New frontiers for gaming
"In October Google began tests of a cloud-gaming service called “Project Stream”, using a big-budget game, “Assassin’s Creed Odyssey” (a still is pictured). The game was designed to run on dedicated consoles and beefy PCs. But with the computational heavy-lifting shifted to Google’s data-centres, even a modest laptop could have the game’s sumptuous take on the Peloponnesian War piped to it over the web.Netflix, but for Video Games | The Economist
Those initial trials are now finished. Microsoft, which makes the Xbox consoles, is due to start testing a similar service, Project xCloud, later this year. Amazon is also thought to be interested. The giants will be battling a string of competitors. Electronic Arts, a big games publisher, has plans for a streaming product of its own. Nvidia, a maker of video-gaming graphics chips, is testing a similar service. Sony, which makes the PlayStation consoles, already has a cloud-gaming offering called PlayStation Now, as do startups such as Loudplay and Shadow. Customers of Telecom Italia, an Italian internet provider, and Orange, a French one, can avail themselves too.
The hope is that cloudified games will be more appealing to consumers. The industry would simply be keeping up with their habits, says Kareem Choudhry, who runs Project XCloud at Microsoft. People are trained to expect entertainment to be portable, transferable between different devices, and instantly available."