I recently had a kid. Scratch that. I didn’t have the kid, my wife had the kid. And when I write “had the kid” I really mean she explored the barriers of human pain to push an eight pound living, breathing human being out of her lithe female shape. Much respect.
Anyhow, in my time off, and in between the many distracting baby activities (gawd baby, can’t you see I’m trying to finish off this boss battle?), I’ve been giving Sony’s PS Now service on my Vita a tryout.
In short: I’m impressed. The quality is fantastic. Latency doesn’t seem to be an issue at all—honestly, I haven’t even been able to notice it (maybe if I was playing an intense shooter?). I’ve tried several games (notably Enslaved and X-Com) and they all play flawlessly on my Vita. My only complaint is the Vita’s lack of R2/L2; but Sony has a few options for mapping these to the front touch-screen or back-touch pad. Both work, but neither are ideal. Still, overall, the whole experience is very solid. My Vita’s library just exploded exponentially.
This has led me to believe the future of gaming is in the cloud. Why wouldn’t it be? From a customer perspective, I don’t need to buy new hardware every few years, I don’t need to worry about hardware breaking, bug fixes come immediately, and even performance improvements roll out as I play.
From a business perspective it makes a lot of sense too. Specifically, the subscription model allows for predictable revenues. Risk is reduced from hardware returns and poor releases. Releases cycles can be faster (or sort of nonexistent). Bugs are fixed faster. Support costs should drastically reduce.
Prediction one: five years from now a significant portion (let us say… 25%) of non-casual (eg, non-app) gaming will be cloud based.
Prediction two: Sony will release a mobile controller for iPhone/Android that will play PS Now games through an app within 18 months. The controller will cost $49 (20% profit margin, at least), and will be the only way to use the app. It will be similar to the DS4, except the phone will replace the touch-pad. This is Sony’s bet on mobile gaming.
Thoughts? Am I as high as the clouds?