Apple will reportedly be the next company to throw its hat into the “Netflix for games” business, following in the footsteps of Sony, Microsoft, and Google.
According to Cheddar, Apple began discussing plans for a subscription-style game streaming service in the latter half of 2018 and had reached out to developers regarding potentially offering their titles on the service. The report said Apple has also talked about potentially being a game publisher. If Apple were publishing a game, this could hint at it being exclusive to the service. Apple is already familiar with publishing exclusive games, including Thatgamecompany’s Sky.
Thus far, there isn’t a set price structure for Apple’s service, which is apparently early enough in production that it could still be abandoned at some point.
The game streaming space is quickly filling up, with a number of companies already offering some sort of plan on the PC. Jump gives indie game fans the chance to play a selection of titles for $5 per month, and Google’s Project Stream lets you play games directly from your Chrome browser. During its technical test phase, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was available and though it lacked the fidelity of other versions, it played remarkably smoothly and didn’t demand any sort of expensive hardware.
Microsoft’s Project xCloud might be even more ambitious, with plans to players to enjoy games on everything from Xbox consoles to their mobile phones. On devices with touch screens, there will be special control schemes to make it easier to play, and they will also support traditional controllers. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has called it the “Netflix for games” internally and it builds on the on-demand approach the company also takes with Xbox Game Pass.
Even Amazon looks to be jumping into game streaming, but with several companies entering the same space, it seems likely that the market could be too fragmented. We’re seeing Netflix lose access to Disney’s properties as it plans its own streaming service and we can’t imagine players will want to subscribe to more than one or two of these, particularly if they’re still paying for Xbox Live or PlayStation Plus on top of it.
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