Google, the world’s most famous search engine, has been known for even more in recent times. From artificial intelligence software in the Google Home, cell phones and data plans, computers, and more- Google is making great headway into the personal technology industry. What the corporation hasn’t gotten a handle on is video gaming platforms...until now.
With the large-scale competitors in the gaming like Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony, Google had to find an innovative way to bring the attention of the gamer-audience to them by asking the question “What hasn’t been done before?” They eventually arrived at a video game streaming service that operates similar to the TV/movie streaming services we all know and love, Netflix and Hulu. The idea was inspired by these popular streaming services, and likely included concepts from the video game rental service, Gamefly, where users can pick their games from an online database and have them shipped to their doorstep. The streaming service project was publicly announced in March 2019 and named, “Project Stream”. Selected users were able to test the beta version of this service, and overall it received awesome reviews.
During the testing period, users were able to play “Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey” for free in their browser, and could even connect a Bluetooth controller to play. The test itself served as a pass/fail run on whether or not Google servers could stream an iconic video game, and the answer was “yes”. Reports state that the game ran quickly, it was easy to use, and was a very impressive feat for Google.
Now, Google has given the service a proper name, as it is well under development. “Stadia”, is the name of this new step in virtual gaming. It requires no console and is designed to work on TVs, tablets, phones, laptops, and PCs, giving customers a new way to play their favorite games, and with cross-platform play, customers no longer have to worry about the limitations of consoles. Stadia operates using a cloud database that customers can stream from and save to, preventing complications with storage. The program also comes with a wireless controller that connects via wi-fi, or customers can use their own controllers.
There are many unanswered questions about Google’s “Stadia”, and that seems to be the only thing working against the company. Google definitely has the resources and the following for Stadia to shake the ground in the gaming industry, and as more is worked out, the more we’ll find out. Google has partnered with Ubisoft, the publishing company of the Assassin’s Creed series, and Ubisoft has pledged to support Stadia, but fell short of providing a list of games they would be uploading to the platform. According to claims from Google executives, the company has reportedly been courting game developers to build up the game library since some point in 2018, but a list has yet to be released.
Google’s Stadia is rumored to be the NBT in video gaming and is without a doubt a new innovation for gamers across the world. The success ultimately depends on the library of games available for play. A launch and release date has yet to be announced for this new platform, and gamers everywhere are itching to see what Google has to offer.
The general innovation of a video game streaming service exists not without competition. Within the same timeframe, Microsoft announced and has been in development of their own streaming service, “xCloud”, that is believed to be the next expansion in their console series, Xbox.
Microsoft has been developing this kind of technology since 2013, but kept it exclusively for developers, and has only recently stated that they are working on developing this technology for general gaming. This poses a threat for Google’s Stadia.
It is unclear whether or not Microsoft will support the concept of cross-platform play like Google will, and it appears that Microsoft is only looking for Project xCloud to be an expansion of their Xbox console series, making it less flexible within the gaming community. Gamers playing through the Xbox streaming service will have to purchase other Xbox necessities such as controllers and docking stations if they are not a prior Xbox gamer.
It appears a new age of gaming technology is upon us, bringing a new and innovative way to game with friends across the world. It’s impressive the technology that we have in today’s world, and soon, we’ll have access to an entirely new world at our fingertips. What do you think? Is this new technology going to be a major advancement in the tech industry? Would you invest in this? Which side would you pick, Microsoft’s xCloud? Or Google’s Stadia?