The Cloud Gaming Market is about to explode as new services including Microsoft’s xCloud, Google’s Stadia, and Apple Arcade is all entering the cloud gaming market, as tech giants gear up to fully capitalize on the promise of 5G game streams to any device. The biggest tech giants are all in on cloud gaming.
The race to 5G isn’t just among the carriers and device-makers working to roll out 5G-enabled devices and telecommunications infrastructure. The rest of the tech industry is jockeying to capitalize on next-gen connectivity in all sorts of ways, and one of the biggest is cloud gaming. Microsoft, Apple, Google and Snap have all unveiled new gaming services in recent weeks.
What’s become clear is that cloud is the new competitive platform,” says Piers Harding-Rolls, games analyst at the market researcher IHS Markit. “The key differentiators really are infrastructure and content.”
According to the data collected from Statista, the cloud gaming market has risen from an estimated $45 million in 2017 to $66 million in 2018. By 2023, that figure is expected to skyrocket to $450 million. Along with Apple, Google, and Microsoft’s offerings are other options such as Nvidia GeForce Now and PlayStation Now. The latter was ahead of the curve on cloud gaming (though it struggled with execution) and has been around for several years. After Google’s announcement, rumors resurfaced about a possible Walmart cloud gaming option in the works as well.
Ultimately, these services are all long-term plays. The first true 5G phones won’t be out until 2020, and there won’t be significant market penetration until 2023 or 2024. In the meantime, there’s still not much reason for console or PC gamers to give up their high-powered rigs anytime soon but to wonder just how competitive this new and interesting landscape of cloud gaming services will become.