Cloud gaming, also known as “gaming on demand”, is a distribution model that shifts the workload of storing and processing game software from gaming devices to cloud servers. The game runs on powerful cloud servers while being streamed to the display of a user’s home PC, console, or mobile device.
Generally, the service is device and OS independent and eliminates the need to invest in expensive gaming hardware for users, and costly gaming infrastructure for the distributors.
Cloud gaming is also known as a game as a service (GaaS) or game on demand and has the potential to reach a wider market.
Types of Cloud Gaming
Currently, there are two major types of cloud gaming based on the mode of distribution.
- Video or pixel streaming: in which the cloud server does all the processing. This eliminates the need for powerful gaming machines; however, it requires higher server resources to support many concurrent games.
- File streaming: This involves downloading and installing small game software onto the gaming device. The procedure allows the user to start playing the basic game, and download additional content when required. However, it requires a gaming device with adequate resources to store and perform some processes.
Popular Cloud Gaming Services (Gaming as a Service (GaaS))
The cloud gaming model enables publishers to host hundreds of games and make them available to users on a wide variety of generic devices.
The service has a bright future, especially with improvements in connectivity and platforms. Already there are those providers who are offering great gaming experience.
Currently, the popular cloud gaming Services include PlayStation Now, Liquid Sky, GeForce Now LiquidSky, Shadow, Vortex, Parsec, Kalydo, and PlayGiga.
History of Cloud Gaming
The cloud gaming concept started way back in 2000 with little success by a company called G-cluster. Later on, several companies tried the service but did not go very far due to high costs, and unreliable and slow internet connections.
After several unsuccessful attempts, the first breakthrough was in 2010. However, this project by OnLive only allowed players to choose games from a limited library. In 2015, Sony acquired the company‘s patents and this was instrumental in creating the PlayStation Now.
Today, we have better connectivity and more reliable cloud infrastructure to support online gaming services. Several companies such as Sony and Nvidia are currently running successful services while other tech giants such as Google, Microsoft, Apple, Tencent, Amazon, and others are at a different implementation or testing phases.
The cloud gaming market is also increasing since the service allows more users to access the games using budget devices.« Back to Definition Index