Amazon Is Launching A Game-Streaming Service, Report Says

The battle for streaming supremacy is heating up.

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One of the biggest companies on the planet, Amazon, looks like it's extending its reach to yet another sector. The Information reports today that the retail giant is looking to launch its own game-streaming service. Deadline backed up the report with a report of its own that claims the project exists within Amazon right now.

Deadline also reports that Amazon is currently speaking with publishers to distribute their games on the untitled Amazon game-streaming platform. The service could reportedly launch in 2020 at the earliest, though it's unclear if this is for a beta version of the platform or the full thing.

It appears that streaming could be the next big battleground for game companies. Google already has its Project Cloud game-streaming service that it's testing with Assassin's Creed Odyssey (you can see our impressions in the video above), while Microsoft will let you play Halo on a phone with its Xcloud (working title) streaming service, and Electronic Arts has its own streaming technology in the works under its ridiculously ambitious-sounding Project Atlas. Sony has operated in the game-streaming area for a long time already through its PlayStation Now product.

Amazon already does a lot with games, as the retailer is one of the biggest sellers of games in the world, while it also owns the popular video-streaming site Twitch. Amazon also owns Killer Instinct developer Double Helix, while Amazon has its own game studio team called Amazon Game Studios. In August last year, Amazon announced it had hired 2K Games founder Christoph Hartmann to be the new boss of Amazon Game Studios. it hasn't been all smooth sailing, however, as Amazon Game Studios canceled one of its first games, Breakaway, and a number of high-profile staffers quit.

Amazon Game Studios has a number of games in the works, including a sandbox MMO called New World, the third-persons shooter Crucible, and a game based on Amazon's Grand Tour series.

Bethesda, the publisher of games like Fallout and Elder Scrolls, is already working with its studios around the world to prepare for a future where streaming is popular and prevalent.

Streaming is an exciting opportunity for games, and it could spell trouble for hardware manufacturers like PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo. In a streaming world, games would play off computers in data centers and stream to your computer or mobile device, which in turn would reduce the need to own a console like an Xbox or PlayStation. One potential issue with streaming is that it depends significantly on network availability and speed, which is no guarantee in some places around the world.

Dedicated console platforms are not going anywhere soon, it seems. Microsoft is making multiple new Xbox consoles, and according to a report from Brad Sams, one could be focused on streaming. Additionally, Sony has acknowledged the need for a PlayStation 5. Nintendo, intriguingly, has said it may eventually exit the hardware market.

Andrew Wilson, the CEO of EA, said during a presentation recently that he sees a future where you can play games on any device you want, with streaming/cloud gaming help accelerate that shift. Strauss Zelnick, the CEO of Rockstar Games parent company Take-Two Interactive, has said he believes streaming will help accelerate the industry's transition away from "closed" systems.

Video game streaming hasn't been a total success story so far, as you may recall the OnLive service shut down before it ever got much of a foothold. However, given that some of the biggest companies in the world are now investing in game-streaming, it might finally be time for streaming to truly kick off in earnest.

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Bamda

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The online wars are coming!!

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Xristophoros

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so this will only have multiplatform games then... why would someone sub to this if they can sub to ps now and get sony's first party games in addition to the multiplatform stuff at the same time? this will fail hard.

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Atzenkiller

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I only wonder why the didn't do so earlier. And about why they'd create a seperate service for it instead of tacking it onto Prime, as they've done with everything else so far. Just raise the price a bit further. Who would say no to paying 100 bucks a months for all that crap, 90% of which you might never even use once?

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gamingdevil800

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Edited By gamingdevil800

Hopefully it crashes and burns like Onlive.

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srfilk86

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I hope the gaming industry crashes and burns. I'm out once streaming is the only way to play games. Good thing I just bought a SNES in perfect condition!

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Bamda

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@srfilk86: That will never happen. Sorry to burst your bubble.

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Yams1980

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Edited By Yams1980

@srfilk86: im also out if game steaming ever becomes the only way to game. No matter how fast internet you have, theres still latency. No idea why anyone would think game streaming is good other than companies selling this trash.

By the time fibre networks are everywhere on earth (at this rate, probably 70+ years at least), we will have such powerful cpus that can do integrated graphics so well, there will be no benefit to add that extra latency of game streaming when you can just hit massive fps with just modest hardware.

If there was no latency and everyone already had fibre internet, this may take off for a few years because of the current high cost of video cards.

But I can't imagine anyone wanting to add another 10-20ms to their gaming experience. And it could be way more latency if you are farther away from the streaming service network. Imagine if you lived in Australia, but the game you wanted was only hosted on an American server, you are looking at 300-500ms delay.... and that is graphic delay, every action you take would be a half second delay, it would be unbearable.

Also this would completely kills the modding benefit you get from PC gaming as well. All the games i still play are because i can download mods for them. Any streamed game is completely locked down and unmoddable.

Like people said, this is probably so far from happening i'll be dead or retired from gaming by that time.

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Xristophoros

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@srfilk86: lol... streaming will never be the only way... well, at least not for another 15-20 years. once the technology is perfected there will be no difference from running games on hardware. in 20 years you won't care... i think you are over reacting.

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mpl911

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Edited By mpl911

@srfilk86: *cuts nose off to spite face*

You hope the gaming industry crashes and burns? One of the biggest industries in the world and the biggest entertainment sector, that billlions of people worldwide enjoy and love? What good would that do?

For the record I'd always rather buy a console and continue to play (ideally) discs on that device on a large-screen tv. The last thing I hope for is the gaming industry to collapse. What's the benefit of that?

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srfilk86

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@mpl911: The benefit is that a crash can lead to a reboot where things are made right again.

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dlCHIEF58

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@srfilk86: Stupidest.....Comment .....Ever!

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mpl911

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Edited By mpl911

@srfilk86: well I can't deny that's true but hundreds of thousands of people would lose their livelihoods in the intervening years. I'd always rather just hope the gaming industry improves its product.

Let's not forget that we see fantastic games like Spiderman, RDR2, GTA5, the Forza's, Horizon Zero Dawn, The Last of Us, and we currently have healthy competition between 3 manufacturers (alright, Sony are running away with it, but maybe in a few years?). It's not the greatest era for video gaming I don't think, but it's certainly not the worst, although things like endless mobile game reboots and microtransactions are pretty insidious.

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srfilk86

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@mpl911: That's just a fact of life, though. They could just release games on Steam instead or something. At the least, these streaming consoles should allow for downloads. That wouldn't be so awful.

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Barighm

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Oh, look, the thing I've been predicting for years is coming true. Shocking.

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wtf_666

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@Barighm: You deserve a cookie.

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gamingdevil800

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@wtf_666: You deserve a hookie.

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Asultana121x

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This is why I don't like that the future will be streaming only, the games stop being games at that point and just become a service you can access. I want to play a game that has a beginning, middle, and an end, that's it. I'll always prefer discs over digital and streaming, same with movies and tv shows. If it goes full digital/streaming one day, then I'll probably stop playing games and watching movies/shows altogether, or just significantly reduce the time I spend on each medium.

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Xristophoros

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@asultana121x: that future you speak of is 20 years away. relax for now.

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Barighm

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@asultana121x: You're right, but to be fair, not having to buy any hardware anymore is quite the savings.

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HUYI12

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@Barighm: but paying a monthly fee for a very long period will be just as expensive if not more, remember that and you won't own anything but still keep paying to get access to the streaming games.

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Atzenkiller

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@huyi12: Would it? Let's say a subscription service costs $10 per month and it lets you play any game you want as soon as it comes out. That's $120 per year. Most "gamers" probably spend several times that each year. And that doesn't even include the cost for new consoles or even PC upgrades. So cost wise there really is no comparison here. Unless you actually sell your games after playing through them I guess, which means that you're letting yourself get ripped off by companies like Gamestop.

But this is also why I don't see this working. Most gamers spend way more money on videogames each year than you could charge for a subscription service, so it just wouldn't make sense to forego those profits from game sales for a much smaller subscription fee. And if it's too expensive then nobody will wanna pay for it.

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Barighm

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@huyi12: Yeah, that's probably what's going to happen. I was about to add that in my post but I got interrupted.

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Asultana121x

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@Barighm: I like and prefer having hardware, it will always be better quality in terms of picture and audio quality. I understand the cost of things, especially in today's climate when a lot of us are short on money, but I rather pay for quality over convenience.

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Barighm

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Edited By Barighm

@asultana121x: Again, you're right. I'm sure tech will get better to a point where the quality will go up, but I'd rather have my hardware, or at least DRM free stuff I can use on any computer.