LiquidSky recently hosted two Q&A sessions with their CEO on Twitch. They revealed many details about the future, and they showed off a new streaming client.
Learning from the Past
LiquidSky would be the first to admit that they had a rocky start. When LiquidSky first launched in 2017, they had ambitions to support as many devices as possible right from the start. They quickly realized that supporting a wide variety of platforms was spreading them too thin.
“We used to have a PC, Mac, and even a Linux Client out of the gates. It was just too much for us to manage at once, so we just want to make sure that we never bite off more than we can chew.” -CEO Ian McLoughlin
Today LiquidSky is focused on perfecting their Windows and Android clients. They’ve shelved other devices for the time being. The fact that other platforms are not a focus does not mean that LiquidSky isn’t innovating in other ways.
LiquidSky is very dedicated to Cloud Gaming. At the same time, they control an expansive network of Cloud Servers that can be used in other ways. Recently they began offering their Cloud services to other companies. Currently these companies can leverage LiquidSky’s Cloud Servers to power their own Games or even their own Cloud Gaming services.
Although this clearly creates a new stream of revenue for LiquidSky, it also brings them new opportunities. The relationships that are created out of these collaborations can open up new doors for the future. The video game industry is very much a who-you-know type of business.
The Near Future
LiquidSky was eager to talk about what happens next. They are aware that their GPU drivers are a bit behind the times. CEO Ian explained that deploying a new GPU driver has the potential to disrupt the entire Cloud Gaming process. And they are very serious about only introducing stability to their platform.
They’ve been testing an updated GPU driver and are very close to releasing it to the public. LiquidSky is also working on a system that will allow Gamers to install their own drivers in the near future.
Many of you are aware that the M60 GPU is not the latest hardware on the market. LiquidSky plans to upgrade their GPU’s at some point in the future (hopefully before the end of 2018). With that said, they also believe that they haven’t squeezed all of the potential performance out of the M60. The process of perfecting the M60 will lay the foundation for a smooth transition to new hardware later on.
“We want to perfect the M60 GPU before expanding to new GPU’s.” -CEO Ian McLoughlin
There are exciting changes coming to LiquidSky in the future. During their 2nd AMA, CEO Ian showcased some gameplay through their upcoming Chrome Browser client. While it is an early build, all things point to it working quite well.
“No install is required, not even a single Chrome plugin is required. It works right out of the box in Google Chrome. And the latency is blowing all of us away” -CEO Ian McLoughlin
Support for the Chrome Browser will allow even more devices to access LiquidSky. There is a audience of Chromebook users that would love to use LiquidSky on their inexpensive hardware.
LiquidSky is also working on an Android TV (Shield TV) version of LiquidSky. However it is not currently a priority. They are slowly adding TV-specific features to their current Android App. Users are welcome to sideload it to their Android TV box to see how it’s coming along.
Here are some additional details that are worth mentioning:
- They do not plan to release a local version of their Streaming technology.
- There is a new streamer coming in the future. In some cases, the new streamer can improve Cloud Gaming latency by as much as 20%.
- Some subscribers are receiving bans from Blizzard. LiquidSky is in the process of opening lines of communication with Blizzard to resolve this.
- They do not plan to create any sort of end-user hardware (ie: streaming box, accessories). They will test 3rd party hardware and make recommendations when appropriate.
LiquidSky is in it for the Long-Haul
LiquidSky is unique compared to many other Cloud Gaming providers. They host their own network rather than leasing it from a 3rd party. And they really want to get it right. There is a reason that LiquidSky is still in beta.
CEO Ian discussed some of the opportunities that will take LiquidSky to the next level. They are currently working on partnering with various ISP’s to get more servers deployed closer to Gamers. They are also improving prediction technologies that allow them to send future frames before something actually happens in your game.
The bottom line is that there is a well-crafted plan that is being implemented as you read this. LiquidSky isn’t perfect, and they don’t claim to be. There are things that need to happen before LiquidSky will feel like a finished product. It is a process, and they do have a plan. Part of that plan means doing it right. And that means scaling things back a bit to ensure that problems aren’t missed. So yes, we may have to wait a while to receive updated drivers. And yes, we may have to deal with some performance issues until the new streamer is launched. LiquidSky is trying to communicate to us that the wait will be worth it. They are very confident in the improvements that they are developing for you.
When these improvements are ready, you’ll be able to read about them first on Flickstiq. Keep an eye on LiquidSky, and let’s see what the future brings.
Also published on Medium.