Gartner has recenty predicted that by 2020, a corporate “no-cloud” policy will be as rare as a “no-internet” policy is today. CIOs will increasingly leverage a multitude of cloud computing providers across the entire IT stack to enable a huge variety of use cases and meet the requirements of their business unit peers. Indeed, the tides are shifting toward a “cloud-first” or even “cloud-only” policy... 

Marc Wilczek

Uncertainties Surrounding Cloud Gamers

Uncertainties Surrounding Cloud Gamers

Cloud gaming has been embraced as a liberator for gamers who had been entangled in the thorns of conventional gaming. Contrarily, if one looks at the potentially darker side of the cloud, a thought-provoking viewpoint can be perceived which, to some extent, may amaze readers.

First off, in cloud gaming everything is done through the cloud. Even though this clause is seen as an advantage by most analysts, the downside is that users unknowingly become cloud dependent. The menace of potential outages is also included in this drawback. So, if an Xbox network outage occurs, this will not just mean that there will be no online gaming for a consumer; it will mean no gaming at all. If the network goes down, players will not be able to do anything.

Resale value of games is another issue cited by prominent analysts. The fact that in conventional gaming players can buy a game, play it, and then sell it at a reasonable price is respectable. On the other hand, in cloud gaming, games are believed to stay at the same hyped prices, even though distribution costs are eliminated. Also, some customers wait for a game to mature so that it’s price might fall and they can buy it at reduced cost; this will not be possible with cloud gaming. From a business perspective, gaming companies will be in favor of fixed-price gaming, but from a user perspective this is a major drawback.

Another shortcoming of cloud gaming originates from a “what if” scenario – what if big gaming companies teamed up and hiked up all the prices. Painting a wider imaginative picture, it can also be alleged that maybe these gaming giants are just waiting for consumers to migrate to the cloud so that once the majority of consumers are on the cloud, these companies could increase the prices and no one will be able to do anything about it. A worthy analogy can be made by looking at the cellphone industry. Consumers do not really control the services they get, and switching to other networks is surely not the best option for them.

At the moment, cloud gaming is a mouth wateringly great option for gamers to assemble on a particular platform. Moreover, the drawbacks of cloud gaming circle around hypothetical consequences and one can never be sure as to what will happen in the future. Only time will tell if cloud gaming really is the best option for gamers or not.

By Haris Smith