Cloud Gaming: The New Way to Play

This article is based on stories originally published in It Is Innovation (i3) magazine, published by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)®.

Overview Tech giants like Google, Apple and Microsoft are bringing the gaming industry into the cloud, moving away from the need for physical consoles.

Streaming has taken the world by storm, with on-demand video services allowing consumers to enjoy their favorite shows anytime, anywhere. The next wave of video gaming services is set to also move toward the cloud and away from video game hardware, transforming the way players and gaming enthusiasts engage with games.

Cloud gaming — online gaming that provides playability to users across various devices through a host gaming server — is shifting excitement and purchasing trends away from existing and upcoming physical gaming discs and controllers.

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA)® projects that consumer spending for gaming software will reach $50 billion by 2023, while physical gaming disc revenues will see double-digit declines.

Recently announced from tech industry leaders, plans to enter the cloud gaming space are already forecasted to disrupt the industry, with the potential to reach audiences that traditional console video games have not been able to.

The Next Big Play

Google Stadia, launching late 2019, is targeting billions of gamers. Game trailers and Let’s Play streams on YouTube will have a “Play Now” button that allows streamers and influencers to invite fans into their games.

“The long-term vision is to take Stadia anywhere you might have YouTube,” said Jack Buser, director of games, business development at Google.

With billions of video game content and fans on YouTube daily, the connection to the platform will be a powerful marketing tool, according to Game On: Google Stadia and Other Press Play on the Future of Gaming in i3 magazine.

Apple Arcade will be a subscription-based service featuring new, exclusive games not available on other mobile platforms or subscription services. Every game for Apple Arcade will also be playable offline.

Both cloud-based system for Google Stadia and Apple Arcade allow gamers to transition seamlessly from playing on their living room TV to gaming on-the-go from a mobile device, console-independent.

[We’re] providing the two billion-plus gamers around the world a new gateway to previously console- and PC-exclusive content.

Kareem Choudhry
Corporate Vice President, Gaming Cloud, Microsoft

Microsoft’s Project XCloud, Microsoft’s game-streaming technology, is aiming for a future of global availability of console-quality gaming in the cloud. Their vision is for the experience of console gaming — at the quality of a connection to a 4K TV and surround sound — will be available on mobile devices through new data centers and streaming features.

As in-game purchases are expected to rise to $12 billion in 2019, indicating how gamers are willing to pay to enhance and extend their gaming experience, features like those available on the XCloud will prove popular.

Gaming services as an industry that is typically a frontrunner in adapting to new technologies will quickly advance and embrace cloud computing and the subscription services.

“[We’re] providing the two billion-plus gamers around the world a new gateway to previously console- and PC-exclusive content,” said Kareem Choudhry, corporate vice president of Gaming Cloud at Microsoft.

Read more about upcoming trends in the gaming industry in "Game on: Google Stadia and Others Press Play on the Future of Gaming" and "The Gaming Industry Takes Flight into the Cloud" in i3 magazine.
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It Is Innovation (i3) magazine, the flagship magazine from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)®, focuses on innovation in technology, policy and business as well as the entrepreneurs, industry leaders and startups that grow the consumer technology industry.

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