Cloud Based Gaming
Vinod Gupta School of Management
Imagine how great it would be if you could play a high end game like Far Cry 2 or Crysis on your netbook or your mobile. This is what cloud based video game providers like Onlive or Otoy promise. The entire processing of the games will be done in the cloud or servers maintained by the provider while the game will run in your browser and you will be sending the responses through the web. In this paper the effects of these changes on the Video Game industry and Gaming as a whole will be studied. The feasibility, limitations, challenges of this idea and the various players presently working on this new technology and their present progress in this regards will also be looked at. Initially it is planned as a paid service. But the possibility of all the costs to be covered by advertisement and nominal subscription costs as per economies of scale will also be analyzed. Video games and the Video Game Industry
The definition of video game as per wikipedia is as follows- “A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a video device. The electronic systems used to play video games are known as platforms; examples of these are personal computers and video game consoles. These platforms range from large mainframe computers to small handheld devices.”
Below is shown the block diagram of a video game. The input device and the processor constitute the platform. Various examples of platforms are Computers, Play Station, X-Box, Nintendo Wii, mobile phones etc. The input devices are normally joypads or keyboards. A game software is a piece of software which is run by the processor to generate the required environment with specific goals which the user has to achieve. It also defines the rules about what should happen in case of particular responses from the user. It has to be bought separately and plugged into the platform for the user to play the game. The display device may or may not be a part of the platform. Usually in case of computers and handheld device, it is a part of the platform, while for devices like Play Station and X Box, it is not a part of the platform.
Any video game involves the interaction with the platform through an Input device. The input is then passed on to the processor, which processes the inputs to generate appropriate outcomes using a game software. These outcomes are then displayed on the display. According to the outcomes displayed on the display, the user again takes necessary steps which are again transmitted to the processor through the input device. This cycle takes place continuously and the user interacts with the platform to control a person or a team on real time basis to propel it towards its goal, which can vary from killing an opponent to winning a game. This process keeps on going till the final outcome of the game is reached (all levels cleared) or if the user reaches the termination stage (game over).
Video games have existed since 1950s in various forms. But it is in the last 10-15 years, that it has grown exponentially. This growth can be attributed to the growing computing powers of the PCs and various other devices. It started initially as a thing for the kids. But today it is meant for adults as well, with adults and teenagers comprising of a huge chunk. In fact, as per a report by Entertainment Software Association, the average age of gamers in America is 35. This can be partly associated with the increased maturity and complexity of games and also with the fact that, people who used to play games earlier have grown up but still continue to play games. Microsoft Flight simulator, is a very good example of a very complex and realistic game with even real pilots using it as a simulator to test their skills. Age of Empires is another wonderful game with large business connotations. Here you can build an...
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