Is streaming the future of mobile gaming?
The ability to play AAA titles in all their glory on your mobile device is certainly an appealing thought. Imagine titles such as Destiny 2 or Red Dead Redemption 2 being played without any loading screens, all in glorious HD at a smooth 60 FPS. Surely this is the pinnacle of the gaming experience? All the processing power of high-end PCs and consoles with the casual gaming convenience offered by mobile devices.
What is game streaming?
Game streaming offers a seamless gaming experience because the actual processing is taking place elsewhere, communicating your inputs and the game’s reaction back and forth between your device and the streaming centre. This peer-to-peer connection is far faster than utilising a central streaming server, as with services like Netflix, and is the core of what makes game streaming such an exciting prospect.
When traditional games suffer latency you end up ping-ponging around the screen, completely missing items or walking through walls. Game streaming compensates for this by simply dropping the video stream quality, so your graphics take a hit but the game continues uninterrupted, meaning no more excuses for missing that critical shot.
While there is plenty of hype around game streaming, the future of mobile gaming is not quite there yet. For the time being, if you want to game stream, a strong connection is essential, making it pretty much impossible to play on the move. Trying to play on 4G or a weak WiFi connection from a mobile is not yet the seamless experience it should be, however, game streaming companies are confident that when 5G gets a proper rollout, we should have the connection stability necessary for game streaming and for now, it’s entirely possible to game stream at home providing you have a better than average connection.
Microsoft, Sony, Google and Ubisoft all have, or are developing, their own game streaming services, so it’s clearly only a matter of time before it becomes the standard for gaming. It requires no additional software or hardware, meaning AAA titles could soon be in the hands of smartphone owners who make up half the world’s population, an exciting prospect indeed.