You've heard of cloud gaming services like Google Stadia and Microsoft xCloud (and read our Snapshot with Stadia here) but what are these services and what does the quality of experience monitoring mean for the Cloud gaming industry?
What is Cloud Gaming?
As defined by Techopedia, Cloud gaming “refers to a game that resides on a company server rather than on the gamer’s computer or device. The gamer enters the game by installing a client program that can access the server where the games are running.”.
So, in essence, the same way that we consume our video content from streaming services such as Netflix and YouTube is the same way we would consume Gaming content- through a powerful server! In a cloud gaming environment, the user would subscribe to the service (and most likely pay a monthly subscription) login to the service, pick the game (as you would select a movie to watch on Netflix), and the game that is selected is run through the company’s super powerful server. That server then sends a feed of that game running from the data center directly onto the user's device in real-time!
It differs from traditional gaming in that rather than owning the hardware necessary to run high-end video games - console or pc - cloud gaming allows the users (players in this case) to stream and offload the processing demands to a company' server. Because all processing and storage are conducted on servers in cloud data centers rather than on the device, it requires a strong and stable internet connection. But even despite having a perfect internet connectivity, players can still experience drops in the quality of their gaming experience. That's where proactive monitoring comes into play.
Proactive monitoring needed for a good experience
While your gaming experience is only as good as your internet connection, the very complex network infrastructure needed can cause problems that can seriously hinder your experience: latency, drops in quality of the stream, loss of audio, game unavailable, etc.
We, at Witbe, have had the privilege of working with some of the biggest companies dealing with those same issues, and so we've been able to craft a monitoring technology that allows for any companies - including cloud gaming companies - to proactively monitor their services as close to the end-user as possible. Not only can our robots show you exactly what a real user would experience, it also returns critical KPIs and can map your network infrastructure from end to end. This helps cloud gaming platforms, and network providers, measure the latency, the quality of the video and audio, and ensure that a player has access to every games that they should have access to.
The Future of Cloud Gaming
With the advent of 5G and the raising adoption of cloud services, cloud gaming has great potential to be a game changer (pun intended) in the video gaming industry.
We predict that faster, low-latency, high-bandwidth 5G networks will provide game-changing opportunities for the entire ecosystem and in the next few years, and in order to stay on top with their streaming demands, it essential that providers and operators use QoE monitoring to ensure uninterrupted playtime and a great quality of experience.
We can't wait to see what's in store. If you want to know more about how to monitor cloud gaming services, you can check out our analysis of Google's Stadia Quality of Experience!