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Is the world ready for a streaming only handheld console?

More and more Switch games are currently coming in streaming only versions. Microsoft is streaming Xbox games to Android phones via Gamepass and Xcloud. Valve is jumping into the handheld console business with their Steamdeck. Sony have PSNow and have previously let you stream games from your PS4 to PSVita.

Would it make sense for Microsoft or Sony to create a streaming only handheld console? I think it would. The advantages would be a boost to their game streaming services Game Pass and PSNow and the relatively cheap cost of producing hardware as it would only need a simple processor since all of the heavy lifting would be done in the cloud. It also wouldn't become outdated and underpowered over time like a traditional handheld since it could stream games from future console generations.

The limitations of course would be the hardware would only work with a steady and fast internet connection but as time goes on this is becoming less and less of an issue. The hard part is already done in putting together the streaming architecture. Sony bowed out of the handheld race and Microsoft never entered it because the cost and effort of developing for a second ecosystem was too high but with streaming this no longer is an issue. Nintendo and now Valve have shown there is a huge appetite for mobile gaming and I think Microsoft and Sony would be remiss in not making this relatively low cost move.

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-Hermit-22d ago

No, because most of the world doesn't have good enough internet to handle it. Even those that do have good enough internet (like myself) could still end up struggling because they may be too far away from the servers. Latency has been the number 1 issue I have had with all of these services, it's just nowhere near good enough.

There are other issues like data caps and ISPs throttling your speeds if you are using a lot of data.

Another issue will be living with others that also use the internet. Playing at 1080 and especially 4k requires high download speeds. If somebody in your house decides to watch a movie, live tv, downloads or wants to play games themselves, then your experience is going to be frustrating and probably unplayable.

There are so many hurdles for this tech to overcome, and that won't be changing any time soon.

Magog22d ago

If you can't stream from two sources at once you don't have fast internet. With fast internet everyone in your house can stream HD at once.

21d ago
FallenAngel198422d ago

Why make a streaming only handheld when you can allow any mobile, PC, laptop to stream your preexisting library?

Magog22d ago (Edited 22d ago )

Because once you connect a controller those are no longer portable. Your statement also doesn't ring true for Playstation exclusives. Also if it's a wireless controller you're introducing extra latency.

glennhkboy22d ago

The more appropriate question is: can the US gamer accept the reality of steam only or always online mobile games. Outside of US market, mobile gaming is on-par with console gaming.

Magog22d ago

Even in the US mobile gaming makes a huge amount of money. Mobile gaming is about 90% gambling disguised as a video game however. Being successful doesn't mean it's quality.

TheGreatGazoo3020d ago


Correct, quality and successful are two different things in mobile gaming. All they need is a short loop with a buy this boost hook.

pietro121221d ago

Successful is one thing crap sells all the time. Are these mobile games any good? Aside from classic JRPGS and Adventur with shitty touch screen controls most mobile games suck

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