Cloud technology and services are one of the hottest new interests gripping Silicon Valley these days. Major tech giants like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google offer competitive cloud services and continue to put their bets (and resources) on developing this technology to new dimensions. Facebook is the latest of the big players to dip its toes in this field with the release on Monday of its cloud-streamed gaming service, Facebook Gaming. Even though it is no stranger to the gaming technology industry, having the VR company Oculus under its wing, the very nature of Facebook Gaming makes it an exciting topic of anticipation.
Featuring instantly playable games on the user’s browser with no downloads required, Gaming aims to bring popular games directly to your newsfeed. Its current list of cloud-streamed games features popular titles like Asphalt 9: Legends and WWE SuperCard, with more additions underway. Interestingly, Facebook announced that it did not aim to replace dedicated gaming consoles but rather provide a whole new experience of directly jumping into cloud games with no waiting.
The announcement was not empty of jabs to its competitors, however. A major incentive mentioned in the announcement was that the games were free-to-play for the time being to test out and slowly develop the platform. This was a reference to Google’s similar cloud-based-streaming game service Stadia that was hotly anticipated and hyped before its launch but was poorly received due to underdelivering. Facebook promised that Gaming would avoid this by focusing and delivering based on the technology’s present capabilities.
An important detail is that the service is presently available only on Android and web, missing out Apple’s iOS. Facebook attributed this to the tech giant’s policies to exert control over its product’s capabilities but promised that a solution would soon be worked out. This can emerge as a significant limiting factor for the nascent cloud gaming service as iOS stands toe to toe with Android as one of the world’s most common mobile operating systems. However, the biggest concern that emerged was the absence of any mention regarding introducing console games on the platform.
Regardless, the possibilities offered by Facebook Gaming stand as innovative and exciting. If realized as promised, it could well be one of the biggest revolutions to shake the gaming industry in recent years. Whether this cloud gaming service will make a mark in the cloud gaming ring or not is yet to be seen.
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