The future of gaming might look more like Netflix than a fancy-looking box under a big screen, which means you might get to stream any game on any kind of device you have at hand. This is not an idea of science fiction but a real thing called “The Netflix of gaming”.

This year, almost all tech giants are working on their own version of this service to be the first to establish itself as the pioneer.

Here is what they are doing as we speak:

Amazon

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Amazon has already had a cloud computing platform to start with

Amazon has a head start in this race with Twitch, the biggest live streaming video platform and the fact that it has already one of the largest retailers when it comes to video games.

Amazon obviously is not satisfied with its current involvement in the gaming world as it is working on a kind of service that resembles how Netflix works.

It is widely believed that instead of buying, players can stream games. Amazon is in discussion with publishers about what games should be included. However, it is highly unlikely that Amazon’s service will be released earlier than 2020.

Amazon has not yet made any official rely or announcement on this service but we have job listing with descriptions describe this kind of job.

Amazon has already had almost all of what it takes to pull off such a service. We are talking about its Amazon Web Services, the massive cloud computing hardware, and software to serve a streaming system.

Verizon

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Verizon Gaming is still in testing stage

Verizon, the American multinational telecommunications conglomerate, is also part of the race with its “Verizon Gaming”.

The company has reached the testing stage as some gamers received Nvidia Shield, a gamepad that connects to Verizon Gaming.

The company has not revealed anything official either but early leaks show that it has a large library that can compare to consoles. “God of War”, the eighth installment in the God of War series, is also part of the collection.

Apple

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Apple might have its own player in this race

Apple also joins the club of companies that keep secret about its upcoming plan. However, it does not mean that the general public is ignorant of the details.

What we know is Apple might be about to release a service that runs on subscription but since Apple has a handful of projects that never make it to reality, it might abandon this one too as it is still in infant stage.

Like Amazon, Apple has its own advantages in this race, which are its Apple TV and the huge network of iPhones and iPads.

If Apple is serious about its own gaming platform, the company might have to work with other game publishers as it is no way what it currently has on its App Store is enough to pull in players.

Stadia (Google)

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Stadia was announced not long ago

In the late 2018 and early 2019, Google conducted tests for its own gaming service with an easy-to-remember name, “Project Stream”.

The test involves gamers playing Assassin's Creed Odyssey with nothing more than a computer with an Internet connection. If needed, they can connect a controller to the device for easier control of the game.

This gives the public a piece of proof that streaming games is possible and Google has done it already. What it came up with is a platform that players can get access to via a web browser. It is also straightforward and fast.

A few days ago, Google went official on this service with Sundar Pichai, its current CEO, announced Stadia as the gaming platform of the future at the Game Developers Conference.

Its service indeed resembles Netflix and enables gamers to break free of hardware to play on any device they want. Stadia does come with a gamepad but it is not compulsory as the service is compatible with anything that supports Chrome, from a smartphone to a TV.

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It has its own hardware but it is by mo mean compulsory

This is the closest to a new gaming platform we have at this point as Google is more specific about its future plan for Stadia. It will be released this year for sure. No detail about the price is announced but players just need to wait a little longer to summer for more updates.

Microsoft

Microsoft’s version is called “Project xCloud” and it has already had a show for itself in 2018.

What the company has on offer is a platform that centers around Microsoft and it has a reason for this approach, which is its Xbox.

Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, said that the company has its own edge like anybody else in this race. This announcement was made in an editors’ meeting earlier this year.The Xbox is the key opponent that can secure the company’s standing in this field, a kind of advantage that not many of its rivals have.While other companies on this list might have to work with game publishers to enrich their libraries, Microsoft has its own titles like Halo and Forza.

The company talked about large-scale trials in 2019 but no more detail is announced. In the meantime, it is running exclusive tests with a group of players.

A recent video about Project xCloud shows it in action in a less formal situation:

Sony

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PlayStation Now is not a hit despite being the first

While the idea of a Netflix-like platform might sound like a new breakthrough, Sony has been running a similar thing for five years.

With a monthly fee of $20 or an annual of $100, players get to stream games in PS 2,3, and 4 on PS 4, no download required.

While it has quite a solid standing in this new field, PlayStation Now has not made a hit. It comes down to several reasons but the most obvious is the expensive price and the fact that the service has not satisfied gamers.

While what other companies promise is a platform that enables players to stream games on any device, PlayStation Now can do less than that. It is able to support newer titles but its library is stuffed with old ones.

The Netflix of gaming is not just about a more convenient platform but also new game titles, as Netflix does.