Words on the street are that if you were a middle-school kid, you brag about your GPA (or at least my friends did). If you were a basketball player, you might brag about what shoes you got. Now if you were a gamer, you brag about what gaming-rigs you have, or what PC build you have, RAM, Processor, Graphic Card, etc
I remembered back in the days that I would brag about the desktop PC that I have back home had a 1 Gigabyte of RAM (Random Access Memory), which, DON’T LAUGH, was a ton of RAM back in the days and I could run almost any game at that time. However, that time is long gone. Nowadays, processor is faster than ever, storage is larger than ever. As a college student living on a budget, getting a top-notch gaming PC is a wish I could only keep on wishing for.
Now here is the twist !!!
CLOUD GAMING is here to save the day. In a sentence, Cloud Gaming is the ability to borrow your friend’s best gears on-demand, on your demand 24/7/365 to wherever you are. Now let me explain further about the idea of Cloud Gaming: very similar to video on-demand, the actual games will be stored, executed and rendered on a remote device, in most case a server. Then the result will be stream directly to a consumer’s computers over the internet, meanwhile any input from the customers will also transfer over the internet and execute one the remote device.
WHICH MEANS, you get access to the top-notch gears and set-ups without actually owning them. Then you just stream whatever is going on that remote computer to your own computer.
Pic: Running Video Games on a Mac using Cloud Gaming
The idea of cloud gaming was first introduced in 2000 at E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) a video-game industry trade-events and conference. The original offering was cloud gaming service over Wi-Fi to handheld devices. Over time, although many companies had been devoting into the development of cloud gaming, the infrastructure was not there, or in other words, the Internet was not yet fast enough to support the operation. With many forerunners, like G-cluster, Gaikai, OnLive trying and failing to bring the idea alive, finally NVIDIA seems to have the answer. In 2015, NVIDIA launched its cloud-gaming service, GeForce NOW closed alpha version exclusively to owners of NVIDIA’s Shield family, which means if you have a NVIDIA’s hardware, mostly graphic cards, you could sign up for the service. Later this January, GeForce NOW beta is finally landed on PCs. With the support of NVIDIA GRID, which enhances graphics processing and video encoding into a single device, the latest version of GeForce NOW is able to decrease the input latency for the cloud base video game streaming, and truly provide a seamless experience for gamers to run games remotely.
Pic: GeForce Now homescreen
I am not only stoked about the power of technology, but also interested in the shift of business model that our generation is experiencing. We no longer own cars, but use Zipcar, Uber; we no longer own music, but use Spotify, Pandora; we no longer own movies, DVDs, but use Netflix, Hulu. Now, or in the future, we no longer need to own a gaming device. On the one hand, I am somewhat sad that we are running out of things to brag about, and on the other, I wonder how the future would play out. Since GeForce NOW is still running as a beta test version, the service is free of charge, but most likely be running on a subscription-model in the future. If GeForce NOW comes to a huge success, the technology and service will likely disrupt the entire gaming industry. Will one day that we do not need to purchase the ownership of a single video game at all, but get instant access to any video game online with a subscription service? Which I believe is highly likely. With Sony and Nintendo already running their own subscription service and the upcoming introduction of 5G Internet, soon enough, very thing will be streaming instant to wherever we want it. Now, how far could cloud gaming go, and how will it disrupt the industry are something worth waiting to see.