The cloud not only has the ability to store large files, but it also has the ability to handle a majority of the workload when processing data. We see this every day in mobile phone and tablet use. This is one of the reasons game developers are not only looking closely at the cloud for distribution, but are currently developing games and devices that will take full advantage of the cloud.
Cloud Gaming is a Reality and a Dream:
Imagine turning on your laptop, tablet, or smartphone and instantly playing Diablo or Call of Duty. Imagine sitting in traffic and taking out zombies in Left 4 Dead. Imagine no longer going to the store to get a new game or having a huge console taking up space on your entertainment center. If these dreams interest you, then you may not have to wait long.
Sony has already acquired Gaikai, a cloud gaming service capable of streaming full quality games to a variety of devices, for $380 million. This marks the beginning of revolutionizing gaming and gaming devices. As the cloud is capable of handling all of the processing power and storage needed for games, the user only needs to worry about a solid internet connection. This will allow console developers such as Xbox and Sony to release smaller, slimmer, and less expensive gaming device options.
Worries in the Cloud:
With any new technology, especially internet based technology, there will be worries and obstacles. For instance, in order to play flawlessly, the user will need a stable and fast internet connection. For many of us, just streaming a movie is choppy. Therefore, the new technology will only truly benefit those who can sustain a connection of 3 Mbps or higher. Many households have a problem keeping this kind of connection stable.
Another worry doesn’t come from users as much as from game retailers. Without the need for physical media, CDs, DVD and Blu-Ray will be eliminated from the gaming market. The new Xbox 720 was already rumored to have left out the optical drive and will include a solid state drive that will store the games. If this turns out true, game retailers, especially used game retailers, will see a shortage of customers.
As with cloud gaming, an optical drive will be unnecessary and soon obsolete. For gamers who enjoy digging through video game bargain bins, they may be disappointed. However, it may still be a few years until we see this happening. The first step is determining if a server farm can handle an entire video game industry, or even a single game developer. Until a full test of all providers is run, there is no telling what may come from that amount of data streaming to millions of homes around the world.
Stan Garrett is a tech blogger and avid gamer who understands how the cloud can be used for large file transfer.