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BY MD WAQUAR HAIDER
The arrival of Cloud-based game streaming services like Apple Arcade, Google Stadia, and the upcoming Microsoft XCloud is all set to change the way people play games, thus threatening the very survival of the traditional gaming industry ruled by consoles like Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation.
Cloud-based gaming is the new live-streaming trend after music and video. One big advantage of cloud gaming over the traditional one is the lower cost of setup which can be played on smartphones, tablets, PCs and even TV.
A key advantage is that gaming enthusiasts can play with multiple players across multiple platforms with ease. The players are also introduced to leading world gaming championships such as Fortnite World Cup, Intel Extreme Masters and many more.
“Cloud gaming has become the future of the gaming industry; it could kill the traditional console. The advantage of cloud gaming is that players would not rely on discs or need to download video games to play on high-powered PCs or gaming consoles such as Xbox or PlayStation,” Marthesh Nagendra, Country Manager, India, Middle-East and SAARC, NETGEAR, told IANS.
India may see a $370 million gaming market by 2020, growing at more than 50 percent year-on-year (YoY).
According to market research firm Newzoo, there are more than 2.5 billion gamers across the world now. Combined, they will spend $152.1 billion on games in 2019.
Revenues generated by the console segment will reach $61.1 billion in 2022, increasing by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 9.7 percent.
With the increase in sizes of mobile display screens, better Internet speed, and high-quality gaming routers, the gamer will enjoy frustration-free online and Cloud gaming by reducing lag and latency spikes.
“Internet and networking gadgets’ advancement such as dual-band gigabit routers have also made decent contributions to Cloud-based gaming support. According to recent studies, the Cloud-based gaming market is set to grow to $8 billion in the year 2025 from $1 billion,” said John Dong, Director, Tenda India, a leading provider of networking devices.
Three known tech giants — Apple, Google, and Microsoft — are primarily pushing the limits to capture the Cloud-based video game subscription market.
Apple in September launched its subscription gaming service, Apple Arcade. The service, which is available for Rs 99 in India, works on iPhones, iPads, Apple TV and Mac systems. It allows up to six family members to share the same subscription for one monthly fee.
Taking on Apple Arcade, Google launched its gaming subscription service Google Stadia in November with 22 games on board.
Simultaneously, Tech giant Microsoft has finally launched Project xCloud game streaming service preview for Xbox users in the US, the UK, and Korea.
Cloud allows users to play high-end games on low-end consoles which is cheaper for gaming companies, as they only pay for bandwidth actually used by their traffic.
One of the major benefits of a Cloud-based gaming service is that the same game can be made available on multiple platforms and one can play any game on any device which it supports at any location. (IANS)
By Radhika Parashar
With the onset of 5G, Cloud-based gaming that eliminates the need to invest in expensive hardware is set to gather momentum at a time when the gaming industry is witnessing an upward curve globally including in India.
Cloud-based games like “Assassin’s Creed”, “Call of Duty”, “Counter Strike”, “PUBG” and “Fortnite” are very popular, contributing to a turnover of $135 billion globally and over $890 million in India last year.
Stepping into the gaming arena, Google this month introduced its own Cloud gaming service called “Stadia” that aims to help developers create games with “nearly unlimited resources” without being dependent on hardware and computing.
The platform is essentially a Cloud-based infrastructure where game developers would be able to design and write games to run directly on the Internet giant’s hardware at data centres.
The tech giant believes that game developers will no longer be limited to computing and will be able to create games with “nearly unlimited resources”.
Google will also launch a game controller to use with its service, called the “Stadia controller”.
“We are currently witnessing how over-the-top (OTT) content is impacting our traditional entertainment and television and as the Cloud-based game streaming services catch-up globally as well as in India, the same will happen to gaming as well,” Thomas George, Senior Vice President (SVP), Head at CyberMedia Research (CMR) told IANS.
Primarily based on video or file streaming, Cloud-gaming only requires high-speed Internet connection to turn any screen into a gaming arena to provide gamers frictionless experience on all devices, including smartphones.
However, the transition from hardware-dominated gaming habits to advanced Cloud gaming still requires more time, advanced game-oriented technology on smartphones as well as uninterrupted high-speed Internet to mature as expected, say experts.
“The temporary challenges while transitioning are going to be around making all the popular games available on the game streaming services, coupled with network speed and connectivity,” said Thomas said.
“However, upcoming technologies like Extended Reality (XR) which will ride on 5G connectivity will accelerate the trend of Cloud-based mobile gaming in the next three to four years,” he added.
A recent “State of Online Gaming” research by content delivery network (CDN) service provider Limelight Networks noted that game enthusiasts not only enjoy participating in digital gaming, but watching other players has also become a popular trend.
Mobile phones have emerged as the most common device used for games globally and players choosing to download games on their smartphones has become the most preferred way of accessing games.
“As more people continue to join the digital bandwagon, the need to transfer data processing to the cloud will become an industry imperative,” said Jaheer Abbas, Senior Regional Director, South East Asia and India, Limelight Network.
Realising the potential of the Cloud-based gaming, social networking giants including Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube and WeChat have begun dedicating in-app spaces only to games in an attempt to increase user-engagement on their platforms.
Apple this month its first game subscription service called “Apple Arcade” which has been promised to feature over 100 new and exclusive games as part of a new tab on the App Store across iOS devices.
Experts say that Cloud-based games and game streaming services like Google Stadia and Apple Arcade – along with in-app games on social networking platforms – would make gaming accessible to a wider set of audience, eliminating the trend of brands merchandising gaming with dedicated devices. (IANS)