The PS5 and Xbox Scarlett consoles are going to be the last cycle of conventional consoles if Ubisoft’s CEO has anything to say about it. Yves Guillemot suggested that gaming’s recent flirtations with cross-technology services and the rise of streaming services is naturally paving the way for a new breed of hardware. Services like the Xbox Game Pass and Nvidia’s Geforce Now beta both show that the industry is investing more into this new model of gaming.
Speaking with Variety, Ubisoft’s co-founder and CEO, Yves Guillemot, suggested that we’ll see one more round of conventional console before “streaming will become more accessible to many players and make it not necessary to have big hardware at home.”
Guillemot isn’t just focused on the likes of Amazon and Google, both of whom have shown an interest in breaking into relatively new ground in a gaming streaming service; he suggested that the ability to stream AAA games to a phone, tablet or basic computer all show the next phase that the industry is heading towards. He said during the interview that the ability to stream games from one device to another is something that will help developers but also means that “we have to work on the accessibility of those games, to make sure they can be played on any device, but the fact that we will be able to stream those games on mobile phones and television screens without a console is going to change a lot of the industry.”
Whether or not the entire industry is indeed moving in this direction remains to be seen. Though services like the Xbox Game Pass demonstrates that consumers, publishers, and developers are willing to buy into the streaming model, though the financial toll it takes on publishers and developers in the long-term is something we’re still waiting to fully understand.
Similarly, services like Nvidia’s Geforce Now, a beta service that allows players to stream games on a low-end computer, and Valve’s Link service which streams PC games to Smart Phones, show that the basic foundations for a fully-fledged streaming service to build on.
The idea of a streaming-only gaming system is still a fairly divisive one. Game Pass shows that it can work but so much of its success is down to players being able to use the games without an internet connection once they’ve been downloaded. And with much of the world still relatively behind when it comes to stable internet connections, streaming may well be the future for the industry, but there’s still a fair few problems to be solved if the model is going to work, even if Ubisoft’s CEO is behind the changes.