In my heart of hearts, I’m a gamer. I have been since I was a kid and my mother bought my father an Intellivision. It was something I took to almost immediately. He did a great job playing sports games with me, but with scores like 84-7 in football, I figured it was going to be more my calling than his.
Fast forward to present day where in my house sits an Xbox 360, a PlayStation® 3 and a Nintendo Wii™. When I had a PC desktop, that was used for gaming too, but I’ve since embraced my mobile roots (and a Mac), so computer gaming has fallen off a bit. Yet as I read a recent article about cloud gaming via OnLive® and Gaikai, I’m excited to look to the future for new gaming opportunities that can potentially be device-agnostic.
The digital market has steadily been increasing over the years starting with the PC side due to outlets like Steam and Direct2Drive, but the console market is heating up with each console’s respective marketplace. The ability to download a game as soon as it’s available for purchase has been a great boon in the direct-to-consumer business and is helping game publishers remain profitable in a transitional economy.
So why does cloud gaming matter? Just like regular cloud storage, the attraction is the ability to access your data from any location. While the days of carrying multiple flash or back up drives with you everywhere haven’t (and may never) gone the way of the Dodo, cloud storage gives you freedom.
As a gamer, the ability to play a game I’m into from any location is equally appealing. Imagine a scenario where you are playing a game late into the evening and quit just before you reach that next milestone. You can continue playing again from your tablet or mobile device on your commute (public transportation, of course) or during your lunch break. Return home and you can continue as if you never even left.
The concept behind cloud gaming on a console is fascinating. One impact this may have is where the console itself is built to be a smaller, sleeker device because hard drives are no longer required. Given how much space my three systems consume, I would love this! The compact size with the inclusion of cloud gaming could make consoles more portable and potentially challenge the tablet market. I’m probably getting ahead of myself, but if you’re a gamer, your feet should be tapping with joy (something like this Buick LaCrosse commercial) at the thought of what the future holds.
Let’s not forget data, either. As it stands, for me to take my Xbox 360 profile (aka, my Gamertag) anywhere, I need to put it on a memory unit then I’m on my way. With cloud based gaming, all my information, my achievements and my saved games could be up in the heavens ready to be plucked down at a moments notice so I can layeth the smacketh down on any of my gaming brethren. In the article, Microsoft’s Brian Prince is quoted as saying they are working on something cloud specific for consoles, but won’t go into specifics. For now, we just have to look to the “clouds” and wait and see what it is.
What’s your take on cloud based gaming? Comment below or tweet me @Seagate_Con and let me know what you think.