Cloud gaming, also known as gaming-as-a-service or gaming on demand, is an ecosystem in which a large game program is executed on a cloud server and then streamed to a less powerful device via light software, allowing users to interact with the game.
In traditional gaming, games are stored and executed on the local machine, and the user interacts with them via peripherals such as a mouse, keyboard, monitor, and so on. There is no need to store the games on the local system or use heavy hardware to make things run smoothly in cloud gaming. The games are run on cloud servers rather than local servers.
Cloud gaming was first introduced in 2010 to create an extravagant gaming experience that was easier and less expensive. The concept of cloud gaming has been around since the late 2000s, but due to technological advances, the technology has not matured as much as it has now. OnLive was the first cloud gaming service, using a small game streaming “micro-console” and a special controller supported by Mac and Windows through a browser.
David Perry, a game developer, introduced Gaikai, which had two completely different models. One model allowed gamers to try streaming demos before purchasing them from retailers. The other model delivered full games purchased from publishers to websites and televisions.
Because of infrastructure and bandwidth constraints, neither model could be a huge success. Due to bandwidth and service scope issues, OnLive and Gaikai could not compete.
Google, Microsoft, and Amazon enabled global reach, allowing various cloud platforms to deploy and grow to various levels. Cloud gaming has grown in popularity over the years due to technological advancements. It is financially supported by leading technology companies, allowing for lower latency and higher frame rates to grow over time.
Advantages of cloud gaming
One of the primary benefits of cloud gaming is that users do not need to purchase additional hardware after a few years to play the best games. To play a game in the cloud, the user does not need to use any external devices or launch a previously installed application; the server does all of that for you; it streams a feed of the game from miles away, which you can see and interact locally on your device.
Cloud gaming is so popular because it allows people to pay much less to enjoy a high-end gaming experience. This means that users will not have to spend money on expensive PlayStation or Xbox purchases, graphic cards, etc. You only need a reliable and fast internet connection. Some of these games are even playable on mobile devices, which adds to the excitement and opens up a world of possibilities for cloud gaming.
- Gaming security: Users’ data is securely stored on cloud gaming servers, and data is transferred securely, eliminating the possibility of hacking. The security of the user and game data is the top priority. Gamers can enjoy and play their favorite games without concern about data privacy.
- Reduces piracy: Cloud servers significantly reduce piracy because the game content is organized and maintained by the service providers, preventing the game from being manipulated.
- Accessibility: It enables users to access games anywhere and play on any device, even without downloading a specific app. It can be played on various devices, including laptops, phones, and desktop computers.
- More than one game: The cloud allows most gamers to play multiple games simultaneously. It assists the company in increasing revenue while providing gamers with a youthful experience worldwide.
- High-speed connectivity: One of the main disadvantages is that it requires a high-speed internet connection to use this technology.
- Potency: The time it takes the remote server to respond to commands entered is longer. It is possible to ignore this problem in a single-player game but not in multiplayer games with high receptiveness. For multiplayer games like Val and CSGO, no cloud gaming service is adequate.
- Ownership: Another issue could be a lack of ownership, which means you do not own the game you are streaming. For instance, watching a movie on Amazon Prime rather than purchasing a DVD.
- Business model: Until now, cloud gaming has lacked a manageable business model; server costs are high, and the investment must pay for itself. No proper convincing method exists, whether the game is purchased at full price or the subscription charge.
- Compression of videos: Cloud gaming providers compress images so much that even if you choose 4k streaming, you cannot experience true 4k resolution. This may dissatisfy players who spend a lot of money on graphics. More data is consumed by cloud gaming than by video streaming. So, if you use a mobile network to connect to a service, ensure you have an unlimited data plan.
The cloud gaming industry is expected to flourish by 2026, with its market valued at USD 1.15 billion in 2020 and expected to grow to USD 2.70 billion by 2026.