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The Cloud Gaming Foundation and the Metaverse need a rethink

Theoretically , cloud games (or streaming games) It’s like playing your game on that fine hardware your neighbor has, but plug in a console with a very long wire that goes into your room, and point the camera at the screen. Then all you need is a monitor device to capture the camera stream. Given that we accept the dominance of the cloud over other computing loads, why not with the high power needed for modern gaming? And will similar issues affect the upcoming metaverse?

Google was blamed for Stadia failedwhich is fair enough – if you look at google cemetery, you will see that they kill the vast majority of their children with self-confidence. A lot can be said about their lack of connection to the communities they have to work with, but that has always been the case. Project teams within Google know the outcome: if you can’t scale the mother ship recipe, you will be dropped without warning. Too much death or glory. I can only hope that the game developers who stayed in the dilemma can dust themselves off and learn the proper lessons.

Having been involved in the telecommunications as well as the gaming industry (as well as entering the telecom industry in the gaming industry), I’m a little more interested in why such certainty as cloud gaming hasn’t emerged yet.

What is the cloud gaming market?

The toy market has always been a mixture of whimsy and possibilities; There is no real linear logic for what the next big thing will be. The cost of using Stadia was high, but not that expensive compared to (for example) buying a new iPhone. Sure, for a wizard-hungry gamer like Cyberpunk 2077, It may be the only possible way to play for many. However, the black hole Stadia fell into was “market fit”. They haven’t convinced players nor enough developers that they have a solid commercial offer.

So will there be a market future for this kind of thing?

There are already solid cloud gaming platforms out there, from Microsoft, Amazon, PlayStation and Nvidia. A quote from Polygon magazine provides the best summary of how the remaining players in the industry view it:

“It’s not a paradigm shift, it’s just an added blessing.”

The idea of ​​cloud gaming as a hack product may now be exhausted (the previous attempt with OnLive in 2015 failed). The concept of creating a highly detailed game with little interaction streamed to your tablet is initially attractive, and this has motivated some of those involved in the field. But we soon realized that you can’t create a great game design by starting with a delivery technology. It’s not just what the players play, nor what the designers are made of.

Since games must be run and maintained centrally, the cloud client sees replacing ownership with service. So Stadia was a content provider, like Netflix or Spotify. This causes some consternation but does not appear to be a problem for most players if there is adequate pre-save and a wide range of products. People restart games or stay in one game for a long time, but those games tend to be the games that need horsepower to run. However, the annoying feeling remains that games are not consumed in quite the same way as movies, books, or music.

Smarter separation of workload

From a technology perspective, Stadia was good. The cloud gaming nemesis is still lagging (because of the round trip between the message you pressed, the fire button hitting the server, and the response of bullet images emitted all the way) but this should slowly improve. The Internet isn’t about doing smart things over wires, it’s about smart things that happen at the edges, with transmissions kept simple.

You can argue that once your images are created, sending them to the target device is a reasonable – albeit heavy – use of the Internet. But this is another difference with games; Unlike a movie or a book, a human being constantly interacts in an active manner. When the PC gets hot, I know it will lose frames (i.e. things on the screen will jump) but at least I can control that. But small inconsistencies in any visual, auditory, or tactile feedback from a remote system you rely on will literally get on your nerves.

While I’m a staunch advocate of net neutrality, the fact that no Internet provider can give me a line that really ensures my network speed won’t let me down is a big part of the problem. And most importantly, the cloud gaming company cannot force the Internet provider not to do work on the line at odd times of the night, when many players are active. Even if the network provider and cloud gaming provider are the same company, they may not get exclusive access to the line at all points. Consumers do not want to be in a situation where no one is to blame for the outcome, with each service blaming the other. We’ve all been there and no one likes it.

The improvements are likely to come through smarter separation from the workload. Why, for example, would I want a static list to be generated upstream?

On the other hand, streaming a movie scene that I only look at once makes a lot of sense on the cloud. In fact, knowing that a boring story scene has many megabytes in size to store on your own device is rather annoying.

Requiring separate services to provide parts of the game means that, technically, multiple services can provide assistance. While this sounds like some kind of hellscape microservice, it makes sense that (for example) studios dedicated to perfecting movie scenes could offer these services as needed. Many games add a physics engine, but all kinds of dynamic effects can be outsourced. Multiplayer platforms were initially offered by companies such as Gyroubble, Polystream, and Amazon Lamperard (which are now Open 3D Engine). We have seen attempts to integrate separate voice chat or fulfillment systems from other platforms; Most studios know they don’t have to do everything anymore.

Effects on the Metaverse

So how does this affect the metaverse? While no one knows exactly What is metaverse However, it will at least be a 3D visual experience, in a continuous world with a large number of people experiencing it in real time. The potentially high computing cost of this type of platform, combined with the addition of headset hardware that is already a necessary part of AR/VR, will clearly limit the delivery options that will work with the audience size that the Meta (one person) is targeting.

It is very likely that streaming is the only way to make the metaverse available to a mass market.

Unfortunately, most of the negative points about cloud gaming also apply to continuous, streaming virtual worlds. People will complain when their comfortable world is sold to a company they don’t like. They will wonder who is to blame when performance deteriorates. Performance problems will be visible to large numbers of people at similar times, allowing them to band together to file a complaint. Historically, interactions between avatars in (for example) Second Life have been relatively quiet, but it would be unwise to limit future worlds to this perspective.

Compared to books and movies, video games are a modern form of entertainment. Behavior patterns are still being generated. We knew the Kindle was just fine. We suspected that 3D movies were unnecessary. While it’s a bit difficult to clearly focus on the exact value of cloud gaming, the evidence points to slow but steady adoption as problems are being solved across the board, as opposed to sudden one-point innovation.

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#Cloud #Gaming #Foundation #Metaverse #rethink

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