Cloud Based Gaming vs Standard Gaming
In this modern age of consoles and computers, gamers are not left wanting for options to enjoy their favorite hobby. With cloud-based gaming on the rise, however, deciding between physical and streaming sources of entertainment isn’t necessarily a cut and dry decision. Both offer their own advantages as well as some setbacks. No matter which route you take, it’s clear the future of gaming is all about options, allowing gamers to find the best environment to fit their needs whether it be physical, cloud-based or a mixture of the two.
Streaming is becoming a much bigger part of the gaming ecosystem. Not only can players stream their favorite games to their PCs, but now streaming-focused consoles like Ouya and Steam Machines are starting to find their way onto the market. They are doing away with the need to purchase physical game discs altogether. Even companies like Sony are getting in on the trend, purchasing streaming provider Gaikai with plans to introduce PlayStation streaming services to consoles like the PlayStation 4 and, down the line, various smart TVs. No matter how you’re looking to game, there are options available.
Modern game consoles and even PCs still offer the option to buy physical versions of your favorite games, but now those same platforms are starting to embrace both digital and streaming gaming, meaning you can pick and choose how you want to play depending on the title, or just commit to one route for the time being.
Go with the Flow
For those unfamiliar with the process of streaming, the content (a video game in this instance) runs on a central server and simply beams its way to your monitor or TV via the Internet. Depending on the set-up, it can require nothing more than your basic TV, or a specialized piece of hardware like the PS4 or Ouya. Possibly the best aspect of streaming games on the PC is that you no longer need a killer machine to run state-of-the-art games. All of the muscle is handled by the streaming provider. So long as you have a decent Internet connection, you should be able to play games via streaming that your computer would typically never be able to run.
The Cost of Gaming
It typically cost around $60 to buy a physical AAA game. The nice thing about streaming or downloading games from iWin or GOG, is that savings are typically passed on to the consumer. Without the need to produce a physical product, streaming and downloadable games are typically cheaper than their physical counterparts. There’s also the matter of hardware that was mentioned above. So long as you own a decent computer and have a solid Internet connection, there’s no need to keep buying better PC components to keep up with high gaming benchmarks. Just stream it and don’t worry about it.
Of course, there is the small matter of ownership to consider. Playing a game through a streaming service means that you don’t actually own the rights to the game yourself. If the streaming provider ever stops carrying a certain game, that means you will no longer have the ability to play it. That hasn’t become a huge problem as of yet, but it’s certainly something to consider when determining how you want to outline your gaming future. Streaming is convenient and can be more affordable, but if you don’t own a physical or downloaded copy of the game, there’s a chance an old favorite may one day become inaccessible.
There’s also the matter of staying connected to the Internet, which is why a mixed gaming option might be a sound decision for the time being. If the streaming provider’s service goes offline or your own Internet service goes down, your gaming options become nonexistent. Streaming can save you money and be more convenient in most situations, but relying on an Internet connection comes with its own risks.