Next gaming trend: Cloud

The video game industry is worth multiple billions of dollars and is constantly evolving. The current leaders in this space in terms of consoles are the Sony PlayStation, Microsoft Xbox and the Nintendo Wii. All of these systems have several versions and various pros and cons but they are all considered the best way to play the top video games. Using the computer is the other option but for most people, they do not use their computers as an alternative to the three video game systems and usually do not purchase the top new games for the computer.

These video game systems create an infrastructure whereby the user buys or rents physical games and runs them on one of the video game systems that is hooked up to a TV. From there, the user can either play alone or with in-house competitors or online which these systems have the ability to do; Xbox Live is currently the most popular system for online gaming. However, over the next few years, a new trend will be emerging that might change the dynamics of this infrastructure. It is called cloud-based gaming and it utilizes the internet much more than the current market leaders do.

Through a cloud, the user will be able to by a subscription from a particular website that will provide access to the same games that would otherwise be found on the current video game systems. The user will no longer have any physical game in the home as the entire game and infrastructure will be over the internet. The website will store all the games and data on servers which reduce the cost for the user and also allow him/her to access their account and thus, play their video games almost anywhere.

It is very early on for this technology and we do not yet know how it will evolve, but it is possible that this will eat away from the market share that Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo have with their systems right now. By having all the games and data on a cloud, it creates advantages that a hardware system can not compete with. It also raises the prospects that gaming will be much cheaper for people which can also affect the current way of playing video games.

If it turns out that the cloud really is the way of the future for gaming, the current market leaders may be able to adjust their strategies to also be cloud-based and no longer offer physical systems and games. This emerging technology also gives new start-up companies a chance to enter a massive market and compete with the big boys which does not happen very often. I look forward to some day soon playing a top video game through a cloud.