Monday, 07 November 2011 18:19
Though on some levels gaming has changed dramatically over the years, there are several things that have remained nearly the same. Users still have a dedicated machine, which reads data from some physical media. They must plug it into their television. Though each major console has a motion-based interactive control system available, Microsoft's Kinect is currently the only one that doesn't require a physical controller. It seems as though the only thing that's really changed is the power of the hardware and realism of the games. The recent shift toward cloud computing is starting to have an effect on gaming, with streaming game services of various types becoming available in the past few years. Below are five of the top reasons everyone should be excited about switching to cloud gaming.
No Physical Media
Many gamers take great pride in their game collections, lovingly storing them in DVD binders or proudly displaying them on bookshelves. But discs can be easily lost, scratched or broken, rendering them worthless. With cloud gaming users don't have to worry about any physical media, because all of the game data, including saved games, are stored on the gaming company's servers.
Low Cost Hardware
In the past, video games had to be played on the latest, greatest systems. PC gamers could invest thousands of dollars into a new computer only to be forced to do the same two or three years later. Console users have to upgrade less frequently, but it's still necessary to purchase new hardware when the old has reached the end of its lifecycle. With on-demand gaming, however, users can play on a low-powered system or even a small, dedicated gaming client hooked up to their television.
The world of gaming is often bitterly divided between PC gamers and their console counterparts. Users have to purchase a game for every platform they'll play it on, which generally means that they'll choose one system over another for the majority of their games. With cloud gaming services, games can be played on any device capable of running the necessary application, including iPads. The ability to play on a laptop, then switch to a desktop, iPad or television is a major draw of on-demand gaming.
Renting vs Owning
Most top tier games cost between $50 and $60 for the standard version and are only played through once, by a single player, before being filed away in a gamer's library. Multiplayer games tend to fare better, but only until the next big hit comes out. Using a gaming- on-demand service, however, users play whatever game they want for one monthly payment. This means that while they don't own any of the games they do have nearly unlimited access to any game they want to play, including new ones.
Just as streaming video has largely eliminated the need to go to a video rental store, cloud gaming eliminates the need to purchase or rent a physical disc. Players no longer have to drive to a store or wait for a delivery before they dive into their games. They can just pick a title and start playing, often in a matter of seconds.