Cloudy with a Chance of Games

We have seeing hints of Facebook introducing cloud gaming to their service and today we have received confirmation in two blog posts. The first blog post was by Jason Rubin who is VP of Play at Facebook has introduced Facebook Gaming will be getting Cloud Gaming support. A further post again by Jason Rubin expands onto what cloud support will be in the short term on Facebook.

There are couple of key takeaways for Facebook cloud gaming

We’re not going to overpromise and under-deliver

We believe in the long-term future of cloud gaming, but we aren’t going to try to wow you with the wonders of our data centers, compression algorithms, resolutions, or frames per second. Cloud game streaming for the masses still has a way to go, and it’s important to embrace both the advantages and the reality of the technology rather than try to oversell where it’ll be in the future.

 We’re not trying to replace your favorite gaming hardware

We love console and PC gaming and both formats will be around for a long time. We believe cloud gaming will increase — not replace — the options to jump into great games. We’re not trying to replace your phone either. We think you’ll find that there are times when jumping quickly into a cloud game is a better option, and sometimes it’s not.

We’re going to start with what we do best, and expand from there

Cloud gaming is about expanding the types of games we already offer, so we’ll start with the format people enjoy playing on Facebook: free-to-play games. That’s one of the reasons why we’re starting with games typically played on mobile devices. In the future, our systems and infrastructure will improve to deliver more types of games — possibly all types of games. Until then, rest assured that the cost of trying our cloud games is $0.

Cloud-streamed games are launching on Facebook in two complementary formats:

Full, free-to-play mobile games in a relaunched destination for Play.

Cloud playable ads so people can instantly try out a game on Facebook.

So what this means in the short term is that Facebook is entering the market in a limited way. They are launching by offering the ability to cloud stream mobile games initially and they are looking to be a companion to other types of gaming. A key line is “It’s critical for us to start with latency-tolerant games so we can deliver a good experience for players across a variety of devices.” With this it looks like Facebook will be using this as a slow burn until they confident to start adding more games. It also should be noted that they do talk about adding other types of games on top of mobile games however this looks like it will be a while off.

Most intriguing for me however, and this is speculation, is that Facebook own Oculus. Could this mean we could be seeing Facebook cloud support for Oculus Quest units further down the line? This could be a long term option or plan for Facebook down the line.

Access to the cloud services will be limited to start with and will begin with the US

Access to cloud games on Facebook will roll out in the US, initially available across California, Texas and Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states including, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia and West Virginia. We’ll expand regional access in the coming months as we scale the infrastructure needed to roll out cloud gaming across the US.

By Duncan Baxter

I have been playing since the Commodore 64 days and have basically played every console going since then including the Ouya! I have been a fan of cloud gaming since the Onlive days and that was my favorite platform. Cloud gaming will revolutionize how we play games going forward and it is just a matter of time when it takes off.

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