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The Rise of Cloud Gaming

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Larger the file size, the more time consuming is the download and update, making it the most frustrating part of gaming. What’s more, certain games require gaming consoles that cost a fortune. However, these issues become the past tense in cloud gaming. It’s similar to Netflix and other streaming platforms, with the only difference being the server receiving the video stream also picks up and reacts to the inputs. This means saving the budget on PlayStations and other gaming consoles. All you need is a smooth internet connection. With that, the gamer gets to explore numerous opportunities such as grabbing any device to tune into a game or load a cloud gaming app on a Chrome book for an exclusive PC gaming experience.

The cloud gaming industry is becoming highly talked about, especially when Google broke the news about shutting down Stadia, which appeared to have knocked out the market. But the market grew despite the exit. In fact, data by Newzoo indicates that the cloud gaming market is expected to generate $ 2.4 billion this year, with a year-over-year growth of 74 percent.

Cloud Gaming Has Been Around
Cloud gaming has been around since the late 2000s, but the technology and internet speeds were not optimized to support it until a few years passed. The first major gaming service in this space was OnLive launched in 2010. Created with a small game streaming micro console, the game was compatible with Windows and macOS through a browser, android tablets and smartphones, Nvidia’s original shield and more.although, the technology was in its infancy stage, it offered games such as original Borderlands and Darksiders, that ran with similar visual quality to traditional systems. It did struggle with latency issues and internal issues that caused a shift in the company and became the reason for its end.

Around the same time, game developer David Perry dropped Gaikai in two different models. One service offered a streaming network for gamers that helped to combat digital sales, by encouraging gamers to try and get them to buy the game. The second model streamed full games that were bought from publishers to websites, smart TVs and even to WikiPad.

according to a survey by Grand View Research, the $ 691.6 million cloud gaming market, which is estimated to grow at a 45.8 percent CAGR (compound annual growth rate) between 2022 and 2030

In 2012, Sony picked up Gaikai and admitted it into the PlayStation Network and this allowed the latter’s console owners to stream their games on other devices like PlayStation Vita regardless of the network type.

But why is cloud gaming becoming popular now?

Rise to FAME
Firstly, cloud gaming lacked infrastructure. OnLive and Gaikai couldn’t last due to bandwidth and services that are available today. On the other hand, the two services did not have performance or reach to make it mainstream.

But thanks to the global reach enabled by Google, Microsoft and Amazon, cloud gaming deployment is on speed and the expansion is geographical. Not only that, big techs also have its back financially, while enabling lower latency, higher frame rates, and a more convenient setup process. More practical benefits of cloud gaming were allowed through services like Stadia and GeForce. This meant not worrying about the storage space, but only downloading through the streaming service’s application which helped save 100GB required by the latest Call of Duty game. Similarly, gamers didn’t have to upgrade their components or spend a hefty price on gaming consoles. Rather, they can just buy the game and start gaming right away.

But most of all, it's the convenience that cloud gaming offers. As it allows gamers to get gaming on any screen or device they prefer.

Well that doesn’t necessarily mean bidding adieu to gaming consoles, in fact cloud gaming could compliment it and it already has. Two of the front runners here are.

GeForce Now
It takes a different approach from that of Google Stadia. Instead of a game console in the cloud, it works with games that the gamer already owns on stream such as the Epic Games Store, and other PC gaming platforms. It’s free as well. Gamers can game for an hour at a time and they may need to wait in a queue. The sessions may be limited to an hour but gamers can start another one immediately. Besides, a $ 5 pay per month allows gamers to access six-hour session length.

Initially, nearly every PC game was compatible with GeForce Now, but publishers quickly fixed this. This led to taking down some of the biggest AAA games, while Nvidia added more into the platform. As a result, it supports every Ubisoft game, including every title in the Epic Games Store, and a slew of other AAA releases. Even though the number of supported titles has decreased, GeForce Now still offers a much bigger selection than Stadia and Xbox Cloud Gaming put together.

The biggest difference with GeForce Now and other cloud gaming platforms is that the gamer can own their games on another platform. For instance, Stadia games only worked with Stadia and Xbox Cloud Gaming with any games on the Game Pass lineup. But GeForce gives gamers the privelege to download and play games bought on Steam, the Epic Games Store or anywhere that the gamer decides to purchase a gaming PC later on.

GeForce Now is available on Windows, Mac, Android TV, Android, Safari, and iOS, with a Chrome browser version currently in beta.

Xbox Cloud Gaming
After being formally introduced in September 2020 as a component of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, Xbox Cloud Gaming ought to be a strong rival by the end of 2021. This platform consists of two services: one for Xbox Game Pass and the other for installed games.

A precise list of cloud-enabled games that are locked behind the Ultimate membership is provided by the Xbox Game Pass section. Gamers may either buy them at a bargain and stream them indefinitely or stream them until Microsoft switches them out for different games.

Future of Cloud Gaming
Google recently revealed that Google Stadia, a moderately well-liked cloud gaming service, would be discontinued in January 2023 owing to a lack of demand. However, other programs like Sony's PlayStation Plus Premium, Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass, and Nvidia's GeForce Now are still active.

In the upcoming years, cloud gaming is anticipated to gain momentum. In fact, according to a survey by Grand View Research, the $ 691.6 million cloud gaming market, which is estimated to grow at a 45.8 percent CAGR (compound annual growth rate) between 2022 and 2030, will soon be a billion dollar sector.

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