Death Stranding on Xbox via GeForce and Steam: will the cloud “kill” the exclusives?
Death Stranding arrives on Xbox via GeForce Now and Steam: could the cloud “kill” the exclusives?
As we reported yesterday, Xbox One and Xbox Series X | S they were at the center of a small but interesting discovery. The new system update, for now only available for “Alpha skip ahead” testers, allows you to use a version of Edge based on Chromium. The fact in itself is not very interesting, were it not that this version allows you to take advantage of a series of streaming services. We obviously speak of Google Stadia and GeForce Now.
As mentioned, this is a function for now limited to a few users and its use is not optimal, given that the browser risks crashing and that sometimes the controller is not detected correctly. But let’s take a leap forward and imagine that, at some point, it’s possible play games, via streaming via browser console and services such as GeForce Now, without problems and with the same quality that you would get on a PC.
The consequence? A great additional service for users. A second consequence? The potential death of exclusives. “Potential” is the key word in this case. But let’s go in order.
The bone of contention in this case is Death Stranding, PlayStation console exclusive (at least for the moment, who knows that things will not change in the future) but also released on PC by a second publisher (505 Games, in this case). As we said, let’s imagine being able to use a service like GeForce Now effectively to reproduce our Steam games, including Kojima’s work. This means, without too much sophistication, that we can play a PlayStation title on Xbox. Nice, for us. Not very nice for Sony.
In fact, let’s put aside our gamer point of view for a moment and put on shoes and pants of one big company that has paid millions and millions of euros / dollars to be able to have an exclusive console game. Maybe forever, maybe even just for a year: it matters little. The exclusivity does not touch the PC version since, after all, it is a world well separated from the console one. All that matters to us (gaming company) is that our direct competitors’ platforms do not have access to that game. It is a way to add value to our platform and attract players interested in this game. Obviously our investment is long-term: we do not just want to sell the console and the exclusive game, but to make sure that our platform is the main user, who will start buying other games, we hope through the digital store that will bring us a greater profit. Who knows, maybe he’ll even subscribe to one of our monthly services.
However, the strategy is cut at the root when it becomes possible to use a browser to play the PC version of our exclusive console game on a competing platform. We don’t like that one bit, do we? If you have reasoned from the point of view of the company at the center of our reasoning, the only answer is: true, we do not like it.
Now, the final truth is that if this “strategy” of browser console streaming became common, developers and publishers would comply, either by making deals with game streaming service providers like GeForce Now or by simply getting the PC version of the game is not accessible from any streaming service. In a short time this process would be blocked e the situation would return to “normal”.
So we don’t think the cloud can really kill exclusives. Furthermore, entire services could become exclusive. Think Ubisoft +, currently available on Amazon Luna and Google Stadia (only in the US, but the example is valid anyway). Sony and Ubisoft, for example, could make an agreement that allows you to take advantage of the service through PS Now (at a premium, or at a discount compared to the competition, or without additional costs, let’s not go into details now useless). This would be a great incentive for gamers to use PlayStation. Not too much worked if it were enough to subscribe to Ubisoft + via Stadia or Luna and play them via the Xbox browser. Sony and Ubisoft would therefore make sure that the Xbox user cannot exploit the “trick”.
As already mentioned, they are very simplified hypothetical examples but they allow us to understand that the gaming world is not becoming any easier to “navigate” than in the past, even after the introduction of cloud gaming which should “let us play where and how. we want “(but how, when and if the publisher decides). What do you think about it? Should console gamers be allowed to take advantage of PC services? Or should the various platforms remain firmly closed and “protected”?