History of video games/Print version/Cloud gaming

Cloud gaming history

Early Technology edit

ASR-33 teletype terminal.

During the 1970's games were streamed from Mainframes to terminals at a number of institutions.[1][2]

Dawn of cloud gaming edit

G-Cluster demonstrated a cloud game streaming setup at E3 2000 which streamed PC titles to specialized rental G-Cluster mobile devices over Wi-Fi[3][4] There were plans to launch the service in the Helsinki airport in August 2001, and in American airports by 2002.[4]

Onlive would manage a public launch of a game streaming service in 2010.[3][5]

Cloud gaming matures edit

Cloud enhanced gaming became widespread in the 2010's and 2020 for a number of reasons. Cloud Saving can be used to automatically back up save data from a console.[6] Cloud gaming can be used to get games to play on hardware that they are prevented from running games locally due to developer disputes.[7]

Early attempts edit

  •   Vidéoway - Montreal, Canada and Dayton, Ohio only.
  •   Taito WOWOW - Canceled Japanese satellite streaming service and device.

Modern Cloud Gaming Platforms edit

References edit

  1. "The BG News October 3, 1973". BG News (Student Newspaper). 3 October 1973. Retrieved 12 November 2020.
  2. "The Forgotten History of 'The Oregon Trail,' As Told By Its Creators". Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  3. a b "The past and future of cloud gaming: Will it ever work?". Gamecrate. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  4. a b "G-cluster's G-screen Tackles Wireless Gaming". Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  5. "OnLive lost: how the paradise of streaming games was undone by one man's ego". Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  6. "Save Data Cloud Backup – Nintendo Switch™ Online". www.nintendo.com. Retrieved 5 November 2020.
  7. "Fortnite set to return to iPhones via Nvidia cloud gaming service". BBC News. 5 November 2020. Retrieved 5 November 2020.

Open games · Esports

History edit

Development edit

In 2015 N-Dream AG was founded.[1] The Zurich, Switzerland based company goes on to develop the AirConsole.[1]

Market edit

In early 2020 AirConsole offered free access for two weeks during the COVID-19 pandemic.[2]

In 2021 AirConsole entered a partnership with the company Xiaomi to include AirConsole on their Android TV television sets.[3]

Technology edit

AirConsole streams gameplay through a browser, and controllers through smartphones.[4]

Games edit

Games on AirConsole focused on offering local multiplayer.[4]

Gallery edit

Gamers playing AirConsole on a laptop.

References edit

Gaikai logotype.

History edit

In 2010 Gaikai was in closed beta, and was planned to use streaming playable games as an advertising tool.[1]

In June of 2012 Gaikai partnered with Samsung for Smart TV streaming.[2]

Sony Computer Entertainment spent about $380 million dollars to acquire Gaikai on July 2nd, 2012.[3] This acquisition was noted for the patents this acquisition gave Sony.[4][5]

In 2013 it was announced that Gaikai technology would be used in the Sony PlayStation 4.[6]

References edit

The GeForce Now logo

History edit

Beta edit

GeForce NOW entered a beta phase for Shield products in 2015.[1]

GeForce Now was announced at CES 2017.[2]

Launch edit

On February 4th, 2020 GeForce Now was released to the general public.[3] Initial relations with some developers over the service were rocky.[4]

In 2022 it was announced that support for GeForce Now would be added to Samsung Smart TVs.[5]

External Resources edit

References edit

History edit

Development edit

The Googleplex in Mountain View, California.

Rumors of projects that would become Stadia date back to as early as 2016.[1]

Around 2018 and 2019 rumors spread of a "Project Yeti" game console made by Google, and associated with Project Stream.[2][3][4][5]

Stadia Games and Entertainment was revealed as a first party studio for the Stadia at GDC 2019.[6] Several employees leading development on Stadia had previously worked on Gaikai or PlayStation Now.[7]

Launch edit

Stadia logo.

Just prior to the announcement of the Stadia at GDC San Francisco in March of 2019 a gaming history exhibit featuring a number of products owned by the Video Game History Foundation was placed on display.[8] This display included important retro gaming gear on pedestals with an empty pedestal for the new product coming soon, which would be Stadia.[8] Though this generated important revenue from the foundation,[9] as all the other pedestal items were commercial failures, some saw this mix up as a bad omen.[8]

Google Stadia launched on November 19th, 2019.[10][11] There were a number of issues on launch day, though many remained hopeful for the future of the service.[12][13][11] Reportedly, the service would severely underperform expectations in the following year.[14]

In late 2019 and early 2020 many developers expressed doubts about the Stadia, including a lack of incentives to port games, small user base, and the concern that Stadia might simply be discontinued.[15][16] Reportedly major financial incentives were required to gain the support of major publishers.[14]

Adoption & Struggles edit

In April of 2020 the requirement to own a $129.99 kit to play Stadia was removed to help people stay at home during COVID-19.[17]

On October 1st, 2020 Stadia launched Crowd Choice, a feature allowing stream audiences to vote on the game roles of streamers.[18] Later that October, Google tried offering free demos of Stadia games to build interest in the program.[19][20]

In November of 2020 Google began allowing for cloud games to be shared between family members.[21]

Due to app store policies, the launch of Stadia for iOS devices was delayed to December 16th, 2020 and launched in the form of a web app instead of a native app.[22][23][24] As iPhone marketshare in the USA, Japan, and Canada was very high in 2020 this was an important market for mobile gaming.[25]

In January 2021 some Google employees formed a union, becoming one of the few companies in the gaming industry with a union.[26] The union had existed in secret for a year prior.[27]

On February 1st, 2021 Google announced they were winding down their Stadia Games & Entertainment (SG&E) division to focus on supporting third party games only.[28][29] This also included noted game producer Jade Raymond, the producer of the first few Assassins Creed games as well as the first Watchdogs game, also leaving Google.[28] A notable struggle to retain Terraria as a Stadia game followed just days later for unrelated reasons, though it was ultimately retained by the end of the month.[30][31][32]

In February 2022 it was widely reported that the service would switch focus from being a consumer focused service to become an enterprise focused service.[33][34][35][36]

Discontinuation edit

On September 29, 2022 it was announced that Google Stadia would be shuttered on January 18, 2023, and that refunds would be issued to all official Stadia related purchases.[37][38] At the time there was some concern among the gaming press about the preservation of Stadia exclusives.[39] There was also concerns over e-waste generated by the discontinuation of the service, as the wireless controllers did not support an open standard for wireless communication.[40]

After Discontinuation edit

Some saw the YouTube Playables platform as a successor to Stadia.[41]

As of September 2023 improved support for the Stadia controller rumble was being added to Linux kernel 6.6.[42]

Technology edit

A Google Data Center in Council Bluffs, Iowa. This photo was taken in 2017, two years before the launch of Google Stadia.

Launch specs edit

Note that the following specifications are per Stadia instance at launch.

At launch each Stadia server blade contained a dedicated custom x86 CPU clocked at 2.7 gigahertz with hyperthreading, AVX2, and 9.5 megabytes of L2 and L3 cache.[43][44] Stadia instances used a dedicated custom AMD GPU with 56 compute units clocked at roughly 1495 megahertz to produce a performance of 10.7 teraflops.[44][43] Stadia server blades have 16 gigabytes of HBM2 RAM with 484 gigabytes per second of throughput.[44][43][45]

Stadia servers ran a Linux based operating system.[43][44][45] The Vulkan graphics API was used.[46]

Notable Games edit

Major Ports edit

Exclusive Titles edit

Gallery edit

Stadia Promotion edit

Stadia Hardware edit

External Resources edit

References edit

  1. Hindy, Joe (18 January 2023). "RIP Google Stadia, the gaming service aimed at no one" (in en). Android Authority. https://www.androidauthority.com/rip-google-stadia-3267642/. 
  2. Pennington, Dean (22 February 2019). "Google expected to announce 'Yeti' game streaming console at GDC 2019". TechSpot. https://www.techspot.com/news/78885-google-expected-announce-yeti-game-streaming-console-gdc.html. 
  3. Roettgers, Janko (15 March 2019). "Google’s Gaming Service: Patents, Code Snippets and Other Clues Suggest Chromecast Link". Variety. https://variety.com/2019/digital/news/google-gaming-service-device-chromecast-yeti-1203164633/. 
  4. Haselton, Todd (17 March 2019). "Google is about to reveal its plan to take on the $140 billion gaming industry, but experts are skeptical it has a chance" (in en). CNBC. https://www.cnbc.com/2019/03/17/google-yeti-gaming-announcement-expectations.html. 
  5. Amadeo, Ron (7 February 2018). "Google’s “Yeti” is reportedly a gaming hardware, streaming service beast" (in en-us). Ars Technica. https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2018/02/report-google-considering-a-game-streaming-service-console-hardware/. 
  6. Webster, Andrew (19 March 2019). "Google created its own studio for Stadia-exclusive games". The Verge. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  7. Hollister, Sean (1 February 2021). "The writing’s on the wall for Google Stadia" (in en). The Verge. https://www.theverge.com/22260994/google-stadia-platform-white-label-option. 
  8. a b c "Stadia's issues were clear from the start This Week in Business" (in en). GamesIndustry.biz. https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2021-02-05-stadias-issues-were-clear-from-the-start-this-week-in-business. 
  9. "@frankcifaldi". Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  10. Hollister, Sean (6 June 2019). "Google's Stadia cloud gaming service is coming November 19th: Everything you need to know". The Verge. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  11. a b Hollister, Sean (18 November 2019). "Google Stadia review: the best of cloud gaming is still just a beta". The Verge. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  12. Noonan, Keith (26 November 2019). "Google Fumbled the Launch of Its Stadia Gaming Platform, but It Might Not Matter" (in en). The Motley Fool. https://www.fool.com/investing/2019/11/26/google-fumbled-launch-of-stadia-gaming-platform.aspx. 
  13. Hall, Stephen (19 November 2019). "Google needs to allay Stadia concerns — its launch does not". 9to5Google. https://9to5google.com/2019/11/19/google-stadia-concerns-launch/. 
  14. a b Peters, Jay (26 February 2021). "Two new reports reveal the depths of Stadia’s struggles" (in en). The Verge. https://www.theverge.com/2021/2/26/22303496/google-stadia-struggle-wired-bloomberg-reports-studios. 
  15. Gilbert, Ben. "Google's ambitious push into gaming is floundering, and it's due largely to too few games on its Stadia platform — here's why developers have held back". Business Insider. Retrieved 13 November 2020.
  16. "Even game developers are nervous Google could kill Stadia". Android Police. 14 November 2019. Retrieved 13 November 2020.
  17. Schiesel, Seth (8 April 2020). "Google Makes Stadia Gaming Service Free". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  18. Lyles, Taylor (30 September 2020). "One of Google Stadia's most interesting features, Crowd Choice, is finally coming this week". The Verge. Retrieved 5 November 2020.
  19. Warren, Tom (20 October 2020). "Google launches free Stadia game demos to entice people into cloud gaming". The Verge. Retrieved 5 November 2020.
  20. Orland, Kyle (20 October 2020). "Google Stadia's free demos could prove the value of game streaming". Ars Technica. Retrieved 5 November 2020.
  21. Statt, Nick (5 November 2020). "You can borrow a friend's Google Stadia library with new family sharing feature". The Verge. Retrieved 5 November 2020.
  22. "Google's Stadia game streaming service is now available on iOS via web app" (in en). Macworld. 16 December 2020. https://www.macworld.com/article/3601730/googles-stadia-game-streaming-service-is-now-available-on-ios-via-web-app.html. 
  23. "Google Stadia Cloud Gaming Platform Now Available on iPhone and iPad Through Safari" (in en). MacRumors. https://www.macrumors.com/2020/12/16/google-stadia-ios-launch/. 
  24. "Google Stadia Is Now Playable on iPhone and iPad - IGN" (in en). https://www.ign.com/articles/google-stadia-ios-now-available. 
  25. "iOS More Popular in Japan and US, Android Dominates in China and India" (in en). PCMAG. https://www.pcmag.com/news/ios-more-popular-in-japan-and-us-android-dominates-in-china-and-india. 
  26. Conger, Kate (4 January 2021). "Hundreds of Google Employees Unionize, Culminating Years of Activism". The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/04/technology/google-employees-union.html. 
  27. Sumagaysay, Levi. "What can a small union for well-paid Google workers accomplish? Quite a bit, experts say". MarketWatch. https://www.marketwatch.com/story/what-can-a-small-union-for-well-paid-google-workers-accomplish-quite-a-bit-experts-say-11610140175. 
  28. a b "Focusing on Stadia’s future as a platform, and winding down SG&E" (in en). Google. 1 February 2021. https://blog.google/products/stadia/focusing-on-stadias-future-as-a-platform-and-winding-down-sge/. 
  29. Gartenberg, Chaim (1 February 2021). "Google is shutting down its in-house Stadia game development studios" (in en). The Verge. https://www.theverge.com/2021/2/1/22260803/google-stadia-game-development-studio-shut-down-jade-raymond. 
  30. Lyles, Taylor (26 February 2021). "Stadia version of Terraria is back in production after developer reconciles with Google" (in en). The Verge. https://www.theverge.com/2021/2/26/22303868/terria-stadia-version-back-development-canceled-google. 
  31. Lyles, Taylor (8 February 2021). "Terraria co-creator says Stadia version is canceled after losing access to Google accounts" (in en). The Verge. https://www.theverge.com/2021/2/8/22272502/terraria-google-stadia-port-canceled-deceloper-locked-out. 
  32. Wales, Matt (26 February 2021). "Terraria dev says Stadia launch will now proceed after resolving spat with Google" (in en). Eurogamer. https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2021-02-26-terraria-dev-says-stadia-launch-will-now-proceed-after-resolving-spat-with-google. 
  33. Langley, Hugh. "EXCLUSIVE: Google is trying to salvage its failing Stadia game service with a new focus on striking deals with Peloton, Bungie, and others under the brand 'Google Stream'". Business Insider. https://www.businessinsider.com/google-stadia-stream-plan-partnerships-peloton-bungie-gaming-service-2022-2. 
  34. Hollister, Sean (4 February 2022). "Google Stadia has reportedly been demoted, but it might show up in your Peloton" (in en). The Verge. https://www.theverge.com/2022/2/4/22917999/google-stadia-white-label-peloton-bungie-capcom. 
  35. "Report: Google Quietly Ditching Stadia" (in en-us). Kotaku. https://kotaku.com/google-stadia-streaming-failing-shutdown-report-stream-1848487185. 
  36. "Google Stadia May Not Be Long for This World" (in en-us). Gizmodo. https://gizmodo.com/google-stadia-may-not-be-long-for-this-world-1848485015. 
  37. Gach, Ethan (29 September 2022). "Google Kills Stadia, Its Cloud Gaming Service, Refunding Everyone" (in en-us). Kotaku. https://kotaku.com/stadia-google-refund-cloud-streaming-assassins-creed-1849597014. 
  38. Cranz, Alex; Peters, Jay (29 September 2022). "Google is shutting down Stadia". The Verge. https://www.theverge.com/2022/9/29/23378713/google-stadia-shutting-down-game-streaming-january-2023. 
  39. a b Zwiezen, Zack (29 September 2022). "All The Games We Might Lose Forever When Google Stadia Dies" (in en-us). Kotaku. https://kotaku.com/google-stadia-exclusive-games-pac-man-gylt-pixeljunk-1849599091. 
  40. Purdy, Kevin (30 September 2022). "Stadia controllers could become e-waste unless Google issues Bluetooth update" (in en-us). Ars Technica. https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2022/09/stadia-controllers-could-become-e-waste-unless-google-issues-bluetooth-update/. 
  41. Hornby, Rael (27 June 2023). "Stadia 2.0? Google may let you play games on YouTube soon". Yahoo Life. https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/stadia-2-0-google-may-124906372.html. 
  42. Larabel, Michael (3 September 2023). "Stadia Controller Rumbles & New Gaming Peripherals Supported By Linux 6.6" (in en). www.phoronix.com. https://www.phoronix.com/news/Linux-6.6-HID. 
  43. a b c d Hollister, Sean (19 March 2019). "Google Stadia uses a custom AMD chip to offer 10.7 teraflops of cloud gaming power". The Verge. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  44. a b c d Leadbetter, Richard (19 March 2019). "Google Stadia specs: is this our first taste of next-gen?". Eurogamer. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  45. a b "Google scores a custom AMD GPU to power its Stadia cloud gaming hardware". TechCrunch. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  46. "Stadia Is Google's Cloud Gaming Service Using Linux, Vulkan & A Custom AMD GPU - Phoronix". www.phoronix.com. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  47. a b c d e f g h i j k l "Stadia - Play for Free across your favorite devices". stadia.google.com. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  48. Franzese, Tomas (8 August 2023). "Baldur's Gate 3 could have saved Google Stadia" (in en). Digital Trends. https://www.digitaltrends.com/gaming/baldurs-gate-3-couldve-saved-google-stadia/. 
  49. Schoon, Ben (3 August 2023). "Baldur's Gate 3 gets its full release, four years after Stadia first revealed it". 9to5Google. https://9to5google.com/2023/08/03/baldurs-gate-3-release/. 

Amazon Luna logotype.

History edit

Amazon had been making strategic acquisitions which analysts suspected was a move to be getting into the home gaming industry since at least 2014.[1] In particular roumors of a home game console developed by Amazon Lab 126.[2][3]

Amazon Luna was announced in late September 2020.[4]

Early access to the Amazon Luna service began on October 20th, 2020.[5]

The business model Luna uses appears to be a monthly fee for access to a library of games.[6]

In March of 2023 the service launched in Canada, UK, and Germany.[7][8]

Technology edit

Compute edit

At launch Luna is intended to run on AWS EC2 G4 instances using Intel Cascade Lake CPUs, T4 GPUs made by NVIDIA, and a Windows operating system.[9][10] Luna instances are expected to have about 8.1 teraflops of performance.[10]

Software edit

The service had close integration with Twitch game streaming.[11]

Controller edit

The Amazon Luna controller lowered latency by using Wi-Fi to bypass the client device and connect more directly to the server.[12][13]

Alternatively, a smartphone could also be used as a controller.[14]

Gallery edit

External Resources edit

References edit

  1. "Is Amazon's Double Helix Acquisition Proof Of A New Game Console?". https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/amazons-double-helix-acquisition-proof-new-game-console-2014-02-07. 
  2. "Amazon Set to Unveil a Game Console - Analyst Blog". https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/amazon-set-to-unveil-a-game-console-analyst-blog-2014-01-31. 
  3. "Rumors suggest Amazon's game console project is still alive". Engadget. https://www.engadget.com/2014-01-28-amazon-set-top-games-console-rumor.html. 
  4. McWhertor, Michael (24 September 2020). "Amazon unveils new cloud gaming service Luna". Polygon. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  5. "Amazon Luna early access begins today". US Day One Blog. 20 October 2020. Retrieved 30 October 2020.
  6. Schoon, Ben (2 November 2020). "Amazon Luna hands on: Rough around the edges". 9to5Google. Retrieved 5 November 2020.
  7. Henderson, Rik (25 September 2020). "Amazon Luna pricing, availability, games list, devices and all you need to know" (in en). Pocket-lint. https://www.pocket-lint.com/amazon-luna-plus-cloud-gaming-games-list-price-devices-explained/. 
  8. Bonifacic, Igor (April 19, 2023). "Amazon Luna hits Samsung's smart TV Gaming Hub in Canada, Germany and UK". Engadget. https://www.engadget.com/amazon-luna-hits-samsungs-smart-tv-gaming-hub-in-canada-germany-and-uk-203744962.html. 
  9. "6 Things to Know About Amazon's Luna Cloud Gaming Service". Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  10. a b "Amazon's Luna game streaming service is powered by Windows and Nvidia GPUs". Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  11. Linder, Courtney (26 January 2021). "Amazon Luna Is Here to Give You a New Cloud Gaming Service That's Console-Free". Popular Mechanics. https://www.popularmechanics.com/culture/gaming/a34687654/amazon-luna-newest-cloud-gaming-platform/. 
  12. "Amazon Luna hands-on: Shooting for the moon". Android Police. 30 March 2022. https://www.androidpolice.com/amazon-luna-hands-on/. 
  13. "Amazon Luna: Cloud Gaming Prime-Style and an All-New Wireless Controller". MUO. 2 March 2022. https://www.makeuseof.com/amazon-luna-wireless-controller/. 
  14. Nield, David (7 April 2023). "7 things to know about Amazon’s new gaming service, Luna". Popular Science. https://www.popsci.com/diy/amazon-luna-tips/. 

History edit

Development edit

OnLive was in development for seven years before it was announced at GDC 2009.[1][2]

At GDC 2009 the microconsole was publicly shown.[3]

The company tried a number of strategies to entice users, including offering a $99 streaming microconsole, and having a $9.99 a month PlayPack subscription service for getting access to a library of games.[4]

OnLive and semi-competing service Gaikai did not have a good relationship, despite reported attempts by Gaikai employees to be cordial.[4]

Launch edit

On September 22nd, 2011 OnLive launched in the United Kingdom in preparation for a full European launch.[5][6]

The Onlive Microconsole had a December 2nd, 2010 release date announced.[7] The microconsole sold for $99 US dollars[7] or 70 British pounds.[8]

In February 2011 some microconsoles were given at now additional cost to users who preordered the game Homefront.[9]

Legacy edit

By 2012, OnLive had nearly gone bankrupt, despite massive investments.[10] Most OnLive staff were laid off, with the service only having at most 1,600 simultaneous users.[4]

After being purchased by Sony, OnLive was shut down on April 30th, 2015.[11]

Some in the industry saw the story of Onlive as one which jaded them to cloud gaming technologies, or as a cautionary tale of sorts.[12][13]

Technology edit

Cloud system edit

Little is known of the technical specifications used by OnLive on the backend.

Microconsole edit

Compute edit

The OnLive microconsole uses a Marvell 88DE3010 SoC, which uses dual modified ARMv5 Architecture PJ1 Sheeva processor cores clocked at one gigahertz.[14][15] The microconsole has one gigabyte of DDR2-800 SDRAM for system memory.[14] Persistent storage on the microconsole is handled by NAND SLC flash storage with a capacity of two gigabytes.[14]

The 88DE3010 SoC also included hardware video decoding capabilities.[16] Compression used by the service on the microconsole was noticeable.[17]

Hardware edit

The microconsole has an gigabit ethernet port for network connectivity as well as an HDMI port for AV output.[18][8] Twin Component video output was supported with an optional adapter.[19] Audio could alternatively be output over a 3.5" audio jack or optical S/PDIF port.[8]

USB ports on the front of the microconsole allowed for alternate input devices.[20]

The OnLive microconsole takes 12 volts DC at 1.5 Amps, drawing as much as 18 watts of electricity.[14] However Engadget said in their review of the microconsole that the system only used 6 watts of power.[21]

Controller edit

The controller was known as the "Owl".[22]

The wireless controller reduced wireless latency by using a proprietary wireless protocol said to be similar to IEEE 802.15.4.[3] OnLive boasted that their wireless protocol had a lower latency then a wired USB connection.[23]

The controller had built in rumble support.[24] The controller also featured a "BragClip" sharing button.[21]

Notable games edit

Most games offered through OnLive were AAA titles.[25]

Datacenter Locations edit

Proximity to Datacenters was important for OnLive users, as latency issues made the service suboptimal beyond 1000 miles (1609.34 kilometers) from a datacenter.[26] Known datacenter locations for OnLive Include:

OnLive Game System edit

External Resources edit

References edit

  1. Remo, Chris. "GDC: OnLive Announces Cloud-Based Gaming Service". www.gamasutra.com. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  2. Mangalindan, J. P. (15 October 2020). "Cloud gaming's history of false starts and promising reboots". Polygon. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  3. a b Lowe, Scott (18 November 2010). "OnLive MicroConsole Review" (in en). IGN. https://www.ign.com/articles/2010/11/18/onlive-microconsole-review. 
  4. a b c Hollister, Sean (28 August 2012). "OnLive lost: how the paradise of streaming games was undone by one man's ego". The Verge. Retrieved 16 November 2020.
  5. Savov, Vlad (21 September 2011). "OnLive launches in the UK today, September 22nd; rolling out to rest of Europe soon". The Verge. Retrieved 16 November 2020.
  6. Parrish, Kevin (September 23, 2011). "OnLive CEO: We Are The Next-Generation Console" (in en). Tom's Hardware. https://www.tomshardware.com/news/OnLive-Xbox-PlayStation-Wii-U-Steve-Perlman,13502.html. 
  7. a b Perlee, Ben (18 November 2010). "Review: The OnLive MicroConsole and Controller" (in en-CA). Destructoid. https://www.destructoid.com/review-the-onlive-microconsole-and-controller/. 
  8. a b c Orphanides, Kat (November 13, 2011). "OnLive MicroConsole & Service review" (in en). Expert Reviews. https://www.expertreviews.co.uk/games/51262/onlive-microconsole-service-review. 
  9. Orl, Kyle (25 February 2011). "OnLive Offering Free Microconsole With Homefront Pre-Order" (in en). Game Developer. https://www.gamedeveloper.com/console/onlive-offering-free-microconsole-with-i-homefront-i-pre-order. 
  10. "HTC to book loss of $40 million US with OnLive". Windows Central. 20 August 2012. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  11. Lowensohn, Josh (2 April 2015). "Sony buys streaming games service OnLive only to shut it down". The Verge. Retrieved 30 October 2020.
  12. Bashir, Dale (5 April 2022). "Dissecting The Rise of Game Streaming Services With Antstream Arcade CEO Steve Cottam" (in en-sg). IGN Southeast Asia. https://sea.ign.com/atari-1/183838/news/dissecting-the-rise-of-game-streaming-services-with-antstream-arcade-ceo-steve-cottam. 
  13. "The failure of OnLive is a lesson for Stadia and xCloud" (in en). Android Authority. 21 November 2019. https://www.androidauthority.com/throwbackthursday-onlive-service-1056966/. 
  14. a b c d "OnLive Game System Teardown". electronics360.globalspec.com. Retrieved 16 November 2020.
  15. S, Ganesh T. (March 11, 2011). "Nixeus Fusion XS Brings Marvell into the DMA Market". www.anandtech.com. https://www.anandtech.com/show/4214/nixeus-fusion-xs-brings-marvell-into-the-dma-market/2. 
  16. "Company - Newsroom - New Marvell HD Media Processor System-on-a-Chip Brings Award-Winning Qdeo Processing to Next-Generation Consumer Electronics Devices - Marvell". www.marvell.com. https://www.marvell.com/company/newsroom/new-marvell-hd-media-processor-system-on-chip-brings-award-winning-qdeo-processing-to-next-generation-consumer-electronics-devices.html. 
  17. "OnLive MicroConsole" (in en-gb). PCMag UK. 20 July 2011. https://uk.pcmag.com/first-looks/20571/onlive-microconsole. 
  18. "The Escapist : Forums : The News Room : OnLive's MicroConsole Aims to Make Console Gaming Easier". v1.escapistmagazine.com. Retrieved 16 November 2020.
  19. Leung, Justin (September 15, 2011). "OnLive MicroConsole (Review) | Skatter". skatter.com. https://skatter.com/2011/09/onlive-microconsole-review/. 
  20. Ackerman, Dan. "OnLive MicroConsole review: OnLive MicroConsole" (in en). CNET. https://www.cnet.com/reviews/onlive-microconsole-series-review/. 
  21. a b Nelson, R. (November 18, 2010). "OnLive MicroConsole review: The hardware and experience". Engadget. https://www.engadget.com/2010-11-18-onlive-microconsole-review.html. 
  22. Pikover, James (22 November 2010). "Ars reviews the OnLive microconsole, service" (in en-us). Ars Technica. https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2010/11/onlive-1/. 
  23. Chen, Jason (18 November 2010). "OnLive MicroConsole Streams Cloud-Rendered Games to Your TV" (in en-us). Gizmodo. https://gizmodo.com/onlive-microconsole-streams-cloud-rendered-games-to-you-5692903. 
  24. Purchese, Robert (20 September 2010). "OnLive MicroConsole dated, priced" (in en-gb). Eurogamer.net. https://www.eurogamer.net/onlive-microconsole-dated-and-priced. 
  26. a b c d e f "The infrastructure behind Stadia and the next evolution of cloud gaming". Techerati. https://www.techerati.com/features-hub/opinions/edge-data-centre-cloud-gaming-stadia-google-5g/. 
  27. a b c d e "OnLive CEO does live demo, launch details 'soon'". GameSpot. https://www.gamespot.com/articles/onlive-ceo-does-live-demo-launch-details-soon/1100-6251495/. 
PlayStation Now logotype.

History edit

Sony announced PlayStation Now at CES 2014.[1] The platform initially supported streaming PlayStation 3 games.[2]

PlayStation 4 game support was added in 2017.[3]

In 2020 Sony upgraded the resolution of PlayStation Now from 720p to 1080p.[4]

Technology edit

In 2014 Sony was using a custom rack server made of a custom motherboard containing the essential hardware of eight PlayStation 3 video game consoles.[5][6]

By 2020 PlayStation Now was able to work with PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4 games.[7]

References edit

  1. Peckham, Matt (7 January 2014). "Sony Unveils 'PlayStation Now' Streaming Game Service at CES 2014". Time. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  2. Matulef, Jeffrey (7 January 2014). "Sony announces game streaming service PlayStation Now". Eurogamer. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  3. Matulef, Jeffrey (13 March 2017). "PlayStation Now to stream PS4 games later this year". Eurogamer. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  4. "So You're Buying a New Console. Does Cloud Gaming Matter?". Wired. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  5. Leadbetter, Richard (17 January 2014). "Sony creates custom PS3 hardware for PlayStation Now". Eurogamer. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  6. "Sony's PlayStation Now uses custom-designed hardware with eight PS3s on a single motherboard - ExtremeTech". www.extremetech.com. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  7. Pino, Nick; September 2020, Henry St Leger 16. "PlayStation Now review". TechRadar. Retrieved 25 November 2020.

History edit

Development edit

In November of 2013 Square Enix announced Project Flare, an initiative to develop cloud centric gaming infrastructure.[1] Project Flare would later spin off into Shinra Technologies as a subsidiary of Square Enix in September of 2014.[2][3] The company was based in New York City with satellite offices in Tokyo and Montreal.[3][4] In 2014 the company had ambitious technology development goals, with 2016 being seen as a key year for cloud gaming growth.[3]

The namesake of Shinra Technologies was the fictional Shinra Corporation in the game Final Fantasy VII, which was opposed by a fictional group called Avalanche.[5][3] In real life Shinra Technologies and Avalanche studios worked closely together on the Shinra Technologies platform.[3][6]

Public beta tests edit

Japan edit

Japanese beta testing of the service began recruitment of subscribers of NTT East fiber internet service from January 26th, 2015 to February 10th, 2015.[7] The beta test began just two days later on February 17th, 2015 with a projected end date of May 16th, 2015.[7][8]

United States of America edit

A Google Fiber office in Kansas City in 2012. Prior rollout of high end network connectivity in Kansas City made it an ideal beta testing location.

At SXSW at Austin Texas in March of 2015 The Living World was shown at the Google Fiber Space as a demo.[9][10] American Beta testing of the service began in Kansas City on August 11th, 2015, with only gigabit speed Google Fiber subscribers being eligible to test the service.[11]

Legacy edit

In January 2016 it was announced that Square Enix would close Shinra Technologies, costing them 2.2 billion Japanese yen.[4] Some saw Shinra's strife as a sign that cloud game streaming would never work.[12]

A number of former Shinra Technologies employees would form the livestreaming technology company Genvid shortly after Shinra folded, also based in New York.[13][14] Work on Genvid started as early as February 2016,[15] with the establishment of a Twitter account, and was formally established by March 2016.[16] In December of 2020 Genvid debuted Rival Peak, among the first Massive Interactive Live Events accessible to the public,[17] finally realizing a product category somewhat similar to one Shinra Technologies was unable to fully launch before closure.

Technology edit

Hardware edit

A demo instance of the technology shown at E3 2015 was powered by two computers.[18] The compute computer uses an Intel Xeon CPU and Nvidia GTX Titan Black GPU.[18] The render computer uses an Intel Xeon CPU and four Nvidia GTX 980 graphics cards.[18]

During the Japanese beta test the company Techorus handled server hosting.[8]

Software edit

Much of Shinra Technologies product was focused on making easier and better netcode for developers.[19]

Software for Shinra instances could use the DirectX graphics API.[19]

Games edit

  • Space Sweeper - Cooperative MMO 2D twin stick shooter with crafting mechanics and massive numbers of enemies, designed to render the entire game world for all players simultaneously.[20][21] Indie title by Kengo Nakajima.[8][22] Exclusive game for Shinra Technologies streaming.[11]
  • The Living World - Tech Demo rendering 16,000 dragons at once.[20] Exclusive for Shinra Technologies streaming.[11]
  • Agni's Philosophy - Tech Demo and port.[8]
  • Tomb Raider - Port of the 2013 game.[20]
  • Hitman: Absolution- Port[20]
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Port[20]
  • Final Fantasy VII - Port[20]

Gallery edit

Read more edit

References edit

  1. Hollister, Sean (2013-11-06). "Project Flare: 'Final Fantasy' publisher wants to put you inside a 'Lord of the Rings'-caliber movie" (in en). The Verge. https://www.theverge.com/2013/11/6/5071238/square-enix-project-flare-cloud-gaming-technology-partners-requested. 
  2. "Final Fantasy creator Square Enix unveils Shinra Technologies to make ‘revolutionary’ cloud game tech". VentureBeat. 2014-09-19. https://venturebeat.com/2014/09/18/final-fantasy-creator-square-enix-creates-shinra-technologies-to-develop-revolutionary-cloud-gaming-technology/. 
  3. a b c d e McWhertor, Michael (2014-09-18). "Square Enix announces Shinra Technologies, a new cloud gaming service for 2015" (in en). Polygon. https://www.polygon.com/2014/9/18/6456117/square-enix-shinra-technologies-cloud-gaming-yoichi-wada. 
  4. a b "Square Enix closes its 'Shinra' cloud gaming business". Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  5. "How the Shinra-Avalanche Conflict Changes in Final Fantasy 7 Remake". Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  6. "Square Enix Announces "Shinra" Cloud-Based Game Service". Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  7. a b "シンラ・テクノロジー". web.archive.org. 2015-01-30. Retrieved 10 June 2021.
  8. a b c d "Square Enix Streaming Agni's Philosophy Tech Demo And Tomb Raider Through Shinra Technologies". Siliconera. 2015-01-26. https://www.siliconera.com/square-enix-streaming-agnis-philosophy-tech-demo-tomb-raider-shinra-technologies/. 
  9. "The DeanBeat: Shinra inches forward on its plan to revolutionize online games [update"]. VentureBeat. 2015-03-13. https://venturebeat.com/2015/03/13/the-deanbeat-shinra-inches-forward-on-its-plan-to-revolutionize-online-games/. 
  10. "Shinra Technologies Tech Demo at Google Fiber Space #SXSW". Retrieved 10 June 2021.
  11. a b c Wawro, Alex. "Shinra's cloud gaming tech makes its U.S. debut -- in Kansas City" (in en). www.gamasutra.com. https://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/251006/Shinras_cloud_gaming_tech_makes_its_US_debut__in_Kansas_City.php. 
  12. "A final nail in the coffin of cloud streaming". Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  13. "Genvid Technologies raises $1.5 million to make esports broadcasts more interactive". VentureBeat. 2016-08-29. https://venturebeat.com/2016/08/29/genvid-technologies-raises-1-5-million-for-more-compelling-esports-livestream-broadcasts/. 
  14. Wawro, Alex. "Born from Shinra's ashes, interactive streaming startup Genvid raises $1.5M" (in en). www.gamasutra.com. https://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/280265/Born_from_Shinras_ashes_interactive_streaming_startup_Genvid_raises_15M.php. 
  15. "https://twitter.com/genvidtech" (in en). Twitter. https://twitter.com/genvidtech?lang=en. 
  16. "Genvid Technologies - Crunchbase Company Profile & Funding". Crunchbase. Retrieved 10 June 2021.
  17. Cataldi, Chris. "The real-time evolution of Rival Peak" (in en). www.gamasutra.com. https://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/378186/The_realtime_evolution_of_Rival_Peak.php. 
  18. a b c "Square Enix's Shinra 'supercomputers' could power the games of the future". Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  19. a b "How Shinra's streaming tech works, and what it means for game devs". Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  20. a b c d e f "Final Fantasy VII And 1000s Of Dragons Streaming On Shinra Technologies Beta Test". Siliconera. 2015-08-15. https://www.siliconera.com/final-fantasy-vii-and-1000s-of-dragons-streaming-on-shinra-technologies-beta-test/. 
  21. "Space Sweeper Introduces Supercomputer Cloud Gaming to Developers". Observer. 2015-06-19. https://observer.com/2015/06/space-sweeper-shinra-technologies-kengo-nakajima/. 
  22. Wawro, Alex. "How Shinra's streaming tech works, and what it means for game devs" (in en). www.gamasutra.com. https://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/235772/How_Shinras_streaming_tech_works_and_what_it_means_for_game_devs.php. 

History edit

Development edit

In 2015 Microsoft and Duke University develop "Kahawai" technology that reduces latency and bandwidth needed to stream games by performing some of the game rendering on device and using server technology to improve local output.[1][2]

Launch edit

Microsoft xCloud officially launched on September 15th, 2020.[3] The service was integrated with the Xbox Game Pass.[4] Part of the reason xCloud was expanded was to improve the availability of the Xbox platform to those without the means to purchase a dedicated platform.[5]

On February 15th, 2021, Microsoft began openly testing a browser version of the service.[6]

In May 2021 the platform received media attention after Microsoft launched close integration of Xcloud with their dual screen Surface Duo mobile phone.[7]

In 2022 compatibility expanded to the Valve Steam Deck handheld gaming device.[8]

Technology edit

xCloud servers are based on Xbox One hardware and thus use GPUs made by AMD.[9][10]

By February 2021 server blades based on the Xbox One S home game console were used for the service,[6] with plans to use Xbox Series X hardware later in the year.[11]

References edit

  1. "Microsoft Research cuts bandwidth needed for game streaming". Windows Central. 26 May 2015. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  2. "More details on how Xbox Project xCloud will likely work". Windows Central. 21 December 2018. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  3. Faulkner, Cameron (20 August 2020). "Microsoft xCloud launch: How to to play Xbox games from your phone". The Verge. Retrieved 30 October 2020.
  4. Schoon, Ben (16 September 2020). "Xbox Game Pass isn't supported on Android TV, for now". 9to5Google. Retrieved 5 November 2020.
  5. Patel, Nilay (24 November 2020). "Microsoft's Phil Spencer on launching the new Xbox and the future of games". The Verge. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  6. a b Warren, Tom (15 February 2021). "Here’s a first look at Microsoft’s xCloud for the web" (in en). The Verge. https://www.theverge.com/2021/2/15/22283739/microsoft-xcloud-web-screenshots-cloud-gaming-streaming-browser-features. 
  7. Warren, Tom (2021-05-24). "Microsoft has turned the Surface Duo into a handheld Xbox" (in en). The Verge. https://www.theverge.com/2021/5/24/22450941/microsoft-surface-duo-xbox-mobile-xcloud-cloud-gaming-dual-screen. 
  8. Plant, Logan (18 March 2022). "Steam Deck Now Supports Xbox Game Pass and Cloud Thanks To Help From Microsoft" (in en). IGN. https://www.ign.com/articles/steam-deck-supports-xbox-game-pass. 
  9. "6 Things to Know About Amazon's Luna Cloud Gaming Service". Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  10. "Microsoft announces Project xCloud, its own AMD GPU-powered game streaming service". Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  11. Warren, Tom (18 June 2020). "Microsoft to upgrade its xCloud servers to Xbox Series X hardware in 2021" (in en). The Verge. https://www.theverge.com/2020/6/18/21295326/microsoft-project-xcloud-xbox-series-x-servers-hardware-2021.