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Should You Switch to Cloud Gaming?


There are more than 2.5 billion gamers around the world as of early 2019. And these gamers are playing various video games through different platforms, such as PC, XBox, PlayStation, mobile phones, tablets, and others.

But the gaming industry is undergoing a paradigm shift right now. Gaming giants, such as Google, Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, Amazon, Verizon, Walmart, Electronic Arts, and Nvidia are rumored to be testing a new tech that would redefine the way video games are being played, distributed, and sold.

While other companies are quietly experimenting behind closed doors, some big players, like Google and Microsoft, have announced publicly that they are working on a new gaming technology where downloads, discs, consoles, and joysticks will be no longer used. Gamers will be able to stream their favorite games as easily as they stream their favorite movies or TV shows.

This new technology is called cloud gaming. This may sound like a new concept, but it’s not. Tech companies have been experimenting with this idea for the past several years, but it is only now that cloud gaming was able to transform from being a concept to something real.

What Exactly Is Cloud Gaming?

Normally, if you want to play a video game, you need to download the installer to your computer or insert the game disc to your console before you are able to play. Your game only runs as fast as your hardware allows.

Cloud gaming is playing a video game using a remote server instead of a local machine. With cloud gaming, you’ll be relying on a remote server located thousands of miles away. You’ll be able to stream games the way you’d stream a Netflix or YouTube video. You’ll be receiving compressed video frames and those videos will be reacting to your inputs.

Whenever you press a button to control your character, the input is sent to the remote server, updating the game about the changes, and then the server sends you a new video frame showing the result of the button you pressed. Multiply that by 30 or 60 frames per second and you’ve got yourself a video.

How Does Cloud Gaming Work?

The reason why tech companies failed at introducing cloud gaming years ago was its requirement. Cloud gaming needs a stable and fast internet connection in order to run smoothly, since all the information, including saved data, is stored in the cloud. If you’re located in an area with spotty or slow internet connection, this might not work for you.

Cloud gaming requires a monthly or yearly subscription fee to be able to access content from the service. In some cases, you also need to purchase the game on top of the subscription fee. For instance, in the case of GeForce Now, you need to purchase the game from Steam or Battlenet in order to play the game. But you can also use the purchased game locally, as long as you have the necessary hardware.

Once you have a subscription, you can open the cloud gaming service app on your device and choose a game to play.

Instead of downloading updates or other additional content, you can immediately jump into the game because the server has prepared everything for you. These servers are made up for high-end computers, allowing cloud games to run even at very high settings. These servers vary in structure, depending on the service you subscribed to.

Cloud gaming companies update their hardware regularly to ensure that your games will run smoothly at all times. Your saved data is also saved in the cloud, so you don’t have to worry about erasing it. This also allows you to switch from your PC to your phone or console without losing your game data.

What Are the Benefits of Cloud Gaming?

Cloud gaming is quickly changing the gaming industry because tech companies and gamers are realizing the advantages of this technology. Aside from introducing innovation, cloud gaming brings a lot of opportunities for the players, the developers, and the game service providers. Let’s look at some of the reasons why cloud gaming is considered the future of gaming.

1. More competition

The rise of cloud gaming has given the players more options as more developers are able to compete in the cloud. In fact, tech giants Sony and Microsoft are currently charging 30% to developers to have their games released on their platforms. This offer is tempting because developers will be able to get more for their games they have the chance to release their games under a reputable brand. Cloud gaming pushes the big brands to be more competitive, while giving other industry players the opportunity to enter the market and release their own product on the cloud.

2. Value for the consumer

Cloud gaming allows gamers to play an extensive range of games without needing to purchase the titles individually. You don’t need to worry about the game taking up your storage space, nor will you be limited to the games available on your hard drive. There are thousands of games in the cloud for you to choose from, ready to be played anytime.

3. No more piracy

Piracy is a very serious problem in the gaming industry, and cloud gaming helps to address this issue. With cloud gaming, there is no physical gaming software that players have to download because they can play on the cloud servers. This means that games won’t be easily pirated anymore. And as cloud gaming follows the Netflix and Spotify models, we can expect piracy to be reduced massively in the future.

4. Mode devices to choose from

One of the limitations of the previous gaming setup is that once you purchase a game for your console, you’re stuck with it forever. Xbox players play with other Xbox players, while Playstation gamers are also stuck with each other. Cloud gaming removes the limitations of console gaming that has been frustrating a lot of gamers for a while now. With cloud gaming, you have the freedom to use the device or devices that you want. Games that are traditionally enjoyed on console devices can now be played on smartphones and laptops. For example, the popular game, Grand Theft Auto, that is originally played on traditional gaming consoles, is now available for Android and iOS phones.

5. No more hardware limitations

One of the most frustrating things about buying traditional games before is that sometimes your graphics card is outdated or your computer does not have enough RAM to run the game. Not with cloud gaming. You no longer have to worry whether your hardware is capable of running the game because all will be run in the remote server. The cloud gaming service compresses the video, lowers the bandwidth, and accesses the GPU in the cloud, so even games with high-end graphics requirement can be enjoyed using lower-end hardware. Just make sure that your system is optimized by using PC cleaning tool to make sure that your games will run smoothly and error-free.

Popular Cloud Gaming Platforms

There are a lot of cloud gaming service providers, offering an extensive selection of games and providing varied gaming experience to players right now. Let’s look at some of the most popular cloud gaming services and what games they offer.

GeForce NOW

Offering more than 400 supported games, GeForce NOW ranks high in the list of popular cloud gaming services today. It has access to digital stores, such as Steam and Uplay, which means that gamers have the option to play the titles from their existing gaming library or buy a new one. Keeping the games updated will be the responsibility of the gaming service provider, so you don’t have to worry about installing the latest patches.

GeForce NOW does not need maintenance. You don’t need to wait for driver updates or game patches so you can focus on playing. One of the features that set GeForce NOW apart from its competitors is its ultra streaming mode. This doubles the streaming speed from 60FPS to 120FPS or higher. So no matter what device you are using, you won’t have to worry about latency. Plus, you can access your account on a Mac, a PC, or a Shield TV.

PlayStation Now

PlayStation Now plans start at $19.99 per month, but you can take advantage of the seven-day free trial to see how their service works. PlayStation Now allows you to enjoy more than 700 games that were initially available on PS2, PS3, and PS4. It also adds to the game collection every month for users to enjoy.

PlayStation Now also provides players with access to unlimited downloads of exclusive PS4 games that you can play directly on your PS4 console. These games include God of War, Bloodborne, and The Last of US. Unfortunately, you need to buy your own PS4 controller in order to use this service.


Shadow is a premium game streaming service that is only available in selected areas in the United States. Though its growing number of data centers all over the country means that it will be going nationwide very soon. Shadow claims that whatever you can do on a high-end computer can also be done on their Shadow app.

Shadow has a dedicated app for all devices so you can bring your game anywhere. What’s more amazing is that you can switch devices in the middle of the game if necessary. The service requires 15Mb/s internet connection speed for best performance, but most of the apps have been optimized for less optimal connection speeds.

Shadow costs $34.95 per month, which is more expensive than other gaming solutions available right now, but you can cancel your subscription anytime.


This is another promising cloud gaming service that allows users to play their favorite games from the Vortex library on any device. All you need to do is create an account and browse the game library. You can play any game that you want on any device without downloading or installing anything.

Vortex currently supports more than 100 titles, including Far Cry 5, Fortnite, and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG). It is a great gaming service for newbies because everything has been simplified. The signup process is easy to fill out and you don’t need to configure your device in order to start playing. All games are ready for you to play in the dashboard.

Vortex is also more affordable with its $9.99 a month plan. If you’re not happy with the service, you can cancel your subscription at any time.

Google Stadia

With the rising popularity of cloud gaming, big players, such as Google, have started joining the fray. In March 2019, Google announced that it will be entering the cloud gaming market, saying, “The future of gaming is not a box.”

Google’s cloud gaming service, Stadia, is yet to be released, but the hype around the service makes everyone excited for the launch. Stadia will allow users to start a game from any device — smartphone, an old desktop, a laptop, or a simple Smart TV.

As long as you have a good internet connection, you will be able to enjoy 4K gaming at 60FPS. The minimum requirement is 10 Mbps for 720p gaming at 60FPS. For the best performance, you’ll need at least 35 Mbps.

Google Stadia is set to be released later this year with prices ranging from free to $9.99 a month.

Should You Switch to Cloud Gaming?

As we can see, cloud gaming is the future. It allows gamers to enjoy their favorite games on any device, without the hardware limitations associated with traditional gaming. As long as you have a good internet connection and a subscription with one of the cloud gaming service providers, you can enjoy even high-end games anytime, anywhere.

Should you switch to cloud gaming? With big players like Google and Microsoft joining the bandwagon, it is only a matter of time before cloud gaming becomes mainstream. If you’re hesitant to make the switch, you can choose a cloud gaming service that supports both cloud and traditional gaming. But one thing’s for sure, cloud gaming is here to stay.

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