Microsoft cancels "new" console

HeadRusch

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So basically they want a device that has some awesome H264 encoding/decoding (or whatever compression they're using) and a high speed network port..........they must be getting feedback with their stream-to-phones service now and seeing what can realistically be done with modern broadband, considering how some of us are on gigabit and others are still on, what is the minimum now, 3mb DSL or something....?
 

GotNoRice

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So basically they want a device that has some awesome H264 encoding/decoding (or whatever compression they're using) and a high speed network port..........they must be getting feedback with their stream-to-phones service now and seeing what can realistically be done with modern broadband, considering how some of us are on gigabit and others are still on, what is the minimum now, 3mb DSL or something....?

I'd imagine that above 20Mbps or so, latency is a lot more important than extra speed.
 

bigddybn

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So it would have been another Google Stadia, which failed. Did they expect anything different?
Microsoft already has a huge installed user base for this. Their existing consoles already offer the option to stream games directly without an install. This isn’t nearly the leap for them that it was for Google.
 

SeymourGore

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They should've bumped up the specs on the Series S a bit increasing its price accordingly, then they could've priced the Streaming console a bit higher without worrying about getting too close to that S tier.
 

Aurelius

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It's not strictly a cancellation so much as a "when it makes sense" hiatus. It could be dead forever, or it could show up next year.

Whatever the reason, it's an acknowledgment that game streaming is difficult to sell in the current environment. It's certainly tough when the Xbox Series S is on sale for the holidays.
 

HeadRusch

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I think Microsoft must be balancing the issue of having to provide adequate cloud hosting for the VM's they'd need to support the platform while looking at the Xbox Series S probably becoming a $199 part pretty soon considering its age and fairly lackluster performance (In some ways its better than the old One X, but in some ways actually worse than that 5+ year old console)....so where do you price this thing that anyone would buyit? Why bother with the overhead. Slash the price on the Series S and let that be the new multi-role box for casuals, the Series X has some grey hairs now so let's call that a $399 part in the not too distant future. Microsoft can push gamepass and let people download the same way they'd stream, which will still deliver a better experience with local installs, and no new hardware or infrastructure to support. Or microsoft can just say "yeah you can do a streaming bundle that is supported on Series S/X", I mean the AMD APU's in those boxes are more than adequate for that task....
 

Sycraft

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So it would have been another Google Stadia, which failed. Did they expect anything different?
I mean it has all the technical issues of game streaming, which are many, but MS does have some advantages over Google meaning they could possibly succeed where Google failed:

1) The biggest one is that they don't just abandon and kill projects because they don't work immediately. MS is actually REALLY good at taking something, releasing it, have it not do well, iterate it, and continue that until they have something that is good.

2) MS is established in the game space and has a working game store, working relationships, all that shit. Makes it much easier to bring things to their new service. Google was starting from scratch.

3) MS would (presumably) not be so stupid as to invent a new platform you had to port games to. Stadia was a special version of Linux. MS's platform would likely be Xbox on the back end, maybe Windows. Either way they could make it so there is basically zero porting effort for devs. You are already releasing on probably both of those platforms, if that same code runs on the streaming service then why not have your game on it?

4) MS could easily make streaming an option with games, rather than the only thing you have. Kinda like the "Blu-ray plus digital download," thing you see, games could be "Xbox plus streaming". So you buy the game on the Xbox store, and you can stream it if you want, or download it to an Xbox if you want. That makes it much more palatable for many gamers. You aren't buying something on a streaming platform that is ONLY there and could go awya, you are buying an Xbox game that you could ALSO stream.

5) They have a big collection of games already that could be offered making a tempting "pay per month" streaming service. The Gamepass library is pretty decent. That is the kind of thing that you might get people interested in for a monthly fee. Google had a pathetic collection, that didn't get much better.

6) Surprisingly, MS actually has more/better cloud services than Google. Azure is bigger than Google Cloud, and not by a little bit.


I still hate streaming and don't want it to happen, but MS does have advantages, non-trivial ones, that Google doesn't.
 

DukenukemX

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This is MS we're talking about, not some lame Google project!
Microsoft had great success with products like Zune and Kinect. Of course we can't forget about the Xbox One, which had great success. Remind me how many Xbox One's were sold?

 

Sycraft

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Microsoft had great success with products like Zune and Kinect. Of course we can't forget about the Xbox One, which had great success. Remind me how many Xbox One's were sold?
For the new Series X/S? About 16.5 million. For the original One/1X? 50 million.
 

DukenukemX

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For the new Series X/S? About 16.5 million. For the original One/1X? 50 million.
55 million reported after Microsoft was forced to legally release that info. They stopped reporting after 2016. That says a lot about Microsoft's confidence of the Xbox One. Not that 55 million is bad, but Microsoft sure seemed to think it was.

https://www.thurrott.com/games/xbox...onsoles?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
https://www.theverge.com/2022/8/15/23306068/microsoft-xbox-one-sales-lifetime-versus-ps4-sales
 

toast0

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3) MS would (presumably) not be so stupid as to invent a new platform you had to port games to. Stadia was a special version of Linux. MS's platform would likely be Xbox on the back end, maybe Windows. Either way they could make it so there is basically zero porting effort for devs. You are already releasing on probably both of those platforms, if that same code runs on the streaming service then why not have your game on it?
You would think so, but then again, how many new ways to write windows apps have they made in recent times, and then kind of let hang in the wind. Let's not talk about how many times you would have had to rewrite a Windows Mobile app before you could rewrite it for the last time as a 'universal' app that would only be useful on the final version of the platform that had the least devices. But I don't think the Xbox division is that out of touch with the world.

Back to technical issues... I've got a 20 ms ping to my DSL concentrator, when you add input polling, render time, encode time, decode time, my screen's input lag, there's no way I'm not going to be able to notice the lag. And I can assume there's going to be a game server in my metro area; for all the people not within 50 miles of major datacenters, like yeah. Could be great for Civilization, but not for mass market games. Starlink isn't going to save us, their latencies are in the same neck of the woods, but they tend to vary throughout the day. If telcos go out and run fiber like they've been telling the FCC they would for the past 30? years, maybe we can talk about this again. Google briefly was able to convince telco's to run fiber, when I was in San Jose, AT&T got fiber on my pole within a few months of Google announcing they were going to bring me fiber, took several more months for AT&T to light the fiber, and by then Google said never mind about expanding their residential network and AT&T stopped announcing new fiber cities after that (AFAIK). Centurylink seems like they'd rather just stop being a phone company than run fiber to my house this century, but we'll see.
 

Tengis

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55 million reported after Microsoft was forced to legally release that info. They stopped reporting after 2016. That says a lot about Microsoft's confidence of the Xbox One. Not that 55 million is bad, but Microsoft sure seemed to think it was.

https://www.thurrott.com/games/xbox...onsoles?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
https://www.theverge.com/2022/8/15/23306068/microsoft-xbox-one-sales-lifetime-versus-ps4-sales

Number of consoles sold doesnt mean anything if nobody is buying games. I remember reading an article about the Wii that talked about how your average person just bought the console and 1-2 first party games for the life of the console with third party games even lower... where the Xbox at the time was upwards of 8-10 games iirc.
 

Luke M

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Centurylink seems like they'd rather just stop being a phone company than run fiber to my house this century, but we'll see.

They sold their rural stuff to Brightspeed (private equity) recently.
 

toast0

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They sold their rural stuff to Brightspeed (private equity) recently.
Oh wow, I hadn't heard about that, thanks. That doesn't cover my state. Looks like a return to the US West footprint + Florida and Nevada. That's wild. This transaction seems to be based on states, not Rural vs Urban like Verizon's sales/dumping to Frontier.
 

DukenukemX

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Number of consoles sold doesnt mean anything if nobody is buying games.
The number of console sales will limit how many games can be sold.
I remember reading an article about the Wii that talked about how your average person just bought the console and 1-2 first party games for the life of the console with third party games even lower... where the Xbox at the time was upwards of 8-10 games iirc.

See this list here? How many best selling Wii games are on that list? I see only 1 Xbox exclusive on that list. That doesn't mean people didn't buy 8-10 games for the Xbox as 3rd party titles were strong on the Xbox, but yea the Wii didn't have strong support for 3rd party titles since it was so much weaker compared to the competition. The thing is that during the Xbox One era, Microsoft started to port their games to PC with good reasons. Not because Microsoft had a board meeting and someone reminded them that they owned Windows, which is what most people play PC games on, but because the only way Microsoft could hope for exclusives including timed exclusives on the Xbox One, was if they let studios port their games to PC. To say Microsoft will have great success with cloud gaming because they don't fuck around is ignoring a lot of recent history.

Their cloud gaming console costing $300 would be a stupid move. You can buy the digital edition of the PS5 for $400. The Xbox Series S is on Amazon for $239. The smart move would be to dump the idea of the console made specifically for streaming and lower the price of the Xbox Series S. It's already cheap enough and can stream games. Even at $139 I don't see people buying a console just to stream games. Good luck convincing people to pay a $10 or even $15 a month for the service. What Microsoft needs to do is go the route of Amazon Prime and add value to Game Pass. Make Game Pass part of the streaming fee and I would even go as far as including stuff from Activision Blizzard since they own them.
 
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DanNeely

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So basically they want a device that has some awesome H264 encoding/decoding (or whatever compression they're using) and a high speed network port..........they must be getting feedback with their stream-to-phones service now and seeing what can realistically be done with modern broadband, considering how some of us are on gigabit and others are still on, what is the minimum now, 3mb DSL or something....?

I think my parents only get 1.5mbps. 🤮

The worst part about using the internet when I visit is knowing that not only is cable an option; but that instead of going out of business like 99% of dialup providers did: their local community ISP has ran fiber past their house.

But the Dismally Slow Line is mostly good enough to stream Netflix at potato quality levels and they're convinced that's good enough that it's not worth trying to switch. Especially since my Mom almost certianly would insist on keeping the landline phone instead of getting rid of it entirely or switching to a VOIP service.
 

LukeTbk

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I still hate streaming and don't want it to happen, but MS does have advantages, non-trivial ones, that Google doesn't.
Google had a potentially massive one, imagine being proposed to try a game via streaming after having watched the trailer or a review of it on youtube in a bit of systematic way if your are on google chrome, you test both the game and stadia, with an easy to way to continue your game and become a member.


Their cloud gaming console costing $300 would be a stupid move.
Not sure who would disagree about that, the article in the OP is talking about Microsoft challenge to make it around $130 with a good controller.

And with iGPU getting good, it could be a in your Edge browser or an App on your smartTV or already owned FireStick affair.
 
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Sycraft

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Google had a potentially massive one, imagine being proposed to try a game via streaming after having watched the trailer or a review of it on youtube in a bit of systematic way if your are on google chrome, you test both the game and stadia, with an easy to way to continue your game and become a member.
Ya but they never did anything like that. I'm not saying Google couldn't have found ways to try and promote Stadia, just saying MS has some advantages since MS is already in videogames and, despite what some want to claim, a big player in that space. Google was starting from scratch. They have the money they could have gone a lot harder at getting games on the platform and developing things, but they didn't. They did the Google thing of launch something and just assume it'll all work out magic, and when it doesn't, cancel it.
 

LukeTbk

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Ya but they never did anything like that. I'm not saying Google couldn't have found ways to try and promote Stadia, just saying MS has some advantages since MS is already in videogames and, despite what some want to claim, a big player in that space.
Yes licensing to make that happen would have needed to be build up, unlike Gamepass adding a streaming option. People being able to test without spending a dollar seem an important feature for this to work.
 

toast0

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Yes licensing to make that happen would have needed to be build up, unlike Gamepass adding a streaming option. People being able to test without spending a dollar seem an important feature for this to work.
Having a viable way to pay for the game once and use is on streaming and local hardware is also something Microsoft could probably do that Google didn't do.
 

GiGaBiTe

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what is the minimum now, 3mb DSL or something....?

Ha, that is a good joke.

I have customers that still to this day have like 512k down and 64k up, and that's all that's available. Not even dialup anymore since all of the telcos are axing POTS lines and abandoning them in favor of VOIP, which doesn't play well with modems at all.

If they're really lucky, they can get HughesNet. On there, they do get a few megabit down, but the satellites are so far away, and the downlink buffer is so large that you measure pings in seconds. The uplink is almost nonexistent, or uses a dialup connection, or did up until telcos started axing them. I'm sure the latency is double or triple if having to use the satellite uplink. No amount of optimizations and software black magic is going to fix that crap.

There are also these "rural wireless" services popping up everywhere that use long distance antennas. But they require an unobstructed direct shot to the tower to have any hope of a reliable connection, which is virtually impossible.
 

DukenukemX

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Not sure who would disagree about that, the article in the OP is talking about Microsoft challenge to make it around $130 with a good controller.

And with iGPU getting good, it could be a in your Edge browser or an App on your smartTV or already owned FireStick affair.
The thing is that $130 is still stupid. What's the device good for? Only streaming? Maybe some Netflix? The Xbox Series S makes sense to be the device that will carry Microsoft's cloud gaming service forward. Not only it can play games locally but it can also stream. Just lower the price and be done with it. Otherwise this $130 device is gonna end up as ewaste.
 

Aurelius

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The thing is that $130 is still stupid. What's the device good for? Only streaming? Maybe some Netflix? The Xbox Series S makes sense to be the device that will carry Microsoft's cloud gaming service forward. Not only it can play games locally but it can also stream. Just lower the price and be done with it. Otherwise this $130 device is gonna end up as ewaste.
A streaming-only device would be fine... just not at $130. I'd say $99 is the magic mark; more of a conspicuous gap, but high enough that Microsoft can pack some better hardware inside than the usual Chromecasts and Fire Sticks. The irony is that the new Apple TV 4K might be a better value at $130 since it can play some native games (mobile-oriented ones, but still) and likely has access to a much wider range of streaming video services.
 

LukeTbk

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The thing is that $130 is still stupid. What's the device good for? Only streaming?
The controller is what around $65, a 4k firestick is sold $55 maybe at a lost, that $120, we cannot compare to not controller device when it is will be the main piece
 

DukenukemX

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A streaming-only device would be fine... just not at $130. I'd say $99 is the magic mark; more of a conspicuous gap, but high enough that Microsoft can pack some better hardware inside than the usual Chromecasts and Fire Sticks. The irony is that the new Apple TV 4K might be a better value at $130 since it can play some native games (mobile-oriented ones, but still) and likely has access to a much wider range of streaming video services.
If you wanna go that route then Microsoft should just make an app on Chromecasts, Fire Sticks, Apple TV's, and etc to play the games and you have the controller hooked up and ready to go. This service is for people who can't afford to buy the console, so I would go all the way and just let anyone play with any device they have, with any controller they have. This is the problem with all these could gaming services in that they're meant for people with low income but when you price everything out the setup comes out to be more than just buying the console.

The controller is what around $65, a 4k firestick is sold $55 maybe at a lost, that $120, we cannot compare to not controller device when it is will be the main piece
Firstly, does it have to be an Xbox Series gamepad? What's the difference between an Xbox 360 and Xbox One's gamepad, let alone PS4/PS5 and etc? Not enough to care. Second, why is the gamepad $65? Don't they mass produce these things? Also I found it for $40 on Amazon new. Third, everyone has a device that can be used to Stream. The problem is that most cloud gaming service either has a specific app, browser, or device that's needed for it to work. Nvidia has gotten it right in that they only require a web browser and some sort of input device for Geforce now. Does Microsoft's cloud gaming service need a device on a TV because lots of devices fit that requirement.
 

LukeTbk

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In the near future I would imagine TV would be good enough at decoding power for it (if not already) even the TV of the people for who the $300 price point of an Series S seem high.

One possible issue is the different platform store politics, I am not sure how much the model work if they have to share somewhat large of in app purchase on some of them, your own device a la google-amazon-apple remove a lot of those headaches for the owner.

has for the controller I imagine that by now you need to go with one that has is own battery-charger which is I imagine the massive difference from 360 batteries era one pricing and with the low price we see during Black Friday deal, it is a sign that they could have some room, but it would be a significant part of the price.
 
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Aurelius

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If you wanna go that route then Microsoft should just make an app on Chromecasts, Fire Sticks, Apple TV's, and etc to play the games and you have the controller hooked up and ready to go. This service is for people who can't afford to buy the console, so I would go all the way and just let anyone play with any device they have, with any controller they have. This is the problem with all these could gaming services in that they're meant for people with low income but when you price everything out the setup comes out to be more than just buying the console.
That's the way it seems to be going, and probably the best route. Samsung TVs now have that Xbox cloud gaming app, so your up-front cost is exactly zero beyond the TV and the controller you already needed.

I don't think these services are aimed at people with low income. They're meant more for those who want the convenience of playing anywhere — the theory is that you can have your Xbox games on your TV, your phone, your laptop... the lower hardware prices reflect both the nature of the service and the desire to reduce barriers to entry.
 

DukenukemX

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I don't think these services are aimed at people with low income. They're meant more for those who want the convenience of playing anywhere — the theory is that you can have your Xbox games on your TV, your phone, your laptop... the lower hardware prices reflect both the nature of the service and the desire to reduce barriers to entry.
If that's the direction that they want for Xbox cloud then it'll fail. In every respect the service will be worse than a cheap Xbox Series S. Stadia was all about convenience, except that it wasn't. Setting up a smart TV with all the streaming services is a pain, and you expect people to do that with Xbox cloud? It should be viewed as a cheap mans console.
 

Aurelius

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If that's the direction that they want for Xbox cloud then it'll fail. In every respect the service will be worse than a cheap Xbox Series S. Stadia was all about convenience, except that it wasn't. Setting up a smart TV with all the streaming services is a pain, and you expect people to do that with Xbox cloud? It should be viewed as a cheap mans console.
Oh, I didn't say it's the smartest strategy, just that it's what Microsoft is doing. And it'll be difficult to offer cheaply as the cost of maintaining suitable hardware and bandwidth isn't cheap. As I've said in the past: game streaming shows promise, but the technology and business model just aren't there yet.

Smart TV setup isn't that hard; you really just need to sign into your Microsoft account and pair a controller. Not as simple as firing up a console for the first time, but nor are you jumping through hoops.
 

DukenukemX

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As I've said in the past: game streaming shows promise, but the technology and business model just aren't there yet.
My views on cloud gaming is that it'll never happen. Microsoft can go ahead and try but it'll end up like so many other failed streaming services, unless its economical. Firstly, the technology will never be there. The main problem with cloud gaming is speed of electricity. I wanna say speed of light but that isn't accurate. Lets pretend that isn't an issue, even though it totally is, but there's cost too. Nvidia Grid wanted to you buy the games from Nvidia, as well as Stadia. Geforce Now allows you to use games off Steam, so long as its a supported game. Sony has the right idea in that they treat their service as a Netflix type service, except it's horrible laggy and doesn't come with the latest games. For this to work it has to be as cheap as possible, with as many games as you can get off Steam, while having decent latency.
Smart TV setup isn't that hard; you really just need to sign into your Microsoft account and pair a controller. Not as simple as firing up a console for the first time, but nor are you jumping through hoops.
It isn't hard, but it gets annoying with 2 factor authentication. Now do this to every device you come across to play your games. It's easier to pick up a Xbox Series S or better yet bring a Steam Deck.
 

Aurelius

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My views on cloud gaming is that it'll never happen. Microsoft can go ahead and try but it'll end up like so many other failed streaming services, unless its economical. Firstly, the technology will never be there. The main problem with cloud gaming is speed of electricity. I wanna say speed of light but that isn't accurate. Lets pretend that isn't an issue, even though it totally is, but there's cost too. Nvidia Grid wanted to you buy the games from Nvidia, as well as Stadia. Geforce Now allows you to use games off Steam, so long as its a supported game. Sony has the right idea in that they treat their service as a Netflix type service, except it's horrible laggy and doesn't come with the latest games. For this to work it has to be as cheap as possible, with as many games as you can get off Steam, while having decent latency.

It isn't hard, but it gets annoying with 2 factor authentication. Now do this to every device you come across to play your games. It's easier to pick up a Xbox Series S or better yet bring a Steam Deck.
I wouldn't say "never" (I rarely deal in absolutes), but I wouldn't be surprised if game streaming fizzles out. Latency and costs can go down — the challenge is getting enough game developers to offer their games in the cloud, whatever the pricing model looks like.

And I'd say 2FA is a minor inconvenience in the grand scheme. You'll generally only do that once in a blue Moon; having to buy a Steam Deck or limit yourself to gaming in one place is definitely going to sting more if you were hoping for ubiquitous access. The main issue is simply that many people don't really feel the urge to play the latest Xbox games on every device they own; a console or a decent gaming PC is usually enough.
 

DukenukemX

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I wouldn't say "never" (I rarely deal in absolutes), but I wouldn't be surprised if game streaming fizzles out. Latency and costs can go down —
My thinking with cloud gaming is that it's a cheat code to making more money for whoever is successful with it. The problem is gaming is already expensive compared to other forms of entertainment, and people hate the subscription model. Just look at Netflix who is trying to find alternatives with revenue by including ads.
the challenge is getting enough game developers to offer their games in the cloud, whatever the pricing model looks like.
Sony and Microsoft can pull this off due to their large library of games at their disposal. The problem is licensing as this is still a problem for Nvidia's Geforce Now, as well as Microsoft's backwards compatibility for the Xbox Series consoles.
And I'd say 2FA is a minor inconvenience in the grand scheme. You'll generally only do that once in a blue Moon;
If you game only in your home. If you travel then this becomes a huge problem for multiple reasons.
having to buy a Steam Deck or limit yourself to gaming in one place is definitely going to sting more if you were hoping for ubiquitous access. The main issue is simply that many people don't really feel the urge to play the latest Xbox games on every device they own; a console or a decent gaming PC is usually enough.
The Steam Deck has access to nearly all of Steam's games, while also able to play other games, including Switch games. PC is able to play nearly all games in existence, making it an ideal platform to game on. Legally that's another matter, but legally is what limits consoles and especially cloud gaming. What'll happen is that big name studios will break off and create their own cloud gaming service. I could see EA and Ubisoft do something like this. This is what happened to video streaming as everyone is trying to get into that subscription model.
 

vegeta535

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My thinking with cloud gaming is that it's a cheat code to making more money for whoever is successful with it. The problem is gaming is already expensive compared to other forms of entertainment, and people hate the subscription model. Just look at Netflix who is trying to find alternatives with revenue by including ads.

Sony and Microsoft can pull this off due to their large library of games at their disposal. The problem is licensing as this is still a problem for Nvidia's Geforce Now, as well as Microsoft's backwards compatibility for the Xbox Series consoles.

If you game only in your home. If you travel then this becomes a huge problem for multiple reasons.

The Steam Deck has access to nearly all of Steam's games, while also able to play other games, including Switch games. PC is able to play nearly all games in existence, making it an ideal platform to game on. Legally that's another matter, but legally is what limits consoles and especially cloud gaming. What'll happen is that big name studios will break off and create their own cloud gaming service. I could see EA and Ubisoft do something like this. This is what happened to video streaming as everyone is trying to get into that subscription model.
Your feeling on cloud means nothing. It will happen. It will be forced down our throats and won't have a choice.
 
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