7 votes

CNET reports Amazon is working on a game streaming competitor to Google Stadia

4 comments

  1. [3]
    pseudolobster
    Link
    But why? I don't recall anyone asking for this. No one ever thought this would be a good idea, only an idea that's technically possible. It seems like a decision made by executives and marketers...

    But why? I don't recall anyone asking for this. No one ever thought this would be a good idea, only an idea that's technically possible. It seems like a decision made by executives and marketers who went to the engineers and said "What kind of 'future tech' can we build out of what we have laying around, and how do we tie it to a subscription service so we can profit off it". They didn't start this by asking consumers what they want, what's fun, what will become popular. They started it by asking "how can we suck fifteen bucks a month from people?"

    Now the executives and marketing people from other tech companies are seeing this, saying omg they're getting in on the ground floor of a new tech that can net them fifteen bucks a month, and have gone full cargo-cult without stopping to think if this is a good experience people will want to pay money for.

    I read a good article on HN recently comparing this to the way Sun Microsystems worked internally. Basically they envisioned a thin-client/server model where they could do cool Minority Report things like drag your window to your coworker's screen and things like that. They spent hundreds of millions chasing this vision without stopping to think whether it'd be a good value proposition to their customers. (link)

    7 votes
    1. moocow1452
      Link Parent
      Because the most accessable platforms to us are underpowered compared to dedicated gaming hardware, and if we can make everything a thin client and design AAA games for only one computer, and have...

      Because the most accessable platforms to us are underpowered compared to dedicated gaming hardware, and if we can make everything a thin client and design AAA games for only one computer, and have it run on anything with a screen, that sounds pretty freaking rad. If the promise of Stadia works out, anyone who Googles a compatible game could start a demo in their browser or their mobile, try it out, buy it, and finish it up when they cast it over to their TV. As someone who wanted to play Gameboy games on their Console and vice versa, and liked the off-tv aspect of the Wii U, portable gaming is rad and more options for it should be available.

      That's not even tying in the sort of intergration possible with Twitch where people could jump into a multiplayer game with a Streamer right with Twitch. This would kill with Fortnite or Jackbox games, where selling you a copy of the game wouldn't be too priority, but it would keep you on Twitch.

      6 votes
    2. bilbodwyer
      Link Parent
      That was a great read, and a perspective I didn't think about when Stadia was announced. I got very much caught up in the "future tech" aspect of it, because it felt like the beginning of the...

      I read a good article on HN recently comparing this to the way Sun Microsystems worked internally. Basically they envisioned a thin-client/server model where they could do cool Minority Report things like drag your window to your coworker's screen and things like that. They spent hundreds of millions chasing this vision without stopping to think whether it'd be a good value proposition to their customers.

      That was a great read, and a perspective I didn't think about when Stadia was announced. I got very much caught up in the "future tech" aspect of it, because it felt like the beginning of the future that 5G has the potential to bring.

      4 votes
  2. escher
    (edited )
    Link
    I think it's more insidious than just a paying subscription service. This is a power grab -- it's about control and data mining. The worst-case scenario endgame is horrifying: games have driven...

    It seems like a decision made by executives and marketers who went to the engineers and said "What kind of 'future tech' can we build out of what we have laying around, and how do we tie it to a subscription service so we can profit off it".

    I think it's more insidious than just a paying subscription service. This is a power grab -- it's about control and data mining.

    The worst-case scenario endgame is horrifying: games have driven desktop computing to levels of capability we never would have seen otherwise, giving us astoundingly powerful computing devices we can own in our own homes. Shifting gaming to streaming hosting will result in a severe drop in demand for powerful consumer devices. As demand drops, manufacturing drops, and at some point will drop under an economy-of-scale threshold that will cause the cost of powerful home computers to skyrocket. When that happens, more and more non-game applications will shift to streaming hosts. When web browsing shifts over, the majority of home "computers" will be nothing more than high-speed streaming dumb terminals.

    This is where the control power-grab becomes truly horrible -- large companies like Google, Microsoft, and Amazon will effectively be the computer, will have full control what programs people can run, and will have full visibility into everything the user does and types. Every document they write, every program they create, everything they see and do will be watched and catalogued by these companies. Eventually, it will only be possible to buy real computers in volumes only the large companies can afford, and the home computing era will be effectively over. You won't be able to buy a video card because GPUs will only be sold in rack-mount clusters, far too expensive for the individual but exactly what the service hosts will be purchasing. Same for CPUs.

    This worst-case scenario is extremely likely, as it initially lowers the bar to everyone -- with computing hosted on the server side, people will no longer have to worry about hardware and software updates and upgrades. It will be easier, and people en-masse flock to easier. I am scared that what I have outlined above will be what plays out over the next decade or two, and by the time people realize what they've handed over to these mega-corporations, it will be far too late to do anything about it.

    5 votes