Monday, February 17, 2014

Cloud Computing comes to Gaming

    Last February, Sony purchased cloud-gaming company Gaikai. This small company specializes in letting gamers stream a game online for free and then decide whether to download the game. A sort of download-as-you play model. The purchase of Gaikai by Sony has led many to speculate whether cloud gaming is the future for next-gen video games (i.e. Sony PS4 and Xbox One). This is a huge departure from the traditional gaming format of disc purchase and with last-gen's service of downloading the entire game on either the Playstation Store on Xbox Live. What makes Gaikai stand out is the ability to allow gamers to stream a game online without having to download the game onto their console (a painstakingly long process). This new service if it takes off will having a serious impact on companies like Best Buy and Gamestop. This new service brings with it so many possibilities. No longer would gamers face the risk of a cd scratching and rendering a game unplayable or even the possibility of losing your data in the event that a console is damaged.
   Companies like Netflix have shown what can be done with streaming. Recently the company unveiled that it would be start streaming videos in 4K. If that can be done, there is no reason why gamers cannot stream their gaming experience online. Recently Sony showed a demo of its real time streaming service that Gaikai can offer on the PS4.

    The existence and the possibility of cloud gaming is a worry for manufacturers, and middlemen. If gamers start purchasing their games on the cloud, then the days of traditional gaming purchase are numbered. Sony has stated that it will be integrating this system with the PS Vita to allow gamers to play PS4 games on their Vita. Games delivered through through the cloud, with most of the heavy-lifting done on the server side, can make subpar gaming machines run more efficiently (forbes). The possibility for cloud gaming are endless if it does take off, the days of stores like Gamestop are numbered.

 So what do you guys think, is the future of gaming on the cloud?

The Verge

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