As game streaming service from Google was met with severe criticism and disastrous response, people are speculating about the future. Surely, Microsoft with its xCloud has gained popularity for taking the right approach and delivered a practical product. Google on the other hand cheated, told lies, and made fake promises that were found to be what everyone had speculated to be. For once, the people knew its cloud gaming strategy would flop but never expected to be worse. Now, Amazon is on the bandwagon is aiming to take its chances.
The Impact of Cloud Gaming on the Average User
Streaming a game or offering the game as a service is a pretty bad idea. There is no way you can offer this service and expect anything good from it. Even after advances in connectivity in 4G and 5G, most of the world is still barely managing to get proper reception. So, the target audience is only those who are on a crazy-fast Wi-Fi that is unlimited and is never going to slow down even for a second. This has to be as reliable as your home console, the gaming rig you just upgraded with super-fast M.2 SSD and the monitor with a 120Hz refresh rate. Can any internet service provider promise that today? No. The answer is no.
This will have a direct impact on average users who play casually on their gaming laptops. They tend to download the game via CDs or now from the internet, install it locally and then play. Using multiplayer campaigns is ok. But, promising 60FPS 4K gaming is not. Playing mobile-optimized games is ok but that too has glitches all the time, network error, breaking connections, dropping frame rates and more. This is going to affect the end-user who wants to play it offline.
Having an internet connection for authentication can be managed. But, having a game set in the cloud and pushing it through the wires to your computer is light-years away, as of now. So, cloud gaming with total client-server architecture is a difficult concept.
Amazon is Trying to Change this with its Success with AWS
The way Amazon disrupted the cloud service platform with AWS and neither Google or IBM or Microsoft could make an impact at the same proportions, it is trying to replicate the same again. As of now, game streaming is becoming quite popular and users playing games at their machines locally want to stream the actual gameplay via a service. This is a great way to engage an audience who simply love to watch others play, learn tactics, and develop their gaming style. It also allows new users to get an experience of how the gameplay is and then choose to buy one.
Examples of such services are Twitch and YouTube. The project xCloud from Microsoft allows you to stream your Xbox games from the cloud. The Project xCloud facilitates you to play over 50 Xbox titles streaming directly from the cloud over to your Wi-Fi-enabled mobile or tablet, or through an internet connection. These are mobile games and optimized for low bandwidth and do not promise 4K gaming at 60FPS. Amazon is aiming to develop a cloud gaming service similar to this, but using its proprietary platforms and technologies, with some clever features for sure. With Microsoft, you already can play all the games you’ve purchased for your Xbox, and since players have all these games already, it is easier to push this service. But, Amazon, on the other hand, has failed to either create its own Play Store like app store as well as a gaming device or gaming catalog. So, users going for the service will have to see what kind of offer they have?
When Google asked to purchase all the games again, it was a disaster. With gaming as a service with cloud gaming, you don’t have to purchase a console or a gaming rig. It allows you to achieve the same from your favorite device you already own. Valve and Amazon are both rumored to jump on this bandwagon and offer a more reliable platform. But, sources also say it is going to be Stadia-like as we saw from Google. This is sure to keep the momentum from focusing solely on xCloud by Microsoft and keep some demographics for themselves.
Unfortunately, we have no details about the same and it is only to be speculated how this service will be? If partnered with some game companies, it might allow you to play the games of those companies only for a charge. If now, it will require users to purchase games and have only the digital rights to the purchase. And, if something goes wrong, you lose everything. You can’t even have the game you’d purchased. This is going to be tough unless they allow playing games for very minimal charges as opposed to buying a game for life with downloadable and installed content for $20 per game.
- The good thing is that you can play AAA titles directly from the cloud on your favorite mobile device or laptop.
- You don’t have to buy an expensive gaming rig with super-fast SSDs or dual-channel RAM.
- Offering cloud gaming with the internet limits the gameplay like 4K gaming at 60FPS that people love.
- It would require over 10 to 15GB of data usage per sec, which is insane speed no mobile data pack can offer.
The internet is still pretty slow for most of the world, and only the services that require very little bandwidth or video services are reliable for this kind of network. Games require too much space, reliable superfast connection and a huge bandwidth that only unlimited super-fast internet like Gbps speeds can offer. But, these demands also restrict the adaptability and adoption of cloud gaming in general. It is yet to see whether Amazon can pull it off and how it tries to compete with other services like Stadia, xCloud and more coming soon.