Ever thought of playing Call of Duty 4 on your iPad? Seems exciting doesn’t it? Running Need for Speed shift on your low-end machine can be a stimulating thought for most gamers. With the revolution of cloud computing, where everything you need is hosted on the web, cloud gaming has the potential of taking the gaming world by storm.
Cloud gaming is a variation of online gaming in which games are directly streamed onto a computer. The game itself resides on a server provider’s computer and a client helps the streaming to
take place. Most gamers can now forget about getting those heave rigs with multiple graphic processing units or expensive consoles. Now what they need is a reliable and fast internet connection and a cloud gaming service. Companies like Gaikai, OnLive and Playcast Media are working on the idea and many games have been tested, stored and accessed by their users from different servers. The idea here is based on comfort and versatility. Cloud gaming allows a user to access games whether he is using a iPad, a MAC or a standard computer.
An easier and effective method for gamers?
OnLive is a subscription type gaming service that launched its Beta in June this year. OnLive is offering heavy games like Mass Effect, Assasin’s Creed and Crysis etc; all that is required is a small browser plugin. All the graphics handling and the heavy rendering is done by the servers, all you need is bandwidth. Additionally, OnLive is offering a micro console (Here we go) with USB and HDMI output so you can play games on your TV. These companies are working on video compression tools and the news is that a 1.5 MBPS connection cab be a starting bandwidth if you want to enjoy high end games online. Similar names like Gaikai are in close competition as well. With Microsoft investing heavily in Gaikai so Mass Effect can be browser enabled, one can be sure that the idea of cloud gaming is on everyone’s mind even giants like Microsoft.
Other advantages that cloud gaming has to offer can be the selling point of this service. Its maintenance free, it has nominal (almost negligible) price for service providing compared to the price of the hardware and games that one has to pay for PC gaming and gaming on consoles. Moreover, cloud gaming can replace those PSP with its ability to stream games on all browsers regardless of whether it’s a mobile device or a personal computer. Last but not the least, you can now play World of Warcraft on an Apple’s iPad!
In a few years time, cloud gaming can pose a real threat to its gaming competitors who market consoles like the Sony Playstation and Xbox. If cloud gaming becomes a hit it can also feature the downturn of overpriced Gamer rigs with expensive hardware to support high end games. Only time can tell if this nascent idea becomes a gaming revolution or not, but streaming games is definitely a thing of the future.
By Glenn Blake
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