Facebook today announced that it has launched a new cloud gaming initiative featuring several cloud-streamed video games. These are available in the Facebook app and browser (except on iOS, because of course) and are essentially free-to-play mobile video games brought to the cloud. This is different from what other cloud gaming competitors have been doing for a number of reasons, but beyond the fact that its current focus is free-to-play mobile titles, the most distinct difference might be that Facebook is not, in fact, spinning out its own service for these titles.
"All cloud-streamed games are playable in the same way you play games now on Facebook — whether it’s in our Gaming tab or from News Feed," the official blog post from Jason Rubin, Facebook's VP of Play, reads in part. "No special hardware or controllers needed; your hands are the controller since we’re launching with native mobile games. And you can play these games with a mouse and keyboard on desktop."
So... what IS 'cloud gaming', anyway?
Is it replacing your console with a controller and a subscription? For some, maybe.
Or...maybe you could grab your phone. Open an app. Find a game. Play it. No controllers. No subscriptions.— Facebook Gaming (@FacebookGaming) October 26, 2020
Introducing our take on cloud gaming where we hope to make it easier to play games instantly on Facebook Gaming.October 26, 2020
The initial offerings during the beta period for the new cloud gaming initiative include Asphalt 9: Legends, Mobile Legends: Adventure, PGA TOUR Golf Shootout, Solitaire: Arthur’s Tale, and WWE SuperCard. "Access to cloud games on Facebook will roll out in the US, initially available across California, Texas and Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states including, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia and West Virginia," Rubin's post continues. "We’ll expand regional access in the coming months as we scale the infrastructure needed to roll out cloud gaming across the US."
What do you think about Facebook dipping its toes into cloud gaming like this? Are you at all interested in it? Let us know in the comments, or feel free to hit me up directly on Twitter at @rollinbishop to talk about all things gaming!