Nearly each new generation of gaming that emerges, there are comments, editorials, and perspectives from those outside of the gaming industry and those within the industry about the future of home consoles. Well, one of the biggest AAA publishers in business right now and the makers of Assassin's Creed, Ubisoft, doesn't think consoles will be around for much longer.
Speaking to Variety, Ubisoft co-founder and CEO, Yves Guillemot, explained that he doesn't think consoles will be around for much longer. In fact, he thinks that after the next generation of consoles, they'll be gone for good...
I think we will see another generation, but there is a good chance that step by step we will see less and less hardware. With time I think streaming will become more accessible to many players and make it not necessary to have big hardware at home.
Guillemot claims that after the next gen, we'll all be streaming... "all of us."
For most gamers out there that's a frightening thought. We've seen time and time again how many large corporations have been forcibly trying to move toward an all-digital future, but the past attempts didn't quite go over so well with the consumer market.
OnLive came onto the market back in 2010, promising streaming services that would allow gamers to play AAA quality games through the cloud. However, regional restrictions and bandwidth caps, along with latency issues, put a quick end to OnLive.
Sony tried as well with PlayStation Now, allowing gamers to stream past PlayStation games through internet-enabled devices, but much like OnLive there are still latency issues, streaming quality issues, and regional availability issues. It's amazing but it's been almost 10 years since game streaming was supposed to be the next big thing, but many of the problems that persisted back then still persist now.
Microsoft also tried its hand at delivering an all-digital future with the Xbox One, but gamers almost universally rejected the notion back in 2013 with the original policies that the company introduced for the eighth-gen console.
While streaming is obviously far more lucrative for big businesses and corporations, it's still something that puts consumers at a massive disadvantage. Heck, we saw what happened with Diablo III's always-on DRM during its launch in 2012, forcing a lot of players to sit out of being able to play the single-player portion of the game because they had to be connected to Blizzard's servers at all times. That exact same scenario just befell Neocore Games, which recently launched Warhammer 40K Inquisitor -- Martyr on Steam for PC, and, once again, the always-on requirement fettered and prohibited gamers from being able to play the single-player content offline.
That's not to mention that streaming completely strips consumers of any kind of ownership whatsoever, forcing them to only be able to play the games offered by the companies when the companies feel like offering said titles.
On the upside, the report from Variety notes that Nintendo has no plans on going anywhere, and will continue to provide hardware so long as consumers are willing to buy it. Sony hasn't announced its future plans yet for the PlayStation brand, and Microsoft is still trying to foster the Xbox family of devices.
However, Ubisoft's CEO seems to think that after the next wave of consoles, the major players will shift entirely over to streaming services.