Games continue to become increasingly impressive visually, but that is placing more pressure on the devices that are being used to play them.
Mobile games are particularly popular nowadays but many in the industry believe that a tipping point is coming, with developers working on titles that will need a lot of processing power to play.
Luckily another part of the sector is hard at work on innovation that could pave the way for the next generation of mobile games, without the need for a graphics processing unit (GPU).
Cloud gaming – which is sometimes known as gaming-as-a-service or gaming on demand – involves remote servers being used to stream a game directly to the device of a user.
A lot of people believe this is the way forward for the games industry, but how will it all work?
Let’s take a look at the potential impact of cloud gaming.
Cloud gaming is ready to make a splash
With new games pushing GPUs to their limits, cloud gaming could not arrive at a better time. Cloud gaming is not a new idea, with it first having been floated at E3 all the way back in 2000.
The technology was shown off by Finnish cloud gaming provider G-cluster, which intended to use Wi-Fi to stream games to mobile devices.
Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 was among the titles to have been made available by the company.
Cloud gaming did not take off then, though, with cable internet providers given time to catch up with the demands of the technology.
It was in the 2010s that cloud gaming started to become more of a reality, giving gamers developers another option for their new titles.
Gaikai attracted a lot of interest across the industry in 2012 on its launch and it was snapped up by Sony after showing how the cloud could be used for online advertising for games.
Nvidia, Blade and GameFly are among the other companies to have taken a strong interest in cloud gaming.
But it was arguably Google’s entrance into this department that made people sit up and take notice about its capabilities for the first time.
Google Stadia set to revolutionize the gaming world
GPUs could even become obsolete within the coming years if Google Stadia is a success.
This cloud gaming option was launched in late 2019 and Google is teaming up with Microsoft to develop the technology further. Stadia uses Google’s global network of data centers.
Google Stadia users can access titles through devices such as laptops, desktops, smartphones and tablets, as well as playing games in the traditional way, through a television or a monitor. Stadia Pro allows users to play for free, with up to 4K HDR with 5.1 surround sound available.
There will be a key date for Stadia next month when Google’s exclusive game Crayta comes out. The title, from studio Unit 2 Games, appears to be a cross between Fortnite and Minecraft.
Cloud gaming and the online casino world
One industry keeping a very close eye on the future of cloud gaming is the gambling sector.
It is becoming more and more popular to play live dealer no deposit blackjack at online casinos, with the live casino sections of these sites expanding quickly. Live casinos offer a social experience that is as close as people can get to visiting a bricks and mortar casino.
As well as blackjack, games such as roulette can also be played at the live casino, with some sites even allowing their customers to try out games like Deal or No Deal and Monopoly.
While online casinos do not usually put too much pressure on GPUs, moving to cloud gaming could allow developers to be more ambitious about the graphics and animations they use.
Is cloud gaming finally going to take off?
All the impressions are that 2020 will be the year cloud gaming starts to hit the big time.
According to a new study by Data Bridge Market Research, the cloud gaming industry is set to be worth nearly $4 billion by 2027.
In order for this to happen, the sector would have to expand at a rate of 37.86 per cent in the next seven years.
With streaming and subscription models set to boom, this does not look out of the question. Many gamers already prefer to download the latest titles on to their consoles rather than use a physical disc and this is a trend that seems certain to continue in the next few years.
What is for sure is GPUs appear to be on the way out, with cloud gaming coming to the fore.