Games and streaming, two words that a lot of people don’t seem to want to see in close proximity — but the conversation about streaming services eventually replacing traditional video game consoles is only going to grow over the next few years and beyond. Just a couple of months ago, Ubisoft caused a bit of an uproar when it said that the inevitable PS5 will likely be the last console of its kind before streaming takes centre stage.
And now EA’s getting in on the topic. Speaking to Games Industry, VP of strategic growth Matt Bilbey reckons that streaming devices will render traditional consoles obsolete in the not too distant future. “It could be that the console actually exists in the smart TV. Or the next PlayStation just exists on your phone, and that then pushes the experience to all the different screens you have access to,” Bilbey theorises.
“The console as it exists today, and your TV… In five years time, people will still have them, I imagine, just out of retro [sentiment]. They look good. But in 10 years, they will be in one of the other devices you have,” Bilbey concludes.
So, consoles as we know them being replaced by streaming or subscription services within the next decade? As mentioned, it’s a topic that’s only going to snowball as we see how the next generation unravels, and this is the kind of thing that companies like EA are going to be paying very close attention to. Whether or not Bilbey’s predictions become a reality, we’re edging towards a fascinating time for gaming as a whole.