With the fall/winter 2013 release of Playstation 4 and Xbox One, the console world is starting to buzz about the possibilities of Cloud gaming. Now, we have to admit, we normally use this space to blog about more VPS Cloud centric topics however, we, like you, are nerds, geeks and gamers. Due to this, we are going to break from our normal indulgence in Cloud tech to talk about the future of console gaming and how it relates to the Cloud.
Cloud Gaming: A Short History
Before we can chat about the real subject of this post (the Cloud capabilities of PS4 vs. Xbox One), we have to take some time to cover the history of Cloud gaming. From the founding of Cloud gaming at the turn of the millennium to last year’s acquisition of Gaikai (the world’s largest Cloud gaming community) by Sony to Microsoft’s announcement that legacy games will only be playable by way of optical disks and the launch of the worlds first open source Cloud gaming platform, GamingAnywhere, in April, the history of Cloud gaming is short yet full of interesting turns and developments. However, instead of writing about them, we made an infographic. It’s below. Enjoy.
Cloud Gaming Infographic
Now, with that out of the way, let’s chat about what all console gamers are currently talking about, the Cloud and the future of gaming.
Playstation 4 vs. Xbox One
Let’s get right down to it. Both Playstation 4 and Xbox One have the ability to incorporate Cloud services into their console and yet, where one brand seems to be investing more into the PR of their Cloud infrastructure, the other brand seems to be investing more in the actual usage and game play of their Cloud incorporation.
First, the bad. As taken from a report filed by Forbes.com, Microsoft originally had plans to allow Xbox One gamers to play legacy Xbox games via the Cloud – essentially to steam content, much like users steam content from Netflix, through their home console. The steaming content would maintain save points, have additional CPU cores for higher processing power and have Cloud storage built in. Microsoft originally had plans for this yet now, Microsoft officials have been stating gamers can use the Cloud however they will not be able to play legacy games via the Cloud. For that, the original optical drive disk will be needed. So, we hope you have your old games.
Now, the good. While Microsoft is touting its Cloud solution, PS4 has quietly built its Cloud infrastructure with the help of recently Sony purchased Gaikai. Gaikai, the leading Cloud gaming company, was purchased by Sony in 2012 for their 200 plus titles, their already well established Cloud gaming infrastructure and their experience in Cloud gaming. A direct result of the purchase: PS4 gamers will be able to play legacy games via the Cloud. Along with playing new games (full titles will be available) Sony made the choice to release the entire library of PS games via the Cloud to ensure customer loyalty and indulge gamers with the ability to play their favorite old titles – Final Fantasy 7 anyone?
Cloud Gaming Mobility Across Multiple Devices
One of the major benefits of the Cloud is mobility. No matter where you are in the world, as long you have a direct and secure Internet connection, you have access to your public or private Cloud data. This means, as long as your device can handle it, you can always be connected to the information you need regardless of device (cell phone, tablet, laptop etc.). Although it hasn’t been fully fleshed out yet, Sony has hinted at gaming from anywhere with PS4. As long as the device you use is capable of supporting the content (let’s be honest here, computers still kick the hell out of consoles), you should have no problem at all playing your favorite games on the go. True gaming Cloud mobility.
Cloud Gaming and the Open Source Community
This is where the future of gaming is going. With less and less local storage space in laptops and gaming consoles, the experience of gaming is going to look fully different in five years from now. With more and more games becoming more and more mobile, the gaming industry will begin to support more and more Cloud based gaming platforms. Our guess is that either Microsoft or Sony (as it stands now, Sony is more primed for this move) will eventually end up developing their own open source Cloud community, much like GamingAnywhere, allowing developers to build and test games in a live setting. The games which pan out, will eventually be brought into the fold. With Open Source gaming the Cloud becomes more than gaming, it becomes true collaboration.