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What is Cloud Gaming? Everything you need to know

Cloud gaming is rising in popularity, with more platforms offering the service than ever.

Gaming technology has evolved massively since its beginnings, with more ways to play your favourite games than ever before. Cloud gaming has offered one of the largest fundamental changes to the gaming industry as a whole; here is everything you need to know.

What is Cloud Gaming?

In a nutshell, cloud gaming makes it possible to play games without needing to download the game software, removing the need for high-performance hardware. Instead, you stream the game from remote servers using a reliable internet connection that can send the gaming information to a browser or app that is already installed on a supported device.

It’s a very similar premise to Disney Plus or Netflix but with interactive content, with the video stream being capable of recognising and reacting to your inputs. This means that you won’t need to invest in the latest Nvidia RTX 4000 graphics cards or even consoles like the Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5. So long as you have a strong internet connection, you have a plethora of games at your fingertips.

The type of game you can play will depend on what platform you’re using, but there is a massive selection on offer. Not every game is available to access through cloud gaming, but support is improving by the month.

How can I access Cloud Gaming?

There are several frontrunners when it comes to cloud gaming, but this will also be dependent on which types of games you’re hoping to play and on what platform. Microsoft, Sony, Nvidia and Amazon all offer cloud gaming services. It’s worth noting that Google previously offered Gooogle Stadia, but the service shut down in January 2023.

Both Microsoft and Sony offer similar services in the form of Xbox Cloud Gaming (via Game Pass) and PlayStation Plus Premium. If you want to hear more about these platforms then make sure you check out our dedicated explainers, but they both allow gamers to play games via the console or on PC, with Cloud Gaming even having support for Android and iOS tablets and handsets.

Nvidia GeForce Now works a little differently; it links its users with digital game stores such as the Epic Games Store and Steam, allowing subscribers to stream games that they already own. Unlike a lot of other cloud gaming services, there are no games included with a GeForce Now subscription, other than free-to-play games such as Fortnite and Apex Legends.

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