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1Cloud gaming is, at its core, a basic premise: stream games from a server to your laptop or computer, and was originally designed as a streaming service like {{Creator/Netflix}}, only for video games. The idea is that you connect to a remote server that does all the game's processing; things like the player input, audio, and graphics and game rendering. This allows for two major upsides:²----²* Any system capable of connecting to the server can play any game the server is offering. This has broad appeal for users of lower-end computers, laptops, and mobile devices, allowing them to play games at graphical fidelity only possible on higher-end systems.²* PC Hardware can be prohibitively expensive in certain countries due to regional pricing, so cloud gaming services can offer a solution to those who cannot upgrade for any reason.²* In the case of the UsefulNotes/PlayStation4, it's used to implement backwards compatibility without having to design it into the hardware or software of the unit.²* In the case of the UsefulNotes/NintendoSwitch, it's used as a way to run games that the handheld cannot run otherwise due to technical constraints, such as ''VideoGame/Hitman3'' which would bring the Switch's [=CPU=] to its knees.²----²On top of this, these services, if they're not free, run on a subscription based system and that allows you to access all of the content. However, despite the positives, people were quick to point out its drawbacks:²* When cloud gaming first launched, you needed a ''really good'' internet connection, and back when [=OnLive=] was around in 2009, internet speeds the world over were never consistent enough for the service to be reliable. At the minimum a [=1.5Mbps=] for SD graphics are needed, with up to [=8Mbps=] for HD streams, on top of being a steady reliable connection. That, and don't live out in the sticks where broadband connections are notoriously bad. This isn't so much of a problem today, however, as US, UK and other respective country initiatives to make reliable internet nationwide a priority.²* If the ping time between you and the server is too much (say, a jump between 15ms and 60ms), it creates jarring input lag for the end user, making the game either frustrating to control, or borderline-unplayable. This makes single player games the ideal games to sell on cloud gaming services, as they rely less on accurately timed button presses.²* Since the services are usually subscription based, you are at the mercy of the service to provide you the games you want to play. If the service goes defunct, you lose the ability to play those games as well.²* Lastly, the service is also usually region-locked, meaning the service is not available in some areas. ²²If you're looking to play the games you do own, you can use a remote play tool. It's the same concept as cloud gaming in that you're having a computer connect to a server to handle all of the game processing. The difference is your computer, or in some cases game console, is the server.²²!!Examples of Cloud Gaming Services²* [[ AntStream Arcade]] - A unique service catering to [[RetroGaming retrogamers]], offering thousands of classic arcade and 8-bit computer and console titles (and some 16-bit titles too) legally to stream online. Has a free tier that limits subscribers to several plays a day, and a paid tier which allows unlimited plays. ²* [[ OnLive]] - Now defunct.²* [[ Gaikai]] - Now owned by Sony.²* [[ PlayStation Now]] - Formerly Gaikai. For UsefulNotes/PlayStation family titles.²* [[ Xbox Cloud Gaming]] - Formerly codenamed ''Project [=xCloud=]'', A streaming service for Xbox games. Currently in Beta and open to Gamepass Ultimate holders from West Europe, Australiasia, Far East Asia and North America.²* [[ GeForce Now]] - Available for PC and mobile devices.²* [[UsefulNotes/GoogleStadia Stadia]] - A service for Website/{{Google}} devices and Chrome.²* [[ Amazon Luna]] - Amazon's attempt to compete with Stadia, launched shortly after Google announced Stadia. Currently in Early Access and only available to mainland United States. Has Twitch integtration so if you're watching a Twitch streamer playing a game that is in the Luna library, you can click on a button to immediately launch the game. ²* Creator/{{Netflix}} has also started enabling streaming games, done through the Netflix app itself. Currently the service is only available in Poland[[note]]Specifically chosen because it's the home of Franchise/TheWitcher[[/note]] and only to Android users. Netflix's current approach is a little different from other services in that they would be mostly offering games they publish themselves and ties in to their original shows and movies. ²²!!Examples of remote play software²* UsefulNotes/{{Steam}} [[ In-Home Streaming]]²* [[ Parsec]]²* [[ PS4 Remote Play]]²* [[ Gaming Anywhere]]²* [[ AMD Link]] and [[ Nvidia GameStream]] also offers remote play functionality built right in to their drivers. In Nvidia's case however, it only works with their Shield TV set top box and their now discontinued Shield handheld and Shield Tablets. Meanwhile, AMD's technology will only work with smartphones, tablets and set top boxes running Android or [=iOS=][[note]]Which, ironically, includes Nvidia's Shield devices[[/note]], although a recent update added support to be able to stream to another PC, but with a catch- the recipient PC must also be running Windows and have an AMD GPU as the client is installed as part of the AMD GPU drivers package.


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