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The rise of cloud gaming

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You’ve needed a console to be able to play since the dawn of video gaming. From the very first home video game console, The Odyssey, to the sleek contemporary Xboxes and Playstations we’re familiar with today, the game console was a necessity if you wanted to delve into the extraordinary world of video gaming. 


But this is rapidly changing. In recent years, we’ve seen video game companies allow gamers to download games to their PCs, but cloud gaming is set to take this one giant step further and turn the gaming world on its head.

What even is cloud gaming?

In a nutshell, cloud gaming means virtual gaming via remote servers. It’s just like how you store your data in the cloud rather than in a physical harddrive. Just swap the data for a video game, and the harddrive for a traditional game console, and you get the jist.

With only a reliable internet connection and a compatible device, cloud gaming allows gamers to continue their cyber exploits, wherever and whenever.  Fancy picking up where you left off on Among Us while you’re the passenger on a road trip, or even dabble in a bit of Fifa while camping off grid? With cloud gaming, the previously impossible has become totally possible.

fifa ballantine's cloud gaming

Stepping away from physical video games

The roots of cloud gaming can be traced back to the launch of online video game networks such as Playstation Plus and Xbox Game Pass, which introduced the idea of downloading video games to your console or device, rather than buying a physical copy.

This allows gamers to be more experimental with their gaming choices, and to always have the newest version of a title.  But cloud gaming takes this one step further, as there’s no need to even download or install a game onto your device. Instead, you stream the game over the internet and play on your device of choice, whether that’s your smartphone, laptop, tablet or Smart TV.

How do gamers access cloud gaming?

Subscription services have dominated a large chunk of how we consume and access entertainment in the modern age, so it’s no surprise that cloud gaming has taken the subscription path. You can think of cloud gaming as being a bit like Netflix for video gamers. Gamers pay for a monthly subscription which allows them to access and play a vast library of games. This is a big pro in our books, as it means there’s technically just one cost required in order to game.

Rather than having to purchase a console or computer and then either buy physical copies of games or download them, gamers can use their existing devices to immerse themselves in the endless fantastical world of video gaming.

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This makes gaming more accessible and more economical, and anything that opens up the infinite realm of gaming to more people is something we can definitely get behind. And if fear of commitment has held you back in the past, cloud gaming will be music to your ears. It’s a fantastic option for those who just want to dip their toes into video gaming, as you can use your existing devices and cancel your subscription if you decide it’s not for you, or if your financial situation changes.

Are there any drawbacks to cloud gaming?

We believe in staying true and being fair, so it’s only right that we look at the other side of the cloud gaming coin. There aren’t many cons to cloud gaming, other than those common niggles that come with any subscription streaming service.


An ever changing library

Have you ever logged into Netflix after a stressful day, whisky in hand and more than ready to relax with your favourite comfort show or film, to find that it’s no longer available? Well, unfortunately this can happen with video games when cloud gaming: because you don’t technically own the game, your never-ending access to it is not guaranteed.

We appreciate that finding your favourite game has suddenly gone is a bummer, but on the other hand, a regularly refreshed and updated cloud gaming library can give you the nudge to try out new games and discover genres you have previously bypassed.

Reliance on internet connectivity

A dodgy internet connection can make your game lag and freeze, which is seriously irritating when you’re in the middle of tense gameplay. But again, this isn’t unique to cloud gaming, and with a reliable connection being so paramount in today’s streaming obsessed world, it’s something that internet providers are getting better and better at. Unless you spend the majority of your time in the very back of beyond, this shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

Nostalgia for gaming of the past

While by no means a drawback to cloud gaming, we feel the need to mention how it appears that we are living in an increasingly virtual society. Tangible objects such as traditional games consoles and discs are set to become even more obsolete in the online world we exist in.

We’d forgive you for feeling a little nostalgic towards the old styling of gaming, and your memories of loud clunky consoles and weekend trips to the video game shop, or even to outmoded rental stores such as Blockbuster (RIP).


Is cloud gaming the future?

But we can’t deny that cloud gaming is set to disrupt the video game world in the best way possible, making it better streamlined to our lifestyles, more cost-effective, and making it easier than ever to access a vast library of games. We can’t see a future where cloud gaming isn’t the dominant way to access and play video games. It makes total sense, and we’re excited to see where it takes us.


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