The Future of Cloud Gaming

The Future of Cloud Gaming

Not sure what to make of Sony’s Next Generation Portable (NGP)? Maybe you should listen to Hideo Kojima, the acclaimed director of the Metal Gear Solid franchise. He’s so excited about the NGP’s potential for cloud gaming that we’ll probably have to peel him off the moon at E3 2011.

When Sony unveiled the NGP, Kojima was on hand with Metal Gear Solid 4 (MGS 4) footage to help demonstrate that the NGP is capable of PS3-level graphics. But Kojima doesn’t simply see pretty graphics when he looks at MGS 4 running on the NGP. He sees the future of cloud gaming, and it’s apparently holding hands with the future of portable gaming.

Kojima stated, “When we launched Peace Walker for PSP, this is what I said: In the near future there will be a world of cloud computing… I really believe that you can have a portable MGS, and Peace Walker was an experiment for the cloud computing future. NGP allows this cloud computing. What I’d like to realize is playing on your PS3, and when you go out, you put the game on your NGP, and when you come back home, you can once again use your PS3 and large screen TV.”

Even if you’re not much interested in the NGP or cloud gaming, Kojima’s vision is still intriguing. Moreover, he promises that he’ll have some kind of relevant demonstration rigged up at E3 2011.

If Kojima’s dream becomes reality, the NGP is going to be hard to turn away from. After all, it would reshape handheld gaming as we know it. Currently, handheld gaming and console gaming are two separate things: We have a quest for the bus, and we have another quest that we work on when we flop on the couch. But even when we’re talking about two adaptations of the same game, the experiences rarely touch one another. What if cloud gaming actually could let us take our current favorite on the road and then re-home it when we got back? Maybe this manner of game unification wouldn’t suit everyone, but its very existence would be exciting.

There is a minor problem with this vision of the future: How much longer will the PlayStation 3 be sticking around? Will Kojima’s dream die alongside the inevitable announcement for the Playstation 4? Or has Sony exercised foresight and is gearing up to demonstrate that the NGP and PS4 will be forever linked by the cloud?

We’ll know a lot more when E3 2011 heats up the spring season.

About Nadia Oxford
Nadia is a freelance writer living in Toronto. She played her first game at four, decided games were awesome, and has maintained her position since. She writes for 1UP.com, Slide to Play, GamePro and other publications, and is About.com’s Guide to the Nintendo DS.

2 Comments

  1. Kojima may be on to something; like it or not the days of the dedicated gaming handheld are numbered and at the risk of inviting flamers i think that this generation is likely the last horrah for traditional handhelds. With the ubiquity of smartphones with processing power comperable to handhelds, cheaper games (its becoming more common to see exact versions of ds games on the app store for much cheaper) and the mass migration of casual gamers to their Iphones I’d say that Kojima’s vision of handheld integration with home consoles maybe be the only way that handheld gaming as we know it will carry on.

    Since the NGP is allready set for arrival and the next generation likely 2 years away Perhaps the ps5 could be both a handheld and a home console in one?

  2. i’ve been playing video games since the early 80’s. i think i’m going to stop after this current generation. gadgets and ipads and smartphones are encrouching too much into the gaming market. it’s all becoming one in the same. i don’t want soccer moms and grandmothers shaping the gaming environment. i got into the whole this because i like dungeons, adventures, and sci-fi. i can’t keep up. it costs too much money. i don’t finish games. most games suck or are inferior rip-offs of better earlier ones. i’m so sick of words like “tablet gaming” and “cloud gaming” and “social gaming”. i miss the days when it was just me in a dark room for hours getting lost in a game world. the gaming world was designed by outcasts for outcasts. now it’s a huge joke. it’s being run and ruined by ametuers who don’t understand where gaming came from. just like how music and movies have declined since generation Y took over the helm. if you were a kid during the 80’s and early 90’s, consider yourself lucky because it ain’t ever gonna be that good and pure ever again.

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