Amazon is already one of the world’s leading video game retailers, but it may soon have an even larger presence in the market. According to BGR, Amazon is planning to launch a cloud-based gaming service uses a Netflix-style subscription model.
Amazon hasn’t confirmed the new gaming service. Sources say, however, that it will allow gamers to stream video games over the internet. Normally, gamers must insert a game disc into their console or download and install a digital copy of the game from an online store. Amazon’s new gaming service takes a different approach by using cloud technology to stream games directly to users.
With Amazon’s cloud gaming service, expensive consoles with high-end hardware isn’t needed. Rather, Amazon can use computing resources from its powerful cloud servers to run games. Gamers simply access Amazon’s servers, from which they are able to stream games to their TV or device.
Cloud gaming services have the potential to disrupt the video game industry. Using cloud servers to stream games means that even smartphones and tablets can run hardware-intensive games that would otherwise require a current-generation console to run. And since games are both processed and stored on cloud servers, they won’t consume storage space on the gamer’s device.
Sony already offers a cloud gaming service. Launched November 2016, PlayStation Now allows gamers to stream select PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 games to their console over the internet. But PlayStation Now has come under fire from many gamers for having significant lag. Given Amazon’s access to state-of-the-art data centers, though, it could provide a faster and more reliable streaming service.
It’s unknown how much Amazon will charge for its new cloud gaming service. Sony currently charges $19.99 per month or $99.99 per year for PlayStation Now, so Amazon could use similar pricing for its service. Alternatively, Amazon could include the service as part of its Prime program.
Microsoft is also developing a cloud streaming service. Known as Project xCloud, it’s expected to launch later this year.