For the last few years, we’ve heard all about how cloud gaming is coming ‘anytime now.’ With promises of being able to play the latest AAA games streamed directly to our smartphones and the luxury of being able to pick-up-and-play directly where we left off on different devices, the future that is cloud gaming certainly sounds promising. It’s essentially a promise of uninterrupted gameplay, yet there’s no proof that it’s coming anytime soon.
According to Gamasutra, analysts at Strategy Analytics believe that PlayStation Now and Nvidia Grid – two high-profile game streaming services – will make the idea of cloud gaming accepted by the mainstream. The crazy part? This is supposed to happen by the end of 2015.
In their recent report, analysts are predicting that both services will reach a total of almost 30-million devices by the end of 2014, to which this total will expand to 150-million devices by the end of 2015.
“2014 is proving to be a watershed moment with major players putting their credibility and brand names on the line to make cloud gaming work,” said Michael Goodman, Strategy Analytics Director of Digital Media Strategies in the report. “While broadband speeds and consumer acceptance of subscription models have come a long way, access to content remains an issue for all services.”
What is going to cause the growth? It’s actually pretty simple: reach. By making both services available on different types of hardware – such as consoles, televisions, PCs, and so on – the analysts predict that most people that try these services are going to be hooked and want more. If you think about it, it makes sense – especially since we are all perfectly fine with spending a few bucks a month on services such as Netflix. Yet, the trick is acceptance. A few bucks a month for unlimited video content is an easy sale, but the promise of a library of on-demand games that you may or may not have to pay extra for? That remains to be seen.
Either way, this technology is coming – and it’s important that indie developers are on board before it becomes commonplace. We were even discussing the cloud and how it related to indie developers way back last September with Nintendo’s Pokémon Cloud Storage Service, so it’s certainly time to be considering how to utilize the cloud for the benefit of your indie studio. It can be as simple as saving player data in the cloud so the player’s game can continue on any device (many indie devs already do this) or as complex as streaming a powerful AAA-caliber game to any device from your servers to any device in the near future. No pun intended, but the sky is the limit when it comes to using the cloud to benefit your indie studio.
With the cloud supposedly entering the mainstream fray in the near future, the best thing you can do now is talk with your teammates and ask them if they have any ideas for using the cloud to benefit your indie studio. It’s a great place to start, and who knows? Maybe, just maybe, your indie studio will blossom thanks to the cloud.