Streaming has become a fundamental part of video gaming both for the players as well as for software and hardware developers. Players enjoy streaming their gameplay and watching others’ videos, while developers now create ways in which streaming can be incorporated into their games. Today, it is evident that moving content to streaming platforms and social media, and utilizing the technology, is much easier than it once was.
We’re in the golden age of streaming, with video content being consumed en masse on Twitch, the technology being used to deliver an authentic live gaming experience on online casino sites, and the first fully-fledged game streaming service – as in a service which allows one to stream video games to a device via the internet – ready to launch via Google Stadia.
Streaming enhancing gaming as an entertainment medium
Even as recently as a mere decade ago, many would have scoffed at the idea that watching other people play games instead of playing them themselves could be classed as entertainment, let alone be appealing to a significant audience. Now, in 2019, streaming platform view counts are a major driving force in the industry, particularly when it comes to gauging game popularity and the validity of a title in the competitive gaming scene.
Just looking at the statistics for the Twitch streaming platform in October of this year, there were a total of 2,973,666 people streaming. Those streamers accrued 901,239,936 hours of viewership for the platform. Just at the time of writing, there were over 630,000 live viewers. Streaming and watching streams of games are undeniably having a huge impact and are helping to guide the industry into the future.
Using the power of streaming in games
The most notable deployment of streaming in gaming to date has been in the gambling industry with the introduction of real-time gameplay in online live casinos that are UK-licensed. Through specialized technology coupled with live streaming, the games are played in real-time with real croupiers and players from all over the world. It delivers an authentic gaming experience through a real human dealer and real-time gaming.
Now, however, streaming is going to be tested to its limits with the upcoming Google Stadia platform. While many consoles have claimed to be complete game-changers in the past, such as that of the very forgettable Wii U Gamepad, Stadia looks set to actually deliver on its promise of providing a platform that allows gamers to stream to any screen that can host YouTube – provided their internet connection is strong enough.
Packaged in the form of a monthly subscription, Stadia allows players to avoid the need to buy expensive consoles or wait for games to download and install. Instead, the games within the Stadia library can be streamed directly to anything from a smart television to a smartphone, with most of the computing being handled on Google’s end.
In theory, the Stadia service will be a game-changer, but its requirements of 35Mbps to get the optimal resolution and sound quality for the stream may prove to be too taxing for many households. Even if this is the case, global internet speeds are improving all the time, and Stadia will most likely prove to be the first real step in the direction of a major change in the gaming industry to streaming when it launches this year.
Streaming has had a huge impact on the gaming sector; from players to developers, the technology is empowering everyone to get more out of their experience and enhance their gameplay a great deal.