Streaming is a service that has changed the way many people watch TV, series and movies; now you can also change the way that several people play video games. This is because many companies invest in the format, betting on a trend for the not too distant future.
Today, there are many options for playing through the cloud. Major publishers, such as Sony and Microsoft, have dedicated services; however, there are others that bet all their chips, such as Google, but in a period that is not yet appropriate. Understand how the streaming game service is doing and what we can expect from it in the future.
Google “burned the start”
The first company to come up with everything in streaming games was Google. Stadia is a platform that runs cloud games through various devices, such as cell phones, PCs and TVs, charging only a monthly subscription of $ 10. It was launched in November 2019 in some countries, leaving Brazil out (and with no expected arrival).
Google Stadia was launched in 2019 and did not achieve the success expected by the company.Source: Google / Reproduction
What could have been an innovative success turned out to be a real fiasco, to the point that the company recently closed its game development studios for the platform. The reason is the lack of market enthusiasm for the cloud platform.
Much of this disappointment came when the service started operating. Many critics of the press, who tested the platform before reaching the public, had already signaled a series of problems, mainly with the response time in the games, the famous delay. According to them, it is possible to notice a slowness when making movements with characters, especially in faster actions, which disadvantages gambling.
In addition, Google Stadia does not have a catalog as attractive as that of consoles and PCs. Some companies have even launched their multiplatform games on the service, such as Ubisoft, Warner and Activison. However, the quality cannot be compared to other devices.
Google Stadia even received multiplatform games, but with a lower quality than expected.Source: Google / Reproduction
It remains to be seen what Google’s next step will be. Whether there will be a complete overhaul of Stadia or if the company will give “the arm to cheer” and invest in a console to fight in this market so lucrative today.
Microsoft and Sony treat streaming as an option
Owners of the main consoles of the new and current generation, PS5 and Xbox Series S / X, Sony and Microsoft have already started to set foot in game streaming services. However, both see it as a separate idea, still treating their devices as the main way to play.
Sony launched the PlayStation Now service in 2015. With a subscription, it is possible to play a varied catalog of games for PlayStation platforms through the cloud, that is, without the need for a console, being able to run the titles on a PC, for example.
PlayStation Now is Sony’s streaming game service.Source: PlayStation / Playback
However, the service is not one of the most attractive precisely for the quality. Sometimes, Sony suffers from PSN crashes, and games, even though they run with good broadband speed, still don’t have the same performance quality as when played on the console.
Microsoft recently launched the open testing phase of the xCloud service. With it, you can play more than 25 Xbox games on your Android phone (there is no release date for iOS yet) through the cloud, without the need for a subscription. To participate, just go to the Project Xcloud website, analyze if you have the necessary devices (Android phone and Xbox wireless controller) and wait for the email with the next steps to activate the service.
The trial period of xCloud has already started in Brazil.Source: Microsoft / Reproduction
However, according to Phil Spencer, global director of Xbox, the idea is that the service is extended to other devices, such as the PC and the Xbox itself.
Interestingly, almost 3 years ago, the two companies announced a partnership to improve game streaming. The intention is to create better development platforms for both players and content creators. However, everything is still going at a short pace, as both Microsoft and Sony are concentrating their efforts on the recent consoles launched on the market and little has been heard more about what is being produced in this partnership.
In 2019, Sony and Microsoft announced a partnership to improve the game streaming service.Source: Tecmundo
The Japanese company launched the Nintendo Switch Cloud Streaming. The service allows you to run games without having to install them on the console, running everything through the cloud. However, besides the service being available only in Japan, there are very few games available for it: Hitman 3, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Control and resident Evil.
Thus, as with other services, there are numerous complaints regarding the quality of game play and performance. Remember that these games are hosted on servers of the companies themselves, that is, Nintendo does not host the titles.
Nintendo Switch Cloud Streaming is the Japanese company’s cloud gaming service.Source: Nintendo / Playback
This shows the company’s lack of interest in investing in this type of service. Since the launch of the Nintendo Switch, little has been said about how to make your catalog of exclusive games available via streaming.
GeForce Now is the best option today
Who is currently at the forefront of this race to provide quality game streaming is NVIDIA. The company launched GeForce Now last year, where it reproduces its catalog of library games from stores like Steam, Origin and Uplay without the need for installation.
GeForce Now is the game streaming service from NVIDIA.Source: NVIDIA / Playback
The service connects players with a GeForce video card in cloud data centers. There they render games with NVIDIA GameWorks visual technology and stream them via high definition streaming to PCs and Macs, all from the cloud. Last year alone, the service reached more than 175 million hours played, showing how well it was received by consumers.
Although it has been launched in much of the world, GeForce Now is not yet available in Brazil.
And the future?
About 15 years ago, when Netflix started its movie streaming service, few imagined it would become a trend in such a short time. With this, it is also difficult to predict what will happen with this type of service in the world of games. As much as many companies are excited about what the future can provide, it will still be a while before we know if it will replace the current model of consoles or will always be a cheaper alternative.
Source: The Verge / Reproduction
On the one hand, we have the growth of technology, both hardware and software, which allows us to have devices that can reproduce the service while having applications that can take advantage of it.
On the other hand, the arrival of a service that requires only a subscription, without the need to spend money on a high-end console or PC, would be a pleasure for the pocket. However, the absence of a quality internet still makes the arrival of the service a distant dream for our reality.