Cloud Gaming – Bringing the Disruption


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, etcwhen-you-playingdefense-nbamemes-but-gotta-ask-what-are-those-😂😭-773592

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.geforce-now-homescreen-100750236-large

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.




  1. HenryChenChen · ·

    Wow! Very interesting point, I have never thought about we can play games in this way! I love to play video games and I bought a decent set of gaming-rigs 5 years ago. But now, it doesn’t work so well with so many games that have such high system requirements.
    The gaming rigs will never follow the pace of new games! No matter how expensive they are. The idea of cloud gaming is so great that we don’t have to buy an expensive system every 5 or 6 years but still able to play those fancy games. I think with the VR games become more popular, the idea of cloud gaming will likely to become reality.

  2. danmiller315 · ·

    This was a really cool post. I think we have already seen this begin, as my roommates and I load new games directly to our Xbox One the day they come out, completely eliminating the need for a physical disc. While the cost of the disc and case to the companies was minimal given the volume of production, I think this served as a gateway to the emergence of cloud gaming that you are referencing here. This is just another great example of the sharing economy that we discussed in class a few weeks ago. It’s amazing to see just how many industries are moving to this model.

  3. Molly Pighini · ·

    This is a very interesting post. It seems everything is moving to the cloud! With the extensive amount of technology that goes into video game creation, I am surprised, however, that gaming is just making its entrance to the cloud. I would have thought that this industry would be a first or an early mover. I am wondering, based on your comments regarding the internet’s readiness, if the amount of content/interaction needed for gaming has delayed its development on the cloud. Now, it will be interesting to see how long it takes for all video games to become cloud-based…my guess is not long. I am also curious about the sentiments of the video game companies. Will this result in lower or higher revenues for them?

  4. oliverhowe14 · ·

    I think that in the next few years we will see more and more industries being disrupted as people move towards a shared economy. What began with bikes in cities has now moved to include cars (Uber, Lyft) and helicopters (Blade), and now is starting to include gaming services. I wouldn’t say that I am an avid gamer, but I play enough to always want to be up to date with the latest technology.
    I think this is a huge step forward from where we are currently, with being able to stream games from your PS4 or Xbox 1 to your computer via an app. This still requires you to sink hundreds of dollars into a gaming system, which will inevitably become obsolete in the next year or so. Cloud gaming has the capability to completely change the gaming industry, as well as other industries in similar positions, and I am interested in seeing how the big industry players (Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo) react.

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