Why PlayStation Now Isn’t The Future of PlayStation, But Gaming As We Know It
Every generation, no matter how advanced, humans have made up fantasies about the future. Whether it was in 1986 when people doubted the future of computer newspapers or 2013 when gaming fans and press wondered if console games would ever be played on the go, we will always question what the next technological revolution will be.
Both console and PC gaming requires a lot of power. Although PC gaming is more demanding and usually needs heavier artillery to execute, console gaming is demanding as well. The hardware inside these devices aren’t particularly small either. My gaming computer is huge and cost me around $1200. My cell phone, which doesn’t come CLOSE to my PC’s power, cost $600 at retail. Why doesn’t my cell phone have half the power but half the pricetag? Having small power on the go is expensive. The silicon and transistors are very expensive for the chips alone in micro technology. And after figuring out how expensive it is to make said micro technology, you have to then develop machines that can make such hardware. But hold on. How do you know how to make all this? Research! Research is a very expensive thing too. So before you blow off a lot of money to make this micro technology, you need to blow off a lot of money to research how to make the machines that make them, and then the research on how to do both.
But for multi-billion dollar companies that can make machines which can handle running a large amount of games at a time, an alternative is possible. While running these games, these machines can make compress video frames and send them to a large amount of devices at a time. Its almost like YouTube video streaming. Your PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Television, Smartphone, Tablet can now play PlayStation 2/3 games. The iPad your parents just got you for the holidays may not have an AMD Radeon HD 7850 graphics card, you can still play PlayStation 2/3 games. Your Nokia Lumia smart phone may not have an eight core CPU, you can still play PlayStation 2/3 games too.
As a Vita owner from moment one, there is not much to say about the Vita. One thing there is to say about the Vita, however, is that I haven’t seen incentive to buy the device for those who haven’t picked it up over the years. The launch titles were pretty good, especially WipeOut 2048 and Uncharted: Golden Abyss. But after seeing this new program PlayStation Now, that changes everything. For those who don’t have a smart phone or tablet or those who want to play PlayStation 2/3 games while travelling, you have a new best friend. The PlayStation Vita. A $200 device that has a solid digital library, that can play PlayStation 2/3 games. I’m in! Or maybe you don’t have $200 to spare. You have a smart phone? Oh ok, you can play PlayStation 2/3 games too if you want. This service has revolutionized gaming as we know it. Games that have “good graphics” are played on a console and games that have “okay graphics” are played on a handheld? Not anymore. You can truly have console quality on the go. I think we get the point about what PlayStation Now can do and how amazing it is. But it goes further than that.
What is the reason for innovation? What is the reason for revolution? Competition. Each innovation, revolutionist, had the thirst to be better than the one who were considered the best. That’s why capitalist countries have the most innovation. All countries that were communist, or in other words forcibly equal in all aspects, had no aspiration to be better. That’s why they aren’t around or are suffering now. PlayStation Now opens up a new door of technology. Think about it. Apple with the front facing camera, both on the computer and on the mobile, opened up a market of devices with front facing cameras, each new one usually with a better one than its competitor.
Right now the tradition is to play games on the console its made for, and on that console in real-time. But a year from now it could be that you buy gaming consoles without a disk drive or sizable hard drive. You buy a box, that’s loaded with an OS, and it just streams games. Saves money for both the consumer and producer. PlayStation Now is an inspiration to everyone, everywhere in the gaming industry. Microsoft is going to want to match that, then Nintendo will want to match that, and then one of the three gaming giants will want to invent a new technology that tops all three services.
Questioning the norm is what brought humanity to where we are now. Competition, innovation, and revolution is what has made us successful. PlayStation Now takes everything that you are used to, i.e sitting on the couch with a bag of potato chips playing games on your TV, and makes you question that process. Instead of that now you are at your girlfriend or boyfriend’s house eating tortilla chips, playing PlayStation 3 games on your Vita, while sitting on a chair.
Now what will come next with game streaming? Right now with, well you guessed it, PlayStation Now you need a smart device and a 5 Mbps internet connection. Maybe John Doe has a 5 Mbps+ connection, but his computer can’t handle any new PC games. No problem, he can just stream it. The possibilities are endless. Right now most people are thinking about what PS2/3 games they will be able to stream on their devices, but a gaming corporation is thinking about how to top that.
To wrap this up, the creation of PlayStation Now by Sony has shaken the foundation of playing video games as we know it. After the announcement, for all we know two major corporations are hard at work figuring out how to top it. They are possibly considering acquiring new subsidiaries, coding similar services, or buying subsidiaries to help them do both. PlayStation Now has changed everything. Maybe not now, but in the long run this hasn’t changed PlayStation, but gaming as we know it.