For decades, the world of video games has been dominated by two platforms: the PC and the games console.
More recently mobile games have begun to eat away at that dominance, with statistics hinting that sooner rather than later gamers will abandon their beloved consoles, to replace them with nothing more than their hand-held devices.
Despite this, gaming companies have continued to release new consoles, with the Playstation 5 about to be unleashed as well as its arch-nemesis the Xbox Series X.
However, these may well end up being the last generation of games consoles as we know them because new technology is in town, one that promises to do away with the need for a physical console altogether.
This is, of course, cloud technology, which is already being used widely to help businesses and individuals store data. However, it can also be harnessed to live stream everything from movies to complex video games.
Here is how cloud tech is about to revolutionize the way we game in the modern era.
Steam Provided The Proof of Concept
In many ways, the concept for a cloud-based gaming platform already exists, with the incredibly successful and popular Steam platform hosting tens of thousands of games created by indie developers and entrepreneurs.
The Steam business model shows in principle how new cloud systems will work, although the likes of Google’s Stadia and Playstation Now are promising to take things to a whole new level once fully operational.
To gain insight into the scope that Google envisions for Stadia it is well worth listening to Jade Raymond, who is in charge of developing games for the company’s new Stadia Games and Entertainment division.
5G Networks Expand the Horizons of What is Possible
Among the array of issues that previously handicapped cloud services were the unavoidable problems related to latency, with more graphically demanding games requiring a high and consistent bandwidth in order to run without lagging as well as hosting huge amounts of players at any given time.
That is where 5G rollouts come in to play, allowing customers with access to them to stream games online with virtually no lag, or least that is the ideal scenario.
Although doubts remain over whether this is truly possible, 5G is certain to at least improve the quality of cloud-based gaming platforms to the point that they can compete with traditional consoles and PCs.
Caption: It remains to be seen if VR and AR will play a significant part in the move to shift gaming onto cloud-based formats
Creating the Ultimate in Business and Lifestyle Synergies
Perhaps one of the biggest changes to gaming that will come into play, thanks to this new technology, is that the gaming experience will become a part of a much wider-reaching online experience.
Cloud platforms will anticipate the games you would like to play in advance and couple them with potential food, drink, and entertainment choices.
In-app Ai-based algorithms may suggest consumer products and other entertainment options such as TV shows, audiobooks, or even popular online casino games, as the data collected on users grows exponentially, allowing the likes of Google to target their users more accurately with appealing ads and offers.
The ultimate aim of all this is to ensure that people spend all their time online within the confines of one company’s cloud, allowing the said company to shape consumer behavior, and bring strategic partners on board.
Do Gamers Want to Be Ring-Fenced in Such a Way?
Up until now, streaming games has been seen as something of a rebel pursuit, done away from the surveillance of big tech firms. Steam’s success in many ways is a byproduct of this mentality. It, therefore, remains to be seen whether the gaming community will be willing to forego all their freedoms and commit to one all-encompassing cloud.
Either way, Google looks all set to try and convince users, and with extra incentives such as the inclusion of ground-breaking VR and AR functionalities, they may well succeed.