Cloud gaming

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Not to be confused with Cloud (video game).

Cloud gaming, sometimes called gaming on demand, is a type of online gaming. Currently there are two main types of cloud gaming: cloud gaming based on video streaming and cloud gaming based on file streaming. Cloud gaming aims to provide end users frictionless and direct play-ability of games across various devices.

History[edit]

In 2000, G-cluster demonstrated cloud gaming technology at E3. The original offering was cloud gaming service over Wi-Fi to handheld devices.[citation needed] Video game developer Crytek began research on a cloud gaming system in 2005 for Crysis, but halted development in 2007 to wait until the infrastructure and cable Internet providers were up for the task.[1] OnLive officially launched in March 2010, and its game service began in June with the sale of its OnLive microconsole.[2][3] On April 2, 2015, it was announced that Sony Computer Entertainment had acquired OnLive's patents, and OnLive closed its doors. In November, SFR launched a commercial cloud gaming service on IPTV in France, powered by G-cluster technology.[4][5]

Gaikai, which allows game publishers and others to embed free streaming gameplay trials on their websites, launched its open beta in February 2011 with games from Electronic Arts including Dead Space 2, Mass Effect 2, and The Sims 3.[6] Gaikai-enabled games can be embedded directly inside websites, on Facebook,[7] or on mobile devices[8] and IPTVs.[9] In spring 2011, Gaikai went live with multiple partnerships including Walmart and The Escapist, as well as announcing deals with Eurogamer and Capcom.[10] Gaikai-enabled games stream from within web browsers without requiring downloads, special plug-ins, or registration, and can be activated by clicking on an enabled advertisement or visiting a Gaikai-powered game destination.[11] Sony purchased Gaikai, then the largest cloud gaming service provider, in July 2012.[12]

GeForce NOW is a cloud-based game-streaming service offered by NVIDIA that launched on October 1, 2015. The service is available exclusively to owners of NVIDIA’s SHIELD family of Android-based gaming devices, which includes the SHIELD Portable, SHIELD Tablet, and SHIELD Android TV.[13]

Types[edit]

Cloud gaming is an umbrella term used to describe a form of online game distribution. The most common methods of cloud gaming currently are video (or pixel) streaming and file streaming.

"Cloud gaming", also in some cases called "gaming on demand", is a type of online gaming that allows direct and on-demand video streaming of games onto computers, consoles and mobile devices, similar to video on demand, through the use of a thin client. The actual game is stored, executed, and rendered on the remote operator's or game company's server and the video results are streamed directly to a consumer's computers over the internet.[14] This allows access to games without the need of a console and largely makes the capability of the user's computer unimportant, as the server is the system that is running the processing needs.[15][16] The controls and button presses from the user are transmitted directly to the server, where they are recorded, and the server then sends back the game's response to the input controls. Companies that use this type of cloud gaming include NVIDIA (GeForce NOW), Playkey, PlayGiga, CiiNOW, Ubitus, Playcast Media Systems, Gaikai and OnLive.[citation needed]

Gaming on demand is a game service which takes advantage of a broadband connection, large server clusters, encryption and compression to stream game content to a subscriber's device. Users can play games without downloading or installing the actual game. Game content is not stored on the user's hard drive and game code execution occurs primarily at the server cluster, so the subscriber can use a less powerful computer to play the game than the game would normally require, since the server does all performance-intensive operations usually done by the end user's computer.[17][18] Most cloud gaming platforms are closed and proprietary; the first open-source cloud gaming platform was only released in April, 2013.[19]

Cloud gaming based on file streaming, also known as progressive downloading, deploys a thin client in which the actual game is run on the user's gaming device such as a mobile device, a PC or a console. A small part of a game, usually less than 5% of the total game size, is downloaded initially so that the gamer can start playing quickly. The remaining game content is downloaded to the end user's device while playing. This allows instant access to games with low bandwidth Internet connections without lag. The cloud is used for providing a scalable way of streaming the game content and big data analysis. Cloud gaming based on file streaming requires a device that has the hardware capabilities to operate the game. Often, downloaded game content is stored on the end user's device where it is cached. Companies that use this type of cloud gaming include Kalydo, Approxy and SpawnApps.[citation needed]

Cloud gaming systems[edit]

Name Access status Development status Source code available? Platforms License Price
GamingAnywhere Yes check.svg Active Yes check.svg Active Yes check.svg Yes; Free and open-source software Server; Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, macOS, Linux
Client; Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, macOS, Android 4.1+,[20] Linux
BSD 3-Clause License[21] Free
Steam In-Home Streaming Yes check.svg Active Yes check.svg Active X mark.svg No Server; Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10
Client; Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, macOS, SteamOS, Linux
Proprietary Freeware
Remote Play Yes check.svg Active Yes check.svg Active X mark.svg No Server; PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4
Client; PlayStation Portable, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation TV, Sony Xperia, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, macOS[22]
Proprietary Freeware
Cloud Gaming eXtreme Yes check.svg Active Yes check.svg Active X mark.svg No Server; Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Windows Server 2012
Client; Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, macOS, Android, iOS
Proprietary $0.30 per hour on Amazon Web Services
Ubitus GameCloud Yes check.svg Active Yes check.svg Active X mark.svg No Server; Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10
Client; Smart TVs, Google TV, STBs, Smartphones, Tablets, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, macOS
Proprietary N/A
Parsec Yes check.svg Active Yes check.svg Active X mark.svg No Server; Windows 8.1, Windows 10
Client; Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, macOS
Proprietary Freeware
StreamMyGame Yes check.svg Active Dropped X mark.svg No Server; Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7
Client; Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Linux
Proprietary Standard; Freeware
Premium; $9.99 per year
Unlimited; $19.99 per year

Cloud gaming services[edit]

Name Access status Development status Source code available? Platforms License Price
Ubitus GameNow Yes check.svg Active Yes check.svg Active X mark.svg No LG Smart TV, Google TV, Verizon, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, macOS Proprietary N/A
GameFly Streaming[23] Yes check.svg Active Yes check.svg Active X mark.svg No Amazon Fire TV,[24] Samsung Smart TV[25] Proprietary N/A
Gface Yes check.svg Active Yes check.svg Active X mark.svg No Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 Proprietary N/A
Kalydo Yes check.svg Active Yes check.svg Active X mark.svg No Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 Proprietary N/A
LoudPlay Yes check.svg Active Yes check.svg Active X mark.svg No Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux Proprietary N/A
Leap Computing Yes check.svg Active Yes check.svg Active X mark.svg No Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, macOS, Android, iOS, Windows Phone Proprietary N/A
Liquidsky Yes check.svg Active Yes check.svg Active X mark.svg No Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, macOS, Android, Linux Proprietary Standard; $0.50 per SkyCredit
Gamer; $14.99 per month
Unlimited; $39.99 per month
PlayGiga Yes check.svg Active Yes check.svg Active X mark.svg No N/A Proprietary N/A
PlayKey Yes check.svg Active Yes check.svg Active X mark.svg No Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, macOS Proprietary N/A
PlayStation Now Yes check.svg Active Yes check.svg Active X mark.svg No PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation TV, BRAVIA TVs, Samsung SUHD TV, Samsung Smart TV, Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10[26] Proprietary N/A
GeForce Now Yes check.svg Active Yes check.svg Active X mark.svg No Shield Portable, Shield Android TV, Shield Tablet Proprietary N/A
Turbo.net Yes check.svg Active Yes check.svg Active X mark.svg No Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, macOS, iPad Proprietary Free access
InstantAction X mark.svg Discontinued X mark.svg Discontinued X mark.svg No Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 Proprietary N/A
Gaikai X mark.svg Discontinued X mark.svg Discontinued X mark.svg No Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 Proprietary N/A
OnLive X mark.svg Discontinued
[27]
X mark.svg Discontinued Partial
[28]
Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, macOS, Android, OnLive MicroConsole Proprietary N/A
Big Fish Games X mark.svg Discontinued
[29]
X mark.svg Discontinued X mark.svg No Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 Proprietary N/A
Playcast Media Systems X mark.svg Discontinued
[30]
X mark.svg Discontinued
[31]
X mark.svg No Amazon Fire TV,[32] Samsung Smart TV[25] Proprietary N/A
G-cluster X mark.svg Discontinued X mark.svg Discontinued X mark.svg No G-cluster[33] Proprietary N/A

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dobra, Andrei (April 27, 2009). "Crytek Attempted Cloud Gaming Way Before OnLive". Softpedia. Retrieved October 7, 2010. 
  2. ^ Perlman, Steve (2010-03-10). "OnLive: Coming to a Screen Near You". OnLive.com. Retrieved 2010-03-10. 
  3. ^ Shiels, Maggie (2010-03-11). "'Console killer' OnLive to launch in June". news.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-03-11. 
  4. ^ "Accueil Jeux vidéo". Jeux-tv.sfr.fr. Retrieved 2013-07-07. 
  5. ^ "Reportage : SFR dévoile son service de jeux vidéo "cloud gaming" sur Neufbox". Clubic.com. 2010-10-20. Retrieved 2013-07-07. 
  6. ^ "Gaikai cloud gaming service goes live". February 27, 2011. Retrieved March 14, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Gaikai to add 10 million monthly active users by fall 2011". June 24, 2011. Retrieved July 5, 2011. 
  8. ^ Zimmerman, Conrad (May 3, 2010). "World of Warcraft running on an iPad?". Retrieved July 5, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Perry promises Gaikai on TVs by 2012". June 10, 2011. Retrieved July 5, 2011. 
  10. ^ Snider,Mike (July 5, 2011). "Capcom teams up with cloud video game company Gaikai". USA Today. Retrieved July 5, 2011. 
  11. ^ "What is Gaikai?". Retrieved July 5, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Sony acquires cloud gaming service Gaikai for $380m". The Times Of India. Retrieved 2012-07-05. 
  13. ^ "Nvidia finally launches GeForce Now cloud gaming for Shield set-top console". VentureBeat. Retrieved 2016-07-18. 
  14. ^ Shea, Ryan; Jiangchuan Liu; Edith C.-H. Ngai; Yong Cui (July–August 2013). "Cloud Gaming: Architecture and Performance". IEEE Network: 16–21. 
  15. ^ "Exclusive: Does cloud gaming spell the end for consoles?". TechRadar. March 24, 2009. Retrieved October 7, 2010. 
  16. ^ "Taking gaming into the 'cloud'". BBC News. June 9, 2009. Retrieved October 7, 2009. 
  17. ^ Beaumont, Claudine (June 18, 2010). "OnLive launches cloud-based gaming service". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved October 7, 2010. 
  18. ^ Crowther, Joe (June 17, 2010). "OnLive launch cloud gaming platform". Metro. Retrieved October 7, 2010. 
  19. ^ "GamingAnywhere -- An Open Source Cloud Gaming System". April 17, 2013. Retrieved April 21, 2013. 
  20. ^ GamingAnywhere - An Open Source Cloud Gaming System
  21. ^ GamingAnywhere License
  22. ^ (Turkish) PS4 Sistemini Uzaktan Oynatma Windows® PC / Mac
  23. ^ GameFly launches cloud-streaming video game service on Amazon Fire TV [Updated] | Ars Technica
  24. ^ GameFly Support Center
  25. ^ a b News - Playcast
  26. ^ Get Started
  27. ^ (Turkish) Sony tarafından satın alınan OnLive hizmetlerine 30 Nisan’da son veriyor
  28. ^ Assets Available | OnLive
  29. ^ Cook, John (August 21, 2013). "Full memo: Big Fish CEO announces job cuts, cancellation of cloud games business and closure of Ireland and BC facilities". GeekWire. Retrieved June 18, 2014. 
  30. ^ GameFly acquires Playcast, launches streaming service
  31. ^ GameFly buys Israeli cloud gaming company Playcast
  32. ^ U.S.-based GameFly merges with Israel’s Playcast to stream video games over Amazon Fire TV
  33. ^ G-Cluster Console will be available from June 20

External links[edit]