Everyone is seemingly moving towards the concept of cloud gaming now. Google has Stadia, Microsoft is set to launch the xCloud platform in 2020, and Sony has just reduced the subscription fee to Playstation Now to US$9.99 (about RM41).
And now, Facebook could be joining the cloud gaming race, after the company confirmed the acquisition of a Spanish cloud gaming company called PlayGiga for around US$78 million (about RM323 million). PlayGiga isn’t a name familiar to most in this region, but they have a presence in Italy, Argentina, Chile, as well as Spain.
This comes as a continued move by Facebook to diversify its offerings, with gaming and commerce given renewed focus in recent times. The social media giant added a “Gaming” tab to its navigation bar recently, which brings you to a few web-based games as well as a live streaming service for the gaming community.
Facebook has also invested in Virtual Reality (VR) gaming with it earlier acquisition of Occulus, and just announced that Beat games was joining the Facebook team—the same developers behind the popular VR game, Beat Saber.
Now, I understand the logic behind the investment. Cloud gaming is arguably the future—with internet access improving exponentially, and the commercial availability possibly around the corner, it’s a move that makes a lot of sense.
Sort of how Netflix does it, using cloud-based processing—and therefore making that power available to anyone with a decent broadband connection and a compatible device—opens up a lot of avenues when it comes to gaming. The idea, I think, is to move beyond hardware limitations that gamers and users currently face—and to fully utilise higher broadband and 5G speeds in the future.
But at the same time, I think it’s important not to get ahead of ourselves. I haven’t had much time to really try Stadia out (read more about it here), but it’s apparently been a mixed bag, according to general reception.
Facebook, for their part, hasn’t really confirmed anything beyond the acquisition of the cloud gaming company. But in a statement on their website, PlayGiga said that they will continuing to work in cloud gaming—with a new mission.
“We are excited to announce that the PlayGiga team is moving on to something new. We are continuing our work in cloud gaming, now with a new mission.”
So yes, perhaps cloud gaming is coming to Facebook. But I doubt it’s going to be anytime soon.