Despite being heralded as a leap in the modern gaming industry, there are certain problems that Cloud Gaming poses
With many large companies including the likes of SEGA, XBOX, and Sony stepping into cloud gaming, it is sometimes a wonder why the industry is not able to take off into the mainstream yet.
The advantages of Cloud Gaming is obvious, being that the market demographic without access to high-end hardware to run the latest AAA games are able to run it by streaming it from a central location with high latency network. However, there is one major caveat that is stopping consumers from jumping into what cloud gaming has to offer.
Ownership of Digital Media
The primary concern with cloud gaming, aside from the infrastructure, stems from concerns over ownership of digital media.
As a consumer, you have no guarantees when it comes to cloud games. It is in essence a lease for a title from the companies who own the title, which is highly volatile considering there may be future changes in the industry and the company has legal rights to terminate a consumer’s ownership of digital media.
In such a situation, the consumer has no leverage whatsoever and will have their spendings completely thwarted away. It brings the discussion – is the focal point of buying video game to attain the experience or to own the title outright?
The issue with cloud gaming is not that it is inherently bad, but the level of security it offers users is unfair and not worth the risk for some.
In its current stage, cloud gaming as a prospect is much more viable than it was when it first emerged a decade ago as an idea. With the expansion of 5g network and 6g networks in the future, most consumers in first-world country or second-world country can afford it.
In 2018, 50% of the world had access to the internet. By 2023 it will be 66%, or 5.3 billion people, according to research from Cisco, a networking giant. Three-quarters of these people will be consumers as opposed to businesses and nearly half will be accessing the internet through a mobile connection. The global average mobile speed is set to treble from 13.2 Mbps in 2018 to 43.9 Mbps in 2023, while the fixed broadband speed is forecast to double from 45.9 Mbps to 110.4 Mbps during the same period.
So, the ability to turn all this infrastructure into viable cloud-based gaming will not be too costly as the upfront investment has already been realised. The bigger question for publishers and content providers is whether Western video game markets will embrace cloud-based gaming as an alternative to traditional physical based or digital download based gaming?
Cloud Gaming has first been demonstrated as early as at the 2000 E3, during the .com boom. In the end it was decided to halt development in the year 2007 to wait until the infrastructure and cable internet providers were able to scale appropriately to reach the bandwidth desired.
Nviadia was the first to announce its venture in this sector in May 2012, which soon expanded into a full-scale project available on computers in 2017.
There are constantly new developments in the sector with Nintendo, Amazon, Apple, Stadia, Steam, and many more venturing to make new innovations.
From this, it can be seen that companies are interested in cloud-gaming, if anything for the prospect of its market demographic reach, it will still remained to be seen if it is viable and can combat the physical ownership vs digital ownership discussion.