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Insights: The Future of Gaming Isn’t Consoles, It’s Streaming

March 27, 2019 00:00 AM UTC
- Updated May 06, 2020 17:11 PM UTC

Apple and Google are on the right path.

LISA MARIE SEGARRA: Welcome to Fortune Tech Debate, where we discuss the issues of the day in two minutes. Today, we are talking about Google Stadia and Apple Arcade and whether streaming is the future of games. Chris, what do you think? CHRIS JOSLIN: I think it is. I think that the console experience is going to disappear. It's clunky. It costs too much money. I went and bought a Switch recently. And by the time I left the store, I had spent $400, right? I think this is going to be something that people are really going to attach to. You know, they can just turn on their laptop and stream Call of Duty with Stadia. You know? I mean, like, this is the future. LISA MARIE SEGARRA: Yeah, it's interesting that you mentioned the cost, though. For example, games typically, with some exceptions, cost about $60. That hasn't changed much over the last decade. That can't be good for the teams working behind this. And especially when you have EA and Activision and Telltale laying off people, you wonder, is this price model, a subscription type model, going to be sustainable for the game companies? CHRIS JOSLIN: Well, I don't think so. So what I think is going to happen is developers are going to start leaning towards the subscription model. They're going to want their games to be easily accessible. And so they're going to basically pull back their budget so that they can optimize their games for these more streaming type services, or like Apple, right? Smaller games that you can download quickly. People don't want to waste time. You know, you go and buy a game now. It's $60. You bring it home, you put it in the console, and you have to wait two hours for it to install, depending on your internet connection, obviously. So I think-- LISA MARIE SEGARRA: Yeah, but you said it. It depends on your internet connection. And if you have to take a long time to download it, imagine the lag and the terrible experience if you don't have a solid enough internet connection and you have to stream the games now. That is just not going to work for a lot of people. It's going to leave a massive market out that just don't have control over the internet in their area. CHRIS JOSLIN: Yeah, I think that's a fair point, except I don't think that the console games are going to go away. I think that the streaming, though, is really just going to become the bigger part of the market share. LISA MARIE SEGARRA: Yeah, maybe for a bit, but I think it's ultimately going to just be a fad.