You’re already accustomed to using cell phone data for your music on iTunes and Spotify. We’re so far that people get annoyed if an HD Netflix stream isn’t quite perfect.
Cloud gaming, however, isn’t quite as ingrained in our daily lives. It’s been around for a while, sure, but latency and a bunch of other issues made the cloud a non-starter for the bulk of ‘serious’ gamers.
You know what we’re about to say: cloud gaming is changing. And it’s going to radically shift the way you play games. Here’s how.
Wait, What Is Cloud Gaming Anyway?
For the uninitiated, let’s start with a quick summary of cloud gaming. You’ve probably used ‘the cloud’ already; think of iCloud on your iPhone, or services like Dropbox or Google Drive. The cloud is essentially a catch-all for storing data on remote servers, rather than on your own computer (or any other device, like a console or tablet).
Cloud gaming is essentially the use of remote storage to stream games directly to a device, whether that’s your smartphone or computer. You need an internet connection (and a relatively decent one at that) and a compatible device, but otherwise, you’re good to go, no matter where you are.
The other added advantage is that you don’t necessarily need a super expensive setup with the latest processor and graphics card to make things work. The machine that powers how smoothly your game runs, at least in the way that we think of how traditional consoles work, lives remotely a.k.a. ‘The cloud’.
Sounds kinda cool, right? It is.
Who Is Offering Cloud Gaming?
The companies offering cloud gaming include some big names, but also some looking to beat the major players to this burgeoning new industry.
Google Stadia is quickly becoming a fan favorite amongst players. It’s not yet hitting it out of the park for the tech giant, but it’s slowly gaining interest. For around 10 bucks a month, you can become a member and play all of the games available in the library. You can also buy games individually; most AAA titles are available, including the recently-released CyberPink 2077.
Companies known for their gaming, like PlayStation and Microsoft, are also expanding what they have to offer. PlayStation Now, for instance, offers 800 games at the time of writing. Microsoft Project xCloud doesn’t have that big a library, sitting at just 50 games, but it’s growing. Expect both companies to expand their services as cloud gaming becomes more common.
Another industry within the niche that is taking advantage is iGaming. The gambling industry has long struggled with the problem of slow data services, truncating the level of games made available to users. Compared to physical casinos, online equivalents are like the inferior little brother.
No longer. Improved graphics, more complex gameplay, all the bells, and whistles are now possible. 4G is now offered in a wide range of countries and data is inexpensive, meaning that gamblers in developing countries, like India, can find the best online casino experience without having to fork out a fortune. As asiabet.org, one of the leading online casino guides in the region, explains – on these online venues, you can find an extensive game selection gathering all the way from traditional games like Teen Patty or Rummy to internationally well-known options like poker, blackjack, baccarat, roulette, or slots. With choices being this saturated, providers are turning to the latest trends in order to free players from too heavy applications. There’s where cloud gaming jumps in.
How It Will Change the Industry
Okay, it should be pretty obvious that this tech is truly revolutionary. And now that data is cheap and fast (soon, 4G will seem slow), streaming games is a real thing that will take over the market.
Remember how Netflix absolutely killed companies like Blockbuster video? This will have a similar effect. Just like it’s now crazy to buy something like a VHS tape or DVD, you’ll soon be telling your kids how your old PlayStation used to take physical disks. Heck, youngsters will even laugh at you for having to wait to download a game before being able to play it.
It also just extends the reach of video games to a far larger group of people. You won’t need a souped-up PS5 pro to play games. Having a subscription to your favorite Netflix gaming equivalent, and you’ll have a library of games just a touch away.
The cloud gaming market is going to grow massively in the next few years, with a recent report by GlobalData estimating that the industry will be worth $30 billion by 2030. Ask us, and even that is a little bit conservative.
Compare that to 2020, where the total worth stands at ‘just’ $1 billion. That’s just 1% of the total gaming market right now. Do you think Spotify has just 1% of the music industry? Exactly. Think about it, that company’s owner wants to buy Arsenal, just like that.
The only thing that’s been holding the rise of cloud gaming is data. Now that 5G is being deployed (albeit slowly), we’re going to see a meteoric rise in this industry. There’s absolutely no doubt that gaming’s future is in the cloud.
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