2019 is predicted to be one of the most important and exciting years for the tech industry. Two very exciting technological developments in the mobile world: foldable displays and smartphones equipped with 5G modems will make their official debut, and there will also be critical enhancements in on-device AI, personal robotics, and other exciting areas.
This year new entrants to the video streaming market (Apple, Disney, Time Warner, etc.) will be under attention. However, the surprise breakout winner in cloud-based entertainment in 2019 could actually be game streaming services, such as Microsoft’s Project xCloud (based on its Xbox gaming platform) and other possible entrants.
Game streaming enables people to play top-tier games across a wide range of both older and newer PCs, smartphones, and other devices. The tremendous growth in PC and mobile gaming coupled with the rise in popularity of eSports is leading to the consumer market getting primed for a service (or two) that would allow gamers to play popular high-quality gaming titles across a wide range of different device types and platforms.
Not a new concept, game streaming has seen several failed attempts in the past, the challenge being timely delivery, engaging experience in the often-unpredictable world of cloud-driven connectivity. An extraordinarily difficult technical task, it requires lag-free responsiveness and high-quality visuals packaged together in an easy-to-use service that consumers would be willing to pay for.
Many important technological advancements are coming together now to make this possible. This includes improvements in overall connectivity via WiFi (such as with WiFi6) and wide area cellular networks (and 5G should improve things even more). Additionally, there’s been widespread adoption and optimization of GPUs in cloud-based servers. Software advancements that can enable technologies like split or collaborative rendering as well as AI-based predictions of actions that need to be taken or content that needs to be preloaded are the most important are the most important developments. These and other related technologies collectively have the power to enable a compelling set of gaming services that could drive impressive levels of revenue for the companies that can successfully deploy them.