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Streaming to Have Outsized Impact on Gaming Industry
If there is one aspect of the games industry that is growing faster than anyone ever anticipated it is the streaming and eSports segments. Though a lot of the industry can seem like a crapshoot these days, companies focusing on improving the streaming experience as well as monetizing it are turning the operation into a virtual operation and reaping tons of monetary rewards in the process.

A recent article in Fortune highlighted all the ways that streaming technology could permanently alter the games landscape and what this means for the future of the tech powering everything as well as the player in front of the screen.


Streaming and Video Games: Two Fronts

Basically streaming technology, as in showing off your gaming prowess to people online as well as streaming actual video games themselves, comprise the two prongs of streaming that Fortune thinks has the potential to upend the traditional industry model entirely.

The first is a community-based approach that sees gamers building tiny fiefdoms unto themselves - and small gaming empires in the process. Since streaming gamers have a higher success rate than average at getting their user base to buy into to certain new gaming concepts you can bet your bottom dollar that in the future companies will be catering to these crowds prior to the launch of some new IP. After all, there's no bigger (and more cost effective) way to make a splash than to let free word-of-mouth marketing do the job for you.

Competitive advantage to the best streaming service

This would mean that the services and devices that preference streaming games will also have an incredible advantage over those devices that are unable to do so as effectively. While PlayStation 4 and Xbox One offer robust streaming capabilities they aren't as good as those you would find on a PC.

Then again, given the frictionless application of streaming service integration into mainline console hardware, consoles have an advantage in making streaming games more accessible than ever before. In general, streaming services like Twitch and YouTube show us a future of gaming dominated by powerful niche communities that are highly active online.

The Netflix of video games

The second part of streaming's attempt at transforming the face of the video games industry happens to do with actually streaming games at a distance through hardware that is perhaps attuned more to streaming games than it is to processing them natively.

What this means is that all of the complicated stuff can happen off site while your console helps deliver the streaming content - that is interactive - to your home. This kind of technology would enable everything from the "Netflix" of video games to even more powerful experiences than are currently available on consoles.

The future of streaming

What this means is that the console hardware race could become a thing of the past as the console manufacturers race to secure the fastest, most robust streaming technology available on the market. This is because, due to the company's lessened emphasis on hardware as a component of making money, the console maker can instead focus on delivering games as a service or in promoting platforms that extend the life of games almost indefinitely. Think Grand Theft Auto V for a good approximation of what this model envisions ultimately.

Whether massive changes or not, it will be interesting to see what kind of impact streaming has on gaming going forward.