Decades ago, owning a PlayStation or XBOX series meant setting up an ornate assortment of consoles, a television set, speakers, and a huge collection of game DVDs. Today, you can keep the nostalgia alive, for the next phase of digital entertainment is here. Cloud gaming is all set to make it possible for the next-gen gamers to play on the go.
Soumyadeep Roy Chowdhury, Senior Manager, Market Intelligence (Tech & Business) at Netscribes takes us through the cloud gaming revolution ready to shake up the global gaming market.
How is cloud gaming shaping up globally? What opportunities does this bring to the gaming industry?
Cloud gaming has the potential to reshape the perception of video games. Cloud computing offers a new way of delivering video games that is fast, fluid, and more immersive than ever before. As a relatively new form of gaming, there remain several logistics yet to work out, but consumers are already experiencing its benefits. Because these games are stored in remote servers, users can access their game library on any device at any location. Storage space at home or cumbersome console systems is no longer a necessity. Moreover, users can play on the go.
Game developers will no longer need to invest in expensive hardware or spend time managing servers. This will all be handled by cloud providers. This also means that developers can focus exclusively on content rather than infrastructure, which will lead to much a richer experiences for gamers.
What are some major developments in this segment?
At this stage, the collective demand and supply-side sentiment are fueling the adoption of cloud gaming over individual initiatives. Many users are now realizing the convenience of playing games without having to worry about additional hardware or software requirements. Today, all you need is an internet connection and you’re good to go.
Furthermore, developers are now porting their games over to the cloud platform. This means that users will be able to play some of the biggest and most popular titles without having to own a gaming console or PC. This widens the revenue generation and monetization scope for game developers and publishers. What else? Cloud platforms are now becoming more reliable and user-friendly. Gone are the days when you had to deal with laggy graphics and choppy gameplay. Modern platforms are incredibly smooth and provide a rich gaming experience. There’s an increasing focus on improving and unifying UX across devices to make the transition seamless and intuitive.
As for the infrastructure, developments are now scaling up rapidly. Sony’s cloud gaming service PlayStation Now allows gamers to play console games on their console-less PC or mobile devices. On Microsoft’s service Project xCloud, users can now play Xbox games on their mobile devices. To add to the glory, Google recently announced its plan to launch its gaming platform Stadia. Nvidia, too, is set to roll out a new feature for its GeForce Now service called Streaming Boostvia which users can stream games at up to 1080p/60 fps.
Will cloud gaming replace traditional console gaming in the future? How can cloud gaming build its own presence amid dominating mobile gaming platforms?
Cloud gaming doesn’t aim to replace any of the established and traditional platforms, including console gaming (at least not in the immediate future). Traditional platforms are pushing different boundaries such as gaming at higher resolutions (native 4K and 8K), 120 fps, and also enchaining graphical fidelity with the likes of ray-tracing and so on. So console gaming isn’t going away any soon.
In fact, cloud gaming is set to widen the consumer base and address hardware limitations. The idea is to appeal to gamers across generations: from busy professionals, and consumers who own smart devices but no gaming hardware, to dedicated gamers.
Tech giants like Meta and Microsoft have scaled cloud gaming services. Yet, why do you think it still hasn’t entered the mainstream? Could it become a viable (and booming) alternative soon?
Several challenges need to be addressed before it can become a mainstream form of entertainment. There are concerns surrounding latency and whether streaming games will feel as real as before. Moreover, gamers are also worried about privacy with a rise in data collection. Other challenges include the worry of losing game progress if their internet connection suddenly drops and the quality of internet service that differs from country to country.
However, the usage trends highlight the inevitability of high-speed broadband becoming a standard across the world. 5G can be a major driver for cloud gaming providing strong internet infrastructure and consistent service.
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Soumyadeep Roy Chowdhury
Soumyadeep (Sam) is a Senior Manager - Business Research and Market Intelligence at Netscribes. With over a decade of experience, he specializes in technology research, IT service insights, and business research and analytics in various sub-verticals. Sam holds a special passion for the gaming entertainment sector and its burgeoning developments. He has been instrumental in executing several strategic consulting services to Fortune 500 clients.