measure of a true man.
But I digress.
I didn’t own a game console. Thus, I wasn’t good at gaming. In hindsight, this wasn’t a bad thing. I did, after all, get into books. And I couldn’t be happier.
Gaming, however, is going to change.
As more and more games come out that only emphasize their online gaming mode and not their story mode, the video game companies will need a better way to market their games.
Enter Cloud Gaming.
It’s not all bad.
And here are three reasons why.
No Consoles to Pay For
Part of the reason I never bought an Xbox or a PlayStation was the expensive price tag. And I was a poor college kid.
My parents were also not big into gaming. So I can’t blame them for not shelling out the cash to buy me one that one time I put it on my Christmas list.
With a streaming service, there’s no need to buy the console, or even the game itself. Just hook up the internet, plug in the controller, and away you go.
A streaming game service was attempted back at the start of the 2010’s.
Two companies, GoLive and Gaikai, each showed cloud gaming was a viable possibility.
The only problem was the technology required to make it work was expensive and not as available as it was today. There was also the widely accepted belief that one buys games and does not stream them. Streaming was for movies and wasn’t seen as a stable method for delivering a high-quality gaming experience.
EA has cracked that.
Now all they need is enough subscribers to make it profitable.
With Cloud Gaming, you’ll only pay once a month, or once for the whole year.
Paying once a month and getting games cheaper is better than having to pay for the console and the games too. At least, I would think so. I’m no expert here, but I do know what I like. And I’d much rather pay a little bit at a time than a lot all at once.
It’s unclear if other game production companies will create their own subscription services like EA’s. But who am I kidding? Of course they will.
Once EA proves this will work, other companies are going to launch their own subscription services to make it happen and compete.
Soon the entertainment world will be one big subscription service, with subscription services to manage subscription services.
At least the games will be cheaper.
Availability to More Players
Rick, though a good guy, was still hogging the Xbox most of the time.
With a subscription service, this opens the door for even more people to plug in and play…so long as the internet speed is fast enough. There’s a way around that, just get the best internet bundles and you’ll be able to have multiple players, on multiple devices, all streaming their games at. The. Same. Time!
If there are not enough ports for the controllers, then pull out a laptop, computer, or just another TV with an internet connection. Players would then be able to join in the game and no one would have to wait their turn to play.
Cloud Gaming would make gaming accessible to a much wider audience.
When Is The Future?
EA’s Origin Access Premiere is still in its infancy.
There will still be some kinks to work out, but as of right now, it seems to be working well. This is good news for EA as they continue their domination of the video game industry.
For those who don’t enjoy video games, or don’t object to EA on principle, there are always books to read.
As for me, I don’t see myself getting involved with video games beyond the few apps I have on my phone. Maybe when I’m older and my life slows down just a little bit I’ll have some time to just waste on a game. But I doubt that will happen any time soon.
Rick, my old roomie, did give up gaming. I’m not sure when, but it must have been some time after he got married and started working a real job. Then he had kids.
Last I spoke with him he was getting his masters and taking care of yet another baby. How he manages kids and masters level courses, I don’t know. I barely made it through my masters’ level course with one child.
A few weeks ago I was near my alma mater and thought, just briefly, if that god-forsaken Shack was still there.
Low and behold, it was.
Some other poor sap decided they’d live with the roaches, the squirrels, and the cats, in that confined space. Hopefully, they have fast, reliable internet, and a streaming service.