Video game consoles are getting bigger and bigger.
The original launch version of the PlayStation 5 weighs 4.5 kg, almost double its predecessor (2.8 kg).
The Xbox The Series X was so large that many on the internet joked that it was the size of a mini-fridge – leading Microsoft to make a real console-shaped mini-fridge.
But as technology advances, it inevitably gets miniaturized as more battery, processing power and memory are crammed into smaller phone or laptop chassis.
The same goes for video games.
nintendo paved the way for handheld hybrid gaming when it released the Switch, which became the fastest home console to hit 100 million units sold in 2021.
Its ability to act as a traditional, portable television console attracted customers faster than it could be manufactured.
Today, competitors such as Steam Deck are entering the portable gaming market, offering better graphics cards, storage, and processors.
One company that launched its laptop over the summer is Aya.
The Chinese company’s flagship Neo Air Pro offers up to 30GB of RAM, decent battery life and a graphics card that’s powerful enough to run the latest blockbuster games on the go.
When Sky News tested it, games such as Overwatch, Call Of Duty and FIFA held up well at graphics settings below 60fps. The unit also has a USB-C output, allowing you to connect to a physical keyboard, mouse, and monitor and turn this supercharged Game Boy into a desktop gaming PC.
Will video games have their own Netflix?
But mobile phones are also on the rise.
The advent of game streaming, similar to Netflix, allows gamers to run the most graphically intensive versions on the market on a mid-range smartphone.
Where your iPhone would have traditionally been used to play classics like Clash Of Clans or Farmville, it can now stream massive PlayStation or Xbox games with nothing but a 5G connection.
Xbox, PlayStation and Google (for now at least) offer cloud streaming services allowing gamers to play supported games over the internet.
Sky News has tested the Xbox cloud streaming app installed on Oppo’s flagship folding smartphone, the Find N.
The phone’s OLED display (produced by the same manufacturer that builds Samsung’s foldable displays) folds out to double its original screen size, dramatically improving the on-the-go gaming experience.
Using a stable EE 5G connection, we were able to stream Forza Horizon 5, one of the most graphically demanding games on the market, with little to no latency.
As broadband and data speeds improve in the UK, cloud gaming could become the medium of choice for gamers.
However, the format recently took a hit when Google announced it was shutting down its Stadia service.
It was one of the first services of its kind to launch in the UK, but it didn’t garner enough interest from gamers to be sued by the Silicon Valley giant.
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“Cloud gaming is the future”
Mike Rose, founder of No More Robots, a game publisher which recently had to abandon its Stadia version of the Soccer Story title, told Sky News: “I think the writing has been on the wall for a while… c It was pretty obvious that it was going to die at some point. It was more a matter of when.
“I’m pretty confident that cloud gaming will be the future of video games.”
Mr Rose said cloud services like Xbox are more likely to survive because they have a more diverse offering: “The problem Stadia had was that it was trying to start a brand new store that was entirely cloud-focused. , instead of letting people take cloud gaming bit by bit.”
In a vote of confidence, No More Robots has about half a dozen titles coming to Microsoft’s xCloud over the next 12 months.
According to the government, 68% of UK premises now have access to gigabit-enabled broadband, with a target of achieving at least 85% gigabit-enabled coverage across the country by 2025.
How quickly people adopt the ever-growing supply of Netflix-like cloud gaming services will greatly depend on meeting infrastructure goals like this.