The future is coming
In fact if we believe Sony and Microsoft its here now,its called the gaming subscription service
With Sony announcing the PS Now a game streaming service for some parts of Europe and America in early 2015 and a full release in the UK in March of the same year. We all guessed that at some point the other big player in the console gaming market, Microsoft would release something to compete with it soon and now they have .
This week Microsoft announced the Xbox game pass, releasing to the gaming public in the Spring of this year and I wonder if its a good or a bad thing? For one the cost of these services is quite, whether you get one or both of these services at £7.99 for the game pass and £12.99 for PS Now. Its not quite as cheap as picking up a few games at the your local second hand shop or even buying them from Ebay. After all having the opportunity to play anything you want when ever you want is a great idea in practice but i wonder, in reality if having the games to play is one thing but finding the time to pay them is another and if your anything like me with my current backlog an ever increasing pile of gaming shaming leering at my from the shelf under the TV i wonder if many people apart from avid trophy hunters will be interested enough to buy into this service?
Will it help or hinder publishers?
Another question to ask is what will happen to the big publishers? Will the big companies, The EA’s ( who also have their own subscription service to worry about) the Ubisoft’s etc continue to make large budget games, pushing the technology to the limits of its ability, if they don’t need too? will the lure of the ( I would imagine) small incentives of any money made from these services be too much, will the additional staff costs of having to keep these games gamer ready, trophies added, games patched and multi-player lobbies monitored,stop them from developing the new and exiting games of the future? Or will it be left to the smaller independent publisher? Will it open up the market, will new games have to be better than they ever have been? With ever bigger budgets, better stories and better graphics needed just to make us stop looking at the older games, take off our nostalgia glasses and see the games on the subscription services for what they are, the gaming equivalent of our favorite bands current album, a few great games, popping up among a sea of average and overrated gaming.