Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard deal has sparked a debate between Sony and Microsoft, but there is one detail that may be overlooked in this debate: Activision Blizzard has a completely different view of cloud gaming than Microsoft.
Activision Blizzard has come up with an interesting theory that cloud gaming will be overtaken by the power of local processing.
In a document from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) titled “Activision Blizzard’s Response to Preliminary Findings,” Activision Blizzard details on pages 8-9 why they believe that “cloud gaming will be replaced by the power of local processing.
They argue that: the computing power of consumer electronics hardware — especially cell phones — is evolving so rapidly that all forms of local processing (e.g., smart TVs, laptops, tablets, and phones) have increasingly powerful processing capabilities, making Streaming media has become inefficient, unnecessary and unwelcome.
Activision Blizzard elaborates further on their point on page 10, and in particular, they have high hopes for the enhanced capabilities of smartphones: handheld games that run locally have made huge gains in the quality of the consumer experience, and the phones on the market are powerful enough to run games that even rival the graphics quality of home consoles.
Microsoft, for its part, is an aggressive promoter of cloud gaming, offering hundreds of high-quality games through Xbox Game Pass Ultimate that can be streamed on supported PCs, consoles, phones, tablets and select Samsung Smart TVs. They believe cloud gaming allows players to enjoy console-quality games on the devices they already own, skip the installation and download process, save storage space and switch seamlessly across devices.
It will be interesting to see how Microsoft resolves its differences with Activision Blizzard regarding cloud gaming once the deal is completed.