Many of us can most likely remember the days where if we wanted to rent a movie we’d head on down to the local Blockbuster store, or making the trip over to PC World to buy the latest game that had just been released. And you’ll most likely also remember the agonising next few hours of waiting around for your game to install on your hard drive. Well it’s safe to say those days are over.
Thanks to the invention of cloud computing, we now have access to the entertainment and services that once would have been much harder to use. From online banking, to on demand TV and movies, and even when we’re working from home by accessing a shared drive, we use cloud computing more in our everyday lives than we may possibly realise. Gaming is no exception, and with the recent release of Google’s new cloud based online gaming platform, the latest games are now more accessible than ever.
Let’s take a look at how Google Stadia has been received, and if the online gambling and casino industry could also benefit from such cloud based services…
The Arrival of Google Stadia
Firstly, you may now be asking yourself what exactly is Google Stadia. Google Stadia is a cloud based gaming platform that was launched by Google this November, offering a variety of games on a range of devices from smart phone to tablet, smart TV, and Desktop. It uses the cloud to allow users to play games through the Chrome browser and currently offers access to 42 games in total.
There is currently a monthly subscription fee of around £8, with a one off fee of £119, which includes the custom controller, allowing users to keep up with their games across multiple devices, Chromecast Ultra, and 3 months access to Stadia Pro.
Whilst anticipation for this new platform was high, with titles such as Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Attack on Titan: Final Battle, and Destiny 2: The Collection being available to subscribers, there have been mixed reviews on the success of the platform so far.
Some of the Pros…
A more affordable way of gaming
One of the top benefits of Google Stadia is that it makes popular games more accessible. With the cost of a new game being anywhere between £20 and £70, gaming can be an expensive hobby and especially when you start to calculate the cost of the console and associated equipment, gaming chairs and screens that display them. The cost can quite quickly add up to over £1000.
However, with Google Stadia, gamers can now access new and popular games for a reasonable monthly subscription fee, whilst eliminating the need to have the costly console and associated equipment. All that’s needed is a device with a Wi-Fi connection and you’re good to go, at any time and from anywhere of your choosing, whether that be from the comfort of your own home, or under the desk in class…
Access to a wider variety of games
Having been named the ‘Netflix of games’, Stadia offers an impressive array of games, some of which can be played with a monthly subscription and others which need to be purchased. Nevertheless, Stadia enables players to access games for which they may not have had the correct console before, enabling great game choice freedom and an enhanced entertainment package.
No downloading requirements
We’ve all been there, you’ve just purchased a new game and cant wait to get stuck in and start playing, only to find it’s going to take around four hours to download it first. Not ideal. However, Stadia operates similarly to Netflix, allowing players to simply click on and stream a game without having to set anything up first.
Going on vacation? With Stadia, you’ll still be able to access all of your favourite games without having to take anything away with you. That’s the beauty of the cloud.
No more external hard drives… ever
Playing multiple games means constantly having to free up space on your hard drive, or overwrite previous games when you run out of space on your console. Stadia uses the cloud to store all of your game data and makes it available on any device you play on.
A fast wifi connection is required
Whilst the WI-Fi access in the UK is pretty reliable, it can go down and can also be particularly slow at certain times of the day when there is a high volume of users online. This isn’t great if you’re in the middle of a game that keeps lagging.
No ownership of games
Whilst players have the option to purchase certain games, they don’t own then and can only access them via the Stadia platform. In addition, you would only be able to access games purchased on Stadia.
Could a similar approach be applied to the Igaming platform?
There is currently a fantastic amount of choice for online gambling and gaming fans and particularly within the casino and online bingo sectors. With competition rife within the online gambling industry, bingo providers are already having to come up with innovative ways to draw in customers, from bingo sites no deposit, to loyalty schemes and free games.
However, the casino and gaming industry could reap significant benefits from a cloud-based infrastructure. Whilst the games themselves may be virtual, most online casino and gaming sites have a large office base full of workers managing their offerings. As all business owners know, the upkeep of office facilities and staff working spaces is costly, however by adopting a cloud based infrastructure, workers would be able to remotely manage systems and retire any on-site hardware.
In addition, a cloud-based infrastructure would enable greater data insights and enhanced analytics, providing a basis for greater services and offerings.
In all, whilst the technology is still finding its feet within the gaming industry, cloud based software could have significant advantages for the online gaming and casino industry.