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GameStop: Consoles Are Safe From A Streaming Takeover

After GameStop purchased Spawn Labs in order to pursue game streaming, many thought this was more proof that consoles are dying out.

The digital age is upon us and some developers have shifted their attention to that format. But the world's biggest game retailer isn't about to dismiss consoles; speaking during CES, GameStop CEO Paul Raines says streaming "won't replace consoles."  Said Raines:

"We bought this technology company called Spawn Labs and we're doing some very interesting things. We can stream console games right now - the technology works great. Now we're in the process of the commercial agreements. How do we merchandise it and go to market? There's no question to us that streaming will play a role in this industry, but it will not replace console gaming. I think that's sort of the old way of thinking about that."

Cloud service Gaikai has already stated that one of the major console manufacturers won't be producing a next-gen system, but it seems GameStop disagrees with that. It may be true that Sony doesn't plan to get involved until after the new Xbox has arrived, but that would fly in the face of company comments saying they don't wish to be last to market this time around. Why make the statement if you don't plan to produce a new machine? ...that'd be pretty arbitrary.

Well, whatever happens, it goes without saying that for the time being, the vast majority of gamers still want their consoles. Times can change awfully fast, though...

Tags: next-gen consoles, streaming video games, gaming industry

1/14/2012 9:57:36 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (18 posts)

firesoul453
Saturday, January 14, 2012 @ 10:23:59 AM
Reply

I've tried streaming games before and I always hated it. Often doesn't work well, etc

It might be the eventual future but its one I will be avoiding.


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Beamboom
Saturday, January 14, 2012 @ 10:28:28 AM
Reply

... But you'd still need something to play the games on, regardless of the game being streamed or not, so how could consoles not exist...? Maybe I don't understand what they mean by streaming here?
Regardless of where the data is stored you'd still need a machine to play them on?


Last edited by Beamboom on 1/14/2012 10:31:32 AM

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Temjin001
Saturday, January 14, 2012 @ 11:32:18 AM

Well, that's the thing, Gakai and Google are hyping the Google TV's. I suppose marketing a game controller would be in order.
I also see smart phone to TV connections as an avenue. In fact, Apple already has that in motion with Air Play with their iPad's. Imagine that, phones may become the hardware for our consoles down te road. Where wirelessly they transmit a video feed directly to our TV.
Insanity

Last edited by Temjin001 on 1/14/2012 11:33:04 AM

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AcHiLLiA
Saturday, January 14, 2012 @ 12:32:24 PM

oh please don't let it be that way.

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firesoul453
Saturday, January 14, 2012 @ 12:55:52 PM

Well they have a cloud computer structure. Plenty of processing power to process all the games being played. So you make a move, it is sent over the internet to their computers, and then they process it and send back the image, sounds, etc.

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Temjin001
Saturday, January 14, 2012 @ 1:02:16 PM

Well, and latency measurements with Cloud gaming comes up well higher than consoles(that's bad), so streaming over the net is sort of crappy. Direct ad-hoc style connections are much better. Itd be a sad day if I was forced to play Tekken via Cloud streaming.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 1/14/2012 1:02:36 PM

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SmokeyPSD
Saturday, January 14, 2012 @ 1:02:52 PM

It's ideas like this that make me think I'm going to be playing my current game collection for a very long time and walk away from the future of gaming if that's what we are really headed to. I doubt it though.

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Temjin001
Saturday, January 14, 2012 @ 10:58:19 AM
Reply

I think MS and Sony should should monotize streaming benefits for themselves through their own Gold and PSN Plus services, say a bundle pack of older games streamed, and hosted by themselves, through their consoles. This would help circumvent market erosion to competitors like Gakai and GameStop and it would help position this form of entertainment as a budget offering that shouldn't be confused with premium disc or HDD based games. I won't be surprised if E3 reveals something like this.

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Excelsior1
Saturday, January 14, 2012 @ 11:10:21 AM
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After that month long PSN outage we can all see the risks involved in streaming games. Basicaly if the streaming service or network goes down you are just flat out screwed. No games for you.

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Looking Glass
Saturday, January 14, 2012 @ 12:21:50 PM

An excellent point. One of the main issues with streaming is that it makes you completely dependent on a service provider and I'd be willing to bet that a lot of people don't feel entirely comfortable with that.

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firesoul453
Saturday, January 14, 2012 @ 12:59:12 PM

I've been avoiding software that requires internet for a long time.

Its just not, what if their service goes down.

Its what if your game that requires online activation can't be activated because the company went under or stopped supporting a 5 year old game or something.




I remember when walmart used to sell DRM music downloads.
After they figured out that managing a server to activate your songs (which you had to do once a month or the music stopped working) cost a lot to maintain, they shut the service (and servers) down.

Did they offer a refund to customers? a NO, they just said to buy a program to remove DRM... Which is debatably illegal (its a gray area)

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AcHiLLiA
Saturday, January 14, 2012 @ 12:30:31 PM
Reply

We all don't have the fastest connection out there. I can just see people streaming big games and then complaining/hearing when something bad happens in the middle of the process.

Last edited by AcHiLLiA on 1/14/2012 12:33:52 PM

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firesoul453
Saturday, January 14, 2012 @ 1:00:20 PM

Ya I pretty fast internet, fast enough to stream 1080p video but when I tried onlive, I could only play my game in 480.

So I don't think streaming games will happen for a while

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BikerSaint
Saturday, January 14, 2012 @ 1:01:37 PM
Reply

I have the OnLive streaming mini-console & controller, in which I was able to buy Red Faction: Armageddon for only $5 & Fear 3 for just a $1.
But since I only had a short window of time to play either of them during those times, I only spent about a 1/2 hour sampling each one, but at the time, I did wind up liking the OnLive experience.

But guess what....ever since then, & for the last few months I haven't even been even able to connect to the OnLive servers to play or surf anything there at all anymore, & when I keep trying now, all I get is is their spinning circle that shows it's trying to connect.
Hell, just last week I let the circle spin for an hour just to see if it would finally connect to their server, but still to no avail.

So what good was me getting 2 streaming games (even if they only totaled $6) when I can't even frigging play them????

The service was was fine while it briefly worked, but now it's now given me 1 more humungous reason to hate on streaming and D/L's!!!!!!

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BigBoss4ever
Saturday, January 14, 2012 @ 1:54:24 PM
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i will always play with my consoles with my hardcopy of games, one day, if gaming stopped that way, I will just play backwards, PS3 to PS2 to PS1...

gaming to me will always be in a fixed way as a console + a hardcopy game and I have been doing that for 24 years; on the other hand, motion controls, 3D gaming, DLCs, online gaming, streaming....wutever else you called, to me, they are just a few perks that do not fundamentally change gaming and can never replace the fun I enjoyed from the traditional way of gaming which involves grinding or farming like couch potato for hours and days just to level up and explore fully of every corner and bits of the world (i can still do that, nothing less)...

To me, a console + a hardcopy of game wrapped in awesome cover art, that is my fixture of gaming, nothing more.

Last edited by BigBoss4ever on 1/14/2012 2:06:14 PM

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dmiitrie
Saturday, January 14, 2012 @ 8:24:59 PM
Reply

I really doubt that streaming gaming will ever take off in a big way, like it has with movies and tv. I just don't see how bandwidth and latency issues will be able to keep up with the increasing size and scope of future games.

Downloadable games are a much more realistic avenue for gaming to embrace a digital future.

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firesoul453
Sunday, January 15, 2012 @ 9:32:48 AM

I know its sounds mean but I for one am kinda glad it didn't do well

if it did then the vita would be digital only probably

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DemonNeno
Sunday, January 15, 2012 @ 1:41:35 AM
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I'm on a 20 mega downstream via Comcast and have tried OnLive. The graphics, FPS and overall experience were so sub-par I'm unlikely even to try game trials on these services.

I'll give up gaming if it boils down to dealing with that. The idea of hogging my house's bandwidth to play a game is far too great a price to pay.

Technology needs to SLOW DOWN. Especially when we're taking away perfectly fine media to produce lower quality products. Blah.

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