Amazon ‘developing game streaming service’ that could kill consoles forever

AMAZON has become the latest company to start investing in game-streaming technology that could render games consoles obsolete.

According to a report in The Information that has been confirmed by Deadline, the web giant is working on its own service that would let gamers play the latest games on much cheaper and smaller devices.

An Xbox One game running on a tablet computer, with touch screen controls

Amazon is reportedly already in negotiations with publishers in an effort to establish a decent library of titles for the service.

Despite that, the service won’t launch until 2020 at the earliest.

Microsoft has already revealed its streaming service, Project xCloud that could allow gamers to play top-tier games on almost any device with a screen capable of displaying them.

The Xbox-maker started testing on the service using internet connections from 10Mbps and upwards — that’s roughly 40 per cent slower than the average UK broadband speed, suggesting that these services should work widely across the UK when they do arrive.

Amazon’s Fire TV sticks already support some games — but they’re a long way from top-tier console titles
Amazon UK

That service, which is being designed to run over 4G and 5G mobile networks as well as wired broadband, could form part of a new streaming Xbox One or a streaming-only version of the Xbox Two.

Google has also dipped its toes into game streaming with what was dubbed Project Yeti, which was tested last year using Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.

Game streaming has been touted for years, but there has always been a gulf between expectation and reality.

Unlike with video, game streaming services need to react in milliseconds to inputs from users.

Even with the fastest of internet connections this can be tricky given the amount of time it takes for a signal to be transmitted from a controller to a remote server and back again — so even if you can deliver the video data instantaneously there is still that lag to contend with.

Advances in both AI technology–effectively anticipating your next move so it can get a head start–as well as streaming itself mean this is now much closer to reality.

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