San Francisco, March 20 : Google has changed and revolutionized the face of a lot of things that we knew by a different avatar a decade ago. Now they are on to the Gaming industry.
Google launched yesterday at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco their latest venture, a platform where you can stream games and play them on a real time basis - with no download or installation. Christened as “Stadia”, it is anticipated that Stadia once in the market will take a huge toll on the traditional gaming industry and revolutionise gaming as we know it today.
The platform is designed such that it will be storing each session of game-playing on cloud and nothing else – which means there is no need of a separate gaming console on drive to store it!!
Some industry watchers were expecting a streaming console, but Google’s platform depends squarely on the company’s cloud infrastructure.
“The new generation of gaming is not a box,” said Google Vice President Phil Harrison. “The data center is your platform.”
As it went first with music and then with movies, the video-game industry has also slowly been shifting from physical hardware and games to digital downloads and streaming. Video-game streaming ideally requires strong internet connection and more computing power than that is required to stream video or movies as there is real-time interaction between player and game. For this, Google says it is leveraging its data centers to power the system.
The Stadian platform also lets players jump across devices operating on Google’s Chrome browser and OS, such as Pixel phones and Chromebooks.
Alphabet Inc. the parent company of Google dubbed that after Stadian, playing video games will be as simple as pressing a “Play Now” button, with nothing to download or install, although a dedicated but optional Stadia controller will also be available.
The Vice President is positively confident that it would only be a matter of time before the entire gaming world will take place out of consoles, in cloud-powered streaming platforms.
The WiFi-enabled controller of the system will have a button that will let players launch a microphone and also access Google Assistant to query about the games being played.
And another magical button will let users share their exciting gameplay directly to YouTube!! Pretty cool huh?
Analysts comment that Google’s approach of tying YouTube sharing and video-game playing is unique. “What they’ve done with Stadia is to connect and unify both the gaming platform and the streaming platform which obviously is new”, they observed.
At yesterday’s event Google demoed games such as “Assassin’s Creed Odyssey” and “Doom Eternal” on the platform.
Google didn’t reveal on how much the service will be costing or whether it will be subscription based and so on. But they did announce that Stadia will be available in late 2019 in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and parts of Europe.
And game publishers, another stakeholder in the billion-dollar industry are also excited. This is because of the limitless vista that Stadia could open up wherein players not willing to spend money upfront on a gaming PC or a console can also be potential customers. “What they’re presenting is a feasible way to play videogames in the cloud, and utilizing the cloud so you can play anytime, anyplace and anywhere,” BTIG Managing Director Brandon Ross said.
Ross also added a hint on an upcoming distribution battle that Google’s platform could set up between Microsoft, which owns the Xbox, Sony, which owns the PlayStation, and perhaps Amazon, which reportedly is working on its own video-game service.
And as for those who are worried about the kind of content and games that would be available on the platform, Google has left no room for such worries. Because at the event yesterday they also launched Stadia Games and Entertainment which will develop Stadia-exclusive games. “The differentiator for any of the distributors on a console or in the cloud is going to be available content,” the VP of Google happily concluded.