Fortunately, the cloud also offers multiple entertainment options. While most people have heard of streaming services like Netflix, they may not be familiar with the concept of cloud gaming, also known as gaming as a service (GaaS). This cloud offering is designed to benefit gamers and the companies that sell games by making their products easier to access by potential customers.
What is Cloud Gaming?
Cloud gaming is the term used to describe the practice of playing video games remotely from the cloud. Customers of these services don’t need to use expensive and dedicated gaming consoles to play popular games online. When you subscribe to a cloud gaming service, you are purchasing access to the provider’s servers that are used to run the particular game you want to play. You can stream any game available on that platform.
The main difference between a video streaming service and cloud gaming is that two-way communication is necessary when playing games. Game content is sent over the network to a user who interacts with it using the controls available on their platform or device. Cloud gaming requires high-speed and reliable Internet access that enables players to perform game-related actions in real-time.
Potential Issues with Cloud Gaming
While cloud gaming gives players the ability to play games they otherwise may not be able to access, the delivery method can be affected by several issues.
- Game availability may be a concern for some cloud gamers. While many games are available in the cloud, there are also a large number of titles that cannot be accessed using this method.
- Latency can be a problem when playing games in the cloud. Players need adequate bandwidth with which to enact a timely exchange of information with the game server. Insufficient bandwidth and inconsistent connectivity can make a cloud-based game unplayable.
- Device compatibility may be an issue for some players. Some platforms require the use of a dedicated application to play their games which may not run on some devices.
- The preservation of cloud games is out of a player’s control. Customers might not be able to save game files, play offline, or modify settings.
A Few Popular Cloud Gaming Services
Many cloud gaming platforms are available for interested gamers. The offerings are markedly different and are designed to appeal to specific subsets of gamers.
Google Stadia - This GaaS offering from Google uses the Chrome web browser to enable customers to play games on a wide variety of devices. Minimum Internet speeds of 10Mbps are required to use this service.
Sony’s PlayStation Now makes a growing library of game titles available to play on the cloud for users with a PlayStation or Windows PC.
Shadow takes a different approach and lets you rent a high-powered Windows computer that can be used for cloud gaming.
So even if you don’t have a PlayStation or an Xbox, you can still play games using the cloud. With cloud gaming, you can access some of your favorite games from any location.