Cloud gaming is a technology that allows users to play hardware-intensive games on any device or platform, assuming they have the bandwidth. A user's input (keyboard, mouse, touch screen, etc.) is sent to a server where it is processed by a powerful computer, returned, and then output (displayed) to a screen or monitor.
You can think of it like playing someone else's computer from your TV, PC, or smartphone. However, as the data has to travel and be computed, cloud gaming suffers from latency issues.
Cloud gaming services
- Gaikai — launched in February 2011, it was acquired in 2012 by Sony Entertainment, and relaunched in 2015 as PlayStation Now.
- PlayStation Now — Sony's cloud gaming service, launched in January 2015. It offers over 750 PlayStation 2, 3, and 4 titles, which can be streamed to a PS4 or Windows desktop computer.
- Blade SAS Shadow — launched in 2017 in France, and in select areas of the USA and Europe in 2018. The Shadow app advertises the ability to remotely run any PC game owned by the user, turning "any screen into a high-end PC."
- GeForce Now — cloud gaming provided by NVIDIA on servers equipped with Tesla GPUs, announced in 2015. As of July 2019, the service is available for public beta testing.
- Project Atlas — a cloud gaming service announced by Electronic Arts in 2018, based on its Frostbite game engine.
- OnLive — a cloud virtualization services company founded in 2003. Its pioneering cloud gaming service was launched in June 2010, and discontinued in April 2015.