Sony's purchase of Gaikai has reopened the cloud gaming debate. However, James Gardiner asks whether the infrastructure is in place.
I can see this becoming prevalent down the road, but it's still years down the road.
Bandwidth is finite. And we're already fast running out--fun fact, most major mobile phone services are actually "borrowing" bandwidth restricted for military use. We can keep broadening the civilian-use bandwidth, but the spectrum is only so big. Last estimates I saw put the "critical" moment--the moment we do run out--in something like 4-5 years at the current rate of growth. So, yeah, it is "years down the road." But not many. Cloud gaming, and digital distribution, is about to hit a brick wall. I'm not saying it'll vanish, or no longer be viable, but caps will soon be in place. And while that may not seem like a big deal now, in a generation or two when the average game size could be 50+ gigabytes, retail will be the only method of distribution. So, for the immediate future, yeah, Cloud might just be great. But it's not going to be great for very long, and history has shown us time and time again that it's better favor long-term success over short-term gains.
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