When we think of cloud computing we associate it with enterprises and how they can become more efficient, decrease TCO show better RoI on IT spends and better impact on various business processes.
In this article I wanted to take you away to a very different world which is also adopting cloud technology without much noise but it is poised to change not just gaming but entertainment as a whole.
Lets go back to 2009 when the buzz about cloud gaming really started with OnLive demonstrating how a game from a server hundreds of miles away can be streamed to any laptop and played. It was like a revolution that attracted thousands of gamers to enroll on the platform.
Just around that time another company Gaikai was making waves by creating an open cloud platform where any manufacturer can provide cloud gaming options to their users.
Both these companies and several more ensured a future of gaming just like Netflix. Gaiko was bough over by Sony a few years back.
Strategy Analytics, a US based research firm says that by end of 2015 , audience for cloud gaming services of Sony (Play Station Now) and Nvidia (Grid Game Streaming Service) will grow to 150m (up from just 30m in 2014). And that the growth would come from the growing installed base of cloud-gaming capable devices — such as the PlayStation 4, PC, and tablets.
Lets see the key benefits and how it will change gaming:
- Low Cost of Adoption & Running: Streaming implies there is no need to buy or upgrade expensive hardware
- Any device- Not only allowing people to use a multitude of operating systems (iOS, Android etc.) and devices (mobile, tablets, laptops, PCs) but also integrating gaming into TV . So smart TVs no longer need huge storage or more powerful processors/gaming hardware
- Live Events: Because of cloud now multiplayer or location based gaming can be turned into events and tournaments
All the above imply that cloud for gaming will emerge as gaming as a service, thereby creating ample opportunities to monetize (contests, tournaments, platform as a service for smart TVs or movies and events, subscription and on demand gaming etc.)
The way Cloud Gaming can be integrated with Live Events or even with Movies and how cloud gaming itself can have tournament manifestation is easy to comprehend now and there is no doubt that more users will adopt cloud gaming because of ease and price advantage
However there are a couple of major challenges as well which the Cloud Gaming Platforms need to fathom:
- Huge investments for low latency: Any cloud platform provider needs to invest in a huge spread of servers across the world so as to ensure a very low latency. A large latency is enough to destroy a gaming experience. There is no choice but to minimize latency
- Bandwidth & Cost of Bandwidth- Especially in India where bandwidth itself is in short supply + that fact that it will be expensive to lets say use up 3GB bandwidth in an hour or so.
So it will be interesting to see how Cloud will become the game-changer in many Asian countries like India with real on ground challenges to face. H