The internet has changed our lives in a number of ways, especially in the last couple of years. Today, the internet is the channel with the most entertainment options available for us, beating TV and radio not just in variety but flexibility as well. Streaming has become the go-to form of entertainment for masses of people all over the globe, both audio and video. And gaming, it seems, thanks to a recently introduced new type of service online.
What is cloud gaming?
Interactive gaming has been around for quite some time, even the form that involves live video streaming. The live dealer games you’ll find at Lucky Creek online casino combine live video streaming and the accessibility of a browser game into one service that stands out from the crowd of similar services.
Well, cloud gaming takes things one step further: in its case, the entire “action” happens on a cloud server, and only the screen output is streamed to the player’s computer. The player uses their keyboard and mouse to control the on-screen action, while the heavy lifting is done remotely. Thus, anything with a screen and a broadband internet connection – a smartphone, a tablet, a Chromebook, even a smart TV – can become a gaming device.
A bit of history
The first cloud gaming service, called G-Cluster, was presented at the E3 2000, turning into a commercial product in 2003. In 2005, Crytek – the company behind Crysis – wanted to develop its own cloud gaming service – but their plan fell through in just a couple of years. Onlive was presented at the 2009 edition of the GDC, and launched in 2010, along with competitor Gaikai. Both of them fell through in the coming years, being bought by Sony, and their technology was used to develop the PlayStation Network.
And this brings us to the present day – and some truly interesting services that were launched in recent years.
From Steam Remote Play to Stadia and beyond
There are two types of game streaming services available today. On the one hand, there’s Steam Remote Play (that allows users to play games on their home PC from a different device, over the internet) and Steam Link (that does pretty much the same, only on mobile). Here, the player owns the “server” (a gaming PC, for example) and the client, too.
On the other hand, there are the “gaming-as-a-service” companies that offer players access to their servers’ processing power and their games for a monthly fee. The two most outstanding services of this type are Google’s Stadia and Nvidia’s GeForce Now. These two services have a slightly different business model: while the Google-powered service comes with about 30 games included in its subscription. GeForce Now only comes with the possibility to run them – the gamers have to own the titles. But in exchange, they get to play them in 1080p and with RTX enabled.
While neither of these services has become a massive hit, the idea itself has inspired many other providers to develop in this direction. Amazon has launched its own cloud gaming service called “Luna” last fall, and Intel, together with Asus, has its own similar service called Boosteroid.
Gaming has finally broken free from the bounds of hardware thanks to broadband internet and the cloud. Today, you can play even the most hardware-hungry game on a Chromebook, tablet, or smartphone – all you need is a broadband internet connection.