The rumors of Google working on some type of gaming system have been going on for months. Well they finally revealed what they have been working on and it is a game changer for the industry and many markets tied to it.
Stadia is a streaming service like Netflix but for games. It will allow you to play games anywhere on any device that has an internet connection. It will be the equivalent of playing a game on a high end PC that runs at 10.7 teraflops (PS4 pro runs at 4.2) and has 16gb of ram(PS4 has 8). It will support 4k sixty frames per second game play and because all that power is up in the cloud it will increase in time. Eventually it will support 8k at 120 frames per second. Meaning having the service would be like having a high end computer that constantly updates it’s graphics card (when needed) and updates it’s software with patches while you don’t have to do a thing but play games and worry about nothing else. It also has an insanely fast load time for games.
While all this sounds good there are many questions that have yet to be answered and issues with the technology. First nobody knows what such a service will cost yet. Most likely it will be a monthly service like all the other streaming services. Nobody knows if you own games or simply just rent them like movies. Nobody knows what type of internet speed you need yet. Last is the issue of latency. Cloud gaming has been around for years but latency has kept it from really catching on. Google is working on this and is setting up servers spread all through out the world so one will be close by to cut down on latency issues. They are doing some processing things on the servers themselves to further cut down on latency issues.
Google has a lot to prove but if anyone else was trying this I’d say good luck but we are talking Google who has insane resources to pull this off. It may take them some time to chip away at Sony, Microsoft, Steam, and Nintendo but they will. All those other companies have been aware of Googles coming and are trying to counter Googles move. Steam just released a new app that allows you to play games on other devices using your PC as a host. Microsoft plans to release a separate Xbox just for streaming. What Sony and Nintendo have planned is still a bit of a mystery. Companies can try to counter Google but I don’t know if they are in a position like them to pull off what they are doing. They can make cheap imitations of what Google is doing but I have doubts they can go toe to toe with them.
The gaming landscape is changing and some good old competition is always good for any industry. Streaming is the future. And Google is in one of the best positions to capitalize on it. It may take them some time but they will chip away at the other giants in the industry. A huge battle is about to take place for survival in the industry. And in any battle there are losers and we may see some companies drop out of the gaming business or evolve into software only like Atari and Sega did. To counter Google Sony and MS will be pushed to buy more studios or create new ones as exclusive games will now have more importance then ever for survival. The best way to counter Google is to have games they don’t have. Google has already put together it’s own gaming studio for exclusives.
This is an exciting time as a new generation of gaming is about to begin but also a bit scary as some big changes will be occurring. The next generation of consoles and PC gaming could very well be the last generation as we know them if Google makes a big enough dent in the industry. A lot is on the line this next generation.
How does the idea of Google getting into the gaming business make you feel?