The gaming industry is the fastest-growing sector in entertainment today. Helped by steady advancements in virtual reality technology and the emergence of cloud gaming, the industry will reach a market value of $314billion by 2026. This technology-driven growth has put the gaming industry at the forefront of the metaverse discourse. Currently, gaming as a social platform provides the closest resemblance to general conceptions of the metaverse. Non-gaming activities such as concerts and hangouts, which have headlined recent metaverse conversations are already standard features in games like Roblox and Fortnite.
Gaming UX in the metaverse will be defined by two fundamental infrastructures: network architecture and underlying technology. Conceptually, this will pit centralised models against decentralised alternatives. The unavoidable reason for this is gaming’s ongoing migration to the cloud. Google, NVIDIA, and Sony have announced three different proprietary platforms for cloud gaming: Stadia, GeForce Now, and PS Now. These services are already available to users as a complete product. Microsoft also proposed its platform, xCloud, which is currently under testing. Amazon announced Luna, its unique cloud gaming platform.
Two fundamental gaming elements in the metaverse
Cloud gaming and virtual reality (VR) are unique and significant services already available to gamers. VR represents a set of immersive technologies that simulate the real world. It is a vast sector that continues to mature, as exemplified by the growth of its Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) components. Cloud gaming, on the other hand, has existed for some time. It entails using remote servers to store video game data and perform game-related computing tasks while being delivered over the Internet to a personal computer, mobile device, or game console.
One of the primary advantages of cloud gaming is that it is not dependent on powerful hardware to function. Pro-gamers understand better than most the sheer frustration caused by overheating hardware, especially in multiplayer modes. This demo shows that even the most modern GPUs like Titan XP do not solve this problem. However, game computing in the cloud requires low latency networks that ideally situate servers as close to end-users as possible. The centralised network architectures currently in place by hyper-scale cloud service providers are ill-suited to these needs.
For example, games like Ubisoft encountered critical UX challenges such as frame-drops and glitches due to reliance on centralised cloud servers. Another common problem for players was match instability due to session migrations.
Whatever it will ultimately look like, the ubiquitous nature of the metaverse, as well as its scale, will almost certainly demand even greater compute and storage capacities. Also crucial for gamers is that there will be some degree of cross-application interoperability between the various gaming applications in the ecosystem. Centralised network architectures cannot solve the former problem; no centralised entity can solve the latter.
Decentralised networks and blockchains
We recently highlighted the advantages of combining decentralised network architectures with blockchain technology. Essentially, distributing compute across a vast global network will significantly lower network latency and is arguably the best bet for gaming compute needs in the metaverse. For example, our Cudos network aims to distribute storage and compute across tens of thousands of nodes situated globally and on a fully open-sourced network that enables developers to build and earn equitably.
You can join us to realise this vision by reaching out to us. Our network already supports NFTs natively on the Cosmos chain, positioning us for a vital role in the economy of the metaverse. Some of our recent partnerships solidify our growing ecosystem and ensure our network will support cross-application interoperability, which will potentially enable gamers to move across simulated worlds with a singular identity seamlessly.
Infrastructure will define gaming UX in the metaverse, utilising a decentralised network architecture and blockchain technology. We can collaboratively build efficient and sustainable ecosystems that are responsive to the rapidly evolving needs of the gaming community.
The Cudos Network is a layer 1 blockchain and layer 2 computation and oracle network designed to ensure decentralised, permissionless access to high-performance computing at scale. It enables the scaling of computing resources to hundreds of thousands of nodes. Once bridged onto Ethereum, Algorand, Polkadot and Cosmos, Cudos will enable scalable computational and layer-two oracles on all bridged blockchains.
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