The video game industry is facing a period of major changes as the sector moves toward a new generation of consoles. A recent Gamespot report predicted that many of the trends emerging in the current generation, such as regular game updates and digital distribution, will likely become even more apparent in next-generation systems.
Supporting regular game updates, digital distribution and other online game functions requires considerable investment in managed hosting solutions and other advanced data center hosting models.
Considering the impact of frequent game updates
The current generation of consoles has been one in which the transition from games as a static unit to games as a platform has taken hold in the industry, the news source explained. Digital content downloads were a rarity, if they happened at all, when current-gen consoles released in 2005. At the time, most game purchases included getting whatever was on the disk and little else. In the past few years, however, the industry has shifted away from this static functionality and toward a market where games are platforms. Within this setup, digital content downloads have become a common trend in the industry, as most games are released with the expectation that they will be regularly updated with new content. This will expand in the next generation and become a more prominent part of the video game sector.
Evaluating the effect of digital distribution
The latter portion of the current video game generation was one of innovation, with digital downloads gaining prominence as a way to make game content more accessible to users. The report explained that this trend also enabled developers and publishers to release games at lower cost by avoiding releasing the content on disk. This will become even more prominent moving into the next generation of consoles, as digital downloads have had a major impact across the video game industry and will likely play a major part in game release models when new consoles come out.
The importance of data center services moving forward
With the video game industry depending more on digital downloads and online update processes, data center services are gaining a more prominent role in the sector. With more content being sent to users through the web, managed hosting, content delivery network and other services are becoming vital for developers. This is especially true since most game studios focus on development, not traditional IT services, making third-party solutions a strategic asset in the sector.