Did you know you can stream any game you want without buying a console or a disc?
This is called Cloud gaming, a technology launched by companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Sony.
Here, we will tell you everything you need to know about cloud gaming.
However, which one is the best? Should you go for Google Stadia, Xbox Game Pass, or Playstation Now?
In this post, we will go over:
…and much more.
So, without further ado, let’s get started.
Before we get into how Cloud gaming works, it’s important that you know what it is.
Essentially, Cloud gaming is the buzzword that is being thrown around. But, if we label it remote computing, it might make it easier to understand.
What it does is allow you to access any computer remotely by presenting a full desktop experience or limiting it to only act as a game launcher.
So, you’re essentially sending commands to a remote machine.
For instance, if you move your cursor, the remote machine executes the command as a normal computer would. Then, whatever happened on the remote computer is streamed to you with minimum latency.
What’s interesting is that cloud gaming adopts different video encoding methods similar to Netflix. This allows platforms like Shadow to modify the video stream according to your internet connection.
So, if your internet speed is slow you’ll see more compression artifacts.
Simply put, Cloud gaming is a video stream that you can control. This means some platforms will allow you to control a full desktop experience while others will restrict you to only games.
There’s also no need to download games on your PC or console with Cloud gaming. All you need is a stable internet connection.
Now that you understand the basics of Cloud gaming let’s move on to the complicated part.
Let’s take Netflix as an example.
When you connect to Netflix, you’re basically sending a request to a server that contains the content you want to stream. Once the request is accepted, it states to feed you the content in a stream.
Cloud gaming does the same thing. The only difference is that you have to send the command several times.
If you think about it, you’re constantly inputting commands as you play. Pressing A on an Xbox would tell your character to jump, and W on a PC will instruct it to move forward.
So, when it comes to Cloud gaming, you input all these commands over a network.
How does this happen?
When you’re playing a game, the game is actually running on a remote computer. What you see is actually the display that is being streamed to you.
So, all your inputs are sent over the network where the remote machine responds to them and updates them on the stream you’re playing on.
This may seem like a long process, but everything happens in a matter of milliseconds.
This is basically how all cloud gaming services work. But, the way they deliver content can differ.
For example, both Vortex and Shadow allow different access to the remote machine. Shadow gives you full access to the remote Window machine but Vortex restricts the access to the DRM platform of the game you’re playing.
As a result, you can use Shadow for other things besides gaming, such as:
In addition, the machines you connect to are mostly placed inside a data center.
If we take PlayStation Now as an example, whatever you connect to is going to be a few servers that are located in the data centers run by the PlayStation Network.
When it comes to choosing a cloud gaming service, the decision will come down to your preference for certain games.
If you own a gaming console, your options with Cloud gaming are limited. We suggest you either go with PlayStation Now or Xbox Cloud Gaming.
What we like about PlayStation Now is that it’s a complete streaming service that does not require you to own a PlayStation. You can also use it on Windows 10 PC.
Xbox, on the other hand, is a two-prong service for streaming installed games or select titles from the Xbox Game Pass Library.
For PC gaming, you’ll have many options to choose from. But the best one is GeForce.
It works with all PC games that you already own. But, you can still play those games if you buy a local setup in the future.
However, if you want a high-powered PC in the cloud, we suggest you go with Shadow. The only downside is that you’ll need to pay full price for the games you want to play.
Game streaming services and game subscription services both sound the same. So, if you’re confused about the two, here are some key features that will help you tell them apart.
Game streaming is like Netflix but for games. For example, on Google Stadia, you can play any game, but you don’t need to download them or store them on your device.
In a game subscription service, you pay to access a vault of games that you can download and play locally.
These services do not utilize streaming as seen with Apple Arcade.
Cloud gaming has come a long way and is now considered the future of modern gaming. It has many advantages for not only games but also developers and publishers.
One is that it pulls a lot of the up-front costs of purchasing and maintaining a powerful gaming PC console.
Instead, you can pay a small monthly fee to stream content or gain access to a high-powered gaming PC.
There is also a wide variety of cloud gaming services that you can choose from. However, make sure it has a vivid game library before making a decision.
Some of the best cloud gaming services are:
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out in the comments below.