Now.gg, a company owned by the folks behind leading Android emulator BlueStacks, today announced the immediate launch of a new cloud gaming platform under the same name. The service is specifically designed to allow gamers to play more graphically intensive mobile games on their current devices. By leveraging technology like Amazon's AWS, gamers should be able to stream hit mobile titles to their devices without having to worry about low memory, diminished storage space, and overheating handsets.
What is Now.gg?
The Now.gg service appears to be taking a different approach to cloud gaming systems from the likes of Microsoft and Google Stadia. Rather than relying on an app with a glorified games library, the games themselves run in a browser that fires up when a potential player simply taps a link through something like a game's individual Facebook page. It's made for mobile consumption first and foremost, but being browser-based means you can get your game on through virtually any device with a capable web browser.
Mobile gaming is a wide and varied space: millions play simple puzzle games like Wordscapes that have no trouble running on phones and tablets in the low/mid-range price brackets. But millions of others compete across graphically intensive games like Albion Online, PUBG Mobile, and Genshin Impact--which can struggle to run on older devices.
In many parts of the world where mobile gaming is king, high-end devices are often few and far between, creating a clear use-case for something like this. Older phones can struggle to stand the test of time as bigger and better games attempt to make the most next-generation devices. And with many of these being handed down to younger family members, being potentially unable to play the next big Marvel or Disney mobile game can be a problem.
According to data provided by Now.gg, 60% of mobile phones in use around the world are classed as "unsuitable for gaming." But it's not just a phone's lack of graphical horsepower that can prevent players from enjoying their game. The limited storage space available on many of these phones are part of the reason why spin-off games like PUBG Mobile LITE exist. By running games through the cloud, hardware contraints are bypassed entirely. So long as you have a strong enough internet connection, your phone won't stop you from enjoying a game it otherwise couldn't natively run.
It all sounds a bit like Google's dream from when it announced Stadia. Back then, it pitched the service as a way for someone to immediately hop into a specific section of a game they might have watched someone play on YouTube at the touch of a button. The idea is to have players almost impulsively play a new title without fear of inadequate hardware, storage constraints, or lengthy download times.
So long as you have a fast enough connection, the device you have on hand should good to go. The question is: just how many games will ultimately become available through the platform?