Gaming in the Clouds
Nintendo, Sony, Verizon, Walmart, Microsoft, Amazon, and Google. These are all names we’ve all heard of before. Each of these businesses are competitive giants in their own fields and each of them is said to be playing around with new technology that may alter how video games are played, sold, and distributed.
Google and Microsoft have already stepped out and publicly announced their efforts as the other companies want to fly under the radar for the meanwhile. These companies are working towards a future where discs, downloads, and consoles are no longer needed. Instead, the goal is to stream games over the internet like how you would stream shows on Netflix.
This idea is cloud gaming. It is actually an idea that has been around for some time. Technological and economic constraints have hindered growth for the past decade. Right now, gamers are experiencing game consoles, discs, and downloaded games on the drive. The experience of the game is determined by the console’s processors. If cloud gaming were to be successful, the console would exist off-site, within a data center with servers. Essentially, you would be streaming games like a video, but this video would react to the user’s inputs. The press of a button to control a character’s actions will send the input to a remote server, the game will process what the user did, and then a new video frame is sent back to show the player its result. Of course, all of this is sped up so the result is a smooth video gaming experience.
As front-runners in cloud gaming, Google and Microsoft have already created their own services. Stadia is Google’s game streaming service that is set to launch in November 2019. Stadia works in the same way as Netflix, where you can access the service from any device. Google’s competitor Microsoft has its service called xCloud. Like Stadia, xCloud is utilizing the cloud to house its gaming consoles. xCloud is to be released in October of 2019.
What about powerhouse Nintendo? Nintendo and Mario creator, Shigeru Miyamoto is not jumping on the bandwagon as quickly. As other companies in the industry have released their plans regarding cloud gaming, Nintendo is sticking to remain quiet. They stated that they have yet to fall behind in other advancements and even though they have not publicized their future endeavors does not mean they are lagging. Miyamoto sounded unconvinced that cloud gaming was the only move forward. It is acknowledged that cloud gaming will be widespread, but the Nintendo creator believes that there will be games that are fun due to the fact that it is run locally. Nintendo has a focus on local multiplayer and offline games. Although they have been slower to adopt gaming trends, their ideology has done wonders for them.
If there are changes with how gaming is executed and the gaming population increases, there will just be more opportunities for everyone. Whether Nintendo enters the cloud gaming realm or not, they would still reap the benefit nonetheless. Like most things, cloud gaming is seeming to have its pros and cons and people split on the idea of it. If these companies can successfully execute their own game streaming services, are you keen on transitioning to the next level of gaming?