Subscription Gaming Services - Yea or Nay?

Video Game Subscription Services?

  • Yes. I'm all for it!

    Votes: 1 16.7%
  • No. I want physical copies of my games.

    Votes: 4 66.7%
  • Huh? I'm still rockin my Commodore 64 on 1200 baud dialup.

    Votes: 1 16.7%

  • Total voters
    6
Wayde Robson

Wayde Robson

Audioholics Anchorman
Would our Audioholics gamers subscribe to any of the popular subscription gaming services?

I might. Despite somewhat condemning them in this article, I really only mean to condemn how they could be used, I don't want them to replace physical media. I may even be inclined to use them if I found the right offer from a game publisher's streaming service. I already use Steam. But I have no intention of ever using a cloud service like Stadia. It just doesn't offer a benefit. I actually enjoy building my own gaming PC and they're cheap enough where I see no benefit to replacing it with a cloud service.

Here's mainly why I don't like them so far.

Video Game Ecosystems in the 2020s

image_large2.jpeg
 
W

WookieGR

Audioholic Intern
The gaming industry (and digital streaming in all forms) is fueled by the dumbest & laziest people, for PURCHASES, not rentals. Mostly millennial's with no concept of ownership or value of hard earned money. It's been almost two decades now that the PC gaming market went 100% digital and I am appalled that no one has ever filed class action law suits against any companies for locking in your games into an out of reach virtual filing cabinet. As long as I am denied my legal rights to sell, loan, trade or give away my purchased items when i no longer want or need them I will continue to fight digital purchasing. It's a complete lack of dignity to buy something at full price that will reside on a cloud server somewhere that you are forced to keep till the day you die or someone decides to flip a switch preventing you from accessing it or even reliant on a stable internet connection at all times. Digital streaming in any form is an ok supplement to the things they accompany in reality but today's generation of consumers do not reside in reality. Not to mention the complete dismantling and obsolescence of the entire retail and buy-sell economy/community.

It's a completely different story if you want to test something as a demo or to rent for an extremely low fee without the intent to actually own it. You do NOT own anything digital no matter how much you pay for it. However, I can see something like Xbox Game Pass being the best of both worlds since you rent the games for a monthly subscription and actually download the full the content without loss of quality. You get the full experience of what your PC or console is capable of without the nasty side effects or low resolution streaming of a video simulation of what you are believe you are playing.
 
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Wayde Robson

Wayde Robson

Audioholics Anchorman
It's a complete lack of dignity to buy something at full price that will reside on a cloud server somewhere that you are forced to keep till the day you die or someone decides to flip a switch preventing you from accessing it or even reliant on a stable internet connection at all times. Digital streaming in any form is an ok supplement
Totally agree WookieGR!

I think you're on to something about the younger generations being somewhat indoctrinated into "subscription services". It won't be long before the Millennails that actually remember buying discs will be replaced by younger gamers that don't. I wonder what other things we used to be able to call our own will be transformed into temporary-use propositions with no rights of ownership. Jobs, like that of Uber driver, could be moving that direction in the new "gig" economy.

It reminds me of feudalism.
 
W

WookieGR

Audioholic Intern
Totally agree WookieGR!

I think you're on to something about the younger generations being somewhat indoctrinated into "subscription services". It won't be long before the Millennails that actually remember buying discs will be replaced by younger gamers that don't. I wonder what other things we used to be able to call our own will be transformed into temporary-use propositions with no rights of ownership. Jobs, like that of Uber driver, could be moving that direction in the new "gig" economy.

It reminds me of feudalism.
The entire Home Theater landscape is mutating. I've also got a beef with people claiming they have "home theaters" when it's just a 55" tv and a soundbar in a living room with their kids crap and dogs toys all over the floor. There are no mentors, no leaders, no actual set of rules in place for an industry built and designed for a target audience with 3 minute attention spans. I get it that people like their convenience, but it is literally killing the chances of sustaining the highest quality experience for those that can appreciate them because people use convenience as a way of life.
 
BoredSysAdmin

BoredSysAdmin

Audioholic Overlord
The discussion per usual Wayde's agenda is somewhat skewed and confusing [on purpose?].
a) The issue of DRM protected digital game purchases [aka fake purchases]
b) game streaming as a subscription

Regarding
a) I am generally ok with Steam and I feel strongly about it, I'd buy only DRM free GOG games
b) Burn it with fire. It will never work perfectly due to network latency. Even 5-10ms latency would be a show stopper for most reaction-based games.
 
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S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
The discussion per usual Wayde's agenda is somewhat skewed and confusing [on purpose?].
a) The issue of DRM protected digital game purchases [aka fake purchases]
b) game streaming as a subscription

Regarding
a) I am generally ok with Steam and I feel strongly about it, I'd buy only DRM free GOG games
b) Burn it with fire. It will never work perfectly due to network latency. Even 5-10ms latency would be a show stopper for most reaction-based games.
Agreed about streaming, however 5 to 10ms would definitely not be a showstopper. I can't tell the difference from playing on a server with 20ms to 50ms latency, and I play some very fast reaction games. Once latencies creep near 100ms, it can be felt, but games are still playable even at 100ms, even games like Quake deathmatch. However, I doubt that streamed gaming will ever be able to deliver playable games that need fast reaction in reasonable latency times. I don't even know if it would be possible with a heavily compressed picture, but if you have to sacrifice graphics to do that, what is the point? The only advantage that I see to streaming gaming is that it makes cheating much harder to do.

On the other hand, consider the kind of games most people play, and the way that games are often being played these days, on small displays, streaming might make sense for many types of gaming. It will never be sufficient for those who want the most immersion, but for someone who wants to play a polygon intensive game on their phone or pad, maybe it's a good solution.
 
BoredSysAdmin

BoredSysAdmin

Audioholic Overlord
Lan Multiplayer isn't the same thing as game streaming. Your stuff gets rendered locally, only control data is exchanged vs streamed which now has to deal with both video delivery react to controls - essentially doubling the lag.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Spartan
I thought about game pass on XBL but just... I dunno. I don't like the idea of it.
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Lan Multiplayer isn't the same thing as game streaming. Your stuff gets rendered locally, only control data is exchanged vs streamed which now has to deal with both video delivery react to controls - essentially doubling the lag.
I get what you are saying, but even if you doubled 10ms, that is still only 20ms which is really fast. But a high-quality, low-latency stream is difficult to do.
 
Wayde Robson

Wayde Robson

Audioholics Anchorman
The discussion per usual Wayde's agenda is somewhat skewed and confusing [on purpose?].
a) The issue of DRM protected digital game purchases [aka fake purchases]
b) game streaming as a subscription

Regarding
a) I am generally ok with Steam and I feel strongly about it, I'd buy only DRM free GOG games
b) Burn it with fire. It will never work perfectly due to network latency. Even 5-10ms latency would be a show stopper for most reaction-based games.

Sorry, I'm not sure what's confusing. But there are a lot of somewhat confusing things covered in the article. I quickly realized I was probably covering too many topics as I was writing it. It started life as an article about Stadia, essentially to talk about how much I hate it. But, I hate the whole idea of Cloud gaming.

I found the whole streaming services more and more interesting as I researched it.

But streaming services or full game access for a monthly fee (not including DLCs/mods etc)... isn't necessarily a full "cloud" gaming experience. Most streaming services, including Xbox's and PlayStation's let you download (some) of their games to play on PC, so latency shouldn't be an issue. The "pure" cloud gaming services, like Stadia, those should be burnt in a fire.

Digitally purchased games - These, unfortunately will often contain DRM too. I use Steam, I haven't actually used GOG, but it seems like a better deal since it lets you purchase DRM-free. I only learned about Steam's "licensing" rather than "selling" games while researching this article. I'd never read the user agreement.

But, the worst DRM-crime IMHO, is when they maintain files required to run the game on the server-side, even if you purchased it. So, the digitally downloaded "copy" of the game isn't the full game. I have no experience with it myself, but I read this technique was used by UBISoft on Assassin's Creed II. The game required a persistent Internet connection even to play the single player campaign. That is just a step too far, it should be considered fraud.

But even Assassin's Creed II has been cracked, some group figured out the server-side game files and wrote something to download them locally so it can be played 100% offline.
 
Wayde Robson

Wayde Robson

Audioholics Anchorman
Agreed about streaming, however 5 to 10ms would definitely not be a showstopper.
I'm not sure that small amount of delay would be noticed, even in quick-reaction games. There must be a hard latency number where it's considered imperceptible to a human.

I had a serious Conan Exiles addiction for awhile there, it's an online-only multiplayer game. It probably got me too used to "some" lag, just under 50ms ping to the game's servers was pretty much the best you could hope for. If I was pinging 30-40ms to a server, I honestly didn't even notice any delay at all. Although, it would probably have been in PvP vs another human. I think your brain can acclimate to some, very slight delay, where it's filtered out of perception. That was definitely me in CE.

I never did get much into PvP in that game though. I may yet. It's really a great game!
 

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