Trending

Filed under: News

 

Net Neutrality Ended Yesterday. Here's What It Could Mean For Gamers

Jan 15 2014, 11:11am CST | by

Net Neutrality Ended Yesterday. Here's What It Could Mean For Gamers
Photo Credit: Forbes
 
 
 

It’s a brave new world on the internet today. Yesterday, a Federal Appeals court struck down net neutrality, and while it’s a complicated subject, the thrust of it is this: internet providers now have the right to prioritize some web traffic over others, meaning they can throttle data or charge different amounts to different companies as they choose. While we have no idea how this is going to effect the world going forward, it could have big implications for companies like Microsoft, Sony and Valve, not to mention the average gamer.

Games are bandwidth hogs. Downloads are bandwidth hogs. Gamers use a whole lot of data in general, and we just might see the chickens come home to roost with that. We’ve talked a lot about the digital future of gaming, from download-only consoles to game streaming, but this puts some question marks into that vision of the future.

An easy way to imagine new changes this might be a sort of pay-per-service pricing scheme — within your bill, there’d be an extra charge for “online gaming,” or maybe a “bandwidth charge” tacked onto the price of that new 40gb game you were going to download. We might see those charges, or they might be rolled into the cost elsewhere.

That’s not the end of it. Take, for example, Playstation Now, Sony’s new game streaming service and sure-to-be data intensive activity. Let’s say one of the cable companies gets a bee in its bonnet about the chatter surrounding Sony’s deal with Viacom to offer non-cable internet TV. Said cable company can throttle up the cost of Sony’s data and effectively choke any effective pricing scheme for Playstation Now.

But while we’re bound to see the inevitable jockeying for power that comes with struggles between mega-companies, they won’t be the real losers here. Indie developers making online games or trying to distribute their wares through something besides massive corporate storefronts are in trouble. A modding community dealing with large files could be in trouble. Anyone without the clout to deal with the cable companies on their terms might find themselves paying more for bandwidth.

It’s very hard to tell what’s going to happen to the internet after this decision. I don’t think we’ll see the sort of large-scale doom and gloom that some have predicted, but we will see influence exerted in small ways over the next few years (at least until the FCC can figure out new ways to regulate this). Internet Service Providers won very big yesterday, but everyone else is now in a more precarious position. There will be extra costs in gaming, whether companies choose to absorb them themselves or pass them on to consumers.

Source: Forbes

You Might Also Like

Updates

Shopping Deals

 
 
 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/31" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

 

Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Customized gold iPhones given away as wedding favors
Customized gold iPhones given away as wedding favors
President of Nigeria had his daughter’s wedding and each guests received a gold iPhone as wedding favor
 
 
Leaked images show off OnePlus One, StyleSwap covers too
Leaked images show off OnePlus One, StyleSwap covers too
The handset has a minimalistic design approach which falls perfectly in sync with the typical Oppo style
 
 
Rufus Cuff seems too big to be a wristwatch wearable
Rufus Cuff seems too big to be a wearable
Once connected, it can be used for mobile data, making calls and sending texts
 
 
Audi&#039;s latest hybrid concept
Audi's latest hybrid concept
The prototype is going to be on display at the Beijing Motor Show
 
 
 

The Hottest Photos of Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2013

 

Viral Stories the Web