AppStream wants to use the cloud for gaming across devices


Amazon Web Services has announced AppStream — a system designed to enable gaming and app use across devices by streaming them from the cloud.

The idea is that apps which would require building anew for each device or games which would be too resource intensive for mobile can be played on those devices because the actual content is being processed elsewhere.

The concept of game streaming has been around for a while. OnLive launched in 2011 and allowed owners to stream and play PC games over an internet connection. Sony also acquired cloud gaming service Gaikai back in 2012 and announced earlier in 2013 that the intention was to make games from the PS1, PS2, PS3, and PS4 playable across platforms thanks to the cloud tech.

According to Amazon: “You can choose to stream either, all or parts of your application from the cloud. Amazon AppStream enables use cases for games and applications that wouldn’t be possible running natively on mass-market devices. Using Amazon AppStream, your games and applications are no longer constrained by the hardware in your customer’s hands.”

One of the big issues facing cloud gaming is latency introduced by variable network conditions. Europe’s broadband infrastructure and how that impacts cloud gaming is the reason Gaikai was notably absent at European gaming conference Gamescom.

Amazon says that during its limited preview period the Amazon AppStreams will be streaming from the US East region but support for streaming from other regions will be rolled out in 2014.

The SDK currently supports streaming applications from Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 to devices running FireOS, Android, iOS, and Microsoft Windows. A Mac OS X SDK is planned for 2014.

The current pricing puts streaming free of charge for up to 20 hours per month. Twenty hours or more is billed at $0.83/hr (£0.52/hr).

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