Halo 2 was the video game that brought innovation. Released in 2004, it connected gamers across the world at the click of a button, allowing Xbox console users to play different game modes, talk over the voice chat and even challenge strangers from all over the world. Today, game developers are close to yet another watershed moment: the advent of “cloud gaming.”
Thanks to everyday improvements in data storage and telecommunications, having a powerful computer or console is no longer required. Instead, games can be streamed from a data center directly to a smartphone.
Thousands of Game Titles
For over 2.7 billion active gamers throughout the world, cloud services like these promise unrestricted access to thousands of digitally stored games that previously could not have been played on a high-spec gaming computer or console. And guess what… this is just the beginning! In an arms race to bring new games to the market, various companies are experimenting with cloud-enabled designs and features.
Cloud Gaming Is Now a Thing
It’s a true escalation that has been driven by soaring demand during the lockdown. Brian Nowak, who is a managing director at Morgan Stanley Research, says due to the current situation with the world, the company has pulled forward about three to four years of video game adoption in the United States. In 2020, the number of gamers in North America increased by 50 million, compared with a growth of 11 million in a typical year. Nowak also explains that regardless of this, the need to pay a few hundred dollars for a console had previously been “a point of friction”.
Today, tech giants look at the sudden increase in the market for cloud gaming and housebound gamers and see an incredible opportunity to cash in. According to data group Grand View Research, the market for cloud-based gaming is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 48.2 percent between 2021 and 2027, to reach $7.24 billion.
The near duopoly of Sony and Microsoft in the gaming console business had already come up against the stiff competition in the cloud, where their streaming products – PlayStation Now and Xbox Game Pass, must contend with the new entrants such as Amazon’s Luna and Google’s Stadia.