“In the long term, the idea of air-gapped gameplay is unfortunately losing out.”
If you remember Microsoft’s original pitch for the always online Xbox One that had weaker hardware than the PS4, one of the things Microsoft proposed was “the power of the cloud” compensating by supplementing the Xbox One with additional power from server farms. It was an interesting, but entirely unrealistic, idea, especially at the time- and to this day, we haven’t seen it being implemented to the extent that Microsoft promised, the way they promised (though apparently, Crackdown 3 might change that).
That is because it might not be the easiest thing to do in the world. Speaking to GamingBolt in an exclusive interview, Don Williamson, the founder of Celtoys, and an ex-Lionhead developer who has worked on Fable previously noted that “the power of the cloud” for video games is a very “grey area”.
“It’s a very grey area,” Williamson said. “We’ve been “using the cloud” for decades to build multiplayer games and some games have used remote servers to chew through expensive calculations for single player games that can be shared. I’ve recently spoken to a few startups built around the idea of moving more and more onto remote servers. I think some of them will have issues selling the implementation to developers while the others haven’t shared enough information with me to make that call. In the long term, the idea of air-gapped gameplay is unfortunately losing out so sharing more calculations remotely is logical.”
One day in the far future, there may be a time when very little computing is done locally, and cloud supplemented computing is the norm- but in the present day, given our current internet infrastructure worldwide, as well as the continued evolution and advancements of processors, I don’t think cloud powered gaming will be viable any time soon.