With the development of mobile industry and corresponding technology, cloud games benefited the most. In comparison to the traditional games, cloud games use servers for computing rendering and transmitting images to users through the network. It has gained popularity because such an approach reduces the demand for local computing power. Players only need stable and fast internet. Moreover, they do not rely on the specific place (where the computers are).
The huge potential of cloud gaming has fascinated the industry. Google, NVIDIA, Microsoft, Sony, and even Chinese giants such as Tencent and NetEase have all devoted themselves to cloud gaming.
However, not everything as clear as might seem. Say, this market requires high fees, there is not 100% stable network, due to some reasons, the picture quality may drop, and there are not many categories.
But we should also write down that the potential of cloud gaming is real. So on the one hand, this might be the future of gaming. And on the other hand, there are obstacles the creators should overcome.
Traditional players don’t like cloud games
We already understood that current cloud games have many shortcomings. First, traditional players have gaming PCs or game consoles with powerful hardware and corresponding systems. Thus, they don’t rely on any network, server, etc. All they need are at their hands.
In fact, we are now talking about the biggest shortcoming of cloud games. Because of the network, the delay might exceed 100ms. Even Google has a delay of 100~200ms in its Stadia cloud game service when the network is unblocked.
Second, the specifications of cloud games are low. For example, we know that NVDIA is good at manufacturing game hardware. Its Geforce NOW supports new graphics technologies such as ray tracing. But the latter can only provide 1080p/60fps specifications.
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Compared with local games, where 4K and 5.1-channel audio and video are must, cloud games offer nothing attractive.
Finally, the service of cloud gaming is hard to feel value for money. On the one hand, cloud games are not cheap. Sony’s PlayStation, NVIDIA’s GeForce and Google Stadia are all $9.99 per month. But they only provide a small number of categories.
More importantly, cloud games don’t bring a sense of ownership. We mean you will never know when the provider will remove a concrete game. So in a second, all your achievements in the game might disappear. For example, what we are talking about happened recently with World of Warcraft IX.
Cloud games may substitute mobile games
As we see, cloud games can’t be considered as the future of traditional games (at least, at this stage). But they are ideal if thinking of them as mobile game replacement.
Microsoft talked about this a year ago
In comparison to the traditional games, mobile games have quite different specifications.
Moreover, they have to be adapted to as many mobile phones as possible. So the smartphone makers should take into consideration “all the requirements” of mobile game developers. Obviously, this restricts the production level and scale of mobile games. Also, mobile games cannot use sophisticated graphics technology to the fullest to construct huge game scenes.
The mainstream mobile games themselves rely on the network to run. Unlike traditional games under the buyout system, mobile games often have the attributes of online games.
These characteristics of mobile games are actually very compatible with the characteristics of cloud games. So cloud games can solve the pain points and difficulties of mobile games while meeting their characteristics.
Cloud games rely on the Internet to run, which coincides with mobile games. With the current 4G and 5G network bandwidth, when the player’s network conditions are sufficient to play mobile games smoothly, they can often play cloud games as well.
The production scale of mobile games is constrained by the performance of mobile phones. But cloud games do not need to rely on high-performance hardware. They only need servers that are powerful enough to render high-quality images. This solves the shackles of mobile game production and provides development space for mobile game production. From this perspective, cloud games can even be called the savior of high-quality mobile games.
If comparing three gaming industries – traditional, mobile and cloud – the latter is going to replace the mobile games. But as long as the network stability problem is not solved completely, it couldn’t become a good option for traditional players.
At the same time, cloud games can also solve the problem of data leakage in the test server, and effectively prevent internal data from leaking in advance through unpacking.