Gaming is one of the things that never gets old as there’s always something new with the growth of the technology. Cloud gaming is also the next big revolutionary technology that allows the users to experience gaming hardware independently but how practical this type of technology can perform? Even there are few more drawbacks in the first stage, it does give some plus signs that there will be more choices for gamers in the near future. But first, you do need to know what is cloud gaming along with the knowledge of how it works, the problems and is it worth buying cloud gaming service instead of trying to build a gaming PC or buying a gaming console.
There is a small misconception among the users with this term cloud gaming as it means storing all the game files on virtual storage or keeping back files on a cloud service is called cloud gaming. But that’s not what the term or this technology really stands for. It’s more similar to the gaming streaming process that many gamers do in platforms like Twitch, Youtube, Facebook or any other platform but more advanced in technology. Just keep reading and this article will bring everything you need to know about cloud gaming topic.
What is Cloud Gaming
The cloud gaming concept goes much deeper and advances piece of technology which gives the ability to the users to use any type of hardware configurations to play the most demanding titles in best settings. Even though it’s quite unbelievable in the first place, you’ll be able to play the latest games like Assassin’s Creed Origins, Doom Eternal, Metro Exudos even with your mobile phone or tablet. Now you’ll understand why this is more advanced than a normal game streaming technology.
One of the biggest problems among the gamers is almost everyone doesn’t have money to build a full-fledged gaming PC or high-end hardware that can perform at an extreme level in each and every game that gets released every year. Even though you are having an average performing PC, you do need to make a lot of effort to make decisions over the components that are available for your next upgrade.
As a solution for all of these questions, you do need to get a monthly or a yearly subscription just like you are doing with Netflix or Spotify and you are available to stretch your arms over the most demanding games without worrying about the hardware specs that you can get with your PC or laptop that you own.
How does Cloud Gaming Works?
These cloud gaming platforms work just like a movie streaming platform like Netflix. The only difference is that instead of movies, here you’ll get the chance to play you most beloved games in max settings while interacting with it real-time. Even though the technology is something similar to video streaming, this doesn’t mean that cloud gaming is just like watching a let’s play video on YouTube. The game is stored in a distance server and after paying the monthly or yearly subscription, you get access to a virtual machine running on this server which has all the required data.
The server which we called the cloud does all the hard work. All you need is a PC, mobile or a tablet that’s compatible with the streaming service, you are good to go. Unnecessary power consumption or damaging your device by playing heavy games is no longer a problem when you start gaming using the cloud service. Shadow, Nvidia GeForce Now, Project Xcloud, Playstation Now are some of the famous cloud gaming services by now. Among them, Shadow is the leading platform which gives low latency while you are gaming.
In fact it is amazing to see this kind of technology, but there are few requirements and drawbacks when you are engaging with cloud gaming. Mainly there are four common problems and these things when using cloud gaming that can be differ from one service to another but in each and every platform there can be seen these issues for some extends.
- Input Lag
- Video Compression
- Hardware Selection
- System Requirements
Almost every service is using the same process in cloud gaming. When the users input something, the device is registering it and sends to the server to process the data according to your inputs and then it returns the processed output back to your device. This needs to done withing just milliseconds or else it will be one of the worst experiences to the users if it takes a lot of time. Theoretically, these games can be played in even 4K resolututions but in the real world it doesn’t.
1. Input Lag
As it was mentioned earlier, the input has to all the way round to the server and then only the server can process the data and return back to your device. Although you are using a high-speed fibre optic connection, there is going to be an input lag each and every time. As same as a website, the closer you are to the data centre, how fast your game data gets transferred.
But this won’t be a big issue at all as the technology will bring up solutions to minimize the input lag. This isn’t a big issue if you are playing a single-player game but especially in competitive multiplayer games, this won’t be the same native gaming experience that you are having with your gaming PC or console.
2. Video Compression
To Render and transfer the frames to your computer via the Internet, it does need to be compressed and needs to get uncompressed when the frame reaches to your device. But even with the best video encoding, it’s difficult to give the real gaming experience that you are getting while playing in front of a gaming PC. Mostly in fast phasing games with lot’s of camera movements, motion blur is going to be there all the times. Users can’t reduce this by using a good gaming monitor but if that’s possible after paying a significant subscription fee why would they spend there time on cloud gaming instead of buying a whole gaming computer.
3. Hardware Selection
In case these games are running on virtual machine stored inside a server, all the data processing tasks are getting done by the server hardware. Serverside computer hardware is more different than a normal gaming machine hardware which has lower clock speeds. These server CPUs are better for multitasking but in gaming, it’s mainly focused on a single core performance of a CPU. Moreover, the GPUs also have the same problem by having lower processing power when comparing to a specified gaming GPU.
4. System Requirements
Although you can play some demanding games by using old hardware parts, you do need to fulfil some requirements. The first and most important thing is the internet connection. The connection has to be both fast and stable. The famous and the leading service SHdow is required 50Mbps internet connection while Google Stadia uses 10Mbps for HD and 35Mbps for 4K or HDR resolutions. However, it can be different according to the platform that you are using and the users have to check and compare each and every service without entering it directly.
Most of the services doesn’t allow you to play all the newly released games unless you have purchased the before from a site like Steam or Epic Store. Although they offer some free games, you still need to connect your game library or in the future, they will upload well-optimized games that can be purchased through the platform.
Does Cloud Gaming Worth Buy?
The shortest answer is “Not Yet“
The only way to tolerate the input lag is to play the single-player mode inside the game or else you are going to hate it. After considering all the points, cloud gaming won’t be the best substitute for normal PC or console gaming until they find some better solutions to overcome those problems. This won’t happen overnight and if you need to get the best gaming experience, the typical gaming methods are still the best.
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