Last week, executives from Sony Computer Entertainment and many video game industry leaders spent just more than two hours introducing the PlayStation 4. On top of all of the hardware and game-specific content displayed, much of the conference focused on how Sony is planning to drive social and intuitive video game mechanics in the next-generation system. This type of functionality has become a staple of the video game industry, and showcases how important managed hosting could be moving forward.
Considering where video gaming is going
If you watched the conference, you may have noticed a few quirks in the presentation style. In short, certain terms and hype-focused phrases garnered a lot of attention. “Ecosystem” was one such term. The full scope of this oft-repeated word is put in focus by an introductory phrase from Sony’s Andrew House who said Sony is aiming to create an environment in which “the living room is no longer the center of the PlayStation ecosystem, the gamer is.”
In the case of Sony, the idea of building an ecosystem for video gaming is centered around the idea of making content available on any Sony device and through the cloud. Downloads are designed to be almost instantaneous, and can happen in the background during gameplay. Sharing screenshots and video is intuitive and encouraged.
These kinds of functions provide a glimpse into the future of gaming that you will be able to experience sometime during the 2013 holiday season when the PlayStation 4 and, in all likelihood, the new Xbox are released.
Keeping up with industry changes
Developers and publishers have their work cut out for them if they want to integrate with console-based game stores that offer such efficient downloads. They also have to be ready to support the kind of social functionality emphasized by console manufacturers. While some of the network functions will be handled by the OEMs, game makers have to consider how they can engage in this increasingly social and constantly connected world.
Give the industry changes ahead, managed hosting services will be essential to the future of online gaming. Such services provide developers and publishers with the tools they need to cost-effectively create web and social content that encourages sharing. Moving forward, video game ecosystems will push for holistic web, mobile, cloud and console functionality, making managed hosting a key part of the sector.
To learn more about the benefits of managed hosting for online game developers, watch our video.