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Is Cloud Gaming Ready to Go Mainstream?

Cloud gaming presents a different gaming model than traditional consoles, furthering its mainstream appeal. Developments and partnerships in the industry offer the potential for cloud gaming to become a much more popular model in the future.

Is it time for cloud gaming to go mainstream? You may find that as new cloud gaming services and devices appear, it becomes a much more normalized option.

Cloud Gaming Developments Push the Technology Further

An Xbox Community Update video on YouTube showed Xbox’s intention to pay more attention to its cloud gaming offering. You can now play selected Xbox titles on your tablet, phone, Xbox console, Samsung Smart TV, and even the SteamDeck.

For tablet and phone devices, Xbox Game Cloud has customizable touch-screen support with the option of connecting an Xbox controller if you have one. If you’ve wondered whether you should choose Google Stadia or Xbox Game Cloud in the past, your decision may now be firmly on the Xbox side.

The Xbox Game Cloud team also noticed a 1,800% playtime increase over 12 months, demonstrating the growing popularity of cloud gaming services.

It’s not just Xbox making moves in the cloud gaming market: Logitech G and Tencent Games are partnering to make a handheld cloud gaming console, as announced in a Logitech blog post. Both companies also work with the teams behind Xbox Cloud Gaming and NVIDIA GeForce Now to ensure compatibility.

If these recent developments tell you anything, it is that cloud gaming is here to stay. Many companies are pushing to make it a more mainstream option amongst consumers, but you’re likely not in the minority if you’re dubious about the model.

Data and Internet Speed Issues May Still Be a Problem

While cloud gaming is more accessible in some ways, your experience will suffer with limited or poor internet speeds. Since cloud gaming is essentially HD streaming, you can expect it to require gigabytes each hour.

Statista’s 2021 report on global upload and download internet speeds reported the average global download speed as 54.53 Mbps for broadband, while for mobile, it was 12.63 Mbps. However, variables such as your individual broadband package, your connection’s quality, and your signal’s quality can all play a part in these speeds. You also have to account for latency, which is a killer when gaming in general but especially while cloud gaming.

While it’s likely that companies will find ways to improve the bandwidth required for cloud gaming, you still need to consider how viable an option it is for you personally. If you believe your internet connection might be a little shaky, following tips to reduce latency and improve your cloud gaming is worth trying.

Factoring in Costs When Considering Cloud Gaming

You’re likely aware of how financially uncertain most of the world is. Global inflation and various cost-of-living crises, in particular, threaten the potential of cloud gaming going mainstream.

You may find using either the PlayStation Now or Xbox Game Pass services works out cheaper by paying the monthly subscription instead of buying games outright. It can be even cheaper if you tend not to play new games monthly and only subscribe on the months you intend to.

Forking out money on a new console and a subscription on top is likely not your highest priority while navigating financial uncertainty. Depending on your devices and the frequency of your gaming habit, cloud gaming could be an expensive or cheaper hobby than the traditional gaming hobby.

A 2021 Bloomberg report found that the Google Stadia, a cloud gaming handheld console, had sold far fewer controllers and reported fewer monthly active users than Google had anticipated. Bloomberg’s report predates the cost-of-living crisis, so you have to wonder how likely this new Logitech/Tencent handheld console will succeed.

Whether cloud gaming could go mainstream remains to be seen, but the cost factor is likely to play a role in its chances of success.

Customer Perception of Cloud Gaming

Cloud gaming is not exactly a new concept. You’ve likely had some experience with cloud gaming in the past since the Xbox Game Pass and PlayStation Now services are firmly established. There are many pros and cons of the PlayStation streaming service PS Now, but generally, these services are well-regarded and have managed to give themselves a place in the gaming market.

Customers are more familiar with the concept of cloud technologies and how it relates to gaming, but is this enough to offset the uncertainty of new handheld devices? The commercial performance of the Google Stadia would suggest not, but the 1800 percent playtime increase on Xbox Game Cloud would suggest it is.

It’s unknown how customers en masse will perceive the mainstream cloud gaming push. Still, its convenience with multi-platform, controller-less, and console-less options is likely to entice many people.

Cloud Gaming Is Ready to Go Mainstream

While there is uncertainty surrounding the cloud gaming market, it is clear that many large companies are pushing for it to go mainstream.

This push has opened the market up in terms of accessibility, with many options now available for you to engage in cloud gaming no matter what device you have or whether you have a controller/console or not.

Time will tell whether cloud gaming reaches the heights companies engaging in the technology seem to believe it will.

Will You Jump on the Cloud Gaming Bandwagon?

It’s the perfect time to try out cloud gaming if you haven’t before. Cloud gaming will likely increase in popularity as companies continue collaborating and pushing the technology further.

With many cloud gaming services available, it is worth looking around and comparing them to pick the best one.


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