Video-Game streaming, how does it work in general?


When comparing the likes of Playstation Now, Xbox Game Pass and the upcoming Google Stadia, how could “streaming video games” be summarised in a general sense? Grateful for any answers.

In: Technology

Normally a computer or console will calculate the game world and generate images of it many times a second which forms the video which is viewed by the player. This is extremely demanding in terms of processing power.

With streaming a game a computer far away does the calculations to form the video of the game world and that video is simply immediately sent to the player over the internet. The player then is controlling the game remotely, and the processing demand on the device the player has is much lower.

Normally, your keyboard and mouse inputs get sent to your computer, and it sends the video output to your screen. When streaming games, instead of sending your keyboard and mouse inputs to your computer, it sends them to a far-off computer, which is probably more powerful than your computer. That far-off computer then sends the video output back to your computer, and it gets forwarded to your screen. It is useful because it allows you to do things like play really hard-to-run games on really weak computers.