The year is 2042: The nationwide expansion of the 8G network has brought cloud gaming the long-awaited breakthrough. Expensive hardware is history, the PC Master Race is extinct. Gaming in all its glory is finally possible everywhere, even on the go on the smartphone. But the success of cloud gaming also has its downsides.
Why everyone is playing in the cloud now
Two factors were decisive for the breakthrough of cloud gaming: the ongoing hardware shortage and the expansion of cellular networks up to the current 8G standard. The hardware shortage has plagued gamers since 2020, when the corona virus almost completely paralyzed the global economy. The slowed-down production of chips led, among other things, to one dramatic underproduction of graphics cards and consoles. Years later, the NextGen console generation of the PS5 and Xbox SX even went down in gaming history as the LostGen.
Since the production facilities only slowly recovered from the constantly recurring corona waves, and at the same time the extraction of raw materials became more expensive due to new global environmental laws, the prices of such luxury goods rose enormous. The result: about every five years sales of gaming PCs and consoles halved because most gamers simply could no longer afford new hardware.
Future theme week at GIGA
Yes, this is a post about the year 2042. No, you haven’t made a journey through time. This contribution belongs to the theme week “The Future in 2042” on GIGA, in which we will turn our millennium by 21 years and show you what the tech and gaming world could look like in 2042.
You can find all contributions from this topic week in our special on the year 2042.
The #SiliconGate: Why Nvidia, AMD and Co. no longer sell graphics cards
A few decades ago nobody would have thought it possible, but sand is now one of the most valuable raw materials and almost four times as expensive as gold. What does that have to do with graphics cards? The main component of every computer chip is silicon, which is mainly obtained from quartz sand. After the mining of the finite resource to protect the climate was regulated by the state, this had above all for numerous tech giants such as Nvidia, AMD or Intel immensely increased production costs result. The mass production of graphics cards and processors for the consumer market became more and more uneconomical over time and finally almost completely stopped in the early 2030s.
This decision by the chip manufacturer is still considered today #SiliconGate known. Instead, companies increasingly concentrated on cloud gaming and developed the necessary hardware exclusively for their own use, in order to equip their cloud servers with the best possible technology. Ultimately, however, gamers have even benefited from it, as significantly more people can now enjoy the latest games with the best graphics.
What else could have happened in 2042, we show you in the special edition of our GIGA headlines:
Cloud gaming in the 8G network: the features at a glance
After Germany was the last EU country to decide to leave the extensive broadband expansion of the 8G network to the Tesla subsidiary Infinum, it didn’t take long to get into rural regions of the country Speeds up to 299,792 MB / s could benefit – more than 42 times the previous network performance of the 7G standard. This opened up completely new possibilities, especially for the gaming industry:
- Cloud gaming in 8K resolution at a constant 120 FPS
- VR gaming now possible wirelessly via the cloud (e.g. with the smartphone and Oculus Quantum interface)
- UDLSS 4.0 (Ultra Deep Learning Super Sampling) enables 8K gaming with 360 FPS or 16K gaming with 120 FPS
- “Raytracing Pro” and “Raytracing Ultimate” can be used without any loss of performance
There is now an enormous range of cloud gaming providers, but there is currently only GeForce Now benefits really from the 8G network standard. The reason for this is a contract between Nvidia and Infinum, which guarantees the former producer of graphics cards preferential use of the new high-speed network for cloud gaming for the next three years. Other service providers currently only have access to a throttled version of the network. Games can only be streamed in 4K and with a maximum of 60 FPS, which in a direct comparison looks almost antiquated.
Dark clouds on the horizon: The dark side of the cloud gaming boom
In addition to the questionable market practices of Infinum and Nvidia, there are other problems that annoy gamers. Especially those apparently Two-class society built by greed for profit on the platforms causes a lot of resentment. It has become established with most services that you do not get the full graphics performance with the standard subscription for usually 10 to 15 euros per month and are limited to 4K. In addition, you can only play single-player modes with it, and you often have to expect long waiting times until you are even served by the cloud server.
Only those who pay significantly more (usually 25 euros or more per month) can enjoy all the graphic details, can play online with friends and start games without delay. The worst excesses of this model are the so-called Pay-to-Play-Modelle, where you can jostle other gamers in the queue with a one-off payment. Fortunately, not every cloud provider supports this scam, which has financially shaken innumerable impatient gamers.
In any case, trust in tech companies is at a record low. That’s not just because of their questionable business models, but shocking revelations about how Gamer secretly screened became. For example, some providers have evaluated the data recorded by sensors from smartwatches in order to dynamically adjust the level of difficulty of the games and thus keep the stress level of the players low. The fact that stress while gambling can also be an expression of positive excitement was skilfully ignored. And that also explains why hardcore gamers in particular found the AAA games increasingly boring and not challenging enough.
Neural interfaces: the next logical step?
While many gamers are happy to find new games easier and cheaper despite all the downsides, the next revolution is already looming. And here, too, Elon Musk has his finger in the game. The neural interfaces (to put it simply: microchips implanted in the brain) designed by his company Neuralink in 2016 are on the verge of a breakthrough in the mass market: They make it possible Display and control of games directly in the brainwithout having to look at a display.
In particular, applications in the field of augmented and virtual reality should provide previously undreamt-of possibilities for interacting with video games. One can only hope that the prototypes that emerged this year really turn out to be as revolutionary as several leaks suggest.