After over a decade of being hyped up and then watered down in various capacities, new game streaming services like Google Stadia and Microsoft’s xCloud look set to finally see the low-spec-high-bandwidth technology break into the mainstream.
But, in a world where anyone can stream and play the latest Assassin’s Creed on something with the specs of a Chromebook, why should everyday users invest in high-end SSD storage or memory? Assuming that services like Stadia and xCloud work as advertised, it’s easy to imagine a world where they have an enormous impact on the demand for specialist PC components heavyweights like Seagate and Kingston.
We spoke to Seagate’s Country Manager for ANZ, Charlie Harb, and asked what the company makes of the future that Google and others are trying to sell users on and whether or not it represents a serious threat to their core customer-base.
The short version? They’re not worried.
Harb tells us that “while there is no denying that new game streaming services will impact the way gamers play and store their content,” he insists that “there will always be a need for a fast and reliable end-user data storage solutions for consumer operating systems and applications even in the cases where games are stored in the cloud.”
“From what Microsoft and Sony have revealed about their plans for next-generation gaming, connected consoles in the living room will still provide the best gameplay experience and Seagate's storage solutions will help enhance that experience.”
Then, there’s the fact that someone still has to provide components for the systems that’ll power services like Google Stadia and Microsoft’s xCloud.
Harb says that “on the other end of this equation, Seagate does not just make storage solutions for end-users in the gaming ecosystem. Our vast product line of enterprise-class HDD and SSD drives and systems will be the backbone of cloud gaming.“
As we’ve said before, the arrival of true cloud gaming is a wild card that’s sure to shake-up the gaming industry but the one thing that’s certain? That the people who provide the foundations for that future are going to benefit.