Cloud Gaming Poised for 2015 Turning Point: Report

Cloud gaming poised for a turning point in 2015, according to recent report.

Chris Burt

November 25, 2014

2 Min Read
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This article originally appeared at The WHIR

Cloud gaming is poised for a turning point in 2015, according to a report released Monday by Strategy Analytics. Huge gains in addressable audience, new entries into the market from big brand names, and improving network performance have set up the coming year as what the Boston market research firm calls cloud gaming’s “inflection point.”

The number of devices with Playstation Now or NVIDIA Grid Game Streaming Service will reach 30 million this year, but will surge 500 percent to 150 million by the end of 2015, says the report, titled “NVIDIA Goes off the Grid with Cloud Gaming Service.” It will be important for gaming services to choose a reliable cloud host to avoid the problems Xbox Live experienced earlier this month due to a Microsoft Azure outage that took services offline and frustrated users.

OnLive achieved the highest profile of any previous cloud gaming service, but filed for bankruptcy in 2012. OnLive cited the cost of scaling its server infrastructure as one of the reasons for its failure, but Square Enix entered the market with cloud gaming platform Project FLARE in November, claiming that its patented architecture will allow it avoid OnLive’s cost issues.

Now OnLive has relaunched. According to VentureBeat both its library of high-end games and its availability are growing.

The report warns that the performance demands and lag-sensitivity of gaming will force service providers to trade performance off against price. However, once the balance is found the report authors see other major players in the gaming industry becoming more competitive.

“2014 is proving to be a watershed moment with major players putting their credibility and brand names on the line to make cloud gaming work,” said Michael Goodman, Director of Digital Media Strategies at Strategic Analytics. “While broadband speeds and consumer acceptance of subscription models have come a long way, access to content remains an issue for all services. The major video game publishers have so far successfully managed an incremental transition from physical to digital media, but cloud gaming offers publishers a new revenue stream.”

Developing technologies in both hosting and gaming are enabling new experiences in multi-player games, as well as providing gaming options for mobile devices beyond their native capabilities. Whether a balance of performance and price attractive enough to gamers can be found remains to be seen.

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