Netflix-style subscriptions by two tech behemoths could open up gaming to millions who can’t afford pricey equipment. Watch out Microsoft and Sony

In the last week, two of the world’s tech giants have made a big play for the attention – and wallets – of the world’s two billion gamers. Apple, already a big player in the video game market thanks to the iPhone and App Store, announced Apple Arcade, a subscription that will offer exclusive high-end games to be played on Macs, iPhones and iPads. And Google, a newcomer to video games, announced the subscription service Stadia, which will let players stream games to any screen from the cloud.

These moves towards a Netflix-style subscription approach present slightly different visions of how video games will be made and played. Google and Apple’s services will join Microsoft’s Xbox Games Pass and Sony’s PlayStation Now. Which company will dominate? And will these subscriptions complement the gaming industry’s current business model or eventually replace it?

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