Hardware vs. cloud gaming: How & why cloud gaming is the better gaming experience
‘Cloud gaming democratises the entire gaming space’
The Tech Panda asked an expert why and how cloud gaming is disrupting the gaming industry.
While cloud gaming has been available for a few years, dedicated gamers have avoided it due to latency and other concerns. However, things are rapidly changing. Not only has cloud infrastructure become widespread, but numerous firms are attempting to provide a CD-free option for gamers.
According to Forbes, cloud gaming has a projected CAGR of 76%, with a revenue projection of US$3.74 billion in 2023.
We’ve all heard of the cloud as a storage medium for transferring, storing, and retrieving data via the Internet. All of the computing power is shifted from the device to the cloud in this way. To put it another way, there’s no need for the latest hardware to play the finest games. Instead, it’s all available on the cloud.
It doesn’t matter anymore if you have higher specification hardware. You can be free from the vicious cycle of desktop and console upgrades. If you have a decent enough data network connection and browser access, it all comes down to your gaming skills
The shift to cloud gaming is coming about because of several kifayati reasons, says Saraf. Users can stream any number of options for a flat monthly fee. Although the games are paid for, the console doesn’t have to be expensive. And any device works.
“Cloud gaming democratises the entire gaming space. It doesn’t matter anymore if you have higher specification hardware. You can be free from the vicious cycle of desktop and console upgrades. If you have a decent enough data network connection and browser access, it all comes down to your gaming skills,” he explains.
“Hardcore console games might still be a better experience on higher hardware specifications. However, as data connectivity improves, lines are blurring between the two. On the now.gg platform, with good Internet connectivity, you experience smooth gameplay as if it was running on server-grade hardware,” he says.
What’s Driving the shift to Cloud Gaming?
Apart from practical reasons, Saraf says that technology now is strong enough to carry forward the desired specifications.
“A few key stars are aligning, technology, network infrastructure, and consumer behaviour,” he says. “On the technology front, we now have access to powerful ARM servers. They have quite different price/performance characteristics compared to the servers available until now.”
An advanced RISC machine (ARM) server is an enterprise-class computer server that uses a large array of ARM processors instead of a complement of x86-class processors. ARM servers stand for a significant shift in server-based computing.
A few key stars are aligning, technology, network infrastructure, and consumer behaviour
Saraf further informs that now powerful GPUs are available in the cloud, which enable high-performance graphics and encoding. In addition, broadband and 5G deployments have resulted in high bandwidth and low latency connections for the masses.
“That, coupled with the consumer behaviour where people have now learned to stream and physically download movies, songs, and other content, makes it suitable for cloud gaming,” he says.
Evolution of the Cloud = Revolutionary Change Services Deployment
The evolution of the cloud has led to a revolutionary change in how services are deployed. To make a big splash in today’s market, businesses and services are leaning strongly on cloud. We have all witnessed the traditional line of business apps moving to the cloud.
“Cloud frees you from thinking about hardware, operating systems, networking, infrastructure upgrades, etc.,” Saraf explains. “It frees you from the dependencies of the clients. You can deliver a consistent experience across a broad spectrum of devices.
Users don’t have to worry about CPU, GPU, storage, thermals, battery, etc, on their respective devices. The games are ready to stream and go
“A company can focus on the core applications while the cloud does the heavy lifting. With a plethora of services available on the cloud, it allows one to deploy small and scale to millions rapidly,” he adds.
We see the same for gaming.
“Users don’t have to worry about CPU, GPU, storage, thermals, battery, etc, on their respective devices. The games are ready to stream and go. Also, more importantly, now.gg has figured out the hard problems of cloud gaming economics,” he says.
Cloud gaming is on the rise. Microsoft announced just two days back that more than 10 million people have streamed games on Xbox Cloud Gaming. On a smaller level, recently, founders of Alexapath and Portalyard International are moving towards cloud gaming.
According to Frost & Sullivan, the global cloud gaming market’s B2C segment will see exponential growth, with market expansion expected at a CAGR of 69% by 2025. Definitely a space to watch out.