A closer look at Cloud Gaming – the future of Video Games

Games have become a vital part of our society. The gaming industry has evolved rapidly right from the play stations to cloud-based games. The race to 5G and the rise of cloud computing has enabled the gaming engineers to roll out the cloud-based gaming. The growing penetration of high-speed internet, increasing acceptance of smart devices, rising utilization of gaming as a service and digital transformation in the entertainment industry are the factors driving the growth of the market. With the Indian gaming industry rapidly moving to the cloud, India has become one of the hot spots for cloud gaming.

The youth of India is more likely to be on mobiles rather than desktops. The cell phones do not have enough processing power required to compute these high-level games. Cloud gaming has enabled rendering these games and delivering live video stream to mobiles in real-time. Since cloud gaming offers instant access to play it is popularly known as on-demand gaming.

GaaS- Gaming as a Service

Gaming as a service (GaaS) is similar to software as a service (SaaS). It supports free to play model. In other words, it monetizes through the gaming service rather than selling the cloud games. The ideology behind implementing cloud GaaS is continuous updates in online games and the ability to access from anywhere.

It is a web-based infrastructure asking for regular feedback from the gamers. The games are regularly updated to make the gamers feel comfortable. Similar to Netflix, cloud gaming allows you to play high-end, blockbuster video games anytime, anywhere and on any device. So, cloud gaming is also called as Netflix of gaming. 

Cloud Gaming is a combination of client architecture where the game is stored, hosted, rendered and executed from a server in the cloud.

General Architecture of Cloud Gaming System: 

Let us see three different types of Remote rendering Real-time Systems:

I.    3-D Graphics Streaming: The cloud server delivers the graphics related commands to the client-server. The client-server interprets the commands and renders the scene accordingly.

II.    Video Streaming: In video streaming, the server renders the 3D commands, converting them to 2D. Post conversion it sends the video stream to the client.

III.    Video Streaming with Post-Rendering Operations: This system lies between the two where heavy work of rendering the 3D graphics is done on server. The low processor-intensive work is carried out on the client-side via Thin Client.

Cloud Gaming Framework:

Cloud gaming framework consist of the following:

I.    Thin Client Interaction: This module is responsible for carrying all the client commands and converting the messages sent delivered over the network into suitable gaming actions.

II.    Game Logic: The game logic module interprets the gaming actions.

III.    Video Renderer:  This module renders all the scenes received from the game logic

IV.    Video Encoder: The video encoder compresses the scenes and then sent by the video streaming.

V.    Video Decoder: This module plays the video being streamed by the server in response to the moves made by the gamer.

The framework follows a specific process to complete one iteration of every gaming scene. Once the gamer selects and starts the game, every gaming scene goes through the following process:

1.    While playing a game, the player enters the action command through a controller. These actions are captured by the receiver and sent to the server.

2.    The game commands received on the server are used by the game logic to make changes into the game environment

3.    Every change created from the game logic will represent a gaming scene

4.     The video encoder will take the created gaming scene as an input to compress and encode the gaming scene

5.    The encoded game scene is streamed back to the thin client by the internet

6.    The video decoder of the thin client decodes the game scene and displays it on the gamer’s screen      

Advantages of Cloud Gaming

I.    Security: The cloud gaming systems store the user information in the virtual server. This enables secure computations keeping the hackers away.

II.    Device Compatible: The highly scalable cloud platform allows gamers to play high-end games on lower-end machines. It offers the users an exceptional gaming experience with improved memory requirements, graphic capacity and processing power.

III.    Reduced Costs:  The cloud gaming model follows ‘pay as you go’ payment strategy. The gaming companies pay for resources, which they have utilized, unlike the traditional model. Also, it has reduced the cost of hardware since all the computations are carried on the server.   

IV.    Easy Access to Games: Cloud gaming allows easy access to games from anywhere and at any time without the need to download and install the games. The user has to login to his account and starts playing. 

V.    No Piracy: The unavailability of physical gaming software in the market has reduced the chances of piracy. Cloud diminishes the probability of unauthorized manipulation and interruptions, maintaining the novelty of the game. 

VI.    Multiple Device Support: Cloud computing supports various devices ranging from desktops to tablets. Today, gamers are not dependent on a single gaming console. We can experience the joy of gaming from anywhere using hand-held devices that belong to our routine usage.

VII.    Access to Multiple Games: Cloud allows gamers to play multiple games at a time. Thus, the companies can generate more revenue and gamers can have a delighting experience.  

Conclusion

Gaming as a Service is gaining momentum in the gaming industry. Cloud gaming framework has enabled the smooth computations of the complex gaming scenes. It has offered delightful gaming experience to gamers and increased revenue to the companies. We will soon find cloud gaming disrupting the hardware industry with a wide range of benefits it offers.

Priyanka Chaudhari

Priyanka started her career as a computer engineer but, her passion for writing poems and articles was the main reason for her career shift. She has completed her specialization in Media and entertainment and loves presenting her thoughts on technology and life.
Priyanka Chaudhari