Cloud gaming, or playing a video game through a remote server, is alive and growing rapidly. Unlike streaming movies or music to your TV or phone, cloud gaming relies on the user sending input back to the server simultaneously. Cloud gaming on a Netflix-sized scale seemed like a far-too-ambitious project just a few years ago. Although services like GameFly and G-Cluster weren’t successful, larger companies like Google, EA, and Microsoft are either working on their own cloud gaming service or are rumored to be creating one.
Latency and low bandwidth are just two of the problems gamers deal with while playing locally, which would only be amplified if they were playing the games through a server. Nonetheless, these companies are actively working to eliminate these issues, so that server-based gaming performs as well as those one could play on a high-end machine. Some of these companies are Nvidia GeForce Now, PlayStation Now, Vortex, and PlayGiga.
Is cloud gaming really worth it? For most company-to-consumer cloud gaming services, the monthly cost is estimated to be anywhere from $10-$30 a month. If you have the ability to build your own PC, you should have an equivalent or better graphics card than these services, which will give you better performance overall. If your graphics card is a GTX 1070 or lower, however, these services are probably worth checking out. Although it may be tough to sell this service to hardcore PC gamers, cloud gaming could be an extremely useful service for anyone without a gaming computer, or for those more casual gamers.