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technomad Riding The Cloud

Sometimes I wonder the pundits of cloud computing are way to consumed with the enterprise applications. With all the CAPEX / OPEX, ROI-talk taking the center stage, an opportunity to affect masses directly is getting overlooked.

I am a self proclaimed die hard gamer. I come from the generation of gamers who started their journey in DOS games like Wolfenstein 3D and Allan Border Cricket (the latter is still a favorite pastime). In the late 90s, a revolution called accelerated graphics started in DirectX and OpenGL. Games got more advanced. Likes of Quake III and Unreal Tournament became the crown jewels of the industry.

But with all these advancements, there started a race. A race of GFX giants ATI and NVIDIA to beat each other for better frame and image quality. Revisions to the graphics chipsets became frequent. Games became eye candies but at the cost of more GPU power / memory. Every eagerly awaited title started demanding more muscle power in graphics and PC hardware.

Latest games and all the liquid smooth frame rates became the territory of the once with deep pockets who could spend lavishly on latest hardware. Enthusiasts like yours truly, who couldn’t afford this route, started exploring over-clocking, optimized hardware cooling... etc. to pursue the passion.

Ever rising cost of hardware requirements lead to rampant piracy of PC games. Gamers were willing to spend on the latest titles, but the ones with tight budget prefer hardware upgrades against a legal copy of the game. It was also fueled by emergence of the P2P file sharing networks.

Then came the era of Xbox and PS3s. It solved the major issue of hardware standardization and provided an alternative to ever increasing hardware costs. I have always admired these consoles, but being born and brought up in a keyboard/mouse environment, I still find it difficult to play first person shooters with a gamepad. I leave the topic of PC v/s Consol gaming for another day, but the bottom line is… PC gamers deserve an equally democratized solution.

This is where I think Cloud Computing can come to rescue.

  1. It can minimize hardware requirements.
  2. Virtually end the software piracy and rationalize costs for gamers.
  3. Subscription based models like pay-as-you-play.
  4. In game rewards, like extended subscription credits for exceptional gamers (oh yes, I have beaten Xaero on nightmare in Quake III, time and again!)
  5. Easy deployment for patches and fixes.
  6. Better game AI.

The list goes on and on…

Fortunately, companies like OnLive are thinking in the same direction. Their gaming service is all set to launch on 17th June 2010 in E3 2010 expo in L.A.

I wish them all the luck. I hope they will start a trend which will bring the smiles back on the face of budget gamers with the help of cloud computing.

Posted on Friday, May 28, 2010 12:42 PM | Back to top


Comments on this post: Gaming on Cloud

# re: Gaming on Cloud
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Interesting to see a gamer interested in clod computing. The cloud could also solve a persistent bane of the third world gamers, "Lag"! With the game running in cloud this could lead to a far level playing ground than today's ISP controlled crap.

Waiting to see OnLive's offer as well.
Left by IUnknown on May 28, 2010 6:34 PM

# re: Gaming on Cloud
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In desi scenario I guess availability/quality of bandwidth would be a major hurdle; I mean I have to pay Rs. 2000 per month for decent 512 KB bandwidth with no usage limit plus game platform subscription charges.
I would rather happily go for xbox 360 for 16-17k.
Left by Rustum on Jun 11, 2010 6:41 PM

# re: Gaming on Cloud
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@Rustum
Agreed. For a desi gamer, an occasional hardware upgrade won't pintch that much. But how many times one can afford it? Also, if I am a PC gamer, I will never have access to "consol only" games. And last but not the least, portability of the solution. You can't attach your latest graphcis to your office machine ;)
Left by technomad on Jun 12, 2010 10:34 PM

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