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How Are Video Games Using the Cloud?

Posted by QuoteColo on October 08, 2014 - Updated on September 30, 2014

How Are Video Games Using the Cloud?

Whenever technology makes a leap forward, you can be sure that people will learn how to use if for entertainment. In fact, some of the biggest leaps in technology come from a desire to make entertainment better or easier in some way, and that’s the case with cloud gaming. By using the cloud for gaming, it’s helping to normalize it for younger generations, which means that cloud “everything” will likely be the norm in the coming years. Many people today can’t imagine a time when the Internet did not exist, and the same will be true of cloud computing soon enough.

Two Types of Gaming in the Cloud

It is important to understand that when many people talk about the subject of “gaming in the cloud”, they could be talking about two very different types of game distribution. The following are the two most common options – video streaming and file streaming. It is important to understand the differences.

Video Streaming

Video streaming uses a service that is similar to video on demand. The actual copy of the game is on the game company servers, and it streams to computers that access it through a client. Since the game “plays” on the company server, there is no need for the end user to have an actual console. The end user can play the game without actually downloading anything.

A number of companies are making use of this type of service including Gaikai, which is now a part of Sony Entertainment and is the technology behind Playstation Now and PS TV. The users will be able to play the games through their television with just a controller.

Many feel that this is the future of gaming content, and that consoles could eventually be just a relic. However, as good as the technology is right now, it does need to improve before it will take over business from the consoles. The biggest reason for this is lag. Even great servers and the best technology can have slight lag, which is difficult in a single player game and nearly impossible to deal with in a multiplayer game where everyone playing the game has to have things happening at the exact same time on the screen to work properly.

File Streaming

File streaming is a progressive download that will go to the end user’s console, PC, or mobile tablet or phone. The user starts downloading, and after between 5% and 10% of the game downloads, he or she will be able to start playing. This makes the time from download to playtime much faster. The game will continue to download in the background, and ideally, the player will never experience an interruption while playing during that initial play session.

With this type of cloud gaming, the user will need a device in order to download and store the copy of the game, and that’s essentially the big difference between file streaming and video streaming. Anyone who has one of the new generation consoles – PS4 or Xbox One – has likely used this service if they’ve downloaded a game.

Both of these are popular today and have helped to change the face of gaming, but this is just the beginning of how gaming will be using the cloud. As the technology improves, expect to see a large number of other companies start using this type of service for games, as well as other pieces of software and technology.

Categories: Cloud

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