The console war is going to evolve thanks to the cloud. With the advancement of the cloud gaming industry, television manufacturers such as Samsung or LG are entering the market through partnerships with video game companies. This in order to offer its services and for users to play without the need for specific hardware.
According to data from the , in 2021 there were 21.7 million paying users of cloud gaming services, who spent 1.5 billion dollars throughout the year. This data is expected to grow exponentially to reach 6.3 billion in 2024.
Newzoo analyst Guilherme Fernandes also shares that the cloud gaming ecosystem is now “stronger and healthier than ever,” due to publishers big and small having their games on multiple platforms, plus while some already they are part of the ecosystem, there are others who seek to join it.
TV manufacturers feel supported by this data and therefore have established strategic alliances to include cloud gaming apps and direct their products to the gamer public. Samsung’s 2022 models now feature , where gamers can experience the entire Game Pass catalog from their TV and without the need for a console.
LG recently announced its alliance with Google Stadia to host the service on smart TVs that work with webOS 5.0 in countries where the cloud gaming platform is available (it has not yet arrived in Mexico).
While these are the two biggest examples so far in the industry, “more partnerships are still on the way,” Fernandes said, noting that Chinese video game giant Tencent has partnered with several TV manufacturers to add its cloud gaming service Tencent Start.
Will video game consoles disappear?
Newzoo specialists mention that one of the elements that allowed the growth of this model in the pandemic was the difficulty of several consumers in finding new generation consoles in the face of the component crisis that is being experienced worldwide.
It has tangible competitive advantages, such as allowing you to experience popular games at a fraction of their cost if you buy the physical product, as well as saving storage space on devices. However, that’s not to say that consoles are going away any time soon.
Industry experts also say that both systems will coexist for a while and companies will continue to work on the development of consoles for future generations.
“Some people are always going to love playing on consoles. I love consoles, this (cloud gaming) is just another route to open up gaming to more people. It is not that one is detrimental to the other, this is a rising tide and it is a good place to offer different opportunities. Consoles are well loved and cloud gaming is a great alternative,” said Pav Bhardwaj, global product manager for Game Pass.
In his statements, Bhardwaj also highlighted that things have evolved a lot in terms of bandwidth and technology, in addition to the fact that people’s expectations have become higher, which is why they decided to bring their service to televisions so that they can consume video games. in the same way that they do them with series or movies on streaming platforms.
However, Guilherme Fernandes points out that the technology still has to overcome some relevant challenges, which are linked to the technical performance of the platforms, since some continue to develop their beta phase and, therefore, the image quality (to mention one aspect ) does not reach the same level as on consoles.
Despite this, the future for this market is positive, concludes Fernandes. “Supply constraints continue, the gaming calendar is packed, and cloud gaming services are spreading to TVs… Simply put, the future of cloud gaming is bright and critical to the market as a whole. ”.