Game Pass to Switch…Is it Possible?
As a professional counselor and teacher, it is an unwritten rule that I have to be caught up on current affairs. Over the last few years, I have noticed a trend in the tech industry that has been slowly creeping its way into home entertainment. The speed of the internet has increased exponentially over the last 15 years, and that has provided faster streaming and downloading on all platforms. Many companies, including Microsoft, have been utilizing this through their various streaming services. There was a time when certain hardware was needed to play games manufactured by Microsoft, but that is no longer the case. Now we just need an Xbox Game Pass and PC or tablet. Times are a’ chang’n, and this has become even more apparent over the last few weeks.
There is now a rumor circulating that Xbox games will soon be available to the Nintendo Switch via the Game Pass. This came from an initial report headed by Direct Feed Games, a gaming news outlet that has an incredibly close relationship Nintendo. According to the outlet, both Nintendo and Xbox are planning on releasing Ori and the Blind forest to the Nintendo eShop, along with allowing Game Pass subscribers to access their catalog of Xbox games through the upcoming streaming service, Project xCloud. With the rumor being stated by a very reputable news outlet, along with the existence of the technology to make it happen, it looks as if this little nugget of info might be golden after all.
This Could Be Huge!
I’m not sure if you can see just how big this is, but allow me to spell it out. Project xCloud is Microsoft’s new streaming technology that will allow anyone to stream Xbox games from the Game Pass catalog onto any mobile device they want. Initially, this was thought to be a response to the success of the Nintendo Switch, but now it is looking like Microsoft has created a way to use any console or mobile device as an Xbox. If Nintendo gives Microsoft the green light to allow for Project xCloud to interface with the Switch, we will see the first merging of two consoles into one. Dare I say, this new streaming technology is doing to the home console what the CD player did to the VCR, it is making it obsolete.
The writing is clearly on the wall for everyone to see. Look at games such as Fornite and PUBG. These two games were once platform oriented shooters, now they are popular on mobile devices. One man was able to modify his Switch to play World of Warcraft. The processing speed of mobile devices has nearly matched that of the former generation of PCs, and it is only getting stronger as streaming services develop high-end servers to deliver their content more quickly and effeciently. With this merging, we are witnessing the beginning of one era, and the end of another.
Consoles Still Have Some Life in Them
Let’s get this straight, consoles are on their way out, at least consoles as we know them. The Nintendo Switch has proven that a console can be both fixed and mobile, and that appears to be a very popular notion among companies. Microsoft and Sony have already confirmed the development of new hardware. A future generation of consoles that allow for greater streaming services and mobility may be just a few years away. However, if Microsoft and Nintendo are going to start working together, they are going to have to share their IPs, and as you know, Nintendo does not like sharing Mario with anyone.
Everything within the market, economy, and even the culture shows that games are becoming mobile. The home gaming experience will become an option rather than a mainstay in the near future. As busy as we all are, I do not see this as being a step backward.
So what do you think? Are you looking forward to seeing Master Chief on the Switch? What do you think about my crazy, “tinfoil hat” theory about the evolution and departure of consoles? Let me know in the comments below.