The Wheel (reinvented)

I happened to stumble upon 9 to 5 Google, with all kind of non-Google news. The article (at https://9to5google.com/2021/06/25/bandwidth-xbox-game-pass-and-amazon-luna-announce-july-2021-game-additions/)

We see titles like:

Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Conviction
Saints Row The Third: Remastered

Some of them are really great, but I am missing something, a new dawn, an actual new dawn, a setting we have never seen before. I am a little bit surprised, none of them have anything really new. I am not talking about new games, new titles, new originals. I am talking about a new stage of gaming, cloud gaming made it possible, so what is stopping them? I even dropped a few ideas in previous articles (go look for them). Cloud gaming allows for a new stage, so why do we see the same stage props that we saw on PS2, PS3, PS4, Xbox, Xbox360, N64, Wii even Nintendo Switch. Cloud gaming allows for a different station a larger setting with optionally a private set social media option, none of them are going there, they all seem to be much more relaxed in reinventing the wheel. None of them show us a station that is actually new. Perhaps it is still to come, but it is day 1 where you show that you are not the sheep or it’s herder, you are new, you are unique. So why do they not see that option? I am pondering it, I actually do not know. But to see some level of herd mentality is a little disappointing. Will it be up to Netflix to teach them that? 

The Amazon Luna has a refreshing amount of new games, yet there is an overwhelming presence of Ubisoft, not that this is bad. There are plenty of titles I never saw before and that is good, but so far cloud gaming shows more of the same, nothing refreshingly new and that is a disappointment. And with Luna starting at $6 a month and Ubisoft+ at $15 a month Amazon will soon need to reconsider what they have (without Ubisoft) and see how they are different from Google, Microsoft and Netflix. Being different is at times scary and it does have its own unique set of challenges. Yet we have seen how exclusive games make a console, Xbox proved it, Xbox360 continued it, Xbox One wasted it. Playstation 1 through 5 have shown that exclusive games make the difference and Nintendo did this as well. Now consider that cloud gaming is more than a console, it offers a few unique settings that others cannot offer, the cloud gives the makers a unique advantage, so why was this not drilled on? Why was that source not tempered into a powerhouse? 

Cocoon (at https://cocoon.com) shows a ‘new’ kind of social media, not unlike what Google Plus offered. It seems that none of them adjusted those two ideas in a stage where the gamer can talk to friends, can optionally open up to talk to fellow gamers of a game. All options were there and it seems no one took that. No one took the idea that games can have a larger impact on more settings and it seems to me that these makers are all about others doing the work and no innovation comes forward. Achievements can be traced back to 1982 (Activision) and we have seen the evolution on systems, yet as far as I can tell no one in cloud gaming land had the idea to evolve that into something more. It was the Xbox360 that had the last evolution, it was Ubisoft that reinvented the badges and none of them took it to the next step, so why would anyone consider cloud gaming when we see: “Cloud gaming enables you to play games on devices you already own, without the need to purchase a gaming console or gaming PC” yet if we already have a gaming solution, why go there unless it offers more and in this I do not mean the same games and more games. Cloud gaming needs more and so fr I see none of this happen, I left the ideas months ago and so far none seem to be clued in on what others seemingly throw at their feet. At best we are most likely to get a ‘we are looking in that direction’, which is like marketing telling Jaguar that they are waiting for more customers, it is innovation that drives a system to customers, when innovation is absent the customer merely looks form a distance and considers ‘I can already do that. It is innovation that drives the games, the hardware, the technology and from there the customers flock. Yes there is an equal chance that they distance themselves, but the true innovator can see the chances that are out there. So what is keeping them?

Consider that we see Ubisoft+ at $15 a month, yet on consoles Amazon (the dot com version) offers the Division for $10, The Division 2 for $13, for Honor $12, the Crew $15, Black Flag $11, and in this case the subscription only pays if you pay more than one new game every month, so how long until the mediocrity of Ubisoft games (and its glitches) gets to you? Yes, it seems interesting when you consider the latest games, but still, you break even in month two, after that the cost continues and any delay will set you off, that is the setting we all ignore and their marketing hopes we ignore it. And when we take notice of Android Central and with “Ubisoft is dedicated to cloud gaming, specifically Stadia and Amazon Luna, and that was reflected in numerous announcements”, so what happens when they service the consoles, PC’s, Stadia, Luna and xCloud? What happens when patch after patch is required? How happy will you then be? This is not on Ubisoft, this is the cost of doing business and I expected that Stadia and Luna were ready, yet all I read is that there is a ‘more of the same’ approach and games alone will not get you there. Luna has a fair amount of titles that I see nowhere else and as such they have an advantage, but none of them took the environment to the next level and that is a bit of a disappointment, and there were options. There were ideas that I (others too) threw out there for them to pick up and they did none of that. Perhaps it is not the mission statement (which already cost one firm billions), perhaps it was not their technology, which shows us that they were optionally not ready and there was no brainstorm on what else is possible and that is the foundation of ANY game. 1984 gave us (unknown to George Orwell) Elite, Ultima, Archon, Spy hunter, and Lode Runner. Some of these games still have a following today, some of these games reinvented themselves (Elite Dangerous is the most visible one). They all set a new standard, the hardware evolved and now we see the makers of that hardware show us that they can do it using our PC, MAC, Console. But they had the option to give more and they seemingly neglected that.

New hardware that brands ‘itself’, yet they ignore the path of awareness. When we look at awareness, perception, and cognition we see mere words, but any market researcher will look deeper and the makers of cloud gaming seemingly learned nothing, not even from their marketing department. Perception without awareness, cognition without perception and awareness with no lead towards cognition. Three elements that they do not connect but that is the larger mistake, one leads to the other. It is almost a Pokemon setting water beats fire, grass beats water and fire beats grass, yet what do we get when we reverse that? No one looked at that part and in the Pokemon setting it does not really work, yet in consoles we see what lacked (even though there was a hidden hint with Sony) they never pushed through, now cloud gaming has the opportunity to make it all a reality and it seems that they are not doing that. Perhaps Netflix will and make a clean sweep, or perhaps Nintendo will. We cannot tell, but the one that does will have a massive advantage, a place where others seemingly dreaded to go, and now that setting changes the game completely. Yes number one and two will remain the positions for Sony and Nintendo, but the number three (most likely Amazon Luna) is not secure, so the one who innovates the cloud the most will head for position three with the option to gain and optionally overtake position 2. Will that happen? I cannot tell, because Nintendo has been innovative and it has a massive advantage, even before their second version is out. Yet personally I feel that one thing is clear. More of the same will not hack it, not in this economy of people trying to pay their bills, unless there is a massive upside the consoles will remain the largest players in game land. That part is almost certain. There is a clear space for cloud gaming, but not in the ‘more of the same setting’ not for 1-2 years to come. 

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