Cast your mind back to 2014 and virtual reality and augmented reality games were the talk of the technology industry. After the failed inception of VR decades prior this decade was supposed to herald a Golden Age for the technology.
Despite various attempts from games developers, VR & AR have thus far failed to make their way into the mainstream. They have now been replaced by the latest craze to hit the industry – cloud gaming.
Later this year Google and Apple will launch their own versions of cloud gaming which are expected to revolutionise the way we interact with video games and consumable content. But what do we know about cloud gaming so far and will it really have a revolutionary effect on gaming?
What is cloud gaming?
It was a concept that first found its way into the mainstream in 2016 when Google and Apple announced their plans to work on it. Cloud gaming was a response to Netflix, the movie & TV streaming site that completely changed the face of entertainment.
Essentially cloud gaming will allow players to access a massive library of video games and interactive videos without the need of a traditional console. Everything is handled by a remote server meaning your computer, TV or phone will essentially be a command controller.
Just like Netflix cloud gaming is set to operate on a subscription service which will most probably have different payment tiers. Players on the highest tier will have access to absolutely everything.
The official release date of Google Stadia is yet to be confirmed but it is expected to be released in the third quarter of 2019. $13 billion is the figure rumoured to have been invested by Google into this new technology which promises 4K seamless gaming.
Users will be able to jump from Youtube (via a link) to play any game on the servers within a matter of 5 seconds. The quality of the game should remain relatively unaffected by your device as the servers are remote.
Not content with revolutionising the mobile phone market Apple are now following Google’s lead with their own version of cloud gaming – Apple Arcade. Whilst Google are promising users the very best of AAA games, Apple’s offering falls a little short of that level.
The majority of games available will be ones that we are used to seeing on the App Store, and will only be available to play on Apple registered devices. Rather than a cloud gaming service Apple Arcade will be more akin to a PlayStation Now subscription.
Will cloud gaming be a fad?
Early signs suggest that cloud gaming is much more than just a fad. Experts are suggesting that cloud gaming will have a similar impact on video games that Netflix had on movies & TV. Particularly Google Stadia which will link YouTube and video gaming.
It’s not just Google and Apple that are getting involved either, tech giants like Microsoft, Sony and even Facebook are all developing their own form of cloud gaming.
Unlike VR, cloud gaming looks like a solid tech advance that will actually take off and change the way that we game for the better.
Sonia Theo has been writing for more than 15 years, first starting with fantasy stories. She has a bachelor’s degree in English and German, and one in Arts and Design. In the past years, her interests in gaming and tech news grew, so she started writing articles, guides and reviews for players. In her spare time, you’ll see Sonia playing WoW, crafting decorations and jewelry, or walking her dog. For Digital Overload, Sonia Theo will cover all things tech and gaming, delivering fresh updates on your favorite games.