The query of whether or not cloud gaming is the way forward for gaming is a multi-billion-dollar query that arises ceaselessly. I’m firmly satisfied that it’s the future and never a distant one at that.

Cloud gaming may simply be on the verge of prime time as gaming {hardware} turns into dearer to buy and manufacture, and high-speed web connectivity turns into more and more accessible and inexpensive. Simply as enterprise computing moved to the cloud a number of years in the past, gaming is destined to comply with swimsuit.

Whereas Google, Microsoft, Sony, and Amazon have all taken a shot at cloud gaming, Nvidia’s GeForce Now (with its newest providing) is essentially the most critical try towards making cloud gaming a drive to reckon with. A $20/month (roughly Rs.1600/month) GeForce Now subscription will get you a GeForce RTX 4080 class gaming rig with assist for 4K@120FPS gaming. In case you had been to construct the identical rig, it might be near Rs. 2,00,000 of upfront funding. Layer in the advantages of with the ability to log in and recreation from any laptop (or a smartphone), with out the necessity to lug round heavy, costly {hardware} and there is little or no to complain about. It is no shock that GeForce Now surpassed 20 million subscribers in Aug 2022 and I will not be stunned if that quantity is near 50 million by the top of March 2023. Consider, the service is basically obtainable within the US and Europe area.

So, the place’s the catch? Properly, there’s none. 

The constructing blocks of cloud gaming have levelled up quickly over the previous 12 months. The simple availability of quicker, low-latency fibre-based web connectivity has ensured most avid gamers are coasting on 100Mbps strains at dwelling with out spending a fortune. Add the transfer in the direction of environment friendly compression applied sciences reminiscent of AV1 and the sport begins to alter. Cloud gaming is now not the inferior, compromised expertise that leaves a foul style in your mouth. It is virtually able to go all weapons blazing with the newest {hardware}, software program, and infrastructure coming collectively to ship the identical gaming expertise that you just get from that beefy, closely cooled gaming rig in your desk. Simply that it sits within the cloud, permitting you to transform any PC right into a gaming PC. All you want is a steady, 100Mbps fibre-based web reference to no information caps.

I attempted my hand at cloud gaming by way of the JioGamesCloud and my expertise wasn’t nice, because of the extremely restricted and primary video games library provided by Jio. Moreover, the poorly designed interface additional added to my woes. On the intense facet, so far as latency/lag are involved, I used to be pleasantly stunned. It was nearly as good as operating the video games (single-player) natively. Having learn some glowing opinions of GeForce Now, I could not resist the temptation to strive it out. However resorting to a VPN-based trial meant I would be compromising on the important thing components – bandwidth and latency. The expertise was removed from the actual deal, however the ease of accessibility was the large reveal. It took me all of seven minutes to create a GeForce Now account, sync my steam account with it, and get entry to my steam library. With no downloads, no set up, and no logins (other than Steam), I used to be recreation prepared very quickly!

Cloud gaming is a good way to make gaming accessible and likewise inexpensive. It is also nice from an atmosphere and energy effectivity perspective. Though I strongly imagine that cloud gaming is the way forward for gaming the place all gaming platforms, together with cellular, PC, and console, will merge into one, it additionally paints a grim image for me. It does elevate some questions on the way forward for gaming {hardware}. Will PC constructing be restricted to lovers? Will gaming laptops as we all know them at this time stop to exist? And what in regards to the beefy gaming telephones boasting of vapour chamber-based cooling and different such gimmicks? 

Cloud gaming stands out as the future, but it surely’s a future that ought to maybe take its personal candy time 😉

This column was featured in Digit journal’s March 2023 problem.