Playing High-End Video Games in the Cloud: A Measurement Study

Zheng Xue, Di Wu, Jian He, Xiaojun Hei, Yong Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cloud gaming has emerged as a promising approach to more affordable and accessible games. By rendering high-end video games in the cloud and streaming encoded game scenes to players via the broadband networks, users are relieved from downloading or installing game software. With cloud gaming, users can easily play high-end 3-D video games on any devices anytime and anywhere. In this paper, we conducted a comprehensive measurement study of a leading cloud gaming system in China, namely, CloudUnion. Unlike the previous work, our measurement study was based on an in-depth understanding of the internal mechanisms of CloudUnion, and thus we were able to reveal problems that cannot be observed in a black-box approach. We built a dedicated measurement platform, which enables us to study CloudUnion from different views, including the global view, local view, and user view. We also conducted a comparison study with another cloud gaming system, namely, GamingAnywhere. Our measurement results unveil the pros and cons of the current cloud gaming system design, and bring forth important insights about the cloud infrastructure, user behaviors, traffic patterns, user-perceived quality, and so on. Our work will be valuable for the design of future cloud gaming systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6934992
Pages (from-to)2013-2025
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems for Video Technology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2015


  • cloud gaming
  • measurements
  • streaming
  • video games

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Media Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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