When the term Cloud Gaming is mentioned, the expression "Netflix for Gaming" is not far away. But what does it mean in concrete terms? We explain it to you!
Many gamers who gamble on a PC or a console usually follow a certain rhythm: In order to play the latest and graphically most elaborate games, they keep their hardware as up-to-date as possible. For PC gamers this means: From time to time a new computer or at least a new graphics card is needed. That can be expensive. A gaming laptop can also cost over 1,000 euros. And for console gamers? Sony's PlayStation 3, for example, was released in 2007, while PlayStation 4 came six years later. The price of the consoles at the launch? Around 400 to 600 euros each.
Which end device? It doesn't matter!
Cloud Gaming breaks this rhythm. Because the computing power no longer comes from your own PC or console. Instead - as the name suggests - it is outsourced to the cloud. Powerful servers stream the games directly to the respective end device. The end device only has to display the image of the video stream. Thus, even games with top graphics can be played on older laptops, smartphones or smart TVs.
The parallels to Netflix cannot be denied: What series and movies are for the US streaming service, games are for cloud gaming. One approach is that the cloud gaming providers provide a more or less large library of games. These can then be selected via an app. The respective game starts immediately. Download or update? Not necessary.
Any challenges? Bandwidth and latency!
But there is one important difference to Netflix and Co.: A movie or series can be buffered. This means that the video stream continues to be loaded in the background while watching. Usually the user doesn't notice if the internet connection is weak from time to time. Buffering is not possible for gaming. In contrast to a film, what happens is not predetermined. The player always decides "live" whether to go left or right, for example. Therefore gamers depend on sufficient and above all reliable bandwidth. Otherwise there will be jerking or a collapsing picture quality. Especially since cloud gaming generates very large amounts of data.
Another challenge is the latency or network delay. After all, every press of a button on the controller or keyboard should trigger the corresponding action on the screen within a few milliseconds. With cloud gaming, the data has to go a long way. They are not only recorded and processed, but also encoded and transmitted, for example. This is where the providers are in particular demand. They have to provide a good infrastructure to ensure that the data streams get to the servers and back quickly.