Video game consoles are getting bigger and bigger.
The original launch version of Play station 5 weighs 4.5 kg, almost double that of its predecessor (2.8 kg).
The Xbox The X series was so big that many on the internet joked that it was the size of a mini-fridge, which resulted in Microsoft to create a real mini-fridge in the shape of a console.
But as technology progresses, it inevitably gets miniaturized as more battery, processing power, and memory are crammed into a smaller phone or laptop chassis.
The same goes for video games.
Nintendo pioneered portable hybrid gaming when it released the Switch, which became the fastest home console to hit 100 million units sold in 2021.
Its ability to act as a traditional and portable TV console attracted customers faster than they could be produced.
Now, competitors like Steam Deck are entering the handheld gaming market, boasting better graphics cards, storage, and processors.
One company that launched its laptop over the summer is Aya.
The flagship of the Chinese company Neo Air Pro boasts up to 30GB of RAM, decent battery life, and a graphics card powerful enough to run the latest blockbuster games on your travels.
When Sky News tested it, games like Overwatch, Call Of Duty, and FIFA held up well at graphics settings below 60 frames per second. The unit also has a USB-C output, which makes it possible to connect to a physical keyboard, mouse and monitor and turns this supercharged Game Boy into a desktop gaming PC.
Will video games have their own Netflix?
But mobile phones are also becoming child’s play.
The advent of game streaming, similar to Netflix, allows gamers to run the most graphically intense versions on the market on a mid-range smartphone.
Where your iPhone may have traditionally been used to play classics like Clash Of Clans or Farmville, it can now stream huge PlayStation or Xbox games with nothing more than a 5G connection.
Xbox, PlayStation and Google (at least for now) offer cloud streaming services that allow players to play supported games over the internet.
Sky News tested the Xbox cloud streaming app installed on Oppo’s flagship foldable smartphone, Find N.
The phone’s OLED screen (made by the same manufacturer that builds Samsung’s foldable displays), folds down to double the size of the original screen, greatly enhancing the gaming experience on the go.
Using a stable 5G EE connection, we were able to stream Forza Horizon 5, one of the most graphically demanding games on the market, with little or no latency.
As broadband and data speeds improve in the UK, cloud gaming could become the preferred medium for gamers.
However, the format recently took a hit when Google announced it was shutting down its Stadia service.
It was one of the first services of its kind to launch in the UK, but it failed to generate enough interest among players to be continued by the Silicon Valley giant.
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“Cloud gaming is the future”
Mike Rose, founder of No More Robots, a games publisher who recently had to get rid of his Stadia version of the Soccer Story title, told Sky News: “I think the writing has been on the wall for a while … it was pretty obvious that it was to die at some point. It was more a question of when.
“I’m pretty confident that cloud gaming will be the future of video games.”
Rose said cloud services like Xbox are more likely to survive because they have a more diverse offering: “The problem Stadia had was that it was trying to start a new, completely cloud-centric store instead of letting people take care. of cloud gaming little by little. “
In a vote of confidence, No More Robots has about half a dozen titles coming to Microsoft’s xCloud in the next 12 months.
According to the government, 68% of UK locations now have gigabit-compatible broadband access, with the goal of achieving at least 85% gigabit-compatible coverage across the country by 2025.
How quickly people adopt the ever-growing offer of Netflix-like cloud gaming services will depend heavily on achieving infrastructure goals like this one.