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What Does the Perfect Cloud Gaming Service Look Like?

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With Google Stadia failing and Nvidia’s streaming service struggling to get off the ground, many people are starting to doubt the future of cloud gaming. To be honest, their concerns may be legitimate.

Still, all of these concerns leave us wondering one thing. What does the perfect cloud gaming service even look like? We know what bad services look like, but what features does a good one include?

To help answer that question, we’ve come up with a few features that the ideal cloud gaming service should eventually feature.

It Features a Large Library of Included Games

This is a strange, possibly unrealistic request that is still incredibly important.

At a time of Netflix, Hulu, and Xbox Game Pass, there’s an expectation that paying a monthly fee means being able to access a library of entertainment. Even services like Movie Pass let you access as many movies as you wanted for a monthly fee.

Until now, many cloud services have mostly charged for the right to access cloud technology. While that’s understandable from a tech standpoint, it’s less appealing from a consumer standpoint. Your average user is still confused/put-off by the idea of paying a monthly fee just to be able to buy games they were going to buy for a console or their gaming PC.

We know that’s not what cloud gaming really is, but a library of included titles makes selling cloud gaming to more people that much easier.

It Lets Us Play the Games We Already Own

This has been another point of contention for cloud gaming services that we’ve seen thus far. As we noted in a recent article, it’s also the policy that has caused some problems for Nvidia’s streaming service.

Simply put, though, you’re going to have a hard time convincing people to embrace cloud gaming if they can’t play the games they already own. That sounds simple, but as we’ve seen so far, getting companies to agree to this policy is anything but.

Aside from technological limitations, this is one of the biggest hurdles to the future of cloud gaming. If companies don’t figure out a way to make this happen, though, then cloud gaming may never get where it needs to be.

It’s Stable for All Kinds of Gameplay

This section was originally going to be dedicated to asking for a cloud service that supports slower internet speeds. Realistically, though, there’s going to be a slightly higher internet speed requirement.

Instead, let’s talk about gameplay. Even with top-tier internet speeds, some cloud gaming services can struggle to offer stable gameplay. Multiplayer remains a real headache in that department, which is currently a huge hurdle.

If cloud gaming providers can’t find a way to improve the overall stability of cloud gaming services, then it’s going to hard to convince anyone they should make the leap from however they currently choose to play.

It’s Accessible Regardless of Hardware

This one hasn’t been much of a problem so far, but it’s vital to whatever success cloud gaming may continue to enjoy.

Regardless of your console, gaming PC, or lack of either, you need to be able to access the ideal cloud gaming service. Any kind of cloud service that is limited to a specific piece of hardware will only force users to purchase a separate piece of hardware (especially if it’s expensive) goes against the spirit of cloud gaming.

Again, this hasn’t been a problem yet, but as more and more companies look into cloud solutions, it’s important to remember that such services shouldn’t be limited to one console or device.

It’s Incredibly Affordable

This might sound obvious, and it also might sound like we’re being unrealistic. If we’re talking about the most important features of the perfect cloud service, though, then this has to be one of them.

It’s hard to say what the magic number in this instance is. Obviously cheaper is better, but if you’re offering a cloud gaming service that includes everything we’re asking for, then $20-30 a month may not be unreasonable.

What this ultimately comes down to is a series of smart price package options. Along with initial discounts, cloud services have to be able to offer simple technological access for less as well as a fully-fleshed cloud gaming service for slightly more. Without the right price point, cloud gaming may arguably never make it.


Matthew Byrd

Matthew Byrd covers the gaming industry including indies, consoles, PCs, iOS and Android apps, as well as topics related to entertainment and technology.