These five examples showcase how video game retailers are leveraging streaming strategies and cloud capabilities in order to offer gamers more opportunities to play

After years of predictable pay-to-play models and walled console gardens, the video game industry is looking back to streaming platforms for inspiration, offering gamers more democratized, all-access ways to play, view and watch. Strictly defined borders long existing between different consoles and PC gamers prevented multiplayer gaming and limited players to one gaming infrastructure.

But with borderless playing, consumers can access and log in to their favorite games on any device, on the go or at home. From PSFK's Innovating The Digital Gaming Ecosystem: Part I, here's how today's leading retailers in gaming technology are making their services more accessible to consumers, enlisting cloud servers to stream games or simply offering more ways to play depending on contextual needs:

Microsoft
Project xCloud is a game-streaming platform where games are rendered in the cloud and streamed live to the players’ device, whether it’s a console, computer or smartphone. In a demo of the product, the game is rendered and distributed via the company’s Azure cloud servers. Microsoft states that Project xCloud is not a replacement for consoles, but offers gamers more ways to play based on their circumstances and preferences.

Google Stadia
Project Stadia is a cloud-based gaming service being developed by Google that allows players to access games via a browsing tab in Google Chrome (and playable on desktops, laptops, TVs, tablets and phones that have the Chrome app). Google’s service aims to surpass other cloud-based services by offering access to AAA (big budget video game titles), while allowing PC gamers to bypass. Typically, however it requires gamers to have home internet speeds of at least 25 Mb in order to process high resolutions, frame rates and, consequently, deliver this via streaming.

Sony
PlayStation Now is a cloud-based streaming service that delivers a variety of content to players’ PS4 consoles or PCs. Gamers can access a library of contemporary PS4 titles as well as PS3 or PS2 which are then streamed to their relevant platform.

Xbox Live
Microsoft is bringing its Xbox Live network to iOS and Android devices. The software giant is launching a new cross-platform mobile software development kit (SDK) for game developers to bring Xbox Live functionality to games that run on iOS and Android. Xbox Live features like achievements, Gamerscore, hero stats, friend lists, clubs and even some family settings will all be available on iOS and Android.

Fortnite
As part of an update to the massively popular online game Fortnite, developer Epic introduced crossplay matchmaking for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One player pools as well as mobile. Players must opt in to play.

The U.S. video game industry generated a record $43.4 billion in revenue in 2018, up 18% from 2017. For an in-depth look into how a new generation of gamers is playing, streaming and accessing video games, download PSFK's Innovating The Digital Gaming Ecosystem: Part I, available here.

After years of predictable pay-to-play models and walled console gardens, the video game industry is looking back to streaming platforms for inspiration, offering gamers more democratized, all-access ways to play, view and watch. Strictly defined borders long existing between different consoles and PC gamers prevented multiplayer gaming and limited players to one gaming infrastructure.

But with borderless playing, consumers can access and log in to their favorite games on any device, on the go or at home. From PSFK's Innovating The Digital Gaming Ecosystem: Part I, here's how today's leading retailers in gaming technology are making their services more accessible to consumers, enlisting cloud servers to stream games or simply offering more ways to play depending on contextual needs: