This week we will address the issue of Cloud Gaming, Gaming as a Service or, what is the same thing, we will talk about playing in the cloud.
There are enough “Top of mind” providers that have already been playing. To give some examples: Nvidia Grid, Game center of Apple and Google play games.
Even the giant Microsoft is testing its cloud gaming service. According to Tom Warren, Microsoft expert in “The Verge”, it seems that Redmond is trying to respond to the acquisition of its competitor Sony of Gaikai streaming technology.
Surprising news about Sony let us know the possibility that Playstation 5 ends up being a Cloud service instead a console.
Ok, so Cloud gaming is “cool” and it covers a niche market at least interesting. And this niche is active and has no limits in age but we wonder ourselves:
What is Cloud Gaming about?
According to Wikipedia:
“Cloud gaming is an umbrella term used to describe a form of online game distribution. The most common methods of cloud gaming currently are video (or pixel) streaming and file streaming.
Cloud gaming, also called gaming on demand, is a type of online gaming that allows direct and on-demand streaming of games onto computers, consoles and mobile devices, similar to video on demand, through the use of a thin client, in which the actual game is stored on the operator’s or game company’s server and is streamed directly to computers accessing the server through the client. This allows access to games without the need of a console and largely makes the capability of the user’s computer unimportant, as the server is the system that is running the processing need. The controls and button presses from the user are transmitted directly to the server, where they are recorded, and the server then sends back the game’s response to the input controls.
Gaming on demand is a game service which takes advantage of a broadband connection, large server clusters, encryption and compression to stream game content to a subscriber’s device. Users can play games without downloading or installing the actual game. Game content isn’t stored on the user’s hard drive and game code execution occurs primarily at the server cluster, so the subscriber can use a less powerful computer to play the game than the game would normally require, since the server does all performance-intensive operations usually done by the end user’s computer. Most cloud gaming platforms are closed and proprietary; the first open source cloud gaming platform was not released until April, 2013.
Cloud gaming based on file streaming, also known as progressive downloading, deploys a thin client in which the actual game is run on the users gaming device such as a mobile, a PC or a console. This small part of a game, usually less than 5% of the total game size, is downloaded initially so that the gamer can start playing quickly. The remaining game content is downloaded to the end user device while playing. This allows instant access to games with low bandwidth Internet connections without lag. The cloud is used for providing a scalable way of streaming the game content and big data analysis.
Cloud gaming based on file streaming requires the device has the hardware capabilities to operate the game. Often, downloaded game content is stored on the end user’s device where it is catched.
Which are the advantages of Gaming as a Service?
- Access to an unlimited catalog of games stored in the cloud
Access from different devices (PC, Mac, tablet, Smartphone or high quality TV)
Saving money by not having to invest in new equipment, or records, or performed downloads, or installations or updated patches. Updated technology is available at all times.
The device used for access does not consume itself because processing capacity is through cloud server.
But, what about the disadvantages of Cloud Gaming?
The main one disadvantage is that the Game Market does not seem to be as ready as it should.
To enlighten us a little more about the subject we will rely on the article of Cloud Tweaks titled “Cloud Gaming Is Ready: The Games Industry Isn’t” that talks us about this problem.
To finish this post Let’s take a look at onlive.com video under the title of “What is Cloud Gaming?”
So, what do you think? Do you dare to play in the Cloud?