A battle royale between the new PlayStation and Xbox consoles is kicking off. But gaming’s prospects—and millions of new users—depend on streaming
新的 PlayStation 和 Xbox 游戏机 之间的大战已经开始了。但是游戏的未来和数百万的新用户取决于流媒体。
There is nothing quite like a captive audience . When Sony , a Japanese electronics giant, reported its latest set of quarterly results on October 28th, the star performer was the firm’s video-gaming division, which makes the PlayStation line of consoles. Had it been a normal year, revenues would probably have been down, because Sony’s current model—the PlayStation 4—is coming to the end of its life.
没有什么能够比俘虏观众更棒了。当日本电子巨头索尼公司在10月28日公布了其最新一季度财报时，最抢眼的是这个公司的视频游戏部门，该部门生产PlayStation 系列游戏机。按正常来说，该公司的营收很可能会下降，因为索尼目前的模式——PlayStation 4 即将寿终正寝。
But in a year marked by lockdowns and working from home, gaming revenue instead grew by 11.5% year-on-year (and operating profits by 61%) as housebound consumers reached for their controllers. Sony is not alone. Microsoft, its gaming arch-rival, released its own results the day before. Its Xbox One console is similarly superannuated, yet revenues jumped by 30%. The good times have been repeated across the industry (see chart).
但是在封闭和在家工作的一年里，随着宅在家中的消费者拿起他们的控制器，公司游戏收入反而同比增长了11.5%（营业利润增长了61%）。并不是只有索尼有如此表现。它在游戏领域的主要竞争对手微软，也在前一天发布了自己的成果。他同样过时的游戏机 Xbox One ，收入却暴增30%。整个行业都经历了这样一场盛宴。
Most forecasters expected covid-19 to boost the video-gaming business. The pandemic has given a filip to other forms of indoor entertainment, from board games to video-streaming to books. But the scale of the surge has caught industry-watchers by surprise. Tony Habschmidt, head of consulting at Newzoo, a games-industry analytics firm, says that when the pandemic began, his company predicted a boost of around $2bn to industry revenues on top of its existing forecasts. The latest figures, he says, suggest the real figure has been nearer $17bn. Newzoo now reckons industry revenues will reach $175bn this year, a rise of 20%. Even for an industry that had been growing by 9% annually, 2020 has been a barnstorming year.
大多数预测者预计，疫情将会引爆视频游戏行业。这场疫情给其它形式的室内娱乐活动带来了冲击，从桌游到流媒体，再到书籍。但是激增的规模，让行业观察者感到吃惊。游戏咨询分析公司 Newzoo 的首席顾问 Tony Habschmidt 说，在疫情一开始的时候，他的公司就预测到，游戏产业的营收在现有现有预测上线的基础之上增加20亿美元左右。他表示，最新的数据显示，实际数字已经接近170亿美元。Newzoo 估计，今年的产业收入将达到1750亿美元，增长20% . 即便是对于年增长率达到9%的产业来说，在2020年也是暴风年。
It is not over yet. Amid a blitz of adverts, trailers and pr, Sony and Microsoft are gearing up to replace their existing consoles with new, more powerful machines. On November 10th Microsoft will release the Xbox Series X. Sony will respond two days later with the PlayStation 5. With a locked-down Christmas looming in many parts of the world, demand for both will be high. If industry rumours about pre-orders are correct, some consumers may have to go without.
事情还没有结束。在铺天盖地的广告、宣传片和公关进攻之下，索尼和微软准备正准备用新的更强大的游戏机取代现有的机器。在11月10号，微软将会发布 Xbox 系列 X 号。两天后，索尼将会推出 PlayStation 5代 。 随着禁闭中的圣诞节在全世界许多地方临近，对这两款产品的需求都很高。如果业界关于预售的传为是正确的，一些顾客将不得不放弃。
At the same time, both firms will be keeping their eyes on several big new competitors. Amazon, Facebook and Google all think the time is right to try their luck in the gaming business. Over the past decade streaming has revolutionised music, television and films. The tech giants think cloud computing, fast broadband and 5g mobile networks mean the time is right to try the same thing with video games.
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