Amazon is trying to build the future of gaming in AWS

The next big video game platform might be machine learning in the cloud, not a box under your TV.

Dan Patterson
Dan is a writer, reporter, and producer. He is currently a reporter for at CBS News and was previously a Senior Writer for TechRepublic.
Dan Patterson
2 min read
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Watch this: Here's how Amazon plans to make cloud gaming a reality

My computer is an archaic and underpowered potato, yet I'm gaming in 4K at 60 frames per second. 

How is this possible? 

"The cloud," says Amazon's Eric Morales. 

The company's newly announced Luna game streaming service is built on Amazon Web Service graphics processing technology, which enables cloud servers to stream high-resolution game assets over broadband and wireless connections. Although streaming video games can stutter and slow down over weak connections, according to Morales the distributed nature of the cloud minimizes lag by servers in close proximity to most players.

"Luna is built on top of AWS and our graphics compute system," explains Morales. "When developers are building a new game and a new console generation … you see these big leaps in visuals and fidelity. One of the beautiful aspects of building on top of AWS is when we update the underlying infrastructure the development teams get to take advantage of those resources."

AWS' cloud-based machine learning helps third-party developers offload tedious and repetitive chores, like bug testing. This frees human staff to focus on tasks that are hard for a machine to do, like art design and determining how to make a game fun. "This has let customers worry less about operations and focus more on creativity," says Morales.

Game streaming tech isn't perfect. The video sometimes stutters and the controls can lag. When the connection drops, the session can terminate and lose game data. But video games are complex, says Morales, who compares the current state of cloud gaming to the early days of music and video streaming. 

Video game streaming today is similar to where Prime Video and Netflix were a decade ago, says Morales. "When you're streaming a video or streaming music, the streaming protocol knows what's coming next. A song has a length of time, video has chapters. With a game, kind of by design, you don't know what's going to happen next. Streaming that technology can be really challenging because it introduces a lot of variables that end consumers and customers can really feel."