Cloud gaming is a service that allows users to play video games on a remote server rather than on a local device. The game is streamed over the internet to the user’s device, which can be a computer, a smartphone, or a streaming device such as a Chromecast or Amazon Fire TV Stick. This allows users to play games that might not be available on their device or that require more power than their device can provide. Cloud gaming services include Google Stadia, Amazon Luna, and Microsoft xCloud.
How does Cloud gaming work?
Cloud gaming works by streaming video games over the internet to a user’s device. The game is run on powerful servers in a data center, and the user’s device receives a video stream of the game in real-time. The user’s input, such as button presses or mouse movements, are sent back to the server, where they are processed and used to update the game state.
The video stream is usually compressed to reduce the amount of data that needs to be transmitted, and the server can use techniques such as frame prediction and interpolation to further reduce the amount of data that needs to be sent. To ensure low latency, the game stream is usually sent over a dedicated connection, such as a wired internet connection, rather than a wireless connection.
One of the benefits of cloud gaming is that it allows users to play games that might not be available on their device or that require more power than their device can provide. Additionally, it eliminates the need for users to buy expensive hardware to run the game on their device.
Cloud gaming services include Google Stadia, Amazon Luna, and Microsoft xCloud. These services require a stable internet connection, and the performance of the service will depend on the quality of the user’s internet connection.
Different users of cloud gaming?
- Casual gamers: These users may not have a powerful gaming rig or the latest console, but still want to play the latest games on their devices such as smartphones, tablets or smart TVs. Cloud gaming allows them to access a wide variety of games without needing to invest in expensive hardware.
- Remote players: These users may not have access to a gaming device or a stable internet connection where they are located, but still want to play games with friends and family. Cloud gaming allows them to play games remotely with minimal latency and minimal setup.
- Competitive gamers: These users are typically interested in competitive multiplayer games and want the lowest possible latency to ensure the best possible gaming experience. Cloud gaming allows them to access high-performance servers and play on dedicated connections which gives them an edge over traditional gaming experience.
- Mobile gamers: These users prefer playing games on the go and are more likely to use a mobile device to play games than a console or PC. Cloud gaming allows them to access high-performance games on their mobile devices without needing to buy expensive hardware.
- Game developers: Cloud gaming allows game developers to access powerful servers and use them to test and develop their games. They can also use cloud gaming services to deploy their games to a wider audience and reduce the costs of hosting and maintaining their own servers.
What is the difference between cloud gaming and normal gaming?
The main difference between cloud gaming and traditional gaming is that with cloud gaming, the game is run on a remote server and streamed to the user’s device, while traditional gaming requires the game to be installed and run on the user’s local device.
Some key differences between the two are:
- Hardware requirements: With cloud gaming, users do not need to have a powerful gaming rig or console to play the latest games. The game is run on servers in a data centre, and the user’s device only needs to be able to receive and display the video stream. Traditional gaming, on the other hand, requires users to have a device that meets the minimum hardware requirements of the game.
- Game availability: With cloud gaming, users have access to a wide variety of games without needing to purchase them or install them on their device. Traditional gaming, on the other hand, requires users to buy or rent the game and install it on their device.
- Cost: Cloud gaming typically requires a subscription or a pay-per-play fee, while traditional gaming requires purchasing the game or console.
- Upgrades: With cloud gaming, users don’t have to worry about upgrading their hardware to be able to play new games, as the game runs on remote servers that can be easily upgraded. Traditional gaming requires users to upgrade their hardware if they want to play new games that require more power.
- Latency: Cloud gaming requires a stable internet connection and is affected by the latency of the internet connection. Traditional gaming does not have this issue, as the game is running on the local device.
Overall, cloud gaming offers more flexibility and convenience, but it also depends on the internet connection and the subscription fee. Traditional gaming allows you to own the game and play it offline but it comes with the cost of hardware upgrades.
Some examples of cloud gaming services include:
- Google Stadia: Google Stadia is a cloud gaming service that allows users to play games on their device without the need for a console or a powerful gaming rig. Users can play games on their TV, computer, or mobile device using a stable internet connection. Google Stadia offers a subscription service called Stadia Pro for $9.99/month, which includes access to a library of games, as well as discounts on games purchased from the Stadia store. Users can also purchase games individually from the Stadia store without subscribing to Stadia Pro.
- Amazon Luna: Amazon Luna is a cloud gaming service that allows users to play games on their device using a stable internet connection. The service offers a subscription service called Luna+, which includes access to a library of games for $5.99/month. Users can also purchase games individually from the Luna store.
- Microsoft xCloud: xCloud is a cloud gaming service by Microsoft, that allows users to play games on their device using a stable internet connection. It’s currently part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription which cost $14.99/month and offers access to a library of games, as well as discounts on games purchased from the Microsoft store.
- NVIDIA GeForce NOW: NVIDIA GeForce NOW is a cloud gaming service that allows users to play games on their device using a stable internet connection. The service offers a free version with one-hour session and a Founders membership for $4.99/month which includes extended session length and priority access to servers.
All of these services can be accessed via their respective website, and games can be purchased or rented through the respective platforms.