No longer do avid gamers have to have the latest and most expensive tech or gadgets to play their favourite games, nor do they need to lug around bulky consoles or equipment to play at locations other than their homes. Before 2003, the term “cloud gaming” was unheard of, but this new way of gaming has since taken the gaming world by storm, opening up gaming possibilities to those who were previously left out. According to Statisca.com, the cloud gaming industry is set to reach $198.30mil in 2023, but what exactly is cloud gaming, and who are the industry’s top providers?
Cloud Gaming Explained
Cloud gaming is the technology that allows gamers to play games from online servers instead of purchasing a console or a game disk or downloading and setting up the game. All players need is a reliable internet connection to stream the game to their mobile phone, tablet or PC. Think of cloud gaming as the Netflix-type solution to gaming, or if you are like to gamble online , online casino games operate similarly in that they are live-streamed, although these don’t need subscriptions. Much like Netflix, players need a subscription to access cloud gaming service providers or platforms. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular providers and what they offer:
Xbox Games Pass:
Xbox Games Pass is known for being a subscription service where you can download games from their library; however, most of their games can also be streamed to your PC, mobile phone, and Xbox Series S. You do not need an Xbox to make use of the Xbox Games Pass, but for some strange reason, you cannot stream to an Xbox One. This service offers a massive games library, one of the biggest, in fact, and includes the latest releases and EA Classics.
Much like the Xbox Games Pass, PlayStation Live was one of the first cloud gaming providers. They have over 1,000 titles in their games library, and games can be downloaded to a PS2 or 4, but not 3. PS3 games can be streamed via the console and desktop, however. They also offer multiplayer games on a desktop App, and games can be played on a mobile device.
Vortex is geared at mobile device gamers, offering them games with incredible specs, like high-resolution graphics. While Vortex has a substantial library of games, the games are broken up into three tiers of subscriptions, so you might have to pay more to get to the games you prefer. They specialise in multiplayer games such as Dota 2, but you will still find single-player games too.
NVidia Geforce Now:
Nvidia is one of the few cloud gaming service providers that has a free version and a paid subscription. The latter offers a larger game collection, some of which are not accessible from other service providers, and you can access more powerful rigs to play from. What’s also somewhat unique is that they don’t have their own games library. Instead, you connect to either your Epic Games or Steam account, where you can stream games you already own or for a slightly higher subscription rate, you can access additional games.
Is cloud gaming the future of all gaming?
In the future, indeed, yes, but not just yet, as cloud gaming still has a number of limitations, such as lag and is reliant on internet connection speed. Once the internet becomes more accessible to every household and speeds and stability become on par with some of the industry leaders, then certainly, yes. Cloud gaming services, on average, cost between £10 and £25 a month, while this is still a lot more affordable than buying new PC equipment or consoles, it’s not yet viable for many households, but due to fierce competition and growth in the market, these services could soon be in every home.