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Forums - Gaming Discussion - Cloud Streaming vs. Locally Downloaded Games

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Cloud Streaming or Local DL Games

Cloud Streaming 2 14.29%
 
Locally Downloaded onto Console/PC 12 85.71%
 
Total:14

So on this forum we have often debated the merits of physical vs digital ownership of games. But one aspect we have not discussed as much is the different ways of playing games digitally. With the advent of cloud gaming it is possible to play games without downloading them at all, heck you don't even need dedicated hardware. On the other hand some may prefer to have the games downloaded and playable off their local drive.

Which do you prefer? Let's discuss the pros and cons of each:

Cloud Streaming:

Pros: + No need to download large game files. Save space on your disk drive.

        + Usually have access to the most updated patched version of a game, no need to wait for a large update file to download.

        + Instantaneous access to many different games (especially with subscription services).

        + Can play games that hardware cannot run natively, this could include older games that are not backward compatible but also more advanced games that  are  to demanding for the hardware.

         + Nice way to sample and demo games for a short whle.

Cons: - Usually don't "own" the game, just a license or rental access for a limited time.

         - Requires a fast and reliable internet connection to work properly. Not available in many countries.

         - Input lag and stuttering visuals can hamper the smoothness of gameplay

Locally Downloaded Games:

Pros: + Ease of access right off the hard drive, usually no internet connection required.

        + A greater degree of "ownership" over a streaming game.

        + Game hopefully optimized to run on the hardware being played on.

       

Cons: - Games take time to download and take up limited drive space

         - Usually a limit to how many times a store will allow you to redownload games.

         - Can be pricier to own a game outright.

         - Game is tied to an account and is not easy to access on different platforms.

So what do you think?

Personally I have come to like digital games vs physical. I am still getting used to streaming games online. When it works well its very enjoyable and quite convenient. If it is a game I know I want to have access to for a long time I would prefer to download it. If its a game I just want to try and play casually then I'll stream it.



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In theoretical level Cloud is much better. You don't own digital games anyway, you just have a license that can be revoked

With cloud you have no need to good hardware, just a TV. No more next gen upgrades and can play games in maximum quality

NO MORE GENERATION NONSENSE. Imagine a market without generations? A dreaming coming true


But just in a fantasy scenario where your internet allows it. In practice cloud gaming is just feasible, at least not with quality. Internet would first be something like electricity, ubutiquous


Maybe in 20 years



After the recent Ubisoft debacle, how are there even doubts about this? Noone is taking away my games if they are safe on a disc, cartridge, or as a backup copy on a hard drive.



You know it deserves the GOTY.

Come join The 2018 Obscure Game Monthly Review Thread.

Rather have locally stored content for games. I still buy and play physical games more than digital. 



The only acceptable method of cloud gaming for me is something like Geforce Now which syncs with your Steam Library. So you own the game on Steam and you can use GeForce now as a cloud streaming service which means if Geforce now ever goes down, you still own the game on Steam and you don't lose and progress or anything.

Personally after having tried PSNow, XCloud and Geforce Now, none of them are good enough for me. Geforce now is the better than PSNow and XCloud thanks to it's lower input latency but I still got frame drops and stutters from time to time. I also tried using Parsec which makes your PC a cloud streaming server basically. Both Parsec and Steam's Remote play works great around the house but trying at work... It wasn't very good.

So overall, local devices all the way. And these days, we have plenty of options for on the go like the Switch or Steam Deck where we really don't need cloud gaming if you got the funds.



             

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After losing internet for over a day, that is half the country losing internet for over a day, I rather stick to physical or digital downloads that don't need online verification. I only expect these internet problems to get worse as data traffic increases all the time.

So that's one big strike against streaming. Next is input lag, image quality loss, internet jitter affecting game play, no access to save games, no mods, no control over game detail. Plus you have to keep paying to keep playing. I rather buy things out right.

Here's a in depth test for your internet connection
https://speed.cloudflare.com/



IcaroRibeiro said:

In theoretical level Cloud is much better. You don't own digital games anyway, you just have a license that can be revoked

With cloud you have no need to good hardware, just a TV. No more next gen upgrades and can play games in maximum quality

NO MORE GENERATION NONSENSE. Imagine a market without generations? A dreaming coming true


But just in a fantasy scenario where your internet allows it. In practice cloud gaming is just feasible, at least not with quality. Internet would first be something like electricity, ubutiquous


Maybe in 20 years

It's a fantasy scenario regardless of when. There will be different quality tiers instead of generational hardware. Quality might even scale up and down with demand, you will not be getting maximum quality.

It's not just your internet, there's also physics involved. You need to live close to a data center to get good results.

Btw, they're thinking of upgrading internet to essential status here like water and electricity. All debit and credit payments being down for a day did not go over well. Emergency services couldn't be reached, safe houses couldn't be reached, it was a mess.
https://www.blogto.com/tech/2022/07/what-government-doing-make-sure-never-another-rogers-outage/



SvennoJ said:

After losing internet for over a day, that is half the country losing internet for over a day, I rather stick to physical or digital downloads that don't need online verification. I only expect these internet problems to get worse as data traffic increases all the time.

So that's one big strike against streaming. Next is input lag, image quality loss, internet jitter affecting game play, no access to save games, no mods, no control over game detail. Plus you have to keep paying to keep playing. I rather buy things out right.


This right here.



SvennoJ litteraly slayed the debate there. Unless, you're willing to forgo everything that's advantageous with the use of other medium, simply for the ease of use. Going for a totally Cloud-based mindset is just going to get us in deep trouble when we'll realize we're gonna become even more dependent in the good functioning of online infrastructures, which is unrealistic to think this would go smoothly.



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Physical. End of for me. I rather have nothing than cloud.



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