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How to make cloud gaming way better

By Adam Z. Lein July 15, 2021, 6:00 am

Cloud gaming like Google’s Stadia and Microsoft’s Xcloud Xbox Game Streaming is pretty awesome. You can use whatever big data centers to handle all the game graphics and processing while your personal device only has to stream the video output and interaction control input. You don’t have to spend hours downloading hundreds of gigabytes of data before you can start playing like you do with consoles. That’s great, but this could be a lot better.

Stadia and Xbox Game Streaming both require you to boot up the game before you can play though.  It’s as if you’re remote-access connected to a console and the game needs to load everything into memory before it can start.  Why do you need to do that with cloud games??


Right now, I have numerous virtual machines running computing operating systems on remote servers. I can VPN and Remote Desktop into any of them right now and they’ll pop up on the screen exactly how I left them.  I can then disconnect, switch to another device, turn on the VPN and Remote Desktop back in and they’ll be exactly how I left them. If I don’t want a virtual machine taking up CPU and RAM resources, I can “pause” it, which will save its state to the hard disk or SSD.  Un-pausing the virtual machine will load it right back into the state that I left it in.


Having to sit and wait for a game to load is pretty annoying. I should only have to do that the first time I play a game.

Imagine if Xbox Game Streaming or Stadia could “pause” the game virtual machines when I closed the app.  Maybe they could “pause” the last 5 games I played even.  Then I could play on a big screen TV game streaming device for a while… close the app… start the same game on a phone and pick up from the “paused” state within seconds.

Or what if I wanted to switch games?  If I’ve got 5 of my most recently played games sitting in the cloud in a paused state, I should be able to jump right back into any of them within seconds instead of having to go through the whole “loading” process every time.

Do Stadia and Xbox cloud games shut down in the cloud when I exit the game in order to save resources or something?  Why?  Isn’t the point of cloud gaming to have a huge amount of computing resources available to gamers?


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