Amazon has announced a new game streaming service with Twitch integration

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rorie

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#1 rorie  Staff

Not exactly shocking news, I guess, but hey. I don't know how many of these streaming services we need but it's always nice to see some competition, and Amazon definitely has the infrastructure set up for something like this. I'm not sure how weird the Twitch integration will be but I'm assuming that Amazon will be throwing in a ton of free trials alongside game purchases on their site and definitely for their first-party games.

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csl316

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Amazon Music is a miracle and finally got me to embrace weird new technology (new for me in 2019 as I always stuck to discs). Messing with Xcloud shows me how far gaming tech has come since Gaikai was first discussed. Give it a few years and it might be the dominant form of gaming, like digital eventually became despite the pushback in 2013.

This makes me worry for Sony, though, since it seems like soon they'll be left behind. Their strength is software now so are they just going to become a publisher, following the Sega route? Will Microsoft buy them to unite the console makers? Seems any year after 2020 might be kind of exciting.

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Panfoot

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Remember stadia?

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reap3r160

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While I'll still believe it when i see it, unlike stadia Amazon at least has a solid cloud infrastructure in place(like MS and that's going well) to support what they are promising.

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singular

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#5  Edited By singular

Remember OnLive?

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NameRedacted

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@zoofame: Among Us is a gem that "fell through the cracks." It's a hit because it allows a LOT of well-known streamers / online personalities to gather, BS and interact to create content that isn't the usual one of a dozen online shooters (e.g. PUBG, Warzone, Valorant, etc.) or games as service games.

Fall Guys is just fun (which is sorely needed in 2020).

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NameRedacted

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@rorie: With Microsoft as the trillion dollar, monopolistic elephant in the console gaming space, a Sony partnership with global juggernaut Amazon would mean serious competition (which MS can't counter by simply outspending Sony or Nintendo).

Regardless, if Amazon pulls this off... Microsoft will be fighting tough battles on multiple fronts.

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OurSin_360

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So I guess most people in the US don't have data caps and it's just me? I wouldn't be able to use any of these services without an extra 50$ per month

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penguindust

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Does this come with Prime or is it extra? Amazon keeps raising the price of Prime (now $120 per year), so this could ease the sting of another price hike.

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mellotronrules

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#11  Edited By mellotronrules

cool?

i have no need of a streaming service. maybe one day when travel and pervasive (and cheap) 5G both exist.

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Humanity

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If the promise of 4K/60 ever comes to REALLY pass the. I might consider something like this instead of buying a new gaming ready PC every couple of years.

At this point in time it’s kind of hard to believe.

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imhungry

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As is always the case with these things, I'll pay attention a few years after release when it actually becomes available in my region. It always strikes me as funny that the US with its oppressive data caps serves as the primary test bed while Asian countries with the good internet are left out in the cold. Obviously it's a matter of server infrastructure for the streaming companies but it feels like the questions of data caps and uneven internet infrastructure in the US always loom large over these announcements.

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Kornnugget

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The problem with all the streaming gaming services, On-live, Nvidia GeForce NOW, Stadia, ETC. is not the equipment on the far end. It is network latency. No matter how much bandwidth you throw at it you can not overcome the time it takes for your button press to navigate to the server and the image to return to the user. In my experience even on a LAN the latency is noticeable and over a WAN unless the server is located close to you, it is going to be a poor gaming experience. I think for demos it is fine, but given that people get wrapped up in 30 vs 60 vs 120 FPS because of the feeling of latency, I can't imagine any gaming experience with latency is going to be amazing and I never see it becoming a viable option. Just to give you some numbers of round trip from the closest node, first hop, to a user, normally the ISP CO....

Latency Average USA

Fiber-to-the-home services provided 17 milliseconds (ms) round-trip

Cable-based services averaged 28 ms

DSL-based services averaged 44 ms.

That is just transit time for packets not including latency in the system and TV.

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BoccKob

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Whenever anyone talks about this, all I'm going to be able to hear in my mind is Jeff's soundboard yelling "LUDA!!"

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Onemanarmyy

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Already sounds more solid than Stadia. I haven't looked too deep into the product, but i saw someone say that you're not buying games piecemeal, but you're purchasing access to 'game channels'. First there's a Luna+ channel with 100+ games, and later on there will be a 'Ubisoft' channel to subscribe to.

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Regal

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@rorie: With Microsoft as the trillion dollar, monopolistic elephant in the console gaming space, a Sony partnership with global juggernaut Amazon would mean serious competition (which MS can't counter by simply outspending Sony or Nintendo).

Regardless, if Amazon pulls this off... Microsoft will be fighting tough battles on multiple fronts.

Didn't Sony sign a deal with Azure for the future of Playstation? Both Sony and Microsoft are committed to also offering local hardware so it makes sense they are cooperating here.

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isomeri

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Good to have more competition in the space I guess. At the moment I don't really have any interest in a purely streaming subscription platform. Game Pass provides the streaming stuff as a nice bonus for those times I want to play something on the go, but I still want to do the majority of my gaming at home on a nice screen attached directly to some capable hardware. But I do see the huge appeal of these services for people, including most of my friends and relatives, who don't want to invest in gaming hardware if they don't have to.

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plinko

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@onemanarmyy: This is the part that worries me a little. It sounds a bit toooo close to cable packages for me and I'm hoping that video games don't also go down that route. But I don't know if I can really complain when I'm feeding into the machine that I'm worrying over...though I guess one could argue that Game Pass doesn't only have games from one publisher or company, maybe?

At the same time, I start thinking about indie games and how much harder they would have it if this became the main way people play games. If everyone streams games and all the big publishers have channels, it seems like it would be much harder to get people to look at your stuff. And maybe they'd have an indie games channel but then what if you don't want to join that group? Or they have bad leadership or something? I dunno, I'm thinking way far ahead into the future but it's what came to my mind. It's interesting news at least! And I have to say the controller is pretty.

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Shindig

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#20  Edited By Shindig

They have an army of streamers at their disposal to plug this. Not that Google didn't try that with Stadia.

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NameRedacted

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@regal: IIRC, the Sony / Microsoft Azure deal was signed by Sony (Worldwide / Japan) and came as a shock to the Playstation division at Sony, which, either didn't have a say in the matter or wasn't told about the deal beforehand. Kinda like how Nintendo Japan rules over Nintendo North America (despite how NA Nintendo is the larger, more lucrative market).

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NameRedacted

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@plinko: Microsoft's vision of the future IS a "do everything" box, and it always has been. The "Don Mattrick" Xbox wasn't a mistake, they simply botched the message: gamers don't care about TV, they care about games. Microsoft was banking on the success of the 360 in North America to carry them, without the video games to back it up (and they were very, very wrong.)

Microsoft is going to use Game Pass to force adoption of the "do everything box" on gamers, then down the road (3, 5, 10 years, maybe sooner) add things like TV, on-demand movies, etc... basically, instead of sending your $100-$200+ / month to Comcast, Time Warner, or some other ancient cable service monopoly, you'll send it to Microsoft.

Microsoft is looking to eat EVERYONE'S lunch (cable companies, Apple, Amazon, Google, Steam, etc.), and they're gonna parlay their Xbox gaming division to try to do that.

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Ry_Ry

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I'd say overall my experience with Stadia has been pretty great. I've been having a great time with DOOM Eternal on it. Though I'm not sure I need another streaming game service?

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bigsocrates

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@nameredacted: The Xbox One already is a do everything box (except music.) It has really good video streaming through apps, Microsoft sells TV shows and movies through its store just like Apple does and promotes that etc...

Whether Microsoft is going to actually try to compete with Netflix and the other streaming services is a more open question. It may have learned its lesson with Zune (which is probably why it is not really in the music business and hasn't tried to purchase any of the competitor music streaming services) and might be content to focus on its strengths, but we'll see.

The PS4 is also a do everything box, of course, and Sony made a harder push into TV than Microsoft did this generation (multiple exclusive PS Plus TV shows, a Playstation branded streaming service etc...) so this is not exclusive to Microsoft.

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whitegreyblack

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@plinko said:

@onemanarmyy: This is the part that worries me a little. It sounds a bit toooo close to cable packages for me and I'm hoping that video games don't also go down that route.

That fits Amazon's M.O. Amazon Prime Video also works basically on a cable package model, if you want to engage with that; their (at least in my country) fairly meager Prime library is supplemented by additional companies' channels that you can add-on for a monthly fee.

I would be surprised if a ton of people want to basically sign up for a separate "cable package" for every type of entertainment they wish to consume, but the world is strange and doesn't always make a lot of sense.

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Onemanarmyy

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#26  Edited By Onemanarmyy

@ry_ry: Game streaming is an emergent market. Multiple parties are going to try to stake out their pie-slice of the market. Especially those with the worldwide data center infrastructure have the means to give it a shot and compete with the few options that are already out there.

@whitegreyblack

If someone is 100% into the game streaming market they probably don't have a capable gamesystem to play these games on local hardware. The choice to pay a bit more to get access to Ubisoft games makes sense when there's no alternative, yet you really want to play that one game. At the end of the day, paying 5$ extra per month to play a game is more affordable for many than to start looking into buying a console + game. Although Xbox's payment plan does make it easier than ever to attain a console.

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Ry_Ry

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@onemanarmyy: yea I was only a matter of time before Amazon jumped in. I'm not sure I'm ready for their eventual ad supported version.

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Mastaofminds

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Mark my words in 5 years no one will talk about buying games anymore. Sounds crazy now, but buying video games will be like buying physical music now a days. I also predict that this is the last console generation ever. Call me crazy, but consoles will be obsolete in 5 years.