What is cloud gaming? Why should I use cloud gaming? What are the pros and cons of cloud gaming?
The headline sums up the three questions i most often hear when I tell people I work with Snoost cloud gaming. And I usually get the questions in that exact order as well. So in terms of the structure of this article, I guess we might as well look at those questions in the same order.
This article will focus on the pragmatic uses of cloud gaming over the raw technicalities, so I will only shortly explain what cloud gaming actually is before moving on the the main point of article: why and when cloud gaming is something you could consider as your gaming solution.
What is cloud gaming? - You really shouldn't have to ask
The oft heard opening question. I do not blame people for asking me this question since I only myself learned about cloud gaming by joining Snoost.
It is too bad though. The thing is, cloud gaming is not something that should be reserved for IT-specialists or hardcore gamers that know everything about computers. It is a product that should be very mainstream. This is because cloud gaming provides a solution to a lot of common problems for gamers, which I will get into after the basics of what cloud gaming actually is and how it works.
Cloud gaming is a streaming service, but no, not exactly like Netflix
In order to keep this technically low key, I will keep the technical language at a minimum.
Cloud gaming is, simply put, a streaming service for computer games.
Journalists and people alike often ask me if this compares to Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime and other streaming services, but cloud gaming has an additional dimension, because the stream is interactive.
With cloud gaming, you play your games via a computer located in 'the cloud', but you control the external computer by using your local PC. In the case of Snoost, we allow you to rent a powerful computer from Amazon Web Services that can run almost any game for you.
What basically happens is that you watch whatever that computer does on your screen, but the computer in the cloud runs the game for you instead. The stream becomes interactive, because you control what the computer in the cloud does. You decide whatever you want to stream, so it is like having the game installed on your own computer.
For example, i you press to jump in a game and want to look behind you in a game, you press the keyboard key and turn the mouse on your own computer, which prompts the cloud gaming server to do this and send the video back to you (this happens extremely quickly with minimal latency and delay).
Of course, all this happens in less than a split second, so you most likely wont be able to visually register the signals being sent back and forth.
Want to learn more about cloud gaming?
If you want to learn more about the raw technicalities of how cloud gaming works or which external hardware Amazon provides to Snoost, you can easily find it all in our help center.
Why should I use cloud gaming? Because it offers a solution to a lot of common problems for gamers
Whereas the first portion of the article tried to basically explain what cloud gaming is and how it works, the second portion will focus on the whole point of- and advantages of cloud gaming.
As i mentioned earlier, cloud gaming is a service that can solve a lot of common problems and thus deserve to be more mainstream. In the following sections, I will present a few of the solutions offered by streaming games over th.
Run any game you want on any settings – on any computer
If you read the first portion of the article, you can probably figure out that cloud gaming obviously is advantageous for people who lack the hardware to play the games they want. There are funny examples of people going to extreme lengths in order to simply play a game. Just take at look at these the The Witcher 3 picture.
By playing a game via a cloud gaming server, you make your own computer's hardware irrelevant. This means that your old, dusty, wooden PC can run The Witcher 3, Star Citizen, Fallout 4 or whatever your preference is, all on high graphics settings.
However, while some people would be happy just to be able to run a game, some only want to run them at a respectable graphic level. Once again, cloud gaming comes to the rescue.
Cloud gaming not only lets your old computer play any game you want, it also lets you run it at whatever settings you want.
Here at Snoost, you run games on powerful servers which contain the hardware to run almost any game on the high graphics. You can find more on our external hardware in this help center article.
The possibility to run any game on any graphic settings makes cloud gaming a viable solution for both low-end gamers who simply want to be able to even run a game, but also the gamers who are picky about graphics.
A solution to operating system compatibility problems
If you are a Mac, Linux or ChromeOS user, you problably know that not all games are built compatible with your operating system.
With Snoost's game streaming service, you will be able to play the game regardless of your operating system since the cloud computer runs Windows.
Game streaming thus offers a solution for compatibility issues between games and operating systems.
No more need to upgrade your PC every few years
Whenever a new game comes out most gamers with older computers fear that they are not gonna be able to run the new, hyped title.
When the hype begins, the hypetrain always has its fair share of "can i run this game" and "what are the system requirements" posts. People always dread having to make that next big investment in a new computer.
Buying computers suitable for gaming is an expensive venture, and game streaming serves as a cheaper alternative.
Instead of making large investments only to see the once new hardware become useless every few years you can rent a cloud gaming computer for a monthly fee where the hardware is automatically upgraded to follow the demands of new games. You can also cancel at anytime, meaning the potential cost never exceeds that of just the next month's billing cycle.
No more worrying about system requirements or having to upgrade your hardware.
So what does cloud gaming cost?
Snoost offers three different plans each at a different price. If you want to learn more about the plans, check out the front page and scroll down to the prices, or click here for more information on prices and subscription plans.
What are the pros and cons of cloud gaming?
As the second part of the article discussed, the 'pros' of cloud gaming are are substantial. However, I will also be honest about a few things that might be an issue for some players with cloud gaming.
There a also a few 'cons' worth mentioning, and this third part of the article will discuss them. Since the second part of this article discussed the pros of cloud gaming, I will just sum them up below.
- Run any game at any setting on any computer
- Makes gaming possible on any operating system
- Cheaper than continuously upgrading a computer
- Less worrisome
There are a few cons about cloud gaming that might be an issue to some, and I will try to go over some of the most relevant ones here.
An obvious one is that, duh, game streaming requires an internet connection. Since your gaming rig is only accessible via an internet connection, offline gaming is not an option. This might be an issue to some with restricted access to an internet connection or people on a data limit connection.
Also, a stable internet connection is required. One thing is connecting to the cloud rig, but if you constantly get disconnected, you will not be able to stream your game as an interactive stream obviously cannot preload.
Moreover, a decent internet speed is required. Interactive streaming demands more than regular streaming, so in order to send the commands and images back and forth without delay or lag, you need an internet connection of at least 4 megabit per second. While this is actually a slow connection in my country, it might be high for some.
What internet speed is actually required?
At Snoost, we offer three different plans with different visual quality. Therefore the requirements on internet speed also vary. You can check out our general guidelines here.
Some games run more stable than others
Not all games work equally well on a game streaming server since not all games are optimized for it. Also, certain genres of games might arguably be more suitable than others.
An issue with cloud gaming is that you in some instances might experience a split second of delay on your commands. This is not for certain, and it varies with each game. Also, some type of games are naturally less suitable for cloud gaming since you will feel the delay more easily (especially for fast paces games).
A game like Counter Strike or other first person shooters will make you notice a split second of delay more obviously than a strategy game like Civilization 6. However, It is worth noting that we have several players playing CS:GO on Snoost without any issues, but again, it also relates to your internet connection and the games optimisation.
I myself played a game of Dota 2 and was surprised that I experienced zero - or at least could register any - delay. This is a game where you would easily feel a bit of delay, but the game is very well optimized for cloud gaming, so for me it actually runs with less delay that other newer and older games, because it is well optimised.
Don't let me tell you whether its good or bad. Try it out yourself
As i just described, cloud gaming performance vary depending on the game, your internet and other factors.
So I, of course, recommend you to learn whether the pros or cons are in your favour by trying out Snoost's free trial to try out cloud gaming for yourself. Only an email for signup is required. No credit card or other commitment required.0