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Author Topic: Cloud gaming to solve next-gen console shortages?  (Read 6189 times)

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KenToad

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Cloud gaming to solve next-gen console shortages?
« on: June 18, 2021, 10:36:58 am »
Between pandemic shortages and rampant scalping, this has to be the biggest bust of a new generation console rollout ever. We are what, half a year out, and still can't go to the store to buy an Xbox series or PS5 console.

Because of this, I've been wondering how Sony and Microsoft will handle the lack of customer base for new generation games. In the past, games have been released cross-gen with maybe graphical or other downgrades for those unable or unwilling to adopt the new generation of consoles.

Just saw reported on the Spawn Wave News that Microsoft, at least, is going to use cloud gaming to alleviate the problem. If you haven't heard of cloud gaming, it's basically that a remote computer somewhere is running the game and your console is streaming the results like Netflix, with your controller inputs telling the remote computer what to do.

Obviously, this isn't going to work for fast action gameplay that relies upon low latency, as the frustration caused by any hiccups in the system likely would be a deal breaker for many. But, I could see it working fine for something like Flight Simulator, which is the game that Microsoft is suggesting will be the first on the system. Then, you don't have to worry about install times, updates, or hard drive space.

I still think that Sony and Microsoft have a huge problem on their hands that will affect the long term viability of this new console generation. It doesn't help that they are trying to make games significantly bigger to download when much of the network infrastructure (at least here in the US)  is still stuck in the early 2000's. In Milwaukee, we still don't have widespread fiber optic networks, for example. Pretty much everyone in the city can get cable, but it's expensive and not that great. Downloading a few hundred gigabytes can take days. I've bought discs for the Xbox One that have had 30 usable gigabytes on the disc and need 300 gigabytes to download, and no Xbone game seems to be able to run without a significant download, so disc-based video game media seems to be already dead.

What do you guys think? How many of you have been able to pick up one of the elusive new consoles? Did you pay through the nose? Do you think cloud gaming could make the new generation of consoles economically viable for developers until the rest of us are finally able to buy one of these new shiny boxes at retail? Or maybe cloud gaming will do the opposite and show customers that they don't have to invest in new hardware to experience next-gen gaming?
« Last Edit: June 18, 2021, 02:17:42 pm by KenToad »

Hoopz

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Re: Cloud gaming to solve next-gen console shortages?
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2021, 12:45:23 pm »
I bought a Xbox Series X at launch on Amazon. Even their site had issues with everyone trying to grab one let alone that they were over 30 minutes late listing the product for sale.

Cloud gaming has been in the works for awhile and Microsoft said that the Series S/X could be their last console.  That was at least a year ago. I think they see it as a way to get out of the hardware business which is a loss for them.  They did just announce that they were moving the cloud gaming hardware to Series S/X now for greater performance.

I mostly stopped buying physical games back on the 360 and only get physical discs now when it's a great value.

Along with bandwidth issues, people also face data caps. With Call of Duty Cold War launching last Fall, it was a huge download that pushed me close to Comcast's stupid data cap. For the last few years, every major title has had huge day one updates. Makes sense as the discs start being produced while the dev team is still finishing the game. All those factors make me need to see cloud gaming be successful before I'd consider it.

Since I have the Series X, I'm banking on 5+ years with it so maybe they have time to work it out. I agree that a FPS is not going to work well but I'll be open minded I guess. The amount of data that is sent from my Xbox to the servers during a game of Call of Duty is minimal per hour. Less than 80 megs usually.  How that's going to be impacted by downloading 4k visuals is a whole nother matter.

« Last Edit: June 18, 2021, 01:01:20 pm by Hoopz »

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Re: Cloud gaming to solve next-gen console shortages?
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2021, 07:15:32 am »
Unfortunately, Verizon stopped expanding Fios some years ago.  Besides the expense, it was difficult to expand because they are treated differently then Spectrum or Comcast.   Not sure what kind of plan you have with your cable provider but a standard connection is 200Mbps now.   When Spectrum took over TW, they upgraded my connection to 100Mbps and then 200Mbps at no additional charge.  So if you are on one of those early 15Mbps plans, you should call your provider.   You may be surprised at what they will do.  Broadband over cable has the capability of going to a full Gig.   If your provider allows it, I would also recommend purchasing your own cable modem.  It can make a world of difference with your internet performance.

I usually lag behind the latest technology so the lack of availability on the Series X hasn't had any impact, especially since I upgraded to an One X a couple of years ago. 

I don't foresee MS moving away from consoles as much as moving towards standardized platforms that crossover easily between console, PC, tablet, etc.   They have been moving in this direction for sometime.

Howard_Casto

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Re: Cloud gaming to solve next-gen console shortages?
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2021, 07:27:09 pm »

Since I have the Series X, I'm banking on 5+ years with it so maybe they have time to work it out. I agree that a FPS is not going to work well but I'll be open minded I guess. The amount of data that is sent from my Xbox to the servers during a game of Call of Duty is minimal per hour. Less than 80 megs usually.  How that's going to be impacted by downloading 4k visuals is a whole nother matter.

Actually not at all if they do it properly.   You see the way cloud gaming normally works is an instance of the game is being played on a centralized server somewhere.   The video stream, is sent to your console and an input stream (the controller) is sent back.   In addition to that there might be some minimal data exchanged to prevent a desync.   In a multiplayer game the multiplayer data would be sent from that centralized server, not your console and thus it shouldn't effect bandwidth.

All of that being said.... nope cloud gaming isn't going to happen in a reliable sense for several years if ever.   Our infrastructure is just crap and legal and geographic issues prevent better lines from being installed.  Some people say that infrastructure is improving and eventually it'll catch up and I would agree with that... if the games industry stopped growing right now.   Games are going to continue to get more complex and thus more data will be needed with each passing year. 

bobbyb13

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Re: Cloud gaming to solve next-gen console shortages?
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2021, 03:13:24 am »
Apple was the first compnay to piss me off with licensing/usage rights for ---steaming pile of meadow muffin--- that I actually owned and had rights to personal use for ( iTunes almost 20 years ago now- screw those people.)

It has gotten worse of course, so between usage, security, property rights, etc. now I'm not a fan of cloud anything.

And as Howard said, as games continue to get more demanding the experience is sure to suffer.

If I'm paying for something I want to be able to use it as I want, when I want and have it fuction as I want.

Other people's (company's) crappy infrastructure and desires be damned-
Relax, all right? My old man is a television repairman, he's got this ultimate set of tools! I can fix it.

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Re: Cloud gaming to solve next-gen console shortages?
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2021, 06:26:24 pm »
It all sound great until you lose your internet connection.

That is why I keep all my game discs.  All 600 of them.  ;D

javeryh

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Re: Cloud gaming to solve next-gen console shortages?
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2021, 01:09:18 pm »
I also prefer physical media but I have to say, since I got Game Pass on the Xbox I have rarely bought any new games.  I guess I buy for the Switch but I can usually find something to play on Game Pass and they are constantly adding to it. 

I have 1GB from Fios but even that isn't going to be great for cloud gaming, IMO.  The 1GB speed is only guaranteed to the house and once you get inside things go to crap even with the Eero mesh network I have.  I still get between 100-200 Mbps but nowhere close to 1GB - it's laughable. 

Robbbert

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Re: Cloud gaming to solve next-gen console shortages?
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2021, 05:18:32 am »
It sounds like a cheap copout. You're renting the game, and at the end you have nothing. I have never bought a game that depends on the internet - never have and never will.

javeryh

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Cloud gaming to solve next-gen console shortages?
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2021, 07:28:42 am »
It sounds like a cheap copout. You're renting the game, and at the end you have nothing. I have never bought a game that depends on the internet - never have and never will.
WellÖ you may not have a choice in a few years but even so, there arenít many games coming out that I would want to own forever because Iíll never play them again.   

For example, Control just came to Game Pass earlier this year.  It looked good when it came out but I never bought it.  When it came to Game Pass I was psyched and played through it in a couple of weeks.  Great game - not some all-time classic but definitely something I enjoyed and I hope gets a sequel.  I will never play it again though - after 20+ hours I was ready for something else.

Another game I loved recently, Red Dead Redemption II, is one that I bought.  After 60+ hours I finished it and Iíll never play it again either but instead the copy of the game just sits in a drawer wasting space. 

I guess in 10 years if I ever wanted to play Control Iíd be screwed (emulation notwithstanding) but I canít imagine that happening.  Itís too long of a game - itís not something like we grew up with that can be finished in an afternoon like Super Metroid where I would want to play it over and over and over.  Iím not sure I like all digital gaming but at least for some games I donít mind it.

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Re: Cloud gaming to solve next-gen console shortages?
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2021, 07:36:05 pm »
I did cloud gaming on my ouya on a 720p back in the day.
it was fine for lego games.

I have one of those steam box things and it works for most games on the couch playing off my main PC if wired.
but it just won't do for a lot of games like FPS and fighter types.

on a side note, keep being told consoles are impossible to get but this Mr. beast youtuber seems to get his hands on 5-10 consoles along with HP laptops to donate to people regularly.
the companies must sponsor him or something.

KenToad

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Re: Cloud gaming to solve next-gen console shortages?
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2021, 10:29:14 am »
It seems like the new tactic to solve the shortage problem is for Sony and Microsoft just to claim that the sales are through the roof and everything is a great big success.  Some YouTubers love to tow the company lines.

« Last Edit: July 30, 2021, 11:57:06 am by KenToad »