Several large companies in the technology and gaming industry have made announcements in the past few months that they’re investing in or investigating if they can use the cloud to stream video games to consumers. We expect more news will be made at E3 this year about the technology at the foundation of cloud gaming from some of the biggest companies in the industry.
When the co-founders of Parsec, Chris Dickson and Benjy Boxer, started Parsec in early 2016, their vision was a world where anyone could play PC games without owning any hardware. A gamer could plug-in a low-powered device into a TV, and start playing any game they own without worrying about their gaming hardware. Chris demonstrated his vision for this very early on with the first demo of Parsec. It took about 3 more months before a very early version of Parsec was released, but since then, the Parsec team has been innovating and leading the way with its streaming software. The Parsec team is laser focused on building the best game streaming software possible because we believe that will be the foundation of the cloud gaming industry.
Cloud Gaming — Is It The Early 2000s Again?
Now, it’s 2018, and several big companies are talking about cloud gaming again. Cloud gaming was hot in the early 2000s with Gaikai and Onlive, but the experience wasn’t great for most consumers due to the availability of bandwidth and cloud GPUs. This is changing with cheaper high bandwidth ISP plans, fiber to the home, and 5G wireless availability.
In addition to more bandwidth availability, consumers now carry hardware accelerated decoding devices in their pocket for low latency, HD video decoding. This is important because it allows Parsec and other companies to use modern codecs, like H.264 and H.265, to encode video, stream it, and decode it in a low latency, low power usage way.
With all of these technological shifts happening, and companies like Parsec demonstrating the possibility of cloud gaming, big companies are starting to invest in or think about a world in which cloud gaming ends the console era. Recent announcements are highlighting this:
- EA purchased a subsidiary of GameFly to build its game streaming product.
- Ubisoft’s CEO believes that the next generation of consoles will be the last
- Google is rumored to be working on a cloud gaming product.
Why Are Companies Investing?
Cloud gaming is good for game developers and could be valuable to telecom companies trying to differentiate their services from others. Game developers can go direct to consumer or find new distribution partners to free themselves from the console makers who charge a licensing fee per game sold. Telecom companies are investing in new infrastructure with 5G, which guarantees 1 Gbps to the home with minimal latency. One way to sell that new infrastructure to consumers will be with cloud gaming.
These developments are very exciting and have the potential to spur the industry to take the vision of cloud gaming seriously. We believe that cloud gaming will free gamers from the upgrade cycle and give everyone more options play their games wherever and whenever they want. We also think that the new distribution model will unlock a new wave of innovative game design and creativity, which will allow several forms of media (movies, TV, and video games) to seamlessly integrate.
How Parsec Fits Into Cloud Gaming
To fulfill our vision of the future of gaming from the cloud, we are investing in building out our Party Finder products to help you game with your friends and meet new people, offering more cloud hardware in our marketplace, and improving our low latency streaming software to make it as good as it can possibly be on more hardware platforms.
There are a few events scheduled at E3 around cloud gaming, and it should be an exciting year for the technology behind this movement. We’re looking out for more announcements coming from companies at the conference, and hearing if other gaming studios are going to start investing in their own cloud gaming solutions.