Cloud gaming- The word has been buzzing around the gaming industry for the past couple of months intriguing gamers across the world. So what does cloud gaming exactly mean? To put it simply, cloud gaming allows gamers to play their favourite games on the go, on any device as long as they are connected to the Internet. This service will allow gamers to pay a subscription fee, similar to that of the online T.V streaming services that we have today.
Companies such as Ubisoft, Sony, Microsoft and Google believe that the future of gaming lies in such technology. No longer will games be restricted to consoles and PCs, and gamers can play these games on their phones, tablets and other portable devices. Over these past few months, Google was the first to reveal their streaming service called Stadia at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco.
However the games will not be cheaper, as consumers will still have to pay full price for such titles on the streaming service. The specs for PCs/laptops has been revealed, and emphasizes on the fact that a decent to good laptop/PC should be able to run the games on Stadia. Though it can be seen as a make or break deal for gamers as it depends on how good their internet connection is.
A staggering 30 games have already been announced for Stadia and Ubisoft is bringing one of its key titles to the streaming service. In an interview with Stephanie Perotti of Ubisoft she says “It was a great experience for us as a company. We always like to take on new challenges, and with a partner like Google, it was a great opportunity for us to see what was required for us to embrace streaming, and to see what kind of performance we could achieve with a game that was just released on other platforms, to see if we could bring it to all devices.” The partnership with Google opens a lot of possibilities for companies like Ubisoft to experiment and bring their titles to a wider audience.
The upcoming Google Stadia has caused long-time rivals Sony and Microsoft to partner up with each other in terms of cloud gaming. Polygon’s article which covers this topic talks about “The two console gaming rivals signed a memorandum of understanding under which both companies will explore joint development of future cloud solutions in Microsoft Azure to support their respective game and content streaming services. These efforts will also include building better development platforms for the content creator community.” It will be interesting to see how both Sony and Microsoft utilise each other’s resources to build their cloud gaming services. Microsoft is also looking to throw their hat into the ring with their xCloud streaming service and is hoping to get a public trial out to its consumers this October. Whereas the Google Stadia is looking to release its initial version in countries such as USA, Canada, and UK on exclusive devices such as the Google Pixel, this November.
With cloud gaming on the horizon, gamers will have a keen eye on these services to see if it can offer them something new. With steaming services putting an end to network television, the question is- “Will cloud gaming do the same?"