Every major tech company, from Apple to Amazon to Google, is trying to create a “Netflix of gaming” service.
The idea is simple: Stream high-quality games to any device, regardless of how much processing power that device has.
Thus far, Sony is the only company that has actually launched a service. Apple is the latest company rumored to be working on a competitor.
The future of gaming may not involve a high-powered, expensive box sitting underneath your TV.
Instead, it could be as simple as Netflix.
Just as Netflix allows you to watch movies and TV shows from any device, a streaming gaming service would let you play high-end, blockbuster video games anytime, anyplace and on any device — your phone, or tablet, or laptop, or TV. No game console required.
The vision is often referred to by the shorthand, “The Netflix of gaming.”
In 2019, nearly every major tech company is working on a version of such a service, each hoping to establish itself as the de facto standard in video game streaming services.
Here’s everything we know about the increasingly competitive field of video game streaming services:
Amazon’s already a major video game retailer, and it operates the largest video game livestreaming service in the world with Twitch.
The company’s next move into gaming, though, is even more ambitious: Amazon is working on a Netflix-like service for playing games, according to a report from The Information.
The new service from Amazon will reportedly allow players to stream games rather than having to buy and download individual titles. The company is said to be discussing potential games for the new service with game publishers, but it sounds like plans are still early; the streaming service isn’t expected to arrive until 2020 “at the earliest.”
Amazon has yet to officially announce such a service, and a representative didn’t return a request for comment.
But even without official confirmation or an announcement, multiple jobs listings originally spotted by The Verge point to Amazon building just such a service. One such listing even explicitly says, “This is a rare opportunity to take a technical leadership role to shape the foundation of an unannounced AAA games business.”
So, why Amazon?
It’s one of the few tech companies with a cloud computing infrastructure already in place, worldwide, to pull off such a challenging technological issue. It’s called “Amazon Web Services” (AWS for short), and it’s the type of infrastructure required to pull off video game streaming on a mainstream consumer scale.
Verizon? Like the company that you pay for smartphone service? Yes, that Verizon is reportedly working on a service that’s thrillingly named, “Verizon Gaming.”
Early testers were sent an Nvidia Shield set-top box, a wireless Xbox One gamepad, and software that gave them access to the Verizon Gaming service.
Images of the service show a surprisingly large library of games that are otherwise only available on game consoles, such as the PlayStation 4’s 2018 blockbuster “God of War.” Verizon has yet to officially announce such a service, nor is there a release date.
Like Verizon, Apple has yet to officially announce its video game streaming service.
Also like Verizon, news of the service leaked regardless — Cheddar reports that the service from Apple could, like Netflix, be subscription-based. The report also notes that the project is “in the early stages,” and could very well get canned like other internal Apple projects that never launched.
Given that Apple already has a set-top box in households all over the world with the Apple TV — to say nothing of iPhones and iPads — such a service doesn’t seem like a stretch.
The big question is content: It might be tough for Apple to convince people to subscribe to the service if it only offers games from the App Store, so Apple will likely have to work with established game publishers to bring in more games.
‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ is gaining its first major new character since launch. Here’s how to get it free.I spent 72 hours with the first huge game of 2019 — here’s what ‘Anthem’ is likeIoT Report: How Internet of Things technology growth is reaching mainstream companies and consumers
Read more: feedproxy.google.com