The way people play video games has certainly changed a lot in the last 20 years. In the old days people had to purchase cartridges and CDs to put into a gaming console. Then later on people were able to download their games right over the internet without needing to purchase any physical games. The very idea of this was revolutionizing to the industry. But when it comes to consumers, they always want something bigger and better. It is at a point now when consumers want instant gratification or else they complain. Nobody likes to sit through hours of downloading anymore. Fortunately, cloud hosting and streaming has taken care of this problem.
Cloud networking is growing popular very fast. We have already seen the success of Netflix, which uses the same type of business model. Now more gaming companies are using cloud networks to host their games on. That way people won’t have to sit through hours of downloading anymore. Instead they can just play the games off third party servers without ever having to download them onto their own system. That way they can get that instant gratification of playing the game immediately after they purchase it. However, the only obstacle that is turning consumers off from this is the pricing. When you look at the $7.99 per month that Netflix charges, this is a pretty good deal because it gives you unlimited access to their movies. But with PlayStation Now’s pricing, they are charging about $4.99 to rent one video game for up to 4 hours. This creates negative feels amongst consumers who feel that it is a rip off. So this model may go away very fast.
The big question is, “Why doesn’t PlayStation just charge a low monthly fee like Netflix?” The answer has to do with the cost of running a cloud network. Between creating the infrastructure of the cloud network and sustaining the massive amount of bandwidth consumption, a cloud gaming network will cost considerably more than a cloud movie network. For one thing, the average HD movie is about 2 GB to host. But if you look at the latest PlayStation 4 and Xbox games, they are about 20 GB to host. So when you have millions of people connecting to a cloud network and running those games, you can see how the bandwidth will skyrocket out of control. Therefore, the pricing model of cloud networking still has to be worked out in order to make it more affordable for the consumer while profitable for the gaming companies.