Cloud gaming: Is it really the future?

Cloud gaming is a tech buzzword which promises a future where gamers can play all of their favorite games without depending on gaming PCs or external consoles for the powerful graphics hardware because all these heavy lifting duties will be carried out in the cloud. The cloud-gaming server first runs the game and then directly streams the video of your game play to your device.


Pros: Cloud gaming may be the future!

  • Cloud gaming doesn’t require any expensive hardware, PC upgrades or other consoles. It allows you to keep your existing hardware instead of buying other gaming hardware.
  • Unlike other games, which run mainly on Windows, Cloud gaming makes the game independent of the platforms and therefore allows you to play your game on any operating System or device.
  • Cloud gaming allows your game to integrate into your TV as well as other devices without the necessity of adding any powerful or expensive gaming hardware into your TV.
  • Before playing a game, you need to download at least 10 or 20GB of the game but with cloud gaming, you can start playing instantly as the server will already have the game installed in it.


Some downsides hard to ignore

  • The videos that run on the cloud-gaming server are compressed in such a way that it takes less bandwidth and so the videos are not as high-detail and sharp as in the high-end gaming PC.
  • Cloud-gaming services use a huge amount of bandwidth. If you play a game on OnLive for an hour then it will use at least 3GB of bandwidth during that short duration.
  • Latency is another problem with cloud gaming as it has more latency than the powerful local hardware.
  • If cloud-gaming becomes the primary way of playing games then many gamers living in some areas with slow internet connectivity might be at a disadvantage as cloud-gaming always require high-level internet connection.


The Future

Many cloud-gaming services have been operating in the market right now and among them, OnLive is the most popular server. However, despite many advantages the cloud-gaming services still lags behind in the race of charming the gamers. Although the recent purchase of Gaikai by Sony suggests that this technology might be a gaming boom in the future but it is still not certain. The main hurdle that prevents cloud-gaming to become popular is its need for a huge amount of bandwidth which is not compatible with the current implementation of bandwidth caps. On the other hand, if cloud gaming can overcome this bandwidth hurdle, then it will sure start creating ripples in the gaming industry in no time in the future.

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