The Future of Cloud Gaming is Now
If you’ve ever wished you didn’t have to stand in line for the newest gaming console or sleep outside the store for a shot at landing the latest and greatest new game release, your wish may soon come true. How? Because your next purchase may be waiting for you in the Cloud! That’s right. Technology has caught up to your gaming device and lifted it to the Cloud, thereby eliminating your need to shop for it in person.
Cloud gaming is light years ahead of the Atari and Nintendo game system many grew up playing as kids. It’s a type of online gaming that allows direct and on-demand streaming of games. In other words, users will gain access to PlayStation’s library of games by making them playable through the Internet and on all kinds of devices, including TVs, tablets and even mobile phones.
Sony seized the lead in the cloud computing race at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show, when the company announced plans for PlayStation Now, a service that will bring streaming games not only to PS4, but also PS3, PlayStation Vita, televisions, tablets and smartphones. With gaming access from the Cloud, your need to visit a store will be eliminated. You won’t even need to leave your couch.
Same but Different
Cloud gaming may look and feel like games as you know them, but they will work more like a YouTube video. There will be powerful servers located in remote data centers behind the games, streaming compressed video frames and running them to your device. Rather than being self-contained in the game itself, input from your touch screen or game controller is literally transmitted to the Cloud.
With this technology, in time, Sony’s service will permit users to rent games or pay for a subscription and explore a range of titles far greater than can be accumulated the old fashioned way. And it’s the same games you’ve known and loved, simply brought to you by a different means.
If Cloud Gaming is the future, the future is now because Sony plans to launch a closed beta of its new service in the United States with a test group by the end of January 2014. Plans currently call for expanding the offering by the end of the summer 2014.
The new service is not without its challenges, such as whether it will be able to support the standard soft-joy pad and how the public will feel about renting or subscribing to games they would hitherto own, expectations for the service would put Sony at the front of the gaming line. It would also rank Sony’s Playstation Now among the top five cable and satellite providers in the country. That means tens of millions of users would be able to watch its new service through their TVs and PlayStations.
That’s big. That’s the future. That’s gaming on the Cloud.
– By Tim Alan