At E3 this weekend, both Electronic Arts and Microsoft made some big announcements, but there was one announcement that got quite a bit of attention. EA announced that it was working on a way for gamers to stream its library of games onto smartphones, as well as low-hardware laptops and other devices in the future. EA says that the service is not yet available, but it is showing it off at E3 this week in Los Angeles. Now Microsoft, on the other hand, said that it is working with its cloud technology team to find a way to stream games with console graphics quality to any device – including smartphones. Neither company gave any specifics as to when these services would be available, but it was pretty clear that it is still pretty early on for both services.
Electronic Arts and Microsoft aren't the first companies to try and create a game streaming service, and make it as easy as streaming an album on Google Play Music or a movie on Netflix, but these two could be the ones to really pull it off. Seeing as both companies – Microsoft more than Electronic Arts, arguably – have the infrastructure to really pull it off. NVIDIA has tried doing a cloud streaming service for its games, with GeForce NOW, although that is not streaming games to your smartphone, only to PCs, Macs and the NVIDIA SHIELD TV. So this does go a bit further than what NVIDIA has done so far.
With 5G coming up pretty soon, it's likely that this is another use-case for the new technology. With faster latency, you could really play a multiplayer game in real-time over 5G, and anywhere you'd like. It's not clear if Microsoft and Electronic Arts will be using 5G for this service, but it does make plenty of sense, given the advantages of 5G over 4G and even existing WiFi networks. Expect to hear more from these companies throughout the week as E3 2018 continues, and in the coming months, about these new services.