Cloud Gaming: Will This Tech Trend Take Off?

Slowly but surely, the gaming industry is starting to see greater applications of cloud gaming. Cloud gaming has been a hot topic for years (like similar VR pursuits), but only now are the very first projects launching to global audiences. At the moment, Amazon’s Luna and NVIDIA’s GeForce Now are being hailed as the highest-quality options.

But a myriad of other brands are looking to get involved. Microsoft already has its Xbox Cloud Gaming—a successful endeavor by any metric. The same goes for the slow-but-steady PlayStation Plus push from Sony. Even Netflix is starting to dabble with streamable games on its existing video platform.

Many publications have hailed cloud gaming as the latest frontier in the industry. It’s an innovative new take on gaming, allowing players to access a greater range of titles for cheaper. At least, in theory. As cloud gaming starts to take off, there are dozens of obstacles that streaming platforms face.

Over the next decade, it’s likely that these issues will be hammered out, and legacy game streamers will take their place in the sector. But for now, let’s take a closer look at some of the larger drawbacks that are preventing this trend from truly taking off.

A Question of Genre & Platform

One of the primary issues behind cloud gaming is its complexity. To explain quickly, there are four unique roles that must be fulfilled for game streaming to work: the actual cloud game provider, cloud infrastructure providers, connectivity (Wi-Fi) providers, and the actual gaming device.


These need to line up—which is a high charge that hasn’t yet been fulfilled. In other words, users face issues syncing up the games they want to play with their gaming devices. Many gamers aren’t used to thinking about their game libraries in these terms. And what about other favorites?

For example, millions of gamers around the world enjoy casino games. Slots are the favorite at platforms like PokerStars Casino, including penny slot options. Whether taking a break from competitive gaming or simply unwinding, these titles remain on the radar for gamers of all stripes. But they don’t quite fit into the cloud gaming landscape yet.

Do they need to? Maybe not—but variation in games is still a huge priority for players.

A High Charge for Bandwidth

As outlined above, there are many moving parts that support cloud gaming. Probably the most important is a solid internet connection. Cloud gaming requires massive amounts of bandwidth because games are being generated live. Any crashes and latency issues will immediately be a cause for concern for gamers—especially competitive ones.

This isn’t just a question of millisecond lag or latency problems. Connectivity issues can even affect the graphic quality of a game, which can make the experience unenjoyable for even casual gamers. In reality, most cloud gaming services still require a solid amount of edge computing.

Put simply, the average gamer’s at-home infrastructure can’t keep up with the demands of cloud gaming. This will change in the future—especially with 6G networks in the works. But how quickly?

A Question of Exclusivity

The current shift toward cloud gaming can be easily compared to the shift from cable television to video streaming.

Once upon a time, at-home audiences paid for access to certain channels that produced exclusive content. The same is true for many gamers; Nintendo Switch players, for example, have access to all of Nintendo’s library from their device—but little else.

As outlined above with the casino example, players want variation. A new approach to gaming will take time to cobble together—from both a player and developer perspective. Games publishers aren’t necessarily motivated to hand the rights to their games over to cloud gaming platforms. Let’s take a look at the example of Grand Theft Auto 6, one of the gaming world’s biggest releases set for 2025.

The game will be available on Xbox and PlayStation, but not necessarily for Nintendo, PC, and other cross-play platforms. A player who wants immediate access to the game isn’t likely to waste their money on a cloud gaming subscription. Instead, they’ll stay aligned with the gaming brand that they know and love.