Gaming has changed a lot over the course of a few decades. For instance, there was a time when a game would be sold as a complete product, which could receive one or more expansion packs provided that it proved to be popular enough. In more recent times, the Internet has enabled a partial transformation of games into services, which started up with the popularization of MMOs in the early 2000s but has since taken on a wide range of other forms that include season passes, microtransactions, and game subscription services. Now, it seems that gaming will be stepping even further on this path with what is being called cloud gaming by the relevant parties.
Cloud gaming is pretty much what most people would expect based on the name. In short, the game is hosted on the service provider’s servers, meaning that the service user’s device serves as nothing more than a terminal. This has a number of interesting upsides. For example, there is no need for the device to have much computing power of its own because that part of things will be handled by the service provider’s servers. Likewise, interested individuals will be able to choose from a much wider range of titles with much more convenience than otherwise possible. Of course, this is possible so long as interested individuals have an Internet connection of sufficient strength, which is why one of the reasons that cloud computing is starting up in the present time rather than years and years before this point.
With that said, it is interesting to note that cloud gaming isn’t starting up because of a single pioneer. Instead, there are a number of companies that have expressed a strong interest in the subject, which include both Google and Microsoft. However, there are some companies whose names are much more surprising than others, as shown by the reports that suggest that Walmart is thinking about entering the cloud gaming market that is coming into existence at this very moment.
Is Walmart Thinking About Its Own Gaming Streaming Service?
For those who are curious, US Gamer has made the claim that Walmart is thinking about launching a cloud gaming service of its very own. Said publication says that a number of anonymous sources have revealed that Walmart representatives have been speaking with video game developers as well as video game publishers about the potential for such a move on its part. However, said individuals have stated that there is still much that remains unclear about what Walmart has in mind, which in turn, makes it difficult to make guesses about what is going on.
For instance, Walmart’s interest in a cloud gaming service of its own is rather strange. After all, it is a retailer, meaning that this would be a significant side-step into a whole other sector. Theoretically, Walmart has a war-chest that is big enough to pay for the expertise, experience, and infrastructure that it will need to support such an undertaking, but even under the best circumstances, such an undertaking would take a very, very long time for it to be completed. Something that is particularly true because Walmart would be stepping so far out of its comfort zone.
With that said, if Walmart is interested in getting involved in the video gaming sector for whatever reason, a cloud gaming service wouldn’t be a bad way for it to go about doing it. Simply put, if Walmart is interested in distribution in such a direct manner, it has a limited number of ways by which it can go about doing this. For example, it could go about making its own console, which would need huge amounts of expertise, experience, and other limited resources for it to even mount a challenge against entrenched competitors. However, Walmart should find it somewhat easier to carve out a position in the cloud gaming market that is coming into existence, particularly if it skips making hardware but instead sticks with something more along the lines of Netflix but for video games. It would still be an uphill struggle the entire way for Walmart, but at least it would be an improvement compared to entering the console market.
Of course, there is one more that should be remembered. Simply put, even if Walmart has been thinking about a cloud gaming service, that doesn’t mean that it is obligated to act upon it. It isn’t uncommon for companies to test the waters for a wide range of products and services that never actually get made, meaning that there is no point to getting too worked up about this unless more information comes out.