posted at 00:50
Author: Dean Takahashi
Mon, 24 Nov 2014 08:01:00 +0000
Cloud gaming could reach a turning point in 2015, analyst says
Strategy Analytics, a Boston-based market researcher, said in a report today that the addressable audience for cloud-gaming services PlayStation Now from Sony and the Grid Game Streaming Service from Nvidia could grow from nearly 30 million users by the end of 2014 to nearly 150 million by the end of 2015. Setbacks such as the 2012 collapse of OnLive led many to believe that cloud gaming would never work as long as broadband service remained relatively slow in places like the U.S. Streaming-video services like Netflix have taken off. Games are interactive, which presents a much greater technical hurdle for cloud services that host the titles on an Internet-connected data center, or cloud, and send a stream of video to a client device such as a tablet. Nvidia is offering a series of high-end PC games that can run on its new Shield tablets via its cloud service. "This puts cloud gaming in the PlayStation Store and the Nvidia Hub platforms, directly in front of some of the most committed gaming consumers as opposed to the average consumer, which are by and large content with mobile-gaming quality and genres, not usually core games on dedicated gaming devices," Smith wrote. Some trade-offs in quality and experience will likely exist due to network lag issues, but if game companies price services accordingly, they could still reach large audiences, according to Strategy Analytics. Michael Goodman, Strategy Analytics' director of digital media strategies, said in a statement, "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. While broadband speeds and consumer acceptance of subscription models have come a long way, access to content remains an issue for all services." He added, "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."

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