Facebook to launch Beta version of cloud gaming service

Facebook is launching its own cloud gaming service, but it’s not going to compete with the Nvidia, Microsoft and Google services. The social network is focusing on mobile games exclusively while the others are for PC games.

Instead of providing access to PC or console games like Stadia, GeForce NOW, and Xbox Game Streaming, Facebook’s new service features access to free-to-play mobile games. This new service offers instantly-playable games. Just pick a game and tap on it, no installation is needed and no controllers either.

According to Facebook VP of Play Jason Rubin’s official blog post: “Cloud game-streaming promises to deliver unprecedented access to games across every screen. And while we’re thrilled to play a part in that future, that future is a ways off. “

He further adds, “Today, we’re excited to launch the beta for cloud-streamed games on Facebook Gaming. We’re starting with a range of mobile-native games in Android APK formats. We’re not on iOS right now, which is a big problem for us. We are barred from having Facebook launch the browser and play the game.”

The first set of games available this week include Asphalt 9: Legends by Gameloft; Mobile Legends: Adventure by Moonton; PGA TOUR Golf Shootout by Concrete Software.; Solitaire: Arthur’s Tale by Qublix Games; and WWE SuperCard by 2K. In the coming weeks, they will add Dirt Bike Unchained by Red Bull, and they will continue to test new experiences and expand the games library in number, type, and genre.

Here are the pointers that the blog post has highlighted:

  • 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. 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.
  • Cloud gaming is about expanding the types of games we already offer, so we’ll start with the format people enjoy playing on Facebook: free-to-play games. That’s one of the reasons why we’re starting with games typically played on mobile devices. In the future, our systems and infrastructure will improve to deliver more types of games — possibly all types of games. Until then, rest assured that the cost of trying our cloud games is $0.
  • We’re not trying to replace your favourite gaming hardware.
  • We believe in the long-term future of cloud gaming, but we aren’t going to try to wow you with the wonders of our data centres, compression algorithms, resolutions, or frames per second. Cloud game streaming for the masses still has a way to go, and it’s important to embrace both the advantages and the reality of the technology rather than try to oversell where it’ll be in the future.
  • We are not launching cloud games on iOS, so only Android and web players will enjoy integrated cloud games on Facebook while we work on alternative options for iOS. Even with Apple’s new cloud games policy, we don’t know if launching on the App Store is a viable path.

As their beta progresses and cloud technology scales, they will increase the variety of game genres. The expansion will start in 2021 with the addition of action and adventure games. Games will launch with in-app purchases and ads enabled, depending on game format and developer choice.

India has to wait to access cloud games on Facebook as the blog post says, “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. We’ll expand regional access in the coming months as we scale the infrastructure needed to roll out cloud gaming across the US.”