Millennials have changed plenty of industries. Thanks to them we are moving from owning to just using items. Console gaming is the next “victim.” We used to have a real console at home, connected to a big screen with plenty of games, solid cases with actual disks. The disks are disappearing quickly, and by the look of it, so is the console. That might not be a bad thing, though!
We have already started using cloud services on a daily basis and subscribing to a certain service should guarantee performance in the long run. Typically, console hardware becomes obsolete after being used for a few years, but with a cloud subscription, you won’t have to worry about the hardware. The providers will upgrade their computers regularly to provide excellent quality.
The other benefit is that you will be able to play from almost any device. TV, mobile phone, tablet, old laptop or anything that has a fast enough internet connection and can run the client app. Yes, even your smart refrigerator!
Google has already launched Project Stream, and it is currently testing it. There is just one game available – Assassin‘s Creed Odyssey. Anyone can try it out through their Chrome browser on Windows, MacOS, ChromeOS or Linux. There’s one condition, though – at least a 25mbps internet connection. The result is 1080p gaming with 60 FPS and a very little lag. Mobile devices are not supported at this point.
xCloud is the cloud gaming platform of Microsoft. The company has been very successful in the console scene with the Xbox devices. xCloud will provide gaming through Xbox, PCs, phones, and tablets. Gamers will be able to use controllers and touch input. The trials will start in 2019, and there will be 6 games available. With more experience and tradition in gaming, Microsoft can be a strong competitor for the cloud gaming crown.
Stream gaming problems
Both platforms have the same big problem – they require an excellent and fast internet connection. Temporary failures or slow-downs can be devastating for a competitive gamer.
4k gaming may be available in costly plans and will most definitely require an even better internet connection.
The lag is another issue. There will be some generated lag between the input, the processing in the cloud and the on-screen result. It looks like it is not a big problem considering the demo of Google’s Project Stream, but this may not be the case for another game.
There are many technical challenges, but it looks like we are ready for this cloud revolution. The only serious concern is the price. Will it be affordable enough? Soon we will find out.