Cloud Gaming – Is it truly a gaming revolution?


      OnLive, current leader in cloud gaming.
      OnLive, current leader in cloud gaming.

 
Most of you are probably wondering what Cloud gaming actually is; let me explain It to you. Cloud gaming has been around for a while, but just recently it has made its self-known to the general public. Ever since the Atari 2600 and even before that, people have been going to their local gaming retailers and physically buying games, going home and playing the game until their eyes burn and their hands cramp – Cloud Gaming, is going to change all that. The idea of it is to stream full games over the internet and straight on to your TV, essentially removing the “middle man”, if you will. It uses a box, not unlike your actual console, except much smaller – this unit will allow the user to access a vast library of games in which the user can choose any game and buy it, the game will then be streamed over the internet and straight onto the user’s television. There are of course numerous advantages and disadvantages to this system, some of which are as follows.


• The ability to play any game, any time is appealing to a lot of people. Cutting out the travel and inconvenience going out and buying a game can have, having most games at your fingertips is a very attractive prospect to a lot of people.
• The need to buy expensive hardware is removed. Consumer’s will no longer to spend £250 on their console, as the units for Cloud Gaming are much cheaper.
• It’s a much more practical and portable way of gaming, the idea of not having to carry around loads of games when taking your console elsewhere can be a satisfying thought, although may only appeal to a select market.
• The ability to have an abundance of games at your fingertips without filling an entire room up with game cases.


• Cloud Gaming services are extremely reliant on servers not crashing, which most people do not have the patience for.
• The satisfying feeling when buying and un-packaging games is removed, which for a lot of people is a huge part of the enjoyment.
• Streaming quality is dependent on your connection; in most cases it can never be as good as using a disc.
• Publishers/developers very much control when you can and cannot play, a vast majority of people will resent the fact that the developers have the ability to stop people playing games they have paid for.
• On release days of games, the servers will suffer greatly with the mass of players playing the game.
• Having a physical collection of games for some people is the whole fun of it. Cloud Gaming completely removes that pleasure.


The effect on consumers will be varied, for some people this will the be all, end all for gaming but for others this could seriously tarnish a life long hobby. Albeit, there are a lot of advantages but in my opinion the disadvantages outweigh the advantages. For me personally, the idea of going out and buying a game, unpacking it and physically placing the disc in the console is part of the overall enjoyment. Of course, the main point of gaming is the content within the game but if people are void of the added extras like the manual and special edition versions then one of the most enjoying factors of gaming is removed. Consumers can’t show their love for the game by buying collectors editions and being unique among all the other people with the game. Not only that, a large majority of gamers are proud of their sizeable collections and take pride in showing them off in elaborate game towers. Seeing your game collection in pixels isn’t the same as physically having it in front of you. 

On the other hand, the less hardcore and experienced gamers, predominantly teenagers will love the fact that they can have any game at their fingertips without having the hassle of going out and getting it. Not only that, but Cloud Gaming will be completely reliant on servers and the speed of you Internet, if any of these are even slightly hindered it could bring a halt to your gaming session for the day. Even the thought of that for a lot of people will put them off it. But judging by the fact the average of the gamer is above 25; I think the majority will prefer the traditional method of going out and physically buying the game.


The effect on the industry will be incomprehensible, developers, publishers, retailers and marketers will all have to radically adapt. Everything will have to be dramatically changed. Going from generations of using physical hardware, all the way from cassettes to dual-layer discs and then suddenly removing that and just in essence, only using the internet to play your games – this will have a huge impact on the industry, it will bankrupt a lot of companies, mainly retailers unless they don’t plan ahead and try to adjust to the changing market. On the other hand it’s just another step in the growth of e-commerce, except this time it’s a gigantic leap in expanding and developing the digital age. There’s a chance for companies to make huge money out of it, but smaller companies with less resources can and will potentially be crippled by it if they don’t adapt fast. 

In conclusion, Cloud Gaming is something that we need to seriously consider as something that is there and will happen eventually, but are we ready for it now? In my opinion, we aren’t. Things are still developing in the console area, with the release of Playstation Move and Kinect around the corner; the industry is just not giving way for the expansion of the digital age. With the release of OnLive come and gone, the leader in Cloud Gaming hasn’t seen the huge influx of subscribers it was hoping for. One day Cloud Gaming will become a reality and we will have to learn to adjust, but that day isn’t just around the corner.     
 
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11 Comments

Bored of gaming these days.

I've come to realise that at this point in my life, I'm actually quite bored of gaming. Nothing is seeming to interest me and when I do get a game, whether I rent it or buy I never actually seem to be able to play it for any lengthy period of time. Is it just me or is it the game? I really don't know. I'm hoping I get out of it as gaming is something I thoroughly enjoy and plays a huge part in my life. 
 
I do have a slight feeling it could be just the games that are out just now, nothing makes me want to rush out and spend my hard earned cash on a game I know I will play for a few days and then it will be left in the depths of my wardrobe collecting dust along with the rest of my unwanted games. With the release of Battlefield: Bad Company 2 fast approacing, I'm thinking I will be finally released from the boring clutches of a life without gaming.

2 Comments