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即将来临的云计算正在改变电子游戏世界

Cloud computing on the horizon in changing+video game world
即将来临的云计算正在改变电子游戏世界
672字
2019-07-21 11:21
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火星译客

Console makers long at the center of the video game universe are adapting to an exploding constellation of ways to play, with the cloud looming on the horizon.

Microsoft, Nintendo and Sonyremained stars, with rival Xbox, PlayStation and Switch gaming hardware respectively, at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) show floor that opened in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

But the premier industry gathering was very much focused on games themselves, and the idea they can be played as a service hosted in the Internet cloud using an array of devices from smartphones to personal computers.

The annual E3 event "occurs against a backdrop of disruption in the console market," according to IHS Markit games technology research director Piers Harding-Rolls.

"As the market becomes more digitally enabled and service based, console companies and publishers are starting to map out their longer-term strategies including the building out of subscription cloud gaming services," Harding-Rolls told AFP.

Companies interested in cloud gaming see it as a way to reach broader audiences, adding to console businesses instead of taking away from them, according to the analyst.

"I see consoles being around or the foreseeable future," Harding-Rolls said.

Shifting terrain

But the competitive landscape will tilt away from console-market leading PlayStation to terrain more favorable to Xbox, he reasoned.

Microsoft has built a powerful platform for hosting computing in the Internet cloud, making such a service a thriving part of its business.

"We commit and harness the full breadth of our resources at Microsoft to deliver on the future of play," Xbox team leader Phil Spencer said at an E3 briefing.

The Redmond, Washington-based technology veteran has also invested heavily in machine learning, naming its Cortana digital assistant after an artificial intelligence character in blockbuster Xbox video game Halo.

Spencer also said that Microsoft is working on a cloud service for streaming console-quality games to Internet-linked devices.

"If you agree that the eventual future of games consumption is through cloud gaming services, then those companies with a strong position in cloud are likely to be best placed to benefit from the transition," Harding-Rolls said.

"In this context, Microsoft's cloud division gives the company a natural advantage when trying to build a profitable business."

Sony and Microsoft have each put out word they are working on next-generation consoles, but the planned capabilities of these devices have yet to be revealed.

PlayStation 4 has dominated the current console generation, briskly outselling Xbox One.

But if the video game world shifts to Microsoft's strengths, its new competition in play could become cloud and AI titans such as Amazon, Google, Tencent, and Alibaba, according to Harding-Rolls. 

Learning from mobile

The video game industry is seeing its biggest investment ever, with the three big consoles "very healthy," according to Electronic Software Association Chief Executive Michael Gallagher.

The ESA trade group organizes E3, with 60,000 industry insiders and gamers from some 100 countries expected to attend the three-day gathering.

Video game industry revenue worldwide tallied about $116 billion last year, according to the ESA.

Console makers have been taking lessons from mobile games, building online communities of players who provide feedback; stream play; subscribe to services and spend money on digital content such as dance moves or funky clothing for characters.

"Mobile has been a fantastic growth point for the industry," Gallagher said.

Console video game titan Bethesda is unabashedly bridging the divide between console and mobile play with versions of blockbusters Fallout and Elder Scrolls for play on smartphones or tablets.

"I can't wait to play it," Gallagher said of Elder Scrolls: Blades that will be available free for iPhones or Android-powered mobile devices when it is released later this year.

Another sign of console games making their way to mobile devices came in the form of telecom giant AT&T showing off ultra high-speed 5G wireless data capabilities on the E3 show floor.

Super-fast Internet service is seen as key to rich, seamless game play.

"Exponential increases in computing power, storage and speed will lead to the streaming of realistic, systemic, densely populated and persistent game worlds to any screen," explained Yves Guillemot, chief executive of French video game powerhouse Ubisoft. 
 

随着云的显现,长期处于电子游戏世界中心的控制台制造商正在适应这种爆炸性的游戏方式。 

微软,任天堂和索尼分别在星期二在洛杉矶开幕的电子娱乐博览会(E3)展会上分别与竞争对手Xbox,PlayStation和Switch游戏硬件成为明星。 

但是,首要的行业聚会非常关注游戏本身,以及它们可以作为使用从智能手机到个人计算机的一系列设备托管在互联网云中的服务的想法。 

根据IHS Markit游戏技术研究主管Piers Harding-Rolls的说法,年度E3活动“是在游戏机市场中断的背景下发生的”。 

“随着市场变得更加数字化和基于服务,控制台公司和出版商开始制定他们的长期战略,包括建立订阅云游戏服务,”Harding-Rolls告诉法新社。 

据分析师称,对云游戏感兴趣的公司认为它是一种接触更广泛受众的方式,增加了控制台业务,而不是从中取走它们。 

“我看到游戏机在附近或可预见的未来,”哈丁 - 罗尔斯说。 

转移地形 

但他认为,竞争格局将从控制台市场领先的PlayStation转向更有利于Xbox的地形。 

微软已经建立了一个强大的平台,用于在互联网云中托管计算,使这种服务成为其业务中蓬勃发展的一部分。 

“我们承诺并利用我们在微软的全部资源来实现游戏的未来,”Xbox团队负责人Phil Spencer在E3简报中表示。 

总部位于华盛顿州雷德蒙德的技术资深人士也在机器学习方面投入了大量资金,并在重磅炸弹Xbox视频游戏Halo中以人工智能角色命名其Cortana数字助理。 

斯宾塞还表示,微软正在开发一种云服务,用于将控制台级游戏流式传输到互联网连接设备。 

“如果你同意游戏消费的最终未来是通过云游戏服务,那么那些在云计算领域具有强大地位的公司可能最有可能从转型中受益,”Harding-Rolls说。 

“在这种背景下,微软的云部门在尝试建立有利可图的业务时为公司带来了天然的优势。” 

索尼和微软各自都表示他们正在开发下一代游戏机,但这些设备的计划功能尚未公布。 

PlayStation 4占据了当前游戏机的一代,迅速超越了Xbox One。 

但是,根据Harding-Rolls的说法,如果视频游戏世界转向微软的优势,那么其新的竞争对手可能会成为云计算和人工智能巨头,如亚马逊,谷歌,腾讯和阿里巴巴。 

从移动学习 

根据电子软件协会首席执行官迈克尔加拉格尔的说法,视频游戏行业有望实现有史以来最大的投资,三大游戏机“非常健康”。 

ESA贸易集团组织了E3,来自约100个国家的60,000名业内人士和游戏玩家预计将参加为期三天的聚会。 

根据欧空局的数据,去年全球视频游戏行业的收入约为1,160亿美元。 

控制台制造商一直在从手机游戏中吸取教训,建立提供反馈的玩家的在线社区;流游戏;订阅服务并花钱购买数字内容,如舞蹈动作或角色时髦服装。 

“移动一直是业界的一个梦幻般的增长点,”加拉格尔说。 

控制台视频游戏巨头贝塞斯达毫不掩饰地将控制台和移动游戏之间的鸿沟与智能手机或平板电脑上的大片“Fallout”和“Elder Scrolls”的版本联系起来。 

“我迫不及待地想玩它,”Gallagher谈到Elder Scrolls:今年晚些时候发布的iPhone和Android移动设备将免费提供刀片。 

控制台游戏进入移动设备的另一个迹象是电信巨头AT&T在E3展厅展示了超高速5G无线数据功能。 

超快速的互联网服务被视为丰富,无缝游戏的关键。 

“计算能力,存储和速度的指数增长将导致现实,系统,人口稠密和持久的游戏世界流向任何屏幕,”法国视频游戏巨头Ubisoft首席执行官Yves Guillemot解释道。 
 

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