Nowadays many games are designed exclusively for certain hardware platforms and numerous hardcore gamers are forced to acquire several game consoles and a personal computer to enjoy different titles. However, the designer of Metal Gear Solid series of video games claims that eventually game systems will disappear and end-users will be able to enjoy games everywhere.
"In the near future, we will have games that don't depend on any platform. Gamers should be able to take the experience with them in their living rooms, on the go, when they travel – wherever they are and whenever they want to play. It should be the same software and the same experience," said Hideo Kojima, executive corporate officer director of Kojima Productions and the creator of the Metal Gear Solid family of games, reports Reuters news-agency.
Mr. Kojima did not outline any concrete ways to implement video gaming capabilities on devices that are not game consoles, however, a natural guess would be some kind of remote video game streaming service, which allows to play games that are processed by the server, not by the local hardware.
Remote video game streaming services have three main advantages over contemporary consoles or personal computers: gamers do not need to buy expensive hardware (which means that more people can be addressed), gamers do not need to acquire games themselves in a retail stores or carry any physical media (which makes games more affordable or even free in certain cases), gamers cannot pirate software.
But while remote game streaming services have a number of benefits, they are hard to implement from technology standpoint: Internet still generates input lags, video needs to be compressed and decompressed, etc. Moreover, their economic model also does not seem to be really feasible: one customer should be provided with enough performance to play a game with 1920x1080 resolution with all the bells and whistles enabled, which typically means dedicated graphics processor and at least two CPU cores, something not exactly cheap.
It remains to be seen whether remote video game streaming services like Gaikai or OnLive will become popular, but at least Sony Computer Entertainment does not seem to believe in them.
“It is a bold prediction. We hope he continues to develop for platforms, but we deeply respect his sense of taking on a challenge,” said Hiroshi Kawano, the president of Sony Computer Entertainment Japan.