Video Streaming or File Streaming: Which Cloud Gaming Platform Is Right for Me?
Cloud gaming is, perhaps, one of the most important innovations to hit the gaming world in recent memory. The capability to wile away your time blasting enemies or saving the captured princess, all in tandem with others around the globe, propels what would be a simple and enjoyable experience into one that is truly exceptional. No matter which genre of game you enjoy the most, playing it in the cloud is sure to enhance its enjoyment by an order of magnitude.
Historically, when it came to video games of virtually any type, files for the game were solely contained on the computer it was being played on. This included all data associated with graphics, sound and input commands, as well as the processing of video output. This is in sharp contrast to what you will find when playing games in the cloud, with some or most of the files being hosted on the providing company’s servers.
Cloud gaming can be split into two different and specific types, both of which have strengths and weaknesses, which make them more suitable for some situations, and less so in others. The two methods of service are video streaming and file streaming.
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Video streaming, when related to cloud gaming, involves the hosting and processing of virtually all game content on the hosting-provider’s servers. By and large, this bypasses the need for virtually any type of computer or tech device to run it on, given that all computing operations are handled by the remote server. Perfect examples of cloud gaming providers that use video streaming with their services are Gaikai and OnLive.
- Pros: Video streaming allows you to play your games without the necessity of purchasing expensive hardware. In essence, you can play games, no matter how resource-intensive they are, without being limited by your tech device’s power
- Cons: Video streaming demands a fast and stable internet connection, even more so than with file streaming. This is due to the fact that every aspect of the data needed to run the game is transmitted over the internet, prompting the need for large amounts of bandwidth.
File Streaming handles the cloud gaming world a little differently. Initially, once the game has been selected from the provider’s library of content, a small portion of the code, usually around five percent, is downloaded onto your computer. This allows you to start playing the game instantly, while the rest of the code is downloaded and installed. Service providers that use file streaming for their content include Appoxy and Kalydo.
- Pros: Given that much of the code used to run the game will be stored locally on you device’s hard drive, bandwidth concerns are not as important. This makes a low to average connection speed still suitable for this type of service.
- Cons: With this added data comes the need for a place to put it. This mandates a least some form of internal storage in your device, usually one with the capacity to store gigabytes worth of information. In addition, the amount of RAM, the power of you video card and the speed of your processor will all come into play when it comes to how well the game plays.
Selecting the right provider when it comes to cloud gaming is extremely important, and must conform to the hardware you have, or able to acquire. By doing so, you can be sure that your cloud-gaming experience will be the best it can possibly be.
By Joe Pellicone