In the last few years, gaming has become one of the fastest-growing industries in India. From the days of playing Tetris on the computer to implementing AI in GTA5, the gaming industry has always been at the forefront of innovation and progress.
However, a new chapter has now been added to the world of gaming through cloud computing. Cloud computing has revolutionised video streaming services and led to the foundation of giant corporations such as Google and Netflix. A prime example of a platform that grew on the cloud, YouTube has scaled massively in the last decade to provide an even better video streaming experience.
While the gaming industry’s future is expected to skyrocket in the coming year, according to a report by Research and Markets, the global gaming market was worth $ 167.9 billion in 2020, and was expected to reach $ 287.1 billion by 2026, growing at CAGR of 9.24 percent between 2021-2026. However, cloud gaming continues to remain in an infantile stage. Companies like Microsoft are taking giant leaps towards the growth of AI in the gaming industry through cloud computing.
Ahead of its Xbox and Bethesda Showcase, Microsoft announced the latest updates on its expansions of the Xbox Game Pass subscription services. From increasing the number of screens, to including smart TVs from third-party manufacturers and adding its own streaming devices, Microsoft is on track to capture a more significant portion of the gaming market. It plans to use the cloud to provide an Xbox cloud gaming subscription service on devices with less horsepower. The company already offers a similar service on Android and iOS devices via a beta version of its Xbox Cloud Gaming service.
A couple of years back, when Google announced its cloud gaming service Stadia, it was met with scepticism. At that time, it was advertised as being capable of streaming 4k resolution video at 60 fps to players through the company’s many data centres across Chrome browser, Chromecast, and Pixel devices. Tech gurus, however, argued that the streaming experience was not as smooth as a home console.
But Stadia was just the beginning of a new gaming era.
In September 2020, Amazon announced its cloud gaming platform Amazon Luna. Amazon Luna is a cloud-based video streaming service for Fire TV, smartphones, tablets, and computers. It competes with the likes of Microsoft xCloud and Google Stadia.
Apart from the 4k support at 60fps, Luna is also said to integrate Twitch– a popular video streaming site that allows gamers to broadcast and game simultaneously. Amazon Luna runs on Windows servers and NVIDIA GPUs in Amazon’s AWS compute cloud, allowing developers to port existing games to Luna easily.
With the latest Game Pass Subscription expansion, Xbox is working with global TV manufacturers to embed the Xbox experience directly into internet-connected televisions with no extra hardware. It also explores new subscription offerings for Xbox Game Pass, allowing more players to experience immersive games across devices. Besides this, Xbox is also building its own streaming devices for cloud gaming to reach gamers on display devices like TV or monitor, without a console that could ultimately change the gaming experience.
Currently, Microsoft is upgrading its data centres across the globe with the Xbox Series X hardware to improve the gaming experience by enabling faster load times, improved frame rates, and the ability to play Xbox Series X|S optimised games.
Later this year, Xbox plans to add cloud gaming directly into the Xbox app on PC, integrate it into their console experience, and provide users with experiences like’ try before you download.’
While cloud gaming is currently a barely functioning concept, the technology represents the future of gaming. It won’t be too long before more players adopt cloud gaming to provide a hassle-free immersive gaming experience to their customers.
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Ritika Sagar is currently pursuing PDG in Journalism from St. Xavier's, Mumbai. She is a journalist in the making who spends her time playing video games and analyzing the developments in the tech world.