Cloud gaming technology was introduced in 2000 at E3 with Game Cluster, later released in 2003. But despite the promising early model for Cloud gaming, it never took off in the early 2000s, thanks to a lack of reliable infrastructure. It wasn’t until Microsoft, Sony, and even Google came into the picture that game streaming finally built up enough momentum to take off fully. The idea behind cloud gaming is to reduce the dependency of requiring high-end hardware to play AAA titles. This way, no one needs to plunk down hard-earned cash on an applicable device to keep up with the gaming industry; imagine playing Xbox One titles after shelling out for the latest premium Android phone. Well, you definitely can, thanks to Xbox Cloud Gaming. However, there are some caveats to cloud gaming services, so we are here to outline how the technology works and the benefits offered when gaming on Android while still addressing commonly brought-up concerns over the platform today.
How cloud gaming works
You’re essentially playing a game remotely. Games are hosted on remote servers and are streamed to your device. All the processing power to run these games depends on the virtual server, but your device needs to handle the internet bandwidth required. This is an acceptable trade for not having to install these games directly while saving cash by not having to purchase powerful/expensive hardware.
The downfall of playing games streamed from a server is the potential for high latency and dropped frames. When you press a button, there can be a perceptible delay with that action. That’s a recipe for disaster when playing games that require high response times to function, so not every game will translate well when played over cloud gaming technology.
Cloud gaming relies on a stable internet connection
Cloud gaming relies heavily on your internet connection, so if your connection drops often or isn’t steady, your cloud gaming experience will vary. Not everyone will have the luxury/access to a dependable internet connection, which may lead to the downfall of depending on this technology for your primary gaming experience.
Streaming is great for Android
Mobile gaming includes limitations, one potentially is storage space, and the other is access to AAA titles released on the platform. Storage space is an issue for the general populace, and it isn’t feasible to ever expect your storage space to match up to what you can get on a PC. Some PC games can take up to 50GB for the base install and grow even more with updates. In contrast, you’d prefer not to have your mobile games eating anywhere close to that much space; otherwise, we are forced to buy external memory and upgrade to more expensive (higher storage) base models.
So how do you alleviate these issues? The answer lies in cloud gaming technology. You don’t have to download and install games with cloud gaming technology; you simply play them over an internet connection. This means your phone’s specs don’t really matter; you can play demanding games without the need for expensive hardware when streaming.
Cloud technology is a work in progress
This is why cloud gaming technology could enable a future for Android gaming where specs don’t matter as much as they do now, but we are not quite there yet. We still have to worry about battery life, whether your device can connect to 5G, and you’ll also care if your screen can fit the cluttered mess for on-screen controls. Sometimes we don’t want the hassle of forcing cloud gaming as a solution when it isn’t quite ready, and we may opt into dedicated hardware, anyway.
Major cloud gaming services
Many companies picked up on the emergence of cloud gaming technology and have sought to host and become service providers for compatible devices and consoles. As a result, we’ve devised a small list containing the leading cloud gaming services available today.
Hardware and peripheral manufacturers are also looking to make dedicated streaming hardware for gamers; we have some more prominent names like Logitech, Razer, and Verizon trying to hop on the bandwagon, along with a flurry of new gaming Chromebooks. But the jury is still out on whether any of these devices take off compared to the alternative, native high-end gaming hardware.
The future for multi-platform gaming is in cloud gaming
With platform exclusives, and companies aggressively rigging the competition with their products, it becomes exhausting to keep up with expensive hardware like next-gen consoles. And in other cases, you’d much prefer spending your hard-earned cash on a premium all-purpose phone or tablet over a device specialized for gaming. This is where cloud gaming comes in handy as a platform. We no longer need to worry if our brand-new device becomes excluded from gaming. Of course, only time can tell if the best Android games arrive in these additional spaces outside of mobile, but regardless, it’s still the easiest way to play AAA games while on the go.