Azure Cloud Gaming

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Every few years, a huge development changes the video game industry. Do you know what the next one will be?

One of the biggest changes that is predicted to shake up the video game market is cloud gaming. This article will talk about cloud gaming, and in particular, it will talk about cloud gaming on Microsoft’s Azure platform. So if you want to find out more about cloud gaming and using the Azure ecosystem to facilitate it, then read on below.

What is cloud gaming?

The most common way people describe cloud gaming is this: cloud gaming is the video game industry’s version of Netflix or YouTube. But why is this? They all work on a similar concept. 

With Netflix and Youtube, you don’t need to own physical copies or even downloads of the videos you want to watch. This is the same with cloud gaming. The game a person is playing will be run on a server that is in a different location to the player, the gameplay will be sent to the player's device through the internet and the actions the player takes will be sent back to the server via the internet. All the processing is done remotely. 

What are some of the benefits of cloud gaming?

The video game industry moves fast and technology is always developing. This means that people playing on consoles and PCs need to upgrade their system every few years to make the most of the latest games and get the best experience. With cloud gaming, the player doesn’t need to upgrade their system, because that’s being sorted out by the server management company. Secondly, players don’t even need to buy a PC or console to play their games, you can stream games to other devices, meaning your phone or laptop can now become a gaming station.

What is Azure?

For those that don’t know, Azure is Microsoft’s Cloud platform. It has over 200 products and cloud based services within its ecosystem, all designed to help people build, run and manage their cloud applications.

Because of the infrastructure already in place for the wider Azure business, it made a lot of sense that the resources can also be devoted towards cloud gaming. As one of the leading cloud providers in the market, Azure should be able to offer one of the better services and performance levels for gamers. 

Azure Cloud Gaming

The actual servers that Azure provides have an Nvidia M60 GPU, which is a powerful system that is well suited to games. This is alongside 6 virtual CPUs, and 56 GBs of memory. With these resources, users are able to play the newest games which often have the most demand. The GPUs are specifically modified virtual machines, that have been optimised for streaming, gaming, encoding, visualisation and VDI scenarios. Essentially, this makes them ideal for gaming.

With Azure cloud gaming, people can create, scale and manage their own games in a secure environment, across a global network. As is typical of other cloud based services, scaling up and down based on real time demand is quick and easy to do. You only pay for the resources you use, with the Azure team taking care of the technical details and infrastructure.

For those that are unsure about using Azure, they offer £150 in credit for you to test the service for 30 days by building or running a game. This can equate to 100GB of game data in a two-vCore MySQL general database that has seven days of backup retention, as well as a number of other uses.

Azure boasts more global regions than other cloud service providers. This means that games are located nearer to the people playing them, resulting in less latency and faster, funner, more responsive games. Azure is committed to open source and equality across frameworks, meaning that games can be built and deployed on any platform or device. Furthermore, by using Azure, cyber security experts are always on hand to actively protect players and game data. 

The cloud gaming market is developing extremely quickly. Several of the big names in the cloud computing industry have already entered, meaning that they see the value in the operation. By making use of a cloud gaming platform, users are able to get the latest video games without the need of paying the costs associated with buying a console or PC. As technology develops, cloud gaming is only going to improve and the gaming experience will get better and better.