Amazon is reportedly developing its own game streaming service.
According to The Information (paywall) (thanks, GI.biz), the service won’t be up and running until at least 2020, but it’s thought Amazon has already commenced talks with game publishers about distributing their titles through its service. If true, this sees Amazon join a string of companies already exploring game streaming, and ties in neatly with its new gaming service, GameOn, which allows developers to integrate cross-platform competitions including leaderboards and leagues into their games.
Google is also exploring its own game streaming service – Project Stream – and offered an early test version to a limited selection of the public last October. The first game to use the Chrome-based streaming service was Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Ubisoft’s mega-blockbuster was free-to-play for those who successfully signed up and was, fully playable/streamable through Google’s Chrome browser.
Microsoft announced its first step in its much-awaited game streaming service in the form of Project xCloud last October. The service, for which closed trials have commenced, uses Xbox console components embedded into Microsoft’s Azure cloud-computing centres to deliver console games to phones, tablets and beyond.
"Developers and researchers at Microsoft Research are creating ways to combat latency through advances in networking topology, and video encoding and decoding," said Kareem Choudhry, corporate vice president, Gaming Cloud. "Project xCloud will have the capability to make game streaming possible on 4G networks and will dynamically scale to push against the outer limits of what’s possible on 5G networks as they roll out globally. Currently, the test experience is running at 10 megabits per second. Our goal is to deliver high-quality experiences at the lowest possible bitrate that work across the widest possible networks, taking into consideration the uniqueness of every device and network."
Of course, both Sony and Microsoft are developing next-generation systems, too. For the latter, the new console has been codenamed Scarlett and is expected to retail sometime in 2020, and it’s thought Microsoft is purportedly developing a disc-less version of its Xbox One console. A new Xbox One S with a disc drive is also expected to be announced later this year.