The success pin between the big three game companies Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo has long been the number of consoles they have sold. But all three have had banner quarters where they highlighted software rather than hardware sales, emphasizing a changing relationship between the games and the boxes we play them on.
This change reflects a wider conversation in the industry about the future or even the death of the console as we know it ̵
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Recent games like Epic's Fortnite played online and have taken the world by storm show that a console is not required to have a fast-paced multiplayer game. Nintendo launches its first subscription gaming service in late September.
CEO of game publisher Ubisoft said in an interview earlier this year that he believed that next-generation consoles would be our last. "There will be a console generation, and after that we will stream, all of us," said Yves Guillemot Variety .
"Being able to play content anywhere would be great," said Doug Creutz, media analyst at Rogers and Cowan. With the technology to radiate console quality games to any device, he says that consumers no need to spend money on a box of $ 600 or $ 800 and developers will not be restricted by the processors and chips that fit into a console.
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Ubisoft Chris Early, Vice President of Partnership and Revenue, said that streaming's appeal to major publishers like his is that makes it easier for even more people to play games. "Gaming has become an increasingly important part of everyday life for everyone," he said. . "When we think of streaming and cloud computing are important benefits, more and more people can play."
Microsoft last month reported that gaming revenue struck 10 billion dollars allows for the first time this quarter, strengthened by subscription and sales of software. Nintendo reported that the profit was up thanks to the interest in games for the portable switch console. Sony console world leader also reported that PlayStation revenue drove the company's total revenue to $ 17.9 billion, and progressed software sales will help the device increase 15 percent next quarter.
Actual console hardware also begins to shift slightly more easily. Nintendo's popular Switch shows that our traditional concept concept does not have to be linked to the living room. It is possible that we will see more focus on powerful laptops. Sony's new PlayStation head Tsuyoshi
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"John" Kodera told reporters in May that his company could also consider something more mobile. There are also rumors about a new Microsoft console that can still sit in the living room and pull a bit of processing power, but does not have bulk or full restrictions on a box, according to the tech news site Thurrott.com.  But for true revolution – and the true death of the console – many more things have to be changed than just the technology of what's in the living room. While Internet networks have come a long way, much of the country is still limited by the network, "says game analyst Mat Piscatella from NPD Group. While expecting a new generation of consoles by 2020 to focus more on streaming, the console will not go anywhere soon.
On the business page, it's also not clear how publishers want to make money. If console takers move to an all-streaming model, Cruetz says. Playing games is different from watching Netflix, he says, because players tend to play a game for several months or even years, rather than merge through a large selection. It makes it difficult for game publishers to guarantee that a wide catalog of games will mean playing time for their titles.
Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Games, compares the evolution of moving games to stream for the change we & # 39; have watched streaming video. Microsoft's goal, he says, is to move games to a medium where you can play whatever you want where you want. But he points out, although streaming video claims to share and market share, DVD sales still pull into billions of dollars a year.
"It takes time," says Spencer.