Cloud Gaming 101: Understanding the Platform Better
When people hear the term Cloud in relation to the gaming, the internet, and modern tech in general, it seems like most imagine a giant, invisible (for lack of a more fitting word) cloud in the sky that just sucks up all their info and stores it, some for good purposes, some for bad. But honestly, general knowledge about Cloud tech seems to lean more towards ignorant. People (and even us geeks) do not know just how integral it is with some of the things we love and do daily. In this case, I am specifically talking about gaming. Cloud factors more into gaming than your average Joe would know, so think of this article as Cloud gaming 101. A crash course on how it works, how it helps us all, and what potential it has for the future of gaming.
It’s Not As Scary as Everyone Thinks
It is weird when you bring up Cloud to some people because they think it is some secret spy holding all their info to be used maliciously in the future. Maybe in some far corners there are pockets of it being used for evil (think Bond villain type stuff), but in the forefront, what it does for us is pretty profound.
How so, you ask?
Well for one, Cloud is what makes it possible to play certain games across multiple devices. You have a phone game you play on your tablet and PC. too? That would not have happened (or at least not with the ease of the current age) were it not for Cloud. And that is just ONE way Cloud factors into gaming.
How Does Cloud Gaming Affect Me?
For one (and its most beneficial purpose) is that the reason you have 100’s upon 100’s of saved files now is because a great deal of what you are playing is stored in the Cloud server for the game or console and not your system itself. Thus freeing up a great deal of space for the games on your hard drive (or the hard drive inside your console) to run smoother and play better, as well as freeing up space for installation of other games and even other files like photos and music. I would say that is pretty beneficial.
And that is just one of the many ways that Cloud is evolving gaming right now.
Another way that Cloud gaming is more prevalent than most think is in the area of the modern distribution of games (digital only, which seems to be a trend that all of gaming is moving towards, like it or not). When you go online on your Xbox One or PS4 and you buy a digital copy of the game, Cloud is how that game comes from them to you, all without any actual, physical game being handed from one person to another.
I will admit. even I was against the idea of digitally downloading games when that option first became available. I yelled and complained about how I loved instruction manuals and box art and wondered what the hell is going to happen to that and if it would go extinct. Three digital downloads later and it is the only way I buy games now. Don’t need to deal with the game elitists at Gamestop. Don’t need to drive anywhere having to avoid morons and dodge traffic lights. And in the end, even if i move in the future, I have less to move and my whole game library is built into my consoles. Anyone who is old school and remembers what it is like lugging games and consoles back and forth between friends houses can tell you great Cloud really is.
The other way Cloud works to make gaming better is the is really cool (somewhat) new rental plans (PS Now being a perfect example) where you basically can On-Demand rent a game (straight to your system) without even having to go shopping or purchase whole game (or take up vital memory on your system to hold it). You can sometimes get access to whole games for just a few hours at a time or even weeks, but without having to be concerned about the memory usage of your own system. THAT is badass, straight up.
So remember, all of this did not exist until Cloud gaming was born, so once you sit to really think about it, Cloud is way more important and essential to gaming than most people give it credit for. But that’s nothing. We are still just in the basic, early stages of this tech phenom….
Imagine Where It Will Go Next?
At this point all we can do is speculate, but imagine the evolution of Cloud gaming in the next decade? Just now we are cracking the code and breaking the surface, but what it will be like in ten or twenty years? How much further will this tech take us and what is it truly capable of?
Guess we just have to wait and see. But I can’t wait, as clearly, the sky is the literal limit with Cloud.