Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry hitmaker Ubisoft is of the opinion that the next generation of consoles such as the PS5 and next Xbox will be the last. Ubisoft co-founder and CEO Yves Guillemot claims that game consoles have one generation left before being supplanted by the ability to stream games on platform-agnostic devices. He believes it would give Ubisoft the opportunity to reach a wider user base. While great in theory, it would be interesting to see how it would be executed considering major companies have issues getting simple video live streams running without a hitch in 2018.
"I think we will see another generation, but there is a good chance that step-by-step we will see less and less hardware," Guillemot said to Variety. “With time, I think streaming will become more accessible to many players and make it not necessary to have big hardware at home.
"There will be one more console generation and then after that, we will be streaming, all of us."
According to him, that the ability to stream AAA games to more screens was one of the biggest innovations coming in the game industry.
"It is going to help the AAA game industry grow much faster,” he said. “We have to work on the accessibility of those games, to make sure they can be played on any device, but the fact that we will be able to stream those games on mobile phones and television screens without a console is going to change a lot of the industry."
He thinks that experiments such as Nvidia’s GeForce Now will continue to evolve and become legitimate options.
"There are quite a few people that are working on streaming, like Nvidia,” Guillemot said. “So, we think it’s a trend and that it will continue to evolve. Eventually, the technology will improve dramatically, which will allow us to have a very smooth experience in the big cities of the world."
While Guillemot’s words are music to the ears of Ubisoft shareholders as it foretells of a future even more profitable than the current generation - as more screens means a larger audience - which has seen the PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch gain significant traction to justify continued investment, it makes one wonder if the company would forsake the standard $60 price tag for something more affordable. Would the business model change as well?
It also makes us wonder what of locations that don’t have access to fast, persistent Internet as well as the concept of ownership. Furthermore, does every game demand this persistent, connected requirement? Essentially, Guillemot’s vision of the future isn’t inclusive for all consumers and it discards any form of ownership or offline play altogether.
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