By Chloe Barrett
Cloud Gaming is a relatively popular way of playing a game, but some consoles are only beginning to use it. For example, when a Guardians of The Galaxy game was announced at E3 with the choice to play it on the Switch, some people cheered – until they saw the hidden Cloud gaming logo conveniently placed in the bottom corner.
Gaming on the Cloud is a way for consoles that may not be able to power certain games due to issues like graphics to join in on the fun and experience the game for themselves. It looks like a normal game, but it is run on a server. This cloud server streams the visuals and content of the game to your screen, while whatever controller you are using to input commands gets sent back to the Cloud. For all this to happen, you must maintain a strong internet connection, otherwise, the server will be unreachable or the game will be incredibly laggy. To define it, think of streaming a movie, such as the interactive shows on Netflix. You are pressing the buttons yourself, orchestrating the commands, which the Cloud server receives and processes, then the visuals get sent back to you with the choices you made.
Honestly, it is a good idea. In the long run, when it is perfected, it could be a very beneficial method of gaming. Even the factor of not needing to download the actual game is a big plus, you could easily be sparing 40GB of storage just by streaming your instant game. It would also save on money as there would not be a need for hardware upgrades or even frequent console purchases. For some, buying a new graphics card would not be a big deal, but for others, it can be a costly spend, especially if it is only for a specific game or two. But, even where Cloud gaming is currently, it can be expensive. Your internet connection needs to be incredibly strong to encounter no lag, and for the average household in Ireland, our WiFi might not be up to scratch without some drastic improvements, especially for rural users. This also means that if your internet cuts out or if your nearby network is being serviced, you have no way to play the game. In a more portable format, Cloud gaming is often also accessible on your mobile device, which is one of its selling points. Not everyone’s 5G mobile data can handle streaming a game in the quality the developers intended, though.
Even though I would love to play the brand new Guardians Of The Galaxy game, and other popular franchises such as Hitman 3 on my Switch, I think I will have to pass. It is an idea that is not accessible for the average gamer, but hopefully, in the not too distant future, it will become a viable option. At least I can watch Youtubers play the games that I cannot, and my internet will surely thank me for it. (plus, they’re probably better at the game, anyway!)