Cloud Gaming

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Cloud Gaming by YASHVARDHAN DWIVEDI TCET

Introduction:


As console and PC gaming reach new horizons, developers are keenly
interested to integrate their products over a unified platform which can be
easily accessed by the community around the world.

Today, gaming has taken quite a chunk of its share in the entertainment industry around the world. As Freemium policy becomes more widely accepted, almost everyone is getting welcomed to be a part of this industry. But in true terms, it is a costly hobby.

To put it in the simplest of terms, you require a system to play games ranging from mobile phones to high-end PCs to an X-Box.

And these are not cheap! Add it with the cost of games and it simply does not appeal to the masses. For a decade now, tech giants like Microsoft and Google are working towards providing a solution to this. Big developers like Electronic Arts and Ubisoft in collaboration with various service providers around the world are also working on the same.

What is this Concept?


Cloud Gaming is an old concept. It was demonstrated by G-cluster in 2000 at E3. After its introduction, it was seen as a breakthrough in Online Entertainment, something that was gaining popularity in those days. Video game developer Crytek was very first to research in this technology in 2005. Not much progress was made due to lack of a robust internet network in those days.

For a data center to have the capacity to run thousand to games live and that too from different parts of the world, it would require tremendous computing capabilities, an interruptive bandwidth, data supply and finally
a huge capital.

For making it an appeal to the masses, it would require a different way of advertising and publishing in a a sense that would benefit people rather than the developers.

What is Cloud Gaming?


It is a concept similar to the way we watch movies on Netflix or Hotstar. In layman’s terms, Cloud Gaming is gaming over a cloud network.

One doesn’t require a high-end PC or a console for this. The game that the user is playing is actually running in a data center somewhere around the world. So, the user only sees the display and its processing is done on a separate server.

With the help of a strong bandwidth connection, each command of the user is transmitted to that data center, processed, executed and the result is then received by the user on his screen. It is crazy to think what this tech is capable to achieve.

As of today, Gaming on Demand already exists. Sony and Microsoft both have their own versions. But both of them require the user to either download the software or necessarily be a part of a community. All of this with a compulsion to have a high specifications device for processing. Thus, their data may be over a cloud but its processing is done on a user-specified device.

The concept of Cloud Gaming has its own set of difficulties. Firstly, the Internet. The most important and the most challenging task is accessibility to fast internet.

But today, the Internet is getting cheaper and more easily accessible as the digital era unfolds in a country like India. The next great thing is – The Data Center.

The Current Scenario


In 2019, the race is on. Recently at the Gamers Developer Conference in San
Francisco, Google announced “Stadia” – commercial Cloud Gaming Experience. According to Google, Stadia will change the way we play games on any platform. They say that after researching for over 2 decades, they have the infrastructure ready for this concept to go public.


With the help of Stadia, users will only need to have an application installed on their devices; It will consist of a catalog of games which can be played at that instant. Once a user selects it, he will be connected to a live server where he can play the game.

Thus, there is no need to buy a high- end Pc or a PlayStation. Any Big Budget AAA title can be played easily on a simple Laptop or even a Smartphone. It is Similar to the Netflix way of Distribution. Now with the launch of this, Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo gave a glimpse that they are also in the development phase of the concept of Cloud Gaming which will be unique in its own way. Thus, one can expect some great revolutions in this industry.

The Future

Observing the current momentum, developers are keenly interested to make exciting products for the same. The biggest benefit is the creation of a single community where people could play together without the cost of heavy investment. The whole world is talking about it today.

This would provide an opportunity for new developers to come up with amazing products thus giving the market a new look and feel.

This was a concept which was fiction in the early days but today it marks new possibilities. One should also note that when this concept will be combined with Cloud Computing, it would open new avenues to what a data center is capable of.

Thus, the concept of ‘Cloud” will not only used for Data Warehousing but also for extensive data processing and program execution.

And as the AI’s are getting smarter and popular, let us hope that one day “Cloud Software Engineering” or simply designing software over a cloud will be made possible.

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