If we take a look around the real-life Monopoly board and fix our attention to the highest stacks of crisp and clean bills, who holds more than a billion dollars?
Jeff Bezos certainly has a lot of bills that tower above his actual buildings. Oprah Winfrey for sure. The Mars family — owners of Mars, Incorporated. Whole industries take in billions of dollars.
Next year is going to generate a fresh bunch of billionaires. And among them is the cloud gaming industry.
Growing up in the ‘90s as a keen gamer – my particular “specialities” were The Sims where I formed alternative realities, the FIFA franchise games for my virtual sporting endeavors, and Grand Theft Auto to satiate the darker regions of my soul!
Graphics struck a milestone in the ‘90s that transformed pixelated protagonists into life-like characters. But another aspect was transforming the industry. Games were slowly starting to become online, enabling gamers to play with each other virtually.
When you play an online game, your household machine – Xbox, PC, iPad, etc. – is the thing doing the heavy lifting – the AI, the logic, the image rendering, the audio. The difference between this type of online gaming and cloud gaming is that, with the latter, most of this heavy lifting is taken off the shoulders of the gamer’s household and located in a data center.
The ideal is for gaming experiences to be without discs, without downloads, without consoles and even without controllers if VR and AR perform to their hype.
In the same way in which we stream our latest Netflix binge, in the same way in which we stream our daily playlists on Spotify, we are beginning to game in the same way.
Google, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony have all been developing and advancing methods of cloud gaming.
Google Stadia Pro is a game streaming service that enables users to buy games from its cloud-based platform for $10 per month. You could consider this a hybrid, because users still need to buy individual games rather than have total access, yet are now accessing the hardware in a totally different way.
Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass – also available for one Alexander Hamilton per month – provides its users with total access to its game subscription services. Still required to download games in order to play them, users of the coming Xbox incarnation (Xbox Series X/S) will be able to play on the cloud with its integration of Microsoft’s cloud gaming platform xCloud.
PlayStation Now is also working on migrating its gaming infrastructure to the cloud. For $13 a month, users have access to game streaming services yet are also able to download games with local installs. The official site of PlayStation Now implements Adobe Experience Manager to display all of its digital content, utilizing its powerful media assets and robust central management of required languages for its many iterations of its website.
Nintendo Switch is also part of the leading charge of game developers marching towards cloud gaming, which provides its users with a hybrid console where it’s possible to play a number of limited cloud-based games. And like PlayStation Now, the official website of Nintendo Switch is structured and displayed on Adobe Experience Manager.
As these technologies continue their advancement towards further cloud development, the future for cloud gaming seems extremely promising; there are more than two dozen cloud gaming services currently in beta, awaiting their launch date next year.
With reports suggesting that the industry’s value is expected to reach $12 billion worldwide by 2025, stay tuned and online, with a controller in hand – or maybe not.