If you have a little bit of interest in gaming, you must have heard of these big company names or at least some of them are Sony, Nintendo. Microsoft. Google. Amazon. Electronic Arts. Nvidia. Nowadays all of them are focusing on one trend that is cloud gaming. So let’s talk about this and check is it worth it? Is it the future of gaming or not?
What is Cloud Gaming?
These days you maybe buy disks for your gaming console or buy games from online stores and download them onto your gaming device, PlayStation, Xbox, desktop computer, Nintendo, etc. And run them from that physical device where the specification of that device is the limiting factor for the performance of the game you are playing.
But in cloud gaming that device you are playing from is miles away from you, placed somewhere in a data-center. And you connect to that device via an internet connection. This happens just like you watch videos online. The difference is that the video depends on your interactions, just like you play games from your local device. Every time you give some input from your keyboard or controller, the input signal is transferred from you to the remote cloud device through the internet. Then the cloud device processes that signal and sends the output video as a result. So that’s how it works.
Pros of cloud gaming :
- Cloud gaming – some of the big companies that offer cloud gaming accept multiple devices from where you can play from. Suppose you are playing peacefully from your desktop computer and enjoying coffee and suddenly your boss calls you and you have to go to work but you still don’t want to lose your progress. So then you can use your smartphone and continue where you left from on the way to your office.
- Most of these services offer all types of controllers, keyboards, and even touch inputs from your smartphones.
- When you are playing from your local device you must have to use some kind of disk or you have to download the game and that’s not the end you also have to download content updates when they come. And these are pretty time-consuming and annoying too. But cloud gaming completely eliminates these, when you connect to these gaming service accounts you will see that all the games are fully updated and you ready to play your favourite game in seconds.
- This uses the remote device hardware to run your games so it is independent of your local device’s hardware, you are playing from. Therefore, you gonna get almost the same experience playing from your TV or your smartphone.
Cons of cloud gaming:
- The main problem of cloud gaming is the issue of latency. As it uses the internet to send your inputs to the server and the resultant video frames to you, it needs quite a good amount of bandwidth and also a stable internet connection. Even a small fluctuation of your internet can disturb your gaming experience, the game you are playing starts to lag.
- Game ownership is another problem. These services offer some base games but if you want to play more you have to pay for them and sometimes they are not even for a lifetime. So this is a bummer.
- If you want to play some casual games and some single-player games then you are fine. But cloud gaming is not for competitive gamers just for the latency and also the frame rates you will gonna get are not that high, generally 30 or 60 fps.
- Video compression is another major problem. As the videos sent through the internet the videos are generally compressed to use less bandwidth. So don’t expect the game will look as crisp as they look when you play them on your local machine.
- There is another factor that is monthly subscription fees. These services are not cheap they charge a good amount of money on a monthly or yearly basis. Also, how can we forget the extra money that is needed to extend your game library?
So Is cloud gaming the future of gaming?
Well, the answer is maybe, because the technology is new and constantly evolving. Also, top companies have spent on this so there is some possibility that cloud computing will come into mainstream gaming.
But for now, its worthiness differs from person to person. If you only play single-player casual games and you have a good internet connection then you can consider this option. But for those who play online multiplayer games and make gaming a little bit seriously and also don’t have that much good internet connection, cloud gaming can’t compete with traditional desktop or console gaming.
Best cloud gaming services:
Here are some of the best cloud gaming services that you can consider if you were waiting for these kinds of services:
- NVIDIA GeForce Now
- Microsoft xCloud
- Google Stadia
- PlayStation Now
- Amazon Luna