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Cloud Gaming: The New Gaming Trend?

by Louise W. Rice
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In 2020, the video games industry was worth a whopping $90 billion in revenue, with expectations that it will grow an estimated 2.29% annually every year until 2024. Thanks to a range of new technologies that make gaming more accessible to on-the-go users, that number could be on the lower end of estimates.

Similarly, the online casino market has experienced rapid growth in recent years, estimated at $53.7 million in 2019, and expected to grow to $127.3 billion by 2027. The rise in popularity of casino games is due to many providers creating on the go accessibility via mobile apps, giving users the chance to play against live opponents in real-time. An example of a mobile casino is Spin Casino, a provider that optimized its site to ensure players can play whenever they like! Spin Casino also offers their new players sign-up bonuses, another factor that has helped contribute to the success of the online casino market and the growth of new casino players.

ProjectxCloud

It is this same quest for universal accessibility that is going to create rapid growth for the video games industry. Recently, the industry has started pivoting towards “cloud gaming”, with Google previously launching the Stadia service that allowed users to effectively stream games and play them on any connected device with their controller.

Since its release, the platform has had mixed success, but rival companies are already launching their own cloud gaming services that they hope will have better fates. Of these, the most high profile comes courtesy of Xbox, who have recently been able to offer their cloud gaming service available to all Game Pass Ultimate members.

The cloud gaming function, originally titled ProjectxCloud, was launched in September 2020, but its most recent update makes it more accessible. Now, it is available to subscribers in 22 countries on iOS and PC, and not just those with Android devices.

Additionally, updates have ensured the game is now powered by custom Xbox Series X hardware, ensuring faster load times, and higher resolution streaming in 1080p. But the real selling point is that users can now play on the devices they use most, such as smartphones and tablets, without needing to power up their console.

This is just the first step in Microsoft’s longer plan to make the Xbox universally accessible, and gradually reduce the need for users to even need a console. Ahead of E3 in June, Microsoft announced that they were developing a dedicated smart TV app, that would not require a Series X or Series S console to play.

Reports stated that they were working with smart TV manufacturers around the world to create a native game pass app. Users would need a controller, but the games would be accessible without a device.

The creation of a “streaming stick”, which can be plugged into any smart TV to play on the go, was also introduced as an upcoming possibility. While other manufacturers are focused on developing their consoles, Microsoft’s pivot to cloud gaming shows that this could be where the industry is heading.

A Few Words

The fate of Stadia has meant this transition is off to a shaky start, but with Xbox putting all their resources into cloud apps, this is a trend that could be here to stay.

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