It’s like as you never heard enough the word “cloud” everywhere, and then here comes cloud gaming, the thing that recently noisy and can’t seem to excite with all the buzz.
If you imagine that cloud-gaming is the same as the online game you played on your smartphone or console, then you might be wrong.
Cloud gaming is similar in the way you’re listening to Spotify or watching Youtube/Netflix. You don’t physically have the music nor the video, so you can only stream the content. The difference is the content you’re streaming is reacting to your gamepad command.
Is it new?
I could still recall my memory, back then in the late ’90s. A TV station introduces a live 2D game show similar to PacMan, where the audience could spectate or participate as a player on the game by using their landline phone as a joystick. Dial four goes left, two go up, and so on. Mind-blowing, isn’t it? and I would say this is an old-school cloud gaming 😏
Cloud gaming will ensure all the players have the same hardware because they don’t need a PC or a console to play. Let’s say the console is already there in the data center in the cloud.
Players can play from anywhere they want, either on their tablet, laptop, or maybe a smartphone. People only need to pay to stream as you’re subscribing to your TV cable.
Also, cloud gaming will lower the cost of the publisher just because they don’t need to produce any disc or console as in the usual way.
If you’ve experienced playing an online game such as counter-strike, DOTA, or maybe PUBG on your mobile, you might notice that lagging is not an option, will ruin your mood, and start swearing all the time.
Cloud gaming will be like watching Youtube with a gamepad in your hand. You’re going to stream some video frames based on the input from your gamepad with the cost of internet bandwidth and the servers.
If you compared to playing PUBG from a smartphone, the action when you’re shooting, moving, or jumping, it’s like sending/receiving a couple of kilobytes to the servers, which is very small. But with cloud gaming, you’re downloading a couple of video chunks in every action, which is very big.
A super high-speed internet connection is playing a big part here. Who will be paying? Of course, you. There is no chance for crappy connection and high-latency. When lagging is bad then the game will become unplayable.
Take an example of the most recent cloud gaming, Amazon Luna, the recommended minimum internet connection is 10mbps, half of the average speed in this country.
As of August 2020, according to Ookla Indonesia is ranked below 100. With an average of 17mbps on mobile and 22.53mbps on fixed broadband. Not to mention it will ruin your data plan. If you play 10Gb/hour on 1080p, that means you will burn 100Gb/month data plan for approx 10 hours.
According to cable.co.uk worldwide data pricing. With that kind of services, Comparing with Australia (Ookla ranked 61, 68mbps/54mbps), Indonesia is quite expensive too,
And yet how many people can afford the internet? I’d say a blunder when the government told that student should continue their study online from home because of #CoronaVirus. They thought the internet is cheap, affordable, and facilitate for everyone, a lot of things happened 😑
Furthermore, think about the electricity usage and carbon emissions that could arise because of a lot of energy usage. According to GreenGaming research, Cloud-based gaming is by far the most energy-intensive form of gaming via the Internet (compared to traditional online gaming or downloading games), and while the electricity intensity of networks is declining quickly, that of data centers is not.
Are we there yet?
In conclusion, cloud gaming needs eco-friendly data centers and a cheap high-speed internet to play, and that is impossible because of capitalism. It’s almost impossible to play it anywhere, and there is no way to play this on mobile unless you have high-speed wifi.
So why not play on console/PC? You bought the game, the game is yours, playing online or offline no big deal, and you could also save the electricity bill. Cloud gaming is not for the rest of the world.
If there is a super-high-speed internet connection in this country, it is a pity if used for purposes like this. There is still much to be done, especially in the fields of education and public welfare.