With Amazon officially entering the race of cloud-based gaming services. Eight years ago cloud streaming was only from your browser and it wasn’t a popular platform and one console with a subscription base existed but being out early with internet connections not being reliable didn’t help things take off. Fast-forward to today, cloud technology is heavily invested by the largest tech companies and it’s being utilized in several fields especially video games with over 20 services available as of now in 2020.
Even though it seem a very new service to the mass public could gaming has been around for years. In 2000, G-Cluster introduced the technology to the public as a cloud service that connects through Wi-Fi to handheld devices. Things didn’t take off because internet connections weren’t stable enough to support it. OnLive kicked off in 2010 as a console that was strictly streaming games to your TV. Gaikai, was a free demo service for PC. Over time cloud-gaming became more popular with larger companies buying OnLive and Gaikai while others built their own remote servers.
With so many options around people debate if this is the future of video gaming. The music and home video industry moved from physical copies to streaming it’s only a matter of time if video games go that route so everyone is racing to be the first and not the last when the time arrives.
There are some companies like Sony that aren’t concerned about streaming just yet as they have PSNow but haven’t fully supported it to the degrees of their competitors. As for them content and model is what will attract their customers. GeforceNow is a subscription service but unlike the others you can only play games that you’ve purchased on your PC and eligible for GeforceNow. While game prices increase cloud-gaming is looking like an affordable alternative to some gamers already or for a means to extend their reach to another library while they still purchase full priced titles.
In theory, it won’t have to eliminate consoles but at least compliment them especially for using cloud gaming on your phone so in a sense enhancing mobile gaming to literally playing what’s on the console. Sony doesn’t have a strong output for PS1, PS2, and PS3 compatibility which would be a great addition for PSNow.
Google and Amazon are implementing easy iteration with YouTube and Twitch’s streaming as simple as starting up to a game and join a streamer in an instant.
These services are trying to disrupt the gaming market and make a solid place advantage in the future. This will open the door for more gamers to people to play more games outside of their library and find more developers that actually meet their tastes for a game. Now we have major plays using their strongest cloud services like Amazon Luna and others investing more in their service like Microsoft’s XCloud using Game Pass. Only the future can tell what’s next.