Cloud gaming will be the next wave in the gaming landscape as it will eliminate the need for expensive consoles or high-end general-purpose computers. However, one needs to wait for 5G before gamers can enjoy flawlessly. Remotely playing games is not new, it started in 2005, but due to the absence of infrastructure and robust internet connectivity, it never became mainstream. Speed is the prime requirement for cloud gaming; GeForce Now, Vortex, among others requiring a high-speed internet connection of 25 Mbps and more. Such demand is expected to be met by the 5G technology, it will not only deliver speed but also drastically decrease the latency, thereby providing a superior customer experience.
And since 5G is around the corner, competition among gaming processing unit (GPU) providers is heating up. Prominent GPU providers such as AMD, NVIDIA, Asus, Gigabyte, Intel, and more, are striving to capture the market with their products. Several cloud gaming service providers like Shadow, Vortex, and Google Stadia are collaborating with the best GPU companies to attract gamers. But while GPU provider has an edge? Let’s find out.
Why Cloud Gaming Is Different
Over the years, NVIDIA has been the clear leader in GPU provider as most of the general-purpose computers are equipped with their GPU. However, AMD also had its play in the market as Sony PS4 and PS4 Pro are powered by AMD’s GPU. Among gamers, NVIDIA vs AMD is what Python vs R is to the data science landscape. While the competition in entry-level GPU is crowded, NVIDIA with its GeForce RTX 2080 Ti – a 4K gaming processor – cornered the market to remain the best choice for users as there are no other competitors.
However, cloud gaming is a different ball game as now GPU providers will have to shift focus from the end-users to the cloud gaming providers such as Shadow, Vortex, Google Stadia, Project xCloud, and more. Since the remote gaming will allow users to play in the max setting, the need for the entry-level and mid-level processor will decrease drastically. Consequently, the GPU providers who can associate with the cloud gaming service organisations will make the difference in coming years.
Which GPUs Do Cloud Gaming Providers Prefer
Shadow, a prominent on-demand game service provider, has been catering to the needs of gamers for three years. The company is among the first to offer 4K gaming. The company has integrated high-end dedicated NVIDIA graphics GTX 1080 equivalent. Besides, Vortex just like Shadow allows users to play games not only on PC but also on tablets and mobiles relies on NVIDIA GPU along with Intel Xeon Processor.
However, Google Stadia will be deploying AMD GPU for its on-demand game service. Although Google has little to no presence in gaming, the tech giant has shown promise to dive into providing cutting-edge game services. AMD has also collaborated with Microsoft for building GPU for Project xCloud – Microsoft’s cloud gaming service.
The one significant difference is that the NVIDIA GPUs are being used while AMD is relying on its partners Google and Microsoft to launch their services this year. NVIDIA is already catering to the need of gamers on the cloud, thereby achieving a head start. Besides, NVIDIA has an added advantage over AMD; it provides its own on-demand gaming with NVIDIA NOW that was announced in 2015. Today, more than 1 million gamers have signed-up for availing its services. This provides a clear edge over its counterpart in offering amazing cloud gaming experience.
However, AMD’s has been the prefered partner for Microsoft that utilises AMD’s CPU and GPU for its Xbox consoles. And with Sony’s announcement of AMD GPU for PS5, AMD has traditional gamers on its side, which might enable it to swiftly migrate its users to cloud with Google Stadia, Microsoft Project xCloud, and potentially Sony’s Playstation Now.
It’s not just that AMD has got big companies on its side, NVIDIA has also collaborated with big gaming companies like Tencent Games. “Combining the Tencent platform with NVIDIA’s GPU technology will provide a world-class experience for gamers everywhere,” said Jeff Fisher, senior vice president of Gaming at NVIDIA. Although NVIDIA is currently the leader in providing GPUs for cloud gaming, a lot can change this year when Amazon, Google, and Microsoft will launch their online gaming services.
Since its just the beginning of cloud gaming, there is a huge potential for other GPU providers like ASUS, MSI, among others, to make their mark. Thus it would be interesting to witness how the cloud gaming landscape evolves.