The Trouble With Game Streaming Part 1
Game streaming as the future of gaming seems to be the talk of the industry. While it’s an interesting concept that’s already in play across a few services such as PS Now (PlayStation Now) making Sony one of the larger companies finding success with cloud gaming. Of course, this is in conjunction with all the other ways to purchase and play games. Just because Sony has found success with game streaming doesn’t mean that the industry is ready to make that shift.
Game streaming faces several hurdles if it’s ever going to make it in the big time
Aside from Sony, NVIDIA also employs game streaming across its Shield line of devices. The thing about streaming is that it depends on your internet connection. NVIDIA’s GeForce NOW requires a minimum speed of 10Mps, that’s just to get started. Higher resolutions, of course, call for higher speeds.
This is nice for people that have access to higher speeds, where I live you’re lucky to hit 9Mps on a good day. There is, however, another requirement that you might’ve noticed in the image above. That’s a less than 60ms ping time to one of six worldwide data centers is required.
For those who don’t know what ping is, it’s basically the amount of time it takes for two computers to communicate. For gaming, this usually applies to how long your system takes to communicate with the games server. The higher the ping the longer it takes for your system to communicate with the game server, this is what leads to lag.
While you can get excellent internet speeds if you’re fortunate enough to live in an area where they’re offered. You can’t pay for a better ping, as a customer it’s something that’s out of your control.
In short, the internet infrastructure in this country has a long way to go if game streaming is the future. While many in metropolitan areas would have little problem meeting the speed requirements for streaming. As things stand now those in smaller areas would be left out, which wouldn’t be good for the gaming market.
A move to an all-streaming future would also mean a change in home consoles. The move would have less of an impact on PCs since they’re generally not just dedicated gaming devices. Currently, home consoles must strike a balance between power and affordability. This balance usually puts them below high-end gaming PCs, and closer to something in middle, but since they’re not running as much as a standard PC more resources are available to play games.
Should we move solely into game streaming, then home consoles would need to change. Well, need may be too strong of a word, but it’s safe to say that home consoles as we know them would become obsolete.
What are some of the ways that consoles may change? For starters they’d probably become smaller, that’s because they wouldn’t need to be as powerful since they would be streaming the games from a remote server. Since they’d be smaller because they wouldn’t require as much power, it stands to reason that they’d become cheaper to manufacture. This, in turn, should mean that they would cost lest for gamers to purchase.
More to Come In Part 2
While there are numerous hurdles to overcome for game streaming, there’s also the upside of what it could do for the home console market and what it costs to take up gaming. Of course, there’s more to discuss regarding cloud-based gaming then can fit into a single article. So, part two of this article will be up on Friday, where we look at how data caps and service agreements could also potentially doom game streaming.
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