Google’s Transforming the Gaming Industry with Stadia
by Samra Anees
Google announced that it’s coming out with its cloud-based game streaming service, Stadia, that emphasizes instant play and streaming games across devices. It was announced at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco and will be launching in 2019 in the U.S., UK, Canada, and Europe.
Stadia Offers Instant Accessibility to Games
Stadia will be streamable on anything from laptops, TVs, phones, tablets, or desktops; no downloads will be necessary. Google already tested this service through Project Stream, which allowed Chrome users to stream games via their browser.
Stadia will also be launching a Stadia controller that will connect to the games through Wi-Fi and allow for game capture and sharing clips straight to YouTube—which was likely inspired by the 50 billion+ hours spent watching gaming videos on YouTube last year. Stadia also offers a feature in which you can play the game alongside creators on YouTube by clicking into the game through the video. These features show that YouTube is a large piece of the Stadia offering—an innovative approach that leverages how large the gaming community has become on YouTube.
Google Assistant also makes an appearance on the Stadia controller that can be used for mid-game questions, hints, and help.
Innovations on the Developers’ Side
Google has also kept developers in mind with this launch by allowing them to customize and apply their own design to games on Stadia. It is powered by a machine learning tool that allows developers to drag an image into a frame of the game, and have the game pick up on the style of the image and apply that style throughout the rest of the game—an impressive use of image analytics.
Google Has Big Competitors in the Gaming Sphere
While Google’s offerings with Stadia are certainly impressive, there are some big competitors emerging in this market; Microsoft will also be coming out with its own cloud game streaming service, and Apple and Amazon are rumored to be jumping into the gaming services as well. Sony and Nvidia already offer the ability to stream games online. We will have to wait to see who makes the most appealing offering and performs the best in this market.
Google’s Stadia offering is distinct from other game offerings in the market because of two key things: the ability to leverage their data centers for cloud-based streaming that actually works, and changing the way players can interact with each other, and the game, through the game. Although we’ll have to wait to see how Stadia performs in the market and how rivals compete, Project Stream gives us reason to believe that the streaming service will work well and that Stadia will possibly transform the way people game.