GD LiveCast Nibble - Prediction: Subscription Streaming Services For Games Are Coming

Written by Jon Sutton on Wed, Jan 20, 2016 2:00 PM

Over the last couple of years, subscription streaming services for music and video have ballooned. It's rapidly become the number one option for getting involved in either form of entertainment. Unusually gaming has been a lot slower on the uptake. We're normally at the forefront of the latest tech advances, but not this time. 2015 did see the launch of Sony's PlayStation Now Netflix-esque all-you-can-eat subscription gaming service however, along with EA's Origin Access, letting gamers sample parts of EA's vast back catalogue. 

They're two very different services though. One relies entirely on live streaming a game directly to you, while the other offers full game downloads. Because of technical and financial hurdles, streaming games is still very much a niche market. On this week's GD LiveCast Nibble, Tim proffers the suggestion that 2016 is the year that game streaming becomes a big deal. Tom and Rob are also back to weigh in their thoughts on Tim's lofty prediction.

Just to weigh in with my own thoughts; there's even more to consider than potential internet speeds. Certain genres of games, fighting in particular, rely on near-perfect response times for competitive play. Game streaming will never be able to transmit faster than the speed of light, so there will always be an additional delay from local play. Stream Street Fighter V online and you're going to experience two sets of delays. That alone prevents it from being a definitive solution. 

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23:52 Jan-20-2016

newsflash - games streaming has been available for years.

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18:20 Jan-20-2016

This is great for people with weak PCs but people with decent PCs wouldn't really need a service like that.

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15:47 Jan-20-2016

Like I've mentioned in the livecast - streaming services are horrible for shooting games and games that require fast response (as Jon mentioned). The latency is just hindering...

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15:49 Jan-20-2016

No there not. I do it al the time!

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20:39 Jan-20-2016

You will always have some latency since the signals can't travel faster then light(200,000KM/s). Depending on the physical distance to the streaming server you've to expect atleast 10-30ms addiotional latency.

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15:18 Jan-20-2016

If streaming games becomes the norm and all games end up being streamed thats probably the end of gaming for me

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15:24 Jan-20-2016

Streaming is just another option for gaming, a choice...

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15:37 Jan-20-2016

Im talking about down the road if it ever becomes like the only option to play games.

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15:47 Jan-20-2016

That will never happen because too much money is to be made in PC gaming. You do realize PC gaming is a billion dollar industry!

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15:42 Jan-20-2016

Exactly........Its a choice whether to spend money on gaming pc...or use low end pc and investing money in internet connection

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15:48 Jan-20-2016

Even if you have a superb connection - latency will still be an issue. It will never feel like you're playing on a local PC.

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15:51 Jan-20-2016

Set your TV to "PC" mode as this gives you the lowest latency as well as GAME mode.

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15:56 Jan-20-2016

X: for competitive gaming like a serious clan-match or something like that I guess you would be right as every "delay" is a handicap, but truth is most people are not competitive in the sense like that so it really becomes a moot issue for the majority...

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19:30 Jan-20-2016

Even mouse acceleration and VSYNC-related latency p*ss people off, so I stand by my point. As for the TV - it merely makes it act as a monitor, which is not a problem, lmao. The problem is this:
User moves mouse > Control directives sent over the internet > controls received and executed, frame rendered > resulting frame compressed > frame sent back to the user > frame received and decoded locally.
That train there is NEVER going to be as fast as local gaming.
You're also forgetting that you use a PS4 with a CONTROLLER... BIG DIFFERENCE from a mouse..

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17:39 Jan-20-2016

we never know 50 years from now things could change

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17:49 Jan-20-2016

The movie industry was in a panic when Netflix streaming hit the market. Last time I looked the movie industry made record sales last year lol

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14:08 Jan-20-2016

Streaming is here to stay! I have been using it for Sony PlayStation now on my Smart TV and just recently Origin access service through my PC and even VIA Steam link. As long as you have a solid connection the gaming is golden and I know cause I actually use it...not just bitch about it without using it. There isn't enough of any kind of delay that it will ruin your game or alter it in such a drastic way that you will somehow be at a disadvantage. When you guys really think about it, we have been "streaming" all along with the internet. Your game play was always as good as your internet connection and game server, It didn't matter if you were the top dog, if your ISP was poor your score will be poor too! I learned this back in 1996 with Quake2...

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14:21 Jan-20-2016

Back then most were still using Dial-up modems and the lucky few on a cable modem literally dominated the server...I was one of those lucky ones as my city Toronto got high speed cable back in late 96...I would have like a 30 ping and everyone else high 200+. I notice most of you guys here on GD were not around back then playing on dial-ups or when cable was just coming into the picture. I was and know that Game streaming is not a big deal at all and I welcome it with open arms...

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14:42 Jan-20-2016

I just logged into the Sony PlayStation Now service and they added more games for a total of 375 games to stream...also as for Origin there is a interesting thing that happends. If you own say BF4 standard edition when you subscribe to access you get upgraded for FREE to the Deluxe version...

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15:15 Jan-20-2016

Yeah that's not bad. Over here in the UK it's still only like -130 or so, so it needs some work. I think a bit of the problem is that Sony only wants to stream the older games, when the tech could feasibly also stream PS4 games.

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15:24 Jan-20-2016

Ya, but if they were to allow PS4 streaming then they would kill the actual sales of the PS4 console and that would not make any sense and would literally hurt Sony in the long run.

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15:26 Jan-20-2016

Jon: I didn't have to buy a PS3 console to Stream PS3 games. I do it through my Smart TV. My TV came with the PlayStation Now app pre-installed. My TV has a quad core and 1GB DDR3 memory installed. But the irony is my TV is only compatible with the PS4 controller lol so I end up playing PS3 games with a PS4 controller...

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15:50 Jan-20-2016

I personally don't care how little latency there is. It will just never feel like a local game if there's more than like 0-1ms latency...

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15:52 Jan-20-2016

You have more ms latency on most monitors! Unless of course you have a newer gaming monitor with a 1ms response time...

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19:34 Jan-20-2016

Ok, let me make my previous comment clearer:
EXTRA latency...
I'm personally annoyed by frame smoothing in UE3, mouse smoothing, Vsync-related latency, low fps related latency and even the inaccuracy of mouse acceleration... I will not be impressed by game-streaming. Plus I'd lose out on my 110Hz gaming as there's no way they'll be streaming that.
Besides, you playing games on a console vs people playing shooters or the like on a PC with a MOUSE - MASSIVE difference. You have a massive hinder there with a controller already, but with a mouse you'd see

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