I commented about the cloud and what it could do for gaming very briefly in a previous post. I wanted to elaborate on it even further because it is a large topic for those inclined toward the more technical aspects of the industry. As I stated before, cloud-gaming is making a system render a game off of a cloud server that does the heavy lifting. It is currently in the conceptual stages of development by companies like Microsoft. I cannot divulge into all facets of how games would render or the amount of bandwidth needed to pull off this action, but I can explain the implications of what could happen when this does eventually happen.
Once this system is in place, traditional consoles will inevitably be phased out of existence. What will eventually happen is the creation of a catalog system; this is similar to what Netflix does with their movies and TV shows. For example, Sony and Microsoft will probably have similar style catalog services as Steam does with its services. Each service will only be available by either subscribing to either companies’ model to play the games that release on their services. What this creates, however, is a problem of distribution and acquiring sales for the games by the developers. The same issue with how TV, music, and movies are pirated and distributed through torrents, the same will be for console games.
While games are already pirated, there are safeguards in the code for most of these games on PC. Both Steam and Origin have code that punishes pirates of their games. Steam’s API program requires users to verify the purchased game with the account they used. If they don’t they cannot run the application. However, streaming is different when it comes to the cloud. Companies would have to offload their applications onto a third-party cloud server in order to stream these games to the consumer. Unless you are Microsoft, who is trying to build this infrastructure in-house, third-party is the only way to get a game from the company onto a cloud server. The reason for this is because these servers are incredibly complex and require strong security to keep hackers from taking content from the cloud. An example of such is the huge iCloud leak from a few years back. The same could be said about these games if they are leaked by a weak security of a third-party server. I am not sure as to what can be done to prevent these leaks or hacks. The topic is out of my field, but I felt that it was interesting enough to warrant a post about it. Perhaps whatever securities Netflix implements into preventing their content from being pilfered could possibly be used in this case? As I said, I am not entirely sure what could prevent a new technology as the cloud from being hacked.
As gaming continues to evolve with modern technologies, the risks also increase as it gives way to hackers having a way to steal more content from servers. As it is right now, the gaming industry is far away from implementing a true cloud gaming experience. That does not stop those involved from developing this technology.
If you enjoyed this post, share it on social media, or message me on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and now on Medium.
Ortiz, Marlon (2018) Retrieved from https://digital-asset-management.mediaentertainmenttechoutlook.com/cxoinsights/the-risks-and-benefits-of-cloud-computing-nid-93.html